Paste Magazine :  Going to Bat for Rwanda

Paste Magazine: Going to Bat for Rwanda

In 1994, one of the most gruesome massacres of the Rwandan genocide resulted in more than 2,000 deaths at the École Technique Officielle. Today, on the same site, the Rwanda cricket team encourages cohesion in a country marred with conflict. When cutting the grass of this forgotten field in 1999 to start playing their “gentlemen’s game,” former refugees and founding members of the Rwanda Cricket Association uncovered the remains of genocide victims.

Eric Dusingizimana, captain of Rwanda’s national cricket team, is the first to admit that playing their “lovely game” on one of the genocide’s most infamous mass killing sites has been challenging. “It hasn’t been easy for our team to forget the past; this place can’t be just a mere cricket ground to us because there’s a story attached to it that needs to be passed on for generations to come,” he tells me. “It’s part of our lives as cricketers who use this ground every day. Using the land where many innocent lives were lost reminds us to learn from it and fight against anything that might put us through that again.”

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I recently learned I was a kopophobic traveler.

Before I explain what makes me a kopophobe, I should tell you what the term means. Kopos is Greek for “fatigue,” and kopophobia is a fear of being mentally or physically exhausted, a fear of fatigue.

This fear has affected me all my life, but it wasn’t until the last few years that I identified it—once it was making it hard for me to do my job. I’m a travel writer. I am on the road at least twice a month, sometimes back to back. I love every minute of it, but like most professions, it can be stressful and scary.

What’s so scary about seeing the world? Looks at the numbers. Aviophobia—fear of flying—affects 6.5 percent of Americans, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. A survey conducted by InsureMyTrip found that 73 percent of travelers worry about falling ill or getting injured while traveling. Twenty-six percent are afraid of natural disasters occurring during a trip and 11 percent fear terrorism.

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When it comes to dining in New York City, visitors flock to Soho, the Meatpacking District, the Lower East Side, even Williamsburg, and for good reasons: craft kitchens, chic décor and cheap eats, to name a few. But, not many people are going just a few subway stops away from Times Square to fuel up at restaurants on the Upper West Side, and they’re making a big mistake.

Nonresidents think the UWS is for families and settling down—which it is—but it also breeds a vibrant culinary scene that’s been bursting with flavor since before the first foodie set foot in Brooklyn.

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If you turn east on 44th street off Times Square, and push past the tacky pubs and overpriced delis, you’ll be rewarded with a trip to old New York. Just past the block’s halfway mark, The Chatwal lives in a building that can’t help but catch the eye, and it’s not because it towers above you or glows with flashy lights.

The structure was built in 1905 as the home of the country’s first professional theatrical club, the Lambs. The landmark and former socializing, dining and sleeping spot for people like the Barrymores, John Wayne and Fred Astaire attracts a higher-brow type of traveler for the following reasons.

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Most travelers think of rest areas as places to pee and grab some greasy food. Ryann Ford sees them as art.

OK, we’re not talking about your typical modern-day rest area.

“Upon driving to Austin (from California), and while shooting various photography jobs all over Texas, I started noticing these cute little roadside tables along the different highways,” Ford, a photographer, told Paste Travel. The first one she noticed was one Route 66.

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Arenal Backpackers Resort could not have picked a more accurate name, as the hostel falls somewhere between a backpacker retreat and a bare-bones resort.

Whether you’re looking for a place to slum it in a hammock with fellow vagabonds, a fluffy pillow to rest your head on after a day of hiking, or a pristine pool to lounge in while sipping a frozen cocktail, this hostel is the best there is in La Fortuna.

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The Finger Lakes region is still relatively off the map for most. Those who have heard of it or driven through it on their way to Canada think it’s a land of wine, lakes and gorges. And they’re right. But New York’s 9,000-square-mile region consisting of 11 lakes has more depth than their deepest lake, Seneca, which is 618 feet deep. That’s really deep.

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As you make your way down designer-lined Madison Avenue toward 50th street, you’ll approach a short and wide neo-Italian Renaissance-style brick building that looks odd in its surroundings, where everything else is tall, thin and shiny (not just the people). You start to picture the rich people that lived here in the past, maybe the Rockefellers, and wonder what it’s used for now. If only it could be your hotel. But all travelers know the world “palace” rarely means anything of royal standards when it comes to hotels. Alas, you get closer and see that beyond the large courtyard—odd for Manhattan—the words “The New York Palace” rest above the front entrance in gold letters. You get that giddy feeling you did as a child when playing dress up. You get to be Serena van der Woodsen for a few days! Yes, this is the hotel the blond beauty lived at in Gossip Girl.

Oh yeah, and in real life it once housed Henry Villard—one of the nation’s most prominent financiers—and the Archdiocese.

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In 2008, Jay Seldin began wandering around an island most Americans would never have even considered visiting.

The award-winning photographer captures Cuba on film and leads photo-tours focused on cultural exchange, and in doing this, has been welcomed into the homes of many Cuban families.

Now that the travel embargo between Cuba and the U.S. is being lifted, many Americans are scouring to find tour operators to take them there, as if this sort of change can happen overnight.

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Glenora Wine Cellars isn’t the only winery along Seneca Lake. In this part of New York state, vineyards make up the landscape. On your way to Glenora, each winery you approach will prompt the question, “is that it?” About halfway up the lake, the answer will be, yes. You’ll know by the huge barrels dotting the grass, as if Dionysus tossed them there himself.

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We know what you’re thinking; Club Med is so 1970s and tie-dye. But trust us, Club Med is cool again thanks to their new resorts in upscale destinations like Les 3 Vallées, the world’s largest and highest ski area. Located in the village of Val Thorens, this resort embraces the high-energy vibe the company is known for but balances that with creative décor and Michelin star chefs. As more and more skiers flock to the all-inclusive resort, Val Thorens Sensations Club Med Resort is helping the brand reinvent itself.

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Paste Magazine:  Hotel Intel: Whiteface Lodge, Lake Placid

Paste Magazine: Hotel Intel: Whiteface Lodge, Lake Placid

When visiting what seems like America’s very own permanent Olympic Village, it’s only right to stay in digs made for an Olympian—which is exactly what Whiteface Lodge is. Well, actually, Whiteface was made by an Olympian, but you get the point.

An Olympic luger in the 1980s, Joe Barile developed and hand-built (to some degree) the Whiteface Lodge, which opened in 2005. While he is no longer the owner, he’s left his legacy at the lodge.

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If you’re visiting Salvador de Bahia, known for it’s bustling vibes and colorful buildings, you’ll want to book accommodations equally bright—both in energy and design. For that reason and more, Hostel Galeria 13 is ideal. While there are probably more glamorous hotels in the area, none offer the opportunity to sleep in one of the houses that make Salvador’s streets so famous.

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The first hotel by corporate housing company Furnished Quarters, the Q&A Residential Hotel in New York City is a world of juxtapositions. Art meets intellect. Home meets hotel. Dull meets bright. Tradition meets change.

Lastly, this tiny hotel resides inside a massive skyscraper. But just because it doesn’t have its own building doesn’t make it any less of a hotel. It has a brand new gym, health center and a rooftop restaurant, you just have to share the facilities with residents. Perfect for meeting locals.

While it occupies only a small part of the famed AIG Building, the new Q&A Residential Hotel in NYC definitely leaves a mark.

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The Spanish Camper brand is known for their funky yet functional Euro-style shoes. What is not as well-known is that the company also operates two hotels in Europe—one in Berlin and one in Barcelona. The accommodations don’t stray from Camper’s identity—like the shoes, they are both funky and functional. Here’s our take on Casa Camper’s Berlin branch.

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Research on millennials leads us to believe that they are risk-taking, adventure-seeking, passionate, experience-craving, spontaneous world travelers.

Not convinced? Six out of 10 millennials prefer to spend their money on experiences, rather than material things. That’s because they travel for outdoor adventures and cultural enrichment. Of course, like any other traveler, they seek some R&R on the road as well.

Given this information, a cruise—especially a luxury one—is not the type of trip you’d think millennials would enjoy. Stereotypes place millennials in campsites with Wi-Fi or high-tech hotels, driving or biking across countries to take in everything possible. Not lounging on a deck with a fruity drink in hand listening to some corny tunes played by an old polka band. And you’re right, to some extent.

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Bed-and-breakfast virgins, like myself, often avoid this type of accommodation for fear of antique overload, mildew and awkward moments. I can’t say this trip proved I was wrong about bed and breakfasts completely, but the inn that swiped my B&B card proved I was wrong about some.

While it had the homey feel, warm hosts (Peter and Susan MacLaren) and quirky tchotchkes that are the very reasons people visit inns, the West Hill House Bed & Breakfast balanced its traditionalism with modern touches and plenty of privacy.

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Nothing compares to the gifts that are the experiences, interactions, passport stamps, and, of course, market tchotchkes travelers collect as they make their way around the world. The journey can be enhanced, however, with these hand-picked by Paste travel-themed items.

Whether you’re compiling your own wish list or shopping for your travel companion, these are sure to make any nomad feel like a kid on Christmas morning.

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If you think all-inclusive resorts are only for miserable families, drunk bachelorettes, spring breakers and mushy honeymooners, well … we agree. Or, at least we did agree, until recently.

Yes, all-inclusives are great for those types of travelers but by choosing the right resort, artists, adventurists, foodies and single people—the hardest to please—can learn to appreciate the phenomenon that is the all-inclusive vacation. The Grand Palladium Resort & Spa complex in Montego Bay, Jamaica, is one of those hotels that proves there is an all-inclusive for everyone, thanks to its chic spa, quirky decor, artisan coffee bars, hidden beaches and shared appreciation for the genius that is Cool Runnings.

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When the Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach opened in November 2014, everyone who’s anyone was there, from sheikhs to diplomats to the most glamorous Emirati socialites. Servers wearing diamond-encrusted headpieces flanked each side of the main entrance, where circus performers—including men on stilts—welcomed Dubai’s best. The property was covered with Cirque du Soleil-type acrobats and fireworks shot into the sky at the end of the night.

The decadence shouldn’t surprise you. Dubai is one of the most extravagant destinations in the world, where the average driver can be found in a Ferrari and diamonds are everyone’s best friends. Four Seasons, one of the most luxurious hotel brands, fits in perfectly, but surprisingly the resort at Jumeirah Beach is their first in the UAE city. The 237-room hotel on 885 feet of natural beach didn’t disappoint on opening night, but what’s it like on a regular day? Not much different—minus the circus acts.

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If you took a chic and modern New York City penthouse and shoved it into a dingy old Hampton’s motel, you’d have Baron’s Cove, the Sag Harbor staple that reopened in 2014 after a two-year renovation.

Basically, Baron’s Cove makes motels look good.

Sitting right on the harbor, the inn takes its location very seriously. Almost everything has a subtle nautical kick to it—from the décor to the dishes. Not only does the motel boast one of the best views in the North Fork town, it has also a restaurant, bar, harbor-facing pool, bikes, and basketball and tennis courts. Not to mention, it’s pet-friendly.

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With its pristine pink façade and perfectly manicured gardens, this 110-year-old hotel doesn’t look a day over 20. However, it’s personality screams old school. It’s kind of like your really cool grandma.

While Cape Town overflows with youth, recklessness and blurred lines, the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel offers a sophisticated and old-fashioned experience, without sacrificing style. You’ll never forget where you are, though, thanks to Table Mountain, which makes its way into the view from pretty much anywhere on the property.

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You don’t have to travel to Italy and throw down thousands of dollars Kardashian-style to sleep in a castle.

If you’re willing to spend time with some old folks (they’re more fun than you think) and travel to less-exotic upstate New York, you can vacation in an enchanting Victorian castle—the Mohonk Mountain House—that has hosted five U.S. presidents. Take that, Kim Kardashian-West.

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Detroit is the last place you’d expect to find a romantic inn made up of beautifully restored Victorian houses. But, with so much unoccupied land and the former homes of oil and motor magnates just waiting to be restored, it actually makes sense.

The Inn on Ferry Street is recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as a historic hotel of America. Its Victorian architecture and warm wood finishes will transport you to 1800s Detroit.

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If you’ve ever visited an island in Thailand, you can understand why I’m having a hard time remembering the details about the accommodations. Between the buckets and the black lights, everything kind of blurs.

Luckily, the Charm Churee Villa on Koh Tao provide the perfect place to cure your hangover in a cozy and authentic (while still air conditioned) atmosphere.

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Before you judge me for staying at an American chain hotel in Athens, Greece, you should know a bit more about the brand.

Radisson Blu hotels differentiate themselves from the Radissons often found near airports with artistic design, modern décor and international appeal. They consider themselves an “upscale” branch of Radisson, and while Athens’ Radisson Blu Park Hotel was definitely sophisticated, it was anything but stuffy and high-end.

As chic hotels do, Radisson Blu properties exist mostly in European cities and have just begun their U.S. expansion.

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Miami’s ritzy South Beach is known for its skyscraper hotels with gaudy architecture, glamorous pools and even more glamorous guests. But tucked away on a corner two blocks from the beach is the barely noticeable, completely understated Cadet Hotel.

If you’re looking for a down-to-earth, low-key stay in the upscale high-energy area, you will feel right at home at this boutique hotel, where the focus is on unique detail complimented by gourmet meals instead of larger than life cocktails and DJ-spun pool parties.

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History is alive with the sound of music at the Madison Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. While the hotel is only 12 years old, the building has been around for over a century, and it has aged well. As you travel from top to bottom through the former Tennessee Trust Building, you travel through time from 1905 to today. But first, the music.

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Players in pristine white, ball boys in purple and green, freshly cut grass, strawberries and cream and uppity sunburnt Brits. Ah … the Wimbledon Tennis Championships.

One of the world’s four annual Grand Slam tennis tournaments, Wimbledon is held in a southwest suburb of London over two weeks every summer. What began in 1877 is the oldest running—and some say most prestigious—of the tournaments. With this year’s overall prize money totaling a record of $40.9 million, Wimbledon will again offer the highest money prize ever in professional tennis. So, yeah, we’d say it’s pretty prestigious.

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As a born and bred city girl, I am the first to admit that I could be staying in a tin hut in the bush and I’d still be blown away (figuratively, but literally as well depending on where the bush is located). However, there is no denying the fact that a stellar hotel can enhance the safari experience. I learned that when the wheels of the small plane I was on touched down in the Madikwe Game Reserve, the fifth largest in South Africa.

I have always loved animals, am anti-zoo and pet store, cry in shelters and want to cuddle anything that doesn’t speak. Seriously, I can see the cuteness in a spider. And I did on this trip. As soon as I learned it was possible to wander amongst wild animals as they roamed freely, I made it my goal to do so.

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Netflix released season three of their hit series Orange is the New Black last Friday, and we are guessing many of you spent the weekend binge-watching the boundary-pushing show about a women’s prison. While the show is entertaining and eye-opening, there are real prisons out there with inmates in much harsher conditions.

So, now that you’ve finished the entire season and are experiencing OITNB-withdrawal, consider going on an educational prison tour of the United States to fill the void Jenji Kohan left behind.

To really learn about prison life, visit one of these five operating prisons that offer tours or are somewhat accessible to the public (even if it’s just for a driveby).

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As a guest of Claudia Bosch, owner of Casa Palopo and its sister villa in Antigua, I was treated to a glamorous stay at this Guatemala hotel with a large bright room and lots of wine. While not everyone is personally invited to a hotel by its owner, a regular stay at Casa Palopo isn’t much different. There is someone to serve you around every corner due to the property’s small size and copious staff, no one to disturb you due to the abundance of hiding-spot worthy nooks and crannies and always a jaw-dropping view due to its location perched high above Lake Atitlan surrounded by volcanoes.

So, really, I got the average treatment, it just so happens average treatment it pretty spectacular here.

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While visiting Washington, D.C., you will learn about some of America’s most influential figures. Lincoln, Washington, Obama, and, of course, the intriguing person you met while out in Adams Morgan last night. The person so interesting you felt the need to spend the entire night with them.

Now, it’s morning and you’ve got to continue exploring this historical destination of honor and justice in last night’s outfit. Here’s how to get through a Walk of Shame day in DC with pride.

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We travel the world in search of adventure, but “adventure” means something different to everyone. For some, it is trying a new food, for others it is dancing with foreigners. But to George Kourounis—the host of Pivot’s Angry Planet, which premieres April 17 at 10 p.m. ET/PT—adventure is all about weather.

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A high-scoring football team, lots of money, a famous name, and even more famous alums might sound cool when you're researching schools. But all of that does not the perfect college make—in fact, it usually just means it's going to cost more money. There are plenty of schools out there with unique programs, stunning campuses, notable grads, and low tuition that are often overlooked because people simply don't know about them.

We wouldn't want you to miss out on the perfect education for you because you didn't know it was out there, which is why we are shedding light on the seven coolest colleges you may have come across. As you start your search, here's a few to keep in mind!

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Where overpacking is never overrated.

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DuJour Magazine:   5 Amazing Stadium Suites

DuJour Magazine: 5 Amazing Stadium Suites

Watching a live sporting event is much sweeter with a fireplace or a pool.

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If you’ve just suffered a messy breakup, or you’re swearing off dating because the last person you stepped out with felt the need to reveal that he lived in his aunt’s closet (true story), travel might be a good way to escape the dreaded, lovey-dovey Valentine’s Day.

But, be careful where you escape to or you could land in a sea of happy couples proposing in front of national monuments. Not at all what you wanted.

If you are looking to trade in flowers and chocolates for alcohol and gambling this Valentine’s Day, here are the 11 least romantic cities in the world—or, at the very least, cities that won’t throw your solo-osity back in your face.

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Every February, the culinary world sets it’s collective sights on Miami and the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. This gastronomic celebration brings together gourmands clamoring to learn from master chefs like Emeril Lagasse and Andrew Zimmern, search for the best burger on the beach and sip on internationally crafted cocktails while mingling with other food-enthusiasts and famous chefs.

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Paste Magazine:   Take Five: Turin, Italy

Paste Magazine: Take Five: Turin, Italy

Turin, or Torino, has come a long way since serving as Italy’s first capital 150 years ago to hosting the Winter Olympics in 2006. As the home of FIAT (Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino), Juventus (Italy’s most successful soccer club of the 20th century) and the Holy Shroud (a piece of cloth believed to have touched Jesus’ face) and the founding city of Grom and Eataly, you’d think American’s would be flocking to the capital of the Piemonte region. Surprisingly, most of Turin’s tourists come from neighboring Italian cities to learn about their country’s history and see where the House of Savoy—Italy’s royal family—once lived.

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Paste Magazine:  9 Things That Are MUCH Scarier When Traveling

Paste Magazine: 9 Things That Are MUCH Scarier When Traveling

Life is scary. Traveling is scarier. At home, you are a super hero that can combat a few tough moments here and there. But when packing your bags, your super hero costume doesn’t fit, so it gets left behind.

Now that you’re in a foreign place without the safety net of “home” or your trusty cape to fly away with, things that never scared you before are daunting. Mundane tasks like doing laundry or taking out money from the bank (OK, those might scare a mama’s boy or starving artist anywhere) send you running for the hills, wherever they are.

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Paste Magazine:  Travel Personalities: Mariana van Zeller

Paste Magazine: Travel Personalities: Mariana van Zeller

Mariana van Zeller is an award-winning correspondent who has reported from hotspots like Syria and Nigeria. Now Zeller, who is the co-host of Travel Channel’s new show, Breaking Borders, will travel to embattled zones around the globe to gather people from all sides of the conflict for amazing meals and passionate discussions in search of common ground. Her partner on this mission will be chef Michael Voltaggio.

Setting the stage for a heated first season, the series premiere will bring together an Israeli and Palestinian over a meal at a Jewish settlement in Palestinian territory and airs March 15 9 p.m. ET/PT.

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Between the drag queens in blue wigs and the man who walks around the East Village with a cat on his head, nothing is shocking in New York City. You slinking down the street with a broken heel and a baggy button-down at 7:30 a.m. will not turn any heads. However, that doesn’t take away from how physically uncomfortable it is to be stumbling on one five-inch stiletto, last night’s smeared makeup and a piercing headache. Ahh … the pleasure that is the Walk of Shame.

What would make a New York City walk of shame worse? If the walk didn’t lead to your comfy bed because home just happens to be miles and miles away and the friend who’s couch you are crashing on isn’t answering your calls because they are also recovering from last night.

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You know that thing they say about first impressions: They’re important. And what’s the first thing you see upon entering a hotel? The lobby. So, while it’s also important that the bed is comfy and the bathroom sparkly, it’s the lobby that can make or break a hotel’s reputation. That’s why hotels all over the world spend millions of dollars importing things like rare plants and Italian marble to impress guests the second they walk in the door.

To some hotels, however, unique stone and flora are just the tip of the iceberg. From multi-ton chandeliers to indoor gardens, these 10 hotel lobbies really get that whole “first impression” thing.

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All hotel rooms come with a view. Some of brick walls, some of a parking lots and if you’re lucky, it’s one of those weird corner rooms that looks directly into someone else’s accommodations.

Want our point of view? It can only get better from there. From endless desert to iconic skyscrapers and everything in between, take a look at these photos of the views from eight different accommodations around the U.S.

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Vusumzi Mcongo is a former political prisoner, who served 12 years on Robben Island, which is 5.5 miles offshore from Cape Town, South Africa. He was arrested at the age of 26 and released in 1990. He is a small, gentle man, who speaks so softly you have to lean in to hear him. He is also a tour guide at the Robben Island Museum, which was once a maximum-security prison, where he, Nelson Mandela and 3,000 other prisoners served time for everything from petty theft to political protest during Apartheid.

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While you had your noses buried in Wild and Eat, Pray, Love, we were scouring the shelves for new books—and adventures—to discover. Not that there’s anything wrong with those two memoirs; they were made into movies for a reason. However, just because a book doesn’t reach the big screen doesn’t mean it’s any less worthy. The following highly underrated travel tales are just as inspiring, well written and descriptive, they’ve just been buried in the backs of the stacks somehow.

If you’ve finished the big hits and want to continue getting swept away and inspired, try one of these hidden travel treasures.

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If you’ve ever wondered how people got through long-haul flights before the days of in-flight entertainment and laptops, we have one word for you: SkyMall. We are not saying the travelers of yesteryear were shopaholics. We are saying that by opening a crisp issue of the SkyMall catalog you are opening a world of hilarity. Here are some of the items that have cracked us up over the years.

Thank you, SkyMall, for your undying devotion to entertain travelers. That is the purpose of the magazine, right?

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I love when I travel. No, I’m not saying I just love to be on the road. I actually find someone to love whenever I travel. It’s my thing. I can’t help it. If you ask anyone who knows me about my foreign lover, they will say, “which one?”

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The running joke in Dubai is that it holds the world record for being the city with the most world records. From the world’s longest graffiti display to world’s biggest billboard, you cannot drive a city block without being faced with another one of Dubai’s extreme accomplishments. If a destination could be called an “overachiever,” Dubai would be it.

The following is just a small sampling of some of the most interesting world records Dubai holds.

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Okay, so you’ve just curled up under your down blanket, reclined your seat to its “lie-flat” position and then look over your shoulder before sliding your sleep mask down only to see the person in the pod next to you is lost in a porn movie on their laptop. First-class flight, ruined.

Yes, this really happened.

Porn isn’t the only movie genre to be avoided on planes though. First rule of aircraft cinema: you are not the only person on the plane. More importantly, you’re not the only one watching your movie. That’s right, the person sitting next to you can see your screen. I know, shocker. (Clearly the man watching porn wasn’t aware of this fact … or was he? Ew.) The worst part: your seatmate cannot simply get up and escape your weird taste in in-flight entertainment

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Far too often we sacrifice fashion for function while traveling. You know the look: orthopedic-looking shoes and a cargo crossbody bag. There will be no selfies in front of the palace on that day—lest we risk being seen by the Royal Family (or anyone else) in ghetto attire.

What are we supposed to do? Our suitcases simply aren’t large enough to fit multiple daily wardrobe changes, and our Loubies weren’t made for the trails. The key is to combine the a la mode with the practical. Paste has you covered with a handful of great ways to kickstart your new travel philosophy and get you back in your photos.

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The luxury sedan seemed out of place amid the tiny tin houses that make up Motswaledi, Soweto’s most impoverished area. However, the driver, Joe Motsogi, assured our tour group we wouldn’t offend the residents. He would know. A resident of Soweto for over 60 years and the owner of JMT Tours, Joe is a Soweto expert. I know what you’re thinking. Can’t a successful business owner like Joe now get out of Soweto, the famously poverty-stricken settlement in Johannesburg, South Africa? Yes, he can. But he hasn’t, just like many of the neighborhood’s loyal residents.

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