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Have you noticed there’s no other place for teenagers to talk about travel?
Here you can read what other teenagers have to say about travel – from day trips to journeys abroad, shopping, eating, coasting, and other activities on vacation. Also, parents can read what teenagers like and dislike about family vacations and destinations so that they can plan a family trip that YOU will enjoy.
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February 4th, 2016
I was just in Pisac, Peru for a gathering of Quakers from all over the world. It was definitely an interesting experience, as I met people from a variety of theological, spiritual, and cultural backgrounds (as Quakerism is a broad, global movement) and engaged with different traditions and ways of relating to the Divine. That said, it was also just a really beautiful place to be.
This selfie barely captures where I was. Behind me were hills, with pre-Inquisition terraces and structures still scattered throughout the surrounding mountains. It is apparently the rainy season, but every day in Pisac (an hour drive from Cusco) while I was there was packed with sun and was consistently in the mid to high 70s. All the sweaters I packed were left in my bag.
Here’s a view of the Sacred Valley at this time of the year. Yes, I got to see this everyday for almost two weeks. It was… amazing, to say the least.
The high altitude took a day or two to get used to, and I had a mild headache push me to bed early the first night, but with the help of coca leaves and lots and lots of water, I transitioned fairly smoothly in the mountain air.
This region was at the heart of the Incan society, as the nearby Cusco was once the Incan capital. There are plenty of tours of the ancient structures that reveal the genius of the Incans, showing off their advanced architecture and agricultural technology. The terraced farms are breathtaking.
I’ll be posting more about Peru soon, but I thought I’d provide readers with a glimpse into the Incan paradise I got to enjoy the past few weeks.
Peace and joy!
January 15th, 2016
Somebody recently asked me where I’d recommend their family to go on vacation. Immediately, without thinking and with no hesitation, I blurted “KOREA!” That may sound a bit odd to you, but I could go on and on about why this country is so packed with good things the whole family can enjoy. Humor me and listen to me for a minute.
5) South Korea is rich with history. There’s plenty of well-preserved historical sites that are not just interesting but breathtakingly beautiful, such as the Namhansanseong Fortress about 16 miles from Seoul or the 5th and 6th century tombs of South Gyeongsang province, which looks like a field of hobbit homes. The Hwaseong area is pretty packed with historical sites, including the Hwaseong Fortress, which strongly resembles the Great Wall of China and was built in the late 18th century by King Jeongjo of the Joseon Dynasty, and Geolleung, a tomb built for that same king Jeongjo. The Korean peninsula is also filled with hundreds of Buddhist temples, some dating to soon after the arrival of Buddhism into Korea (like Jikjisa).
4) There is plenty of beautiful nature, such as Sambuyeon falls, which looks unreal, like some kind of fairy sanctuary. Korea has rivers, lakes, mountains, beaches, islands, forests—just about everything you need for a very long, very fun outdoor adventure.
3) There are so many museums. Hundreds, even. Of course, many of those cover local history, but the fairly recently-built Daejeon Museum of Art, Dokdo Museum, and Museum of Korean Culture are more diverse in their exhibitions. The National Museum of Korea is the major Korean history museum, featuring hundreds of beloved national treasures.
2) All the shopping. I talked about this six years ago on this blog, but I really love shopping in Korea. The shirts with absurd, nonsensical phrases in English, and the cheap knockoff brand shoes, and there’s a certain aesthetic in Korea that I can barely find in the US. I’d say it’s like an edgier J-Crew, or something to that effect.
1) Most importantly, the food. Korean barbecue (how can somebody not LOVE bulgogi and kalbi?!), kimchi in all its forms, red bean buns, rice cakes, the walnut cookies of Cheonan, japchae, spicy ramyeon, gomguk soup, all the glorious jjigaes, etc. Writing all of those delicacies have made this already-full tummy rumble. The best part of any trip/vacation is the food, and Korea definitely has a lot to offer in this department.
Now, do you see why your family needs to make their way over to Korea?
December 22nd, 2015
All the farmers and night markets, the Made in America Festival, the outdoor concerts, the tourists flooding Old City, dancing Hare Krishna devotees in Center City, and eating brunch outside. Summers in Philadelphia are glorious. They include everything for everybody. Now, Philly is great all year long, believe me, but there’s something magical about the city in summer. Everything and everybody is bursting with life.
One of my favorite parts about Philly in the summer is Spruce Street Harbor. Most famously, the park is filled with hammocks for anybody to lay on. It’s nice and shaded and though frequently busy, it is often quiet enough for you to doze off and take a little nap. (Or maybe I’m just a heavy sleeper?) There’s bocce and shuffleboard courts, a giant chess board, and there’s kayaks and paddle boats. Plus, there’s all sorts of other games on the boardwalk.
And, well, there’s lots of food.
Long-time readers know I like food. A lot. And in this off-the-water sanctuary, there is plenty of it. Giant ice cream sundaes, hotdogs, donuts, fried chicken, burgers, ribs, tacos, ice cream waffle sandwiches, chicken wings, sesame noodles, bacon knockwursts—there’s all of that and more at their food trucks and nearby restaurants.
It’s also just really, really beautiful. With the view of the big ships on water, and the lush foliage hovering over and holding together the park, as well as the whimsical design and layout of the park, it’s not a bad sight. And at night, it’s even better with the subtle multicolored lights that beam all around the park. You can’t complain about the view of Philly’s dramatic sunsets, either.
In a way, Spruce Street Harbor sums up why Philadelphia is great, and especially why Philly summers are basically the best. There’s this sense of excitement that is tangible, there’s something to enjoy for everybody, there’s plenty to eat (and though you can get that classic Philly grease food, there’s plenty of healthier and lighter and even, dare I say, bougie options), and it’s all supported by a city, a community, that cares. That’s Philly for you, I’d say. It’s a city full of passion, adventure, fun, and really good people who love their city. And the truth is that I love it in the fall, I love it in the winter, and I really love it in the spring, but there’s really nothing quite like summer out here.
So, yeah, even though we’ve just entered winter, I won’t lie… I’m already daydreaming about journaling on a hammock at Spruce Street Harbor while drinking some lemonade and eating something fried and absurdly delicious.
December 11th, 2015
October 17th, 2015