The unassuming rural communities often overlooked by travelers are some of the best windows into the American experience of yesterday and today.
“N.E.P.A.L: Never Ending Peace And Love” — the unofficial slogan for Nepal sits baking in the sun, carefully hand-painted onto the side of a small yellow taxi, its passengers unloading hiking packs from the roof. Some of the highest mountains in the world form a rock and snow panorama to the North. To the South, rolling forested hills dotted with small villages, terraced rice fields, and fast-flowing rivers fed from Himalayan glaciers.
“Sunrise. The best time of day. Beautiful natural light peeking over the ocean’s unobstructed horizon, at first casting silhouettes of everything in its path before revealing the true beauty of the landscape we venture to. This time it’s a cultural gold mine: St. Croix, an island ripe with culture and ready for exploration.”
Last winter, I was lucky enough to spend a month working as a specialty English teacher at the ACES School in Palmas, Brazil. When I wasn’t in the classroom, I explored the small and beautiful city with the families I stayed with and some local teachers who took me under their wing. My “teacher friends” helped me with my Portuguese while we explored hidden waterfalls and secret beaches—and of course while we sat for hours at barbecue joints.
Laos is truly one of my favorite untraveled destinations. Between the food and the scenery, I got lost in a frenzy of travel bliss. This country will likely never blow up to an obnoxious level of tourism, so anytime is a great time to get your feet wet out there.