- “That’s not Thailand. I promise. It’s the northeast coast of the Dominican Republic. Far from the beach-view balconies and lounger landscape of Punta Cana stand towering cliffs and jagged rocks carpeted with grass and etched by time. I’m on a dinghy rounding the Samana peninsula on my way to Fronton Beach, where I’m promised the ‘best snorkeling in the DR’ by our guide, Roberto Guzman. He’s right.
- Shot glasses break and sarongs wear out, but a tattoo is forever. At Polynesian resorts such as the Intercontinental Resort and Spa Moorea, you can immortalize your jaunt to the South Pacific with a traditional Tahitian tattoo, etched with combs ARmade from bone, shell Tahiti orshark’steeth. The modern word tattoo comes from the Polynesian word ta (strike) and the Tahitian word tatau (to mark something). It also echoes the “tat tat” sound of the ancient technique, in which a tattoo artist taps the comb’s 20 or so needles onto the skin, inserting black ink into the punctures.
- Check the temple’s dance schedule with your hotel in Ubud. The kecak dance features fire-walking and rhyth- mic chanting by dozens of bare-chested Balinese men. Pay a modest fee at the entrance to help with the temple’s upkeep
- Pinch of salt, dash of sunset salty sea air is the secret ingredient in traditional Greek dishes like grilled octopus and stuffed grape leaves served on this beach. And sea breezes are easy to come by because the restaurants that line Skala Eressou on the southwest coast of the Greek isle of Lésvos don’t just face the beach — they are on top of it.
- It’s summer again. Time for island expats to rattle the constructs of my life. You know, with insights (“The more you know, the less you need”) that make me question everything. It’s my fifth Best Islands to Live On campaign, my fifth year touting the merits of moving to an island (“Make a life, not a living”) and my fifth year declaring how I’ll soon be taking the plunge. Yet here I stand, five years in, still taking island toe dips from the mainland (“Just do it”).
- “It’s snowing, and I’m speeding atop glassy salt water in an open-air skiff. My face is numb, but I can see well enough to spot the hidden entrance to Pete’s Cove. Along the shore are the skeletal remains of a bulldozer, barn and termite-riddled cabin. Through the falling snow, I envision ‘Herring Pete’ and Josephine Sather tending to their fox farm here.
- “I wander onto the set of my favorite mystery one stormy day in the small town of Hay-on-Wye, Wales. The moors are still brown and flecked with snow, so instead of hiking, I duck into the Murder & Mayhem bookstore. The town has 1,500 residents, but 31 bookstores, proving that the Welsh people love a good story. I flip through Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous Sherlock Holmes tale, The Hound of the Baskervilles.
- THE GOAL: To find exactly what excites and unites the people of the Dominican Republic. STRIKE ONE: Mamajuana. What sounds like a request for contraband is in fact a local drink of rum, wine, herbs and honey aged in a bottle with tree bark. Said to provide “man power.” I drink it, and then need a nap.
- Standing face to face with this ancient totem pole, I’m looking for answers. I’m on a journey through British Columbia’s wildest archipelago, the stormy Haida Gwaii Islands, on a quest to discover how a First Nation people who nearly vanished in 1911 made such a remarkable comeback. ‘We live on the edge of a knife,’ a Haida man tells me, ‘without regret for the past or worry for the future.’ Find us on Google+
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