Traveling isn’t always about the “touristy” parts of your destination. Sometimes, you want to hit the side streets for a taste of the more gritty, local culture. Many urban areas and downtown alleyways feature explosions of color in the name of “street art” — aka, graffiti. Some cities hate it, others embrace it. Where have you seen the most interesting street art?
Spain is being accused of intentionally holding tourists in long lines as they make their way back from day tripping in Gibraltar. The British Overseas Territory claims the traffic jam — which has so far affected more than 10,000 vehicles — has been deliberately orchestrated because of a disagreement over a creation of an artificial reef in territorial waters. Of course, this isn’t the only territory in the middle of a tug-of-war match by two — or sometimes more — countries. Here are just a few of the dozens of places with disputed borders where you may find yourself stuck:
- Mont Blanc Summit (France vs. Italy): Both countries have had a long but peaceful dispute over ownership of the summit of the highest mountain in the Alps.
- Liancourt Rocks (Japan vs. South Korea): this group of small, craggy islets has become a tourist attraction in recent years, but its sovereignty is still being disputed.
- East Jerusalem (Israel vs. Palestinian Authority): Jerusalem’s Old City and some of the holiest sites of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are just a few of the attractions that lie in this hotly debated territory.
- Ceuta (Spain vs. Morocco): the majority of this city’s population are ethnic Spanish who are opposed to the idea of being ruled by Morocco.
- Tennessee River (Tennessee vs. Georgia): Georgia lawmakers claim surveyors who mapped out the border between these two states in 1818 got it wrong, and part of the Tennessee River should actually belong to Georgia.
- Paracel Islands (China vs. Taiwan vs. Vietnam): three countries lay claim to the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. The islands have the potential to become a popular tourist attraction because of their large reef system, but currently tensions between the countries are too high.
- Southern Half of Belize (Belize vs. Guatemala): All of Belize was formerly part of Guatemala, and today the debate still continues over who is the rightful owner.
Approaching the finish line on completing a college degree, students often struggle to pick up a class here or an internship there. Between the need to graduate on time and summer jobs, travel abroad for a whole semester is not realistic for many. Now, a new alternative promises to give students that same international experience in a program that fits their timetable.
People to People Ambassador Programs has sent over half a million students in grades 5-12 abroad. Now, with an eye on college level students, the nationally recognized travel provider has created a suite of college level programs that focus on volunteerism and service, cultural immersion and adventure.
The two to three-week programs include a heavy focus in developing the Cultural Intelligence (CQ) of students who earn upper division college credit in what seems to be an increasing need.
“We have seen heightened interest from students and parents in the past couple of years to extend our product line into the university domain to continue that experiential learning track,” Peg Thomas, president of People to People, said in a statement.Accompanied by specially selected leaders from various colleges and universities, the organization promises that students will leave the program with an enhanced global perspective poised to enter the work force with a competitive edge.
“A two- to three-week educational trip with People to People Ambassador Programs increases CQ as much as a full semester of study abroad from an Ivy League school,” boasts People to People on its website.
The inaugural college study abroad program took students to India in December 2012 experiencing diverse cultures and visited iconic monuments such as the Taj Mahal and Jama Masjid Mosque. Upcoming trips will take students to India, Japan, Vietnam and Antarctica.
People to People Ambassador Programs is the exclusive educational travel provider of People to People International (PTPI), a nonprofit organization founded in 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to promote peace through understanding worldwide.
[Photo credit - Flickr user Thompson Rivers]
About 300 million people play social games on Facebook per month. Now imagine if even a fraction of their time was spent playing games that could trigger funding for positive causes.
That’s the concept behind “Half the Sky Movement: The Game,” a new Facebook game that engages players in a series of stories and adventures related to the challenges facing women and girls worldwide. The journey starts in India, then travels through Kenya, Vietnam and Afghanistan – destinations also featured in the “Half the Sky” book and PBS documentary from New York Times reporters Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.
Throughout the game, players have the chance to “unlock” funding for these non-profits from the game’s sponsors, which include the Ford Foundation and Zynga.org. For instance, if a player collects books for a young girl in the virtual world, that will activate a real-life donation to non-profit partner Room to Read by the Pearson Foundation. Words With Friends sure doesn’t offer that kind of incentive.
“If we’re able to inspire a portion of this group of players to spend 15 or 30 minutes of their time with this game, the ripple effect of players’ actions will result in significant and much-needed funding for this critical cause,” say Asi Burak and Michelle Byrd, co-presidents of Games for Change, a non-profit that seeks to create social impact through digital games.
“Half the Sky Movement: The Game” launches on Facebook on March 4.
[Photo Credit: Half The Game]
In a quest to tackle 30 must-have travel experiences before they turn 30, career breakers Gerard & Kieu of GQ trippin traveled 108,371 kilometers (67,338 miles) in 312 days through 20 countries for one adventure of a lifetime.
Shooting 1,266 videos along the way, the traveling couple ended up with 11 hours of video but has reduced it and their entire year of travel to just three minutes as we see in this video.
While traveling, the couple simply gathered video, saving countless hours of editing and production for later.
“We never claim to be vloggers, which is probably why you hardly saw any videos from our travels last year,” says Gerard & Kieu on their GQ trippin website, charged with a simple mantra: See Eat Trip. “Most are short clips of random things that don’t really make sense on their own, so we didn’t bother sharing.”
A year of travel also means a lot of meals, some not so good, prompting the couple to post their Worst In Food this week.