What’s New in Nashville

Nashville’s growing skyline

Nashville’s growing skyline

Nashville is a city in the midst of immense change. Over the past few years, the southern town has experienced such intense growth that it hit No. 20 on Forbes list of the fastest growing American cities in 2015. It feels like a town on the cusp of becoming a city, building itself up—cranes litter the sky as holes create gaps down below—and it is absolutely wonderful to observe. Everyone in town seems excited by the influx of new restaurants, sites, and attractions.

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Serene Sailing: Mediterranean Island Hopping

A ship sails on the blue sea

A ship sails on the blue sea

Emerging on deck after an uninterrupted night’s sleep, the warm sea breeze stroked my sun-darkened skin and my bleary eyes slowly focused in the soft, early-morning sunlight. Our handsome Turkish gulet was anchored in a small cove of azure-blue water, protected by towering limestone cliffs, rugged with deep gashes that no doubt inspired ancient tales of female fertility. Trees sprung out of the lower reaches of the cliff. A tiny, whitewashed church was the only building in sight, its structure half hidden by leafy trees with pink flowers. The occasional low clanging of goat bells could be heard as I poured myself a cup of steaming tea before morning yoga.

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Curious Encounters Along German Timber-Frame Road

The oldest timber-frame house in Esslingen

The oldest timber-frame house in Esslingen

There are dozens of cities and little towns along Germany’s so-called Deutsche Fachwerkstraße (German Timber-Frame Road), a tourist route showcasing the traditional historical architecture developed in the 13th to 19th centuries. The Baden-Württemberg part of the road is especially picturesque, with thousands of timber-framed structures in stunning landscapes of rocks, gorges, and forests. With their characteristic wood-skeleton bases and curtain walls made of brick or clay, these houses vary in size, construction style, and the use of decorative elements, but invariably emit romantic charm and evoke the images of European fairy tales.

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Peru in Six Days

Machu Picchu just after the rain

Machu Picchu just after the rain

“You’re going all the way to Peru for only six days?” asked my less travel-mad friends. Well, yeah, Peru’s a fascinating country, and I’d have loved to go for a couple of weeks, but I wasn’t passing up the trip at a price I couldn’t refuse, even if it was a whirlwind itinerary.

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Community-Based Tourism in Trat, Thailand

Overhead view of the Ban Nam Chiao Ecotourism Community in Trat, Thailand

Overhead view of the Ban Nam Chiao Ecotourism Community in Trat, Thailand

The ease and prevalence of travel has made our world a small one. Many countries rely on the tourism industry to boost their economies and work to attract travelers with a variety of accommodations and chain restaurants. But how much do we really get to experience a destination when we stay in a cushy hotel with other international travelers, eat familiar cuisine, and speak in our native tongue? I recently had the opportunity to immerse myself in a place very different from my own and see what it truly means to “live like a local.”

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