Travel Photo ? Amazing Austrian Lakes (And Sofia?) - I really love this pic, it sums up the best memories of when we were in Austria in the spring time.
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With over 200 entries into this month?s ?Why I Travel? competition we now have a pretty good idea of why you guys travel! Check out the winning photos right here!
Why do you travel?
It?s a simple question that offers much food for thought!
Over 200 of you entered our ?Why I Travel? contest ? posting a photo and caption that best encapsulates your drive to see the world.
There was originally going to be just one winner but we were so blown away by all your amazing entries that we decided to offer 3 more bonus prizes!
Check out the winning photos right here, as well as some stunning Editors? Picks!
Emanuele Siracusa?s gorgeous shot of a Cambodian child captured your hearts and won him $100 towards his round the world trip.
Veronica Rene Salas? concert shot rallied music fans worldwide behind her entry and won her $100 towards a flight to see her favorite band?. Muse!
We liked the wonderful simplicity of Madison LeMesurier?s ?Why I Travel? caption so much that we decided to help her get to Oktoberfest, Munich with $100 towards her flight.
These entries may not have been winners but they jumped out at us as stunning images that deserve credit!
By Gabe Glass
By Kristian Leven
By Enda McKenna
Top 10 Entries
These entries all made it into the top 10 ? click through and see what made their photos so popular!
4th Place: I do it for the amazing photo opportunities! Jessica Shadwick
5th Place: I do it for the thrill of discovery! Ellen Kee
6th Place: I do it so I can discover and experience what the rest of the world has to offer Katharine Greenlee
7th Place: I do it to free my soul and open my heart to new adventures Heather Tengwall
8th Place: I do it to let go, if only for a day Laura Saggers
9th Place: I do it to see the beauty in the world Andrew Rangel
10th Place: I do it because I keep wandering why Dawn Grimaldi-Lynch
Why do you travel? Post up your comments below and let us know! Want to enter next time? ?Like? Tripbase on Facebook for contest updates.
Want to see more photos? Check out: Why Do You Travel?
Main image: I do it because when I travel, I am at my happiest by Sigríður Kristinsdóttir.
Somehow we survived and lived to tell the tall. The route was great with a good diversity of flats, hills, lakes, forests, and even the Embarrass Mountain. The toughest day by far was the 70 very hilly miles between Orr and Ely on the Echo Trail, which in addition to the hills has over 35 Miles of dirt road (not fun for a road bike!). Overall I would recommend the route to anyone who wants to see more of northern Minnesota and is willing to engage in some slight (or some might say extensive) physical activity!
If you love travel, you must love food. So why not ensure your travel food experience is never boring, but tasty, adventurous, and even slightly weird?
Here are 10 foodie destinations that are well worth booking a plane ticket for.
The land of gorgeous bodies is also teeming with tropical food to keep you cool or nourish the belly.
This former Portuguese colony is influenced by the original indigenous population, Portugal, Africa, and even the available resources (cassava). I dracank my supply of fresh coconut juice, açaí shakes or sweet guava juice.
Nosh on collard greens or Acarajé: black-eyed peas formed into a fritter, deep fried in dendê (palm oil), then stuffed full with Vatapá (a paste of shrimp, bread, milk, coconut milk). Not for the faint hearted.
Acai by smelliesocks
After witnessing a call to prayer at dawn or so, breakfast might include olives, tomatoes, bread and kaymak (slow boiled milk turned into a cream).
A portal for civilizations, many cultures have made their mark on Turkey, but the one that lasted is the Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans enjoyed fresh vegetables, nuts and yoghurt.
Meat was only consumed at weddings, but since commercial agriculture, it?s now common to see minced meat on the table.
My recommendations: eat a meze (an assortment of food served as an appetizer) or gorge on rice pudding at the Lale in Istanbul.
Meze by kake_pugh
Oh amore! Italy?s cuisine varies by region, but what variety!
I can?t stop thinking about risotto in Venice or pasta all Norma from Sicily. Or how about a traditional Neapolitan pizza?
Eat your way to a larger waistline, from a culture that established food origins as far back as 4 BCE. Italy is romantic for a reason. The food.
Italian seafood by vascellari
Since I?m not a meat eater, it was tempting to leave out France. But, you just can?t.
Sure regional vegetables such as eggplants, potatoes or carrots come into play, but French chefs turn meat dishes into a fine art. Lamb, poultry, beef, encompass a three course dinner along with wine and cheeses.
It?s about savoring flavors and enjoying the company over a lengthy period.
Foie gras or Hachis de Boeuf Parmentier are historical staples (potato stuffed with onion beef mixture).
French beef by roland
Where else can you get boiled chicken feet or stinky tofu? Nowhere.
China also boasts some diverse cuisine from Szechwan to Hunan to Shanghai.
The bases are usually a meat/seafood, garlic, ginger and a rice or noodle to absorb all that yummy goodness. My fave is shark fin soup or a mushroom hot pot.
Steamed fish dish by madhatrk
My memories of Vietnam were untouched beaches on a Saturday and sailing into the arms of morning mist on a bus ride through the mountains.
And the food. It?s not just all ph?, but bánh bao (steamed bun stuffed with meat, mushroom, onion) or rice with clams, commonly served in Hu?.
My faves had to be the seafood hot pot I devoured in Nha Trang or sticky rice soaked in coconut milk found anywhere. That?s a lot of yum factor.
Vietnamese Pho by jimmyhsu_tw
Panama lies between two continents, which is rife with unique native tropical plants and fruits.
Maize, plantains, rice, beef, and corvine (a saltwater fish) make up the core ingredients in cooking. Empanadas can either be savory or sweet. I seriously want to try Arroz con bacalao, a dish of rice and cod slow cooked in a large pan with saffron and garlic.
Doesn?t that just whet the appetite? Visit Panama for the gripping history and diverse cuisine.
Fish and plantain by justonlysteve
Well known for the amazing trekking, Nepal sees its share of travelers.
Instead of passing through, consider staying for the chilled out atmosphere and to-die-for Dal.
Dal is a spicy lentil soup served on rice, with vegetable curry, fermented pickles, spiced chutney, lime or lemon and chili peppers.A stomach of iron may be needed, but don?t fret.
You can also have a light snack of Momo, a steamed dumpling stuffed with various fillings like cheese, potato or meat. Trek and eat. I like that combination.
Momo by xiangxi
Not many travelers think Ethiopia merits foodie status, but it does merit vegetarian honors.
Because Ethiopia institutes fasting periods during religious occasions, vegetarian dishes are insanely common.
As you explore this hot, arid country eat a meal consisting of different varieties of wat (veggie or meat based stew) served on injera, a large flatbread made from teff flour.
Wash all that down with some tej (honey wine). What may sound strange is delicious and won?t make you feel overfull.
Wat and injera by 71494338@N00
This country is on everyone?s radar these days. A country not overly explored or exploited, still invoking that explorer spirit, what exactly is the food like?
What Mongolia lacks in mass tourism certainly makes up with interesting cuisine. This Russian ally takes cuisine notes from them and heartily uses local resources.
A friend of mine ate yak cheese and drank yak milk. Mutton is often cooked in the rural areas, while boiled dumplings stuffed with meat is popular in the cities.
Salty milk is the daily drink, which can be turned into soup by adding meat or rice.
You?ll be happy to know the main Russian influence is vodka. Ypa!
Mongolian cuisine by harunire
What are some of your top foodie destinations? What?s the tastiest dish you?ve ever eaten traveling? Tell us in the comments!
If you liked this you might also like: 11 School Lunches from Around the World
Main image: Cannoli, Sicily
Right now I am in the London Stansted Airport. My flight from Sevilla was delayed several hours, much to tha annoyance of most of the passangers. To me it made little difference as it just ment less time bumming around in the Stansted airport. I eventually did make it to London around 1 am where I found a lovely bit of floor and curled up for the night for some sleep! Now in about 6 hours I will get on my plane and head back to Minnesota!
And, I have never been so terrified of anything in my life.
Part of it is my lizard brain, thinking I can?t do this without the lawyer I can?t afford. On the other hand, the lawyer I consulted told me I?d be fine, because I?m a rational, level-headed young woman.
At the time, I nodded in agreement and thanked him for the compliment, but right now, my brain is screaming at me, throwing tennis balls, while I curl up in the corner attempting to hide.
?You? RATIONAL?! WTF, dude? What are you THINKING??
Being irrational, read: passionate and emotional, is part of my brand for a reason. It?s pretty goddamn authentic. Now, I have to set it aside in the name of playing by someone else?s rules, because this about so much more than getting what I want.
It?s about protecting my heart and soul, Evie.
This has been the subject that has consumed me for weeks now. Pondering the many steps I have to take from here, I can only prepare and hope for the best. I?ve let my mind wander over and over again, trying to find an easy answer to a question that isn?t easy, and will certainly never be simple.
Then, I start thinking about Evie. Everything we?ve gone through together. Everything we will do.
My dreams. Her future dreams. Then, I wonder?
How did I even get here?
Laying on the hospital bed, gripping my mom?s hand, I pushed. Again and again, the doctor, who looked like a used car salesman in a lab coat, told me to push. I couldn?t feel anything from the waist down, so I had to assume I was doing it using the muscle memory of what it felt like pre-epidural. 12 hours with no pain killers, 22 hours on double the recommended amount of Pitocin because my contractions weren?t strong enough ? even though they made me feel like I was DYING, 2 hours of pushing with the nurse, and then the doc came in. I was already completely exhausted.
It was over in 15 minutes, and my eyes were shut the whole time. The doctor said something I tried to tune out about cutting me so the baby could actually get out, since my hips aren?t exactly of the ideal childbearing variety. I was about as interested in seeing that as watching the placenta hit the bucket, so it seemed like a good idea to keep my eyes closed and not throw up all over the little bundle of joy.
They put Gwenyver in my arms a moment later. Furrowed brow, and bottom lip protruding, the look on her face said it all.
?Why am I here? And who the hell are you??
Miracle of childbirth. Pft.
I was so tired I could hardly hold her. We looked at each other, and all I could think was how completely unprepared I was for this experience. It wasn?t that, ?I love you so much even though I just met you? thing that happens in the movies.
Nuh uh. More like, ?Well, you?re here! So what now??
I had no idea how to be a good mother. Sure, you read the books, the forums, and you try to find all the answers, but deep down, you know it?s futile. No reading material will actually prepare you for this momentous occasion. I?d never even seen myself as a mother. What in the hell was I thinking?
Then, they wanted me to attach that little alien?s mouth to my boob?! Mind you, she was a very cute little alien who looked uncannily like my tiny clone, so together, we learned just how miserable breastfeeding is. Ever had a nurse up in your junk explaining how to milk yourself? Yeah.
It was snowing out. Piling up to a whopping 14 inches ? a feat in a valley that hardly sees snow, my tiny family was stuck in the hospital for an extra night before someone could drive us home. As I attempted to get into the car, thoroughly off balance from the stunning amount of Vicodin I had been given, the vase of wilting flowers my aunt had given me slipped from the top of the car and smashed into the concrete, glass littering the road already marred with filthy snow.
Can you say foreshadowing?
I divorced her deadbeat father four months after Gwenyver made her grand appearance. Her and I could go it alone. Except we couldn?t. Not yet. I had to quit the two jobs I was working while I was pregnant, because of the complications I was having, and I only had very part-time work as a promotional model.
Thankfully, when I found out I was pregnant, I got my ass in gear and started college. I was due during finals week. (Thank god babies are never on time.) It didn?t matter what my degree was in, just as long as I had it, so my daughter could get every possible advantage. That was the goal.
We had a plan, and we were going to blaze it.
Since her rather telling debut, Evie and I have been partners in crime. We?ve come a long way together, baby! She has learned to walk, talk, and is so close to being out of diapers I may cry tears of joy. I?m almost a college graduate, have started an online business, and have my priorities in order for the first time in my life.
Amazing what happens when you life revolves around something bigger than you. Or smaller, I suppose, in this case.
It astounds me how much I learn from her daily. Sure, I?ve looked up her milestones and how to help her reach her potential, but I dream of the day I?ll have the opportunity to teach her lessons like she has taught me.
She has taught me how to look at someone without judging. When she sees someone, she has this openness about her that is unreal. So much trust. How can I ever hope to look at someone and be so genuine as to let them see all of me in that one glimpse?
She reminds me to forgive easily and without question. Instead of brooding over being told no, she is simply on to the next thing. A mere distraction away from total forgiveness and bliss.
She has shown me how to truly appreciate doing something simply because it is fulfilling. Watching her become so absorbed in a task, like sorting crayons or stacking blocks, and to see the focus and real learning taking place is miraculous.
To think this is where it all begins makes me swell up with love for my tiny stranger. This is only the beginning for her. Her play now lays the foundation for the amazing, brilliant person she will one day become.
There is nothing more thrilling than that.
This is the real miracle of childbirth. It has nothing to do with the birth itself. The rebirth that happens to a woman when she becomes a mother is a transformative process that cannot be defined in that moment in a hospital.
That unmistakable love is not born into an environment of fear and uncertainty. But, it can be born out of the ashes of the former self. The person who didn?t know what nurturing or self-sacrifice was can rise up and be strong. Shards of an old life can be used as a shining opportunity to create the mosaic of the new.
As for that new, tiny, perfect little person, what is there to say? They are so untarnished and full of wonder and hope, you can?t help but want to be better for their sake. You have to be better. Not than anyone else in a comparing manner. Simply better for the sake of being better, more fulfilled, because that is the right thing to do.
It?s what they deserve. It?s what you deserve.
I think I?ve finally learned the lesson I needed to all of this time. The reason why I started the blog. The reason why I felt so drawn to this digital world so I could make shit happen that I could never have dreamed of before.
I have to be better. For Evie. For me.
It seems so simple, but I wish you could see what a profound realization this is for me.
I never came here knowing what I was doing. No fucking clue what lifestyle design or self-help or any of that shit was.
But, I finally know why I?m here. And that brings me more peace and more hope than I?ve felt in a long time. That makes me fear Monday less. Evie is my strength, and for her, I will be better and stronger because I have to.
This post was hard to write. This has been an intense personal battle, and I hope by sharing it with you all, you find hope. Your battles matter, and fighting for what you believe in matters.
Good luck in all of your battles.
It?s hard to imagine what it must be like in Japan right now. It?s difficult to get your mind around tragedies like this, but often a great way to get through is by coming together. That?s what a lot of bloggers are doing through ForJapanWithLove.com. Their goal was to raise $5,000 according to their website:
ShelterBox provide emergency shelter and lifesaving supplies for families around the world who are affected by disasters at the time when they need it the most. Each large green ShelterBox is tailored to a disaster but typically contains a disaster relief tent for an extended family, blankets, water storage and purification equipment, cooking utensils, a stove, a basic tool kit, a children?s activity pack and other vital items. A whole box costs $1,000 (US), so we?re hoping to raise enough to send 5 boxes.
They?ve already tripled their goal so we invite you to blow it out of the water even more! Another way we can help is just by taking time to pray and think about Japan. We?ll be participating in the Bloggers Day of Silence which is Friday, March 18. Not only will we be thinking about the survivors in Japan, but we?ll be remembering how grateful we are for the amazing people in our lives.
Yemen's nascent tourist industry isn't the only one hit. Tourism across the whole Middle East is suffering-- if not comatose. Travel agents and governments are warning tourists away from Yemen-- as well as Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman and Algeria.
Travel to the Middle East is suffering a double whammy. Images of mass protests and outright war have scared visitors away while oil prices are lifting the cost of jet fuel and airfares. Last year?s fastest-growing travel market and looking forward to another good year in 2011, the Middle East industry is now in trouble, Euromonitor International says in a report.
...As of last week, the US State Department has travel warnings issued for nine Middle Eastern countries and travel alerts for two others. The latest addition to the list was Yemen. Britain has advised against any travel to Libya and Yemen and has more limited warnings for Bahrain, Iran and Iraq.
The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the high security threat level in Yemen due to terrorist activities and civil unrest. The Department urges U.S. citizens not to travel to Yemen. U.S. citizens currently in Yemen should consider departing Yemen. The Department of State has authorized the voluntary departure from Yemen of the family members of U.S. Embassy staff and non-essential personnel. This replaces the Travel Warning for Yemen issued October 15, 2010.
...The security threat level in Yemen is extremely high due to terrorist activities and civil unrest. Piracy in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean is also a security threat to maritime activities in the region. Terrorist organizations continue to be active in Yemen, including Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). The U.S. government remains concerned about possible attacks against U.S. citizens, facilities, businesses, and perceived U.S. and Western interests. There is ongoing civil unrest throughout the country and large-scale protests in major cities.
Yemen is country that everywhere just simply must be visited. It is a tourist's country, where although the accommodation might not be the best, but the country itself holds so many treasures that appeal to any open-minded visitor. The sights are amazing, the people are friendly, their culture is unique, and their food is tasty. Take trips with a personal driver through the mountains to see natural beauty located nowhere else on the planet. See the historical role Yemen played as it survived even during the times of the Sumerians and the Ancient Egyptians, and how no one was able to completely conquer Yemen. And enjoy what the country provides, like gemstones literally littered throughout the mountains, precious beaches, and historical artifacts from this multi-faced nation with one heartbeat... [T]he rewards for the persevering tourist are an unforgettable experience, populated with very friendly and open hosts. Despite being adjacent to Saudi Arabia and on the same peninsula as the United Arab Emirates, Yemen is definitely a place apart.
UPDATE: Tyrant Offers To Step Down
Now that many of the country's top generals have joined teh tourism minister in deserting Ali Abdullah Saleh, the dictator, the government has all but collapsed. Saleh is trying to negotiate for his life by offering to step down.
Back-channel negotiations between the controversial U.S. ally and Maj. Gen. Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar-- a top commander who withdrew his loyalty from the president on Monday-- haven't yet yielded a clear transition of power, but the political process so far has succeeded in keeping the power struggle from devolving into military conflict or civil war.
Tanks commanded by Mr. Saleh's son are deployed around the presidential palace in the capital, while tanks manned by forces loyal to Gen. Ahmar have set up nearby, as well near several sensitive government buildings, like the Central Bank, according to residents.
The prognosis of the talks remain unclear, and the threat of military conflict remains a possibility, according to officials in San'a. Saudi Arabia and Yemeni tribal leaders are involved in the negotiations, according to people familiar with the situation, but President Saleh appears to be staking out untenable terms.