Jul 302012
Great Mayan Ruins by San Ignacio, Belize: Xunantunich

Colin and I were sun-stroked and drenched with sweat by the time we made it to San Ignacio, Belize’s famous Mayan ruins, Xunantunich… but man was it worth it. Come cyber-join us on our journey!

It took us hours to finally reach Xunantunich from our San Ignacio hotel due to a “hilarious” misunderstanding of how time is quantified in Belize.

Several local people had told us, “Oh yes, you can walk to the ruins. It’s [...Read More!]

Jul 162012
Wedding Planning is Travel to a Crazy Foreign Country

“What kind of wedding do you think you’ll have if you ever get married?” my roommate Meg asked me our Sophomore year in college.

“Easy,” I declared. “I’ll have a potluck in a field and wear a rainbow colored dress I make myself.”

Well, it’s a decade after that conversation, I’m getting married in five days, and my rustic wedding prediction was totally wrong.

Instead, Colin and I are going FULL OUT into Wedding [...Read More!]

Apr 192012
Nudity and Peace at the Original Olympic Site in Greece

I never realized the sheer amount of nudity in the ancient Olympic Games until our teacher tour of Olympia, Greece this week.

“The ancient Greek Olympic Games took place from 776 B.C.E. to 394 C.E.,” our guide, Mara, explained. “The athletes were all men, and they were all… NAKED. They were also covered in oil.”

“Whoa!” gasped one teacher traveler, aghast. “Were the spectators nude, too?”

“Well,” Mara laughed, “Funny story. The only people [...Read More!]

Apr 182012
Scandalous Facts Behind the Oracle of Delphi in Greece

What actually happened during the hundreds of years between 720 B.C.E. and 395 A.D. when ancient Greeks consulted the Oracle of Delphi? Who was this magical woman named Pythia whose advice changed history?

In our teacher group walking tour of Delphi, we learned shocking facts to explain the history of the Oracle.

1. Ethylene gas in the nose. The Oracle of Delphi was actually several different women from the village below. They were [...Read More!]

Apr 162012
Touring the Sites of Greek Myth and Legend in Person

“If you look to the valley below us,” our guide, Mara, instructed our busload of teachers touring Greece, “you will see the crossroads where Oedipus killed his father.”

“WHAT?!” I gasped, nearly inhaling the sesame-seed-encrusted almond in my mouth.

For three different years of my eight-year teaching career, I’ve taught kids the scandalous play, Oedipus Rex… and now we were driving by the actual scene of the crime?!

If you’re not familiar with the infamous legend [...Read More!]

Apr 062012
Daniel: Travel Shows There is No Need to Fear China

Article #11 in the Student Travel Stories Series from our tour of Beijing, China. By Daniel, Age 17, 11th Grade in Boston. Born in the U.S. to parents from El Salvador.

Q: What message about China are you bringing home to America now that you’ve traveled to Beijing?

A: I will try to convince people we shouldn’t be afraid of China.

Sure it’s a country that is progressing fast, but we can look at our own country, [...Read More!]

Jan 312012
African American History of Boston in a Tour and Timeline

When many people think of Black-White race relations in Boston, they often think of the violent racial battles in the 1970s over forced desegregation of Boston Public Schools through busing.

Either that, or, if they’re not from Boston, they think of the zillion recent Tough White Gangster Boston movies like “The Departed” and ask, “Wait, there are Black people in Boston?”

Guess what, folks? Boston actually has a LONG, RICH African-American History!

I am [...Read More!]

Dec 172011
Mansions and Danger at the Cliff Walk in Newport, R.I.

One of the most dramatic tourist attractions in New England is totally free: the 3.5-mile Cliff Walk in historic Newport, Rhode Island!

Just make sure, as this sign pictured to the left politely points out, not to hurtle off the “cliff” aspect of the whole “Cliff Walk” thing.

Here’s what makes the Cliff Walk so amazing: it’s a marriage of nature’s glory with the most opulent human-made mansions imaginable.

On one side, you have [...Read More!]

Oct 102011
A Group Tour of Famous Boston TV and Movie Sites

The first  hint, around 2009, that Boston is becoming a hub for filming big movies was that our Charlestown High school announcements started filling with casting calls for “teenagers with strong Boston accents.”

The next hint was last year when seven giant movie trailers set up shop down the street from my apartment and flocks of locals gathered to catch a glimpse of Mila Kunis filming “Ted.”

But it took a guided group [...Read More!]

Aug 282011
Why China is the Most Intense Country I Have Traveled To

You’ve read my account of the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, and other China tourist attractions, but now let’s get into the darker side of my 17 days in the most populous country on Earth.

The reality is that China is the most intense country that I have ever traveled to, and I have traveled to over 30 countries across the globe!

Now, the intensity of China travel is actually good news, [...Read More!]