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Posted by on Apr 25, 2013 in Culture, Travel |

Mosquito Paradise

Mosquito Paradise

We thought we were clever to save money by booking an overnight train from Athens to Thessaloniki. The harsh glare of buzzing lights, the sweaty Greek man snoring loudly beside me, and the smell of unwashed bodies added dramatic effect to this adventure I was on with my two friends, E and Oksana. We exchanged amused glances with each other that said we’d laugh about it all later. Credit card denied. Cash only. Combined, the three of us only had enough Euro for one ticket to Istanbul and the closest ATM was down the street. We set out into driving rain, preoccupied by the fact that our backpacks were not waterproof. E proposed we play The Glad Game, a competition to see who could come up with the best reason to be thankful or ‘glad’ about our circumstances. After a few feeble attempts fell flat, we gave in to exhaustion and irritation we felt and returned to buy our train tickets in silence. This train is sold out. The woman directly...

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Posted by on Mar 10, 2013 in Blog, Change, Culture |

Women are Powerful

Women are Powerful

As women, we are often told that we are weak physically, mentally, and emotionally. We sometimes even believe it. Even though we are both subtly and overtly told we are less-capable citizens of this world, the truth of the matter is that Women are powerful. This past week in Chicago, I have been energized by the incredible community of women around leading, creating, and mentoring. Beth Santos of Go Girl Magazine is uniting women around the world to engage in their local and global community. Blair Brettshneider at Girl Forward is helping empower young refugee women to reach their full potential. Dr. Jill Bishop founded Multi-Lingual Chicago to train people to speak more than one language and participate in a multi-cultural environment. On a more personal note, a friend I have not seen in seven years told me about how she recently gave one of her kidneys to her father to save his life. In my own life, I am more grateful and excited each day to be investing...

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Posted by on Feb 28, 2013 in Blog, Change, Culture, technology and travel, Travel |

Geared Up and Geeked Out: Thoughts on Travel and Technology

Geared Up and Geeked Out: Thoughts on Travel and Technology

“They don’t look out the window,” said a crest-fallen mother referring to 21st century children on car rides. I think back to the days when my two sisters and I occupied ourselves on long drives by staring out the window, playing games, and reading. On one particular vacation, we drove the entire way from Georgia to Pennsylvania in the back of my dad’s pickup truck entertaining our friend’s former pet skunk Stinky. Sidenote: if you ever want some guaranteed fun, take a skunk on a leash for a potty break at rest stops on I95. To what extent has technology changed how we travel? What are we losing and gaining by being geared up and geeked out on our journey? Technology has changed nearly every aspect of travel– the way we plan travel, book transportation and housing, keep in contact with home, manage our finances,  record our memories, and reflect on our experiences. In other words, technology has changed how we travel but it has not changed why we...

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Posted by on Feb 19, 2013 in Culture, Feature, International Education, Most Popular, technology and travel, Travel, Travel Planning |

6 Tips for Using Twitter for Travel

6 Tips for Using Twitter for Travel

In some ways, Twitter is the most customized, updated crowdsourced travel resource on the planet. You can create your own travel guide via Twitter with the steady supply of travel tips, photos, articles, and industry updates. The question is, how can you organize this constant barrage of information to make it an effective travel planning and travel conversation tool? Like any social media platform, it is easy to waste time on Twitter by getting sidetracked and overwhelmed with the volume and frequent delivery of content. While it is possible to view information on Twitter without having an account, users have access to the full functionality of the site and are able to participate in Twitter chats, create lists and favorite Tweets. 1. Use Travel Hashtags to Search or Post Specific Information Placing the almighty hashtag (#) in front of a search term, word, or category means that only tweets that contain that keyword will come up. If you are using Twitter for trip planning, search the region, country and...

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Posted by on Feb 10, 2013 in Blog, Culture, Feature, Free Resources, International Education, Study Abroad, Teach Abroad, technology and travel, Travel, Volunteer Abroad, Work Abroad |

Best Travel Websites: Top Picks from The Traveling Advisor

Best Travel Websites: Top Picks from The Traveling Advisor

Travel websites are as common these days as hidden airline fees. How do you decide which ones to visit? I have selected my favorite travel website and shared them with you here. In order to land a spot in my top travel website list, I asked myself the following four questions: Does this website help me plan for my travels? Does this website challenge me to think about how or why I travel? Does this website connect me to interesting people, ideas, images, and places? Does this website appeal to me in general? Two tips on finding your own favorite travel websites; Don’t waste time on outdated sites or websites that try to sell you something every 30 seconds. On the other hand, sometimes it is worth paying experts or professionals to help you with a particular aspect of your journey. Click away and happy travels through the web! Best Overall Travel Website and Network: Matador Network What I like most about Matador Network is the excellent writing. This...

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