Local Art

Best Christmas Markets in Europe: Hidden Gems

Best Christmas Markets in Europe: Hidden Gems

It’s that time of year again. Twinkling lights strung up across buildings, decorated trees commanding city centers, holiday music dancing through the air, the smell of hot wine and baked gingerbread suffocating your nose and of course, chestnuts roasting on an open fire. If you love the holiday season, then there aren’t too many experiences as magical as exploring different Christmas Markets across Europe. While they’re all worth seeing, it may be hard to choose the right market for you. Each country does it differently as vendors focus on local cuisine and souvenirs that will leave you overwhelmed, wanting to buy everything. The biggest and most famous markets definitely live up to the hype, but it is the lesser known ones off of the usual tourist route that will give you the most unforgettable Christmas market adventure.

Flagstaff, a City of Wonder – and More

Flagstaff, a City of Wonder – and More

To my south, red rocks flash in the sun, engulfed by endless ponderosa pine. Coconino National Forest stretches nearly two million acres, soaring as high as the San Francisco Peaks. Recreation seemingly has no end here.

St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands: Heart of Culture

St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands: Heart of Culture

“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.”

This Small Brazilian Town Will Surprise You

This Small Brazilian Town Will Surprise You

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.

Finding Deeper Meaning in Mozambique

Finding Deeper Meaning in Mozambique

My travels have taken me near and far these past few years. The top of Australia’s Sydney Harbor Bridge at sunset, swimming with wild dolphins off the shores of the Galapagos Islands, and most recently mountain biking to a remote waterfall in the mountains of Colombia. But what makes travel so special isn’t just epic destinations or experiences—it’s the people and cultures who bring them to life. For this, there is one place that stands out in my memory. Ponta do Ouro, Mozambique.