In Japan, there is an island of fairytale dreams called Tashirojama, better known as Cat Heaven Island. In this magical land, cats outnumber humans. Tashirojama has about 100 human residents, and many of them care for the kitties who make their homes all over the island. It is said on the island that giving the cats a helping hand brings good luck and wealth. The cats hang out in backyards, chill in the streets, and run free on the beach like wild horses do in Nicholas Sparks movies. I want to go to there. But seriously. This place looks like a dream come true. Free cuddles from kittens all day? Sign me up! Photographer Fubirai documents Tashirojama’s adorable feline residents, so head to his website if you’re looking for more! [Huffington Post, Fubirai, So Bad So Good]
“Cities That Surprise” highlights places across America that defied or exceeded our expectations, for whatever reason. Today, Allison Sass tells us why under all that snow, Rochester, New York is a hidden gem!
After graduating college, I spent two years living and working in Rochester, NY, a city best known for its now-bankrupt Kodak national headquarters, horrible winters, and being one of the three cities in the U.S. that’s actually cloudier than Seattle. Want to visit yet?? Keep reading »
When most people visualize their dream vacation, Caribbean beaches and margaritas on a lounge chair come to mind. For British writer and cyclist Lois Pryce, however, her dream trip equated to something a little different — a solo motorcycle trip across Iran. Pryce spent this September on a three-week tour of the country, her curiosity fueled by the conflicting advice she’d heard about traveling there. “On the one hand I’d hear awful things about women being stoned for adultery, the highest rate of execution in the world, and nuclear enriching,” she told the UK’s Telegraph. “Then overland travelers would say Iran was wonderful and their favorite country, and that difference intrigued me.” Keep reading »
One thing I love most about traveling is the local cuisine. I love finding out what the locals eat and giving it a try. While I can’t say that I have the amount of stamps on my passport that well-traveled people boast, I can say that my wishlist of places to travel to and eat through is brag-worthy. There’s more worldly food to drool over than French and Italian. Learn more about these 10 unexpected destination on Hello Beautiful…
When I found out that Tanglewood Farm, a farm and petting zoo dedicated solely to miniature livestock, existed, I literally squealed with delight. When I found out it was in northern Georgia, which is easily within day trip distance from me, I started hyperventilating. How could I not?! Tanglewood is an entire farm teeming with miniature alpacas, goats, horses, donkeys, cows, chickens, and even a buffalo(!). All told, there are over 100 fun-size animals which visitors can pet, feed, and possibly snuggle with if they really hit it off. Well, I know where I’m going next weekend. Who’s coming with me? [Modern Farmer]
Here’s the thing about Hilo. If you’re looking for a Waikiki-postcard-style Hawaiian vacation, don’t go to Hilo. I know this firsthand because I moved to Hilo in 2006 to spend a semester at the University of Hawaii campus there, and I did no research beforehand. I was just like, “Woohooo Hawaii! Surfing and sunbathing on white sand beaches every day after class!” (I was kind of an idiot, what can I say?) When I arrived, I was surprised to find rocky beaches and a calm bay instead. I think I swam a total of three times during my stay there, and one of those times was just because I fell out of a canoe in the ocean. But you know what else surprised me? How uniquely awesome Hilo is. It’s a historic city that’s been destroyed by a tsunami and rebuilt; it’s a true mixing pot of different cultures; it’s quirky and friendly and beautiful. Hilo is a great destination for people who want to experience a different side of Hawaiian culture, or travelers looking to spend a day or two away from tourist-packed Kona. Here are some of my top picks for what to do once you get there… Keep reading »
Any bookworms who are trying to decide where to take their next vacation will definitely want to check out a new tome called The Library: A World History. Author Dr. James Campbell and photographer Will Pryce explored more than 80 magnificent libraries in 20 countries (best. job. ever.) to create a comprehensive view of the most amazing libraries ever built. While the book is meant to be informative and artistic, I prefer to think of it is a travel guide, because after seeing some of the photos, I’ve already planned out a global itinerary of library pilgrimages. Click through the gallery to see some of these beautiful, book-filled buildings for yourself! [Daily Mail]
I hadn’t given Rick Steves much thought until earlier this week, when he created what might be the best Facebook photo album of all time, “Rick Steves: The Original Hipster.” Now I have a massive crush on him, which is very upsetting because he kind of looks like my dad. Anyway, I’ll let him explain:
Last month, the New York Times ran an article about hipster fashion trends that claimed sarcastically that “the Rick Steves look is next.” While I’m honored to be mentioned in any article discussing pop culture, I must respectfully disagree with the author. The Rick Steves look isn’t the NEXT hipster fashion trend–it is, in fact, the CURRENT fashion trend. While I generally lay low when it comes to making fashion statements, I believe these photos prove that I was the Original Hipster. Don’t you agree?
The album is full of earnest photos of Rick traipsing the world in hipster-ish outfits accompanied by “Rick Steves Hipster Fashion Tips” like “Cargo short shorts and digital watches” and “Mop hair and journal writing.” Modern day hipsters, bow down to your true master.