Stephen Travels

And he's ready to take you with him.


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Top 5 Aquariums

Seattle Aquarium, Seattle, WashingtonThe deep blue sea is probably the last great unexplored place on the planet — a dark, forbidding netherworld filled with beauty and mystery that has long held the fascination of mariners and landlubbers alike. Examine any map from the 1500s and you’ll see the oceans illustrated with ferocious sea monsters that terrorized sailors. Although many of the legends and myths surrounding those creatures have been dispelled or explained (mermaids don’t really exist, and the Kraken was most likely a giant squid), the sea and its myriad denizens still fascinate us.

Whether it’s the ferocious dragonfish or horrifying viperfish that could petrify even the bravest explorer, the perennially happy clownfish (thank you, Nemo), the vividly colorful mandarinfish, or the remarkably intelligent dolphin, life under the sea is an ongoing voyage of discovery. Thanks to aquariums around the world, we don’t have to plunge to the ocean floor to see and understand what lies beneath (although that’s fun, too). These are my top five aquariums in the world. Read more >


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Crashing a Constitution Day Parade in Bergen, Norway

Constitution Day Parade, Bergen, NorwayWatching a parade, like Zurich’s Sechseläuten, is always fun and provides a pleasant sense of local tradition. Being in a parade, however, takes on a deeper meaning as you immerse yourself in the native culture. And when I got to march through the streets of Bergen, Norway, late at night in a torch-lit procession to celebrate Constitution Day, simply because I asked a friendly Norwegian what was going on, I felt like I belonged there, like a member of an extended and warm family, even though I don’t have a drop of Nordic blood in my body. Read more >