Stephen Travels

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When Nature Has Fun: The Best Natural Curiosities

Hoodoos, Alberta BadlandsMalta’s Azure Window. Aruba’s Natural Bridge. New Hampshire’s Old Man of the Mountain. Four of Australia’s Twelve Apostles. All were beautiful, quirky sites carved by the forces of nature, and all were destroyed by the very same forces. If you are fortunate enough to have seen them before their demise, you undoubtedly have a fond memory; if not, you’re out of luck—they’re gone for good. But fear not: Plenty of other one-off oddities still exist around the world. You just have to make sure you get to them before storms and erosion make them things of the past. Read more about the world’s top five natural curiosities >

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A Home for War Blimps: Tillamook Air Museum, Oregon

Tillamook Air Museum, Tillamook, OregonToday, the only time you’re likely to see a zeppelin is when it’s hovering over a football game or a parade, advertising Goodyear, for instance, or MetLife. But not that long ago, zeppelins were being touted as the next big thing in travel. A little disaster called the Hindenburg almost single-handedly sent that idea up in smoke. Zeppelins continued to be of great importance to the military, however, and the Tillamook Air Museum in Oregon provides a fascinating look at a massive World War II blimp hangar and what it meant to the defense of the United States during the war. Read more >


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Top 5 Yellows

Ceramics and pottery, Orvieto, ItalyIt may elicit groans and sighs of dismay from children when a yellow school bus pulls up on the first day back to class in September, but it will also make millions of parents secretly smile. In fact, at least to me, yellow remains the most joyful color. Whether it’s the daffodil fields of Oregon, the Yellow Mounds in Badlands National Park in South Dakota, or the predominant color in the ceramics and pottery made in Orvieto, Italy, yellow is bound to add a little cheer to your day. These are my top five occurrences of yellow from around the world. Read more >


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Five Beaches to Make You Forget Winter

New_Zealand_Tapu_BayYou’re tired of the snow and ice. And the single-digit temperatures. And the scarves, hats, gloves, and thermal underwear. And the terms “wind chill,” “subarctic,” and “polar vortex.” It’s time to start warming yourself up with thoughts of sun and sand. Growing up in New York, I wasn’t an avid fan of the local beaches — the water was gray, the sand was speckled with litter, and spending a day with thousands of other people around me seemed to mock the notion of relaxation. But my outlook changed during my first trip to the Caribbean, when impossible colors and joyous serenity completely obliterated my notions of what a day at the shore meant. These are my five favorite beaches in the world. Read more >