Book a Travel Experience With Indigenous Tour Guides


As a child I spent summers and weekends in Monument Valley, between the Arizona and Utah border. Etched in my head are memories of eating fresh Navajo mutton stew while listening to stories from my elders, splitting sagebrush ’till the oils spilled onto my hands, playing with the wet vermillion dirt outside during a thunderstorm, and staring at the wall of stars at twilight, free of light pollution.

It’s not a surprise that we’re attracted to vivid scenery, ecological wonders, and fields teeming with wildlife, or that we understand our relationship with the natural world through interaction. It makes sense why many travelers flock to national parks and monuments. A recommendation? Next time you plan a trip to the great outdoors, make it an Indigenous-led excursion.

With Indigenous tourism, you’re guided across the wilderness by tribes who know the lands best, with centuries of passed-down knowledge. Going with Indigenous guides also provides a chance to direct your dollars towards a community long-exploited for their homelands. Plus, hearing the stories and traditions of these places also provides a chance to connect with tribal communities and instill a duty to protect the fragile environment of our world.

Here are just some of the Indigenous-led adventures across the US where you’ll surely be more engaged with your surroundings than ever before.



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New Digital Tour Allows Visitors To Explore Ancient Olympia During First Olympics


The ancient Olympics in Greece may have been held more than 2,000 years ago, but it’s now possible to explore ancient Olympia through an immersive experience using a mobile app or using a PC or laptop. This is all thanks to a collaboration between Greece’s Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports and Microsoft. 

The project, called Ancient Olympia: Common Grounds, is a digital revival project “that aims to preserve and restore” the original home of the Olympic games using artificial intelligence (AI). It uses augmented reality to deliver a virtual re-creation of temples and competition areas as visitors walk through the ruins. 

Visitors who travel to the Athens Olympic Museum in Greece can also take a virtual tour that makes use of Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 mixed-reality headset, which overlays visual information on top of what the viewer actually sees to create an augmented reality experience.

“With the digital representation of the Panhellenic sanctuary of Ancient Olympia, its cultural heritage — but also the values of Olympism: peace, harmony, excellence, and noble rivalry — becomes accessible to the whole world through the use of state-of-the-art technology,” Lina Mendoni, Hellenic Republic Minister of Culture and Sports, said in a statement. “The digital preservation project, through the use of artificial intelligence and augmented reality technologies, implemented through the cultural sponsorship of Microsoft, promotes and highlights the unique and emblematic archaeological site of Ancient Olympia.”

Brad Smith, president and vice chairman of Microsoft, added that the project is “a stunning achievement in cultural heritage, bringing together humanity and cutting-edge technology to benefit the world and empower coming generations with new ways to explore our past.”

How It’s Possible

The first step in the project was for Microsoft to partner with the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports. Next, through its AI for Cultural Heritage initiative, Microsoft partnered with Iconem, which specializes in digitizing historic sites, to create the foundational model of ancient Olympia. 

Both on-the-ground cameras and drones were used to take hundreds of thousands of images of the sites. Microsoft’s AI then processed the images to create models that are photorealistic.

Ancient Olympia: Common Grounds digitally preserves 27 monuments, including the original Olympic Stadium, temples of Zeus and Hera, and the workshop of the renowned sculptor Phidias. In the 3D experience, these buildings are recreated in lifelike detail thanks to research completed by the Hellenic Ministry’s archaeologists.

“Ancient Olympia: Common Grounds is a unique way of experiencing Greece’s proud cultural heritage,” Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Greece’s prime minister, said. “Visitors around the world can virtually visit the ancient site of Olympia and experience history firsthand using augmented reality technology.”

A Unique Experience

The first immersive tour was held earlier this week at the Athens Olympic Museum. Seventh and eighth-grade students from a local school “pinched, zoomed, and rotated the monuments that had been brought to life on their smartphones, flipping between inside and outside views as they toured the site where athletes in antiquity competed in running, javelin throwing, wrestling, boxing, horse racing, and other events,” an Associated Press story reports.

“The app is really impressive,” Panagiotis Christopoulos, one of the students, said in the story. “I think it can help with teaching in schools.”

Prime Minister Mitsotakis was also at the event. While watching the students, he told the Associated Press, “I’m absolutely thrilled that we’re able to present to the world a completely new cultural experience using technology to recreate the ancient world of Olympia.”

How You Can Take The Tour

The Ancient Olympia: Common Grounds Exhibition using the HoloLens 2 Virtual Tour is now open to the public at the Athens Olympic Museum. 

The good news is that you don’t need to travel to Greece to take the tour. The web experience may be viewed here, while an app may be downloaded from the iOS and Android app stores so you can take the virtual tour using your smartphone.

Be sure to also read all of our Greece coverage. You can also check out our history and culture coverage, including ruins and archaeology, architecture, and monuments.



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Challenge Tour Grand Final preview and best bets


Ben Coley takes a rare look at the Challenge Tour Grand Final, where Wilco Nienaber can boss a 45-man field and earn full European Tour status.


It’s not my intention to branch out beyond the two main men’s tours. Generally speaking I believe it can be enormously advantageous to a golf punter not to have to cover every event there is. Leave that to the oddsmakers, and focus on areas of expertise.

However, the Challenge Tour Grand Final is a fascinating tournament and one in which I’m surprised WILCO NIENABER isn’t a clear and popular favourite.

Nienaber, who has gained notoriety for being among the longest hitters in the sport, had a difficult decision to make this week. He could’ve played the Portugal Masters, in which he was 14th last year, and had he gone close he’d have perhaps sealed full European Tour status for the 2022 season.

The other option was to return to the Challenge Tour for the first time since May, and his decision to do so looks the right one. Nienaber is 24th in the Road to Mallorca rankings, and the top 20 at the end of this week will gain European Tour status. He’s there thanks to victory in the Dimension Data Pro-Am back in the spring and would’ve surely sailed through had he focused on the second tier rather than take opportunities earned at a higher level.

My belief is that Nienaber would’ve been priced up around 50/1 had he gone to Portugal, and that no player in this Challenge Tour field would’ve been as short. I also believe that while volatile and somewhat difficult to grade, finishes of 14th and 31st on the PGA Tour this year are more than I’d have expected of anyone else here. We can say for certain that none of his main rivals have been as close to winning on a major tour as he was in the Joburg Open (second) less than 12 months ago, not for some time at least.

It’s true that the likes of Santiago Tarrio Ben and Julien Brun have experience of T-Golf which Nienaber does not, and the latter in particular is respected. Brun has always had bags of talent and he’s been rewarded for taking some tough decisions, including moving to Prague, with a string of victories on both the Pro Golf Tour and now the Challenge Tour.

But Nienaber is the player here with genuine world-class aspirations and it’s a month since he was sixth in the Open de Espana, finishing well ahead of Tarrio Ben. His subsequent form reads fine, and it was only an off week with the putter which cost him a weekend tee-time in Mallorca. In turn, that performance probably keeps him from the very head of the betting here.

As for T-Golf’s suitability, there are three par-fives, two of which might be beyond the reach of the majority of the field. Not Nienaber, who can also take on at least one and possibly as many as three par-fours off the tee.

The fact that he’s just outside the top 20 is another potential positive as his focus is clear. It may also be to his benefit that unlike those around him, the South African knows he’ll have conditional European Tour status next year regardless, and may yet have another tournament in Dubai through which he can improve his category.

There are negatives — his power and swing speed can come at a cost, and I would’ve preferred less wind and rain in the forecast — but they’re outweighed by the positives which should entitle him to clear favouritism. Ondrej Lieser won this title a year ago because he dominated the par-fives. Nienaber can do the same, and is a bet at 12/1 and upwards.

Hoey has plenty in his favour

I’ll also suggest a smaller play on MICHAEL HOEY, one of the handful of players here whose experience, nous and general skill set should ensure rotten weather is welcome.

It’s 10 years since Hoey won the Dunhill Links, the pick of seven professional titles, and he’s best by the coast: he’s shown as much not only there, but in Madiera and Morocco, too.

Hoey was an excellent 25th back at the Dunhill Links three starts ago and it’s absolutely not a coincidence that his best effort of the campaign came when 11-under was enough to win the B-NL Challenge Trophy in the Netherlands, where he was part of a play-off. That was also the winning score here last year and conditions look set to be tougher.

He needs a massive week to get back on the European Tour but will know that wind and rain increase his prospects. There are others who are in a similar boat, the likes of Matteo Manassero, Daan Huizing and Stuart Manley among them, but it’s Hoey who looks the best alternative to Nienaber.

Posted at 1145 GMT on 01/11/21

Click here for Ben Coley’s tipping record

Safer gambling

We are committed in our support of safer gambling. Recommended bets are advised to over-18s and we strongly encourage readers to wager only what they can afford to lose.

If you are concerned about your gambling, please call the National Gambling Helpline / GamCare on 0808 8020 133.

Further support and information can be found at begambleaware.org and gamblingtherapy.org.



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New Augmented Reality Travel App Jumper Makes Mobile Tour Discovery Fun | News


NEW YORK, Nov. 4, 2021 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — New Augmented Reality Travel App Jumper Makes Mobile Tour Discovery Fun

Data Insight Solutions, Inc, a developer of mobile applications, announced today the release of Jumper, the iOS app enabling mobile phone users to explore far away cities – or the city they’re in at that moment – using augmented reality (AR) to find travel destinations, attractions and tours. Following an August soft launch, the full version including over 1.2 million videos is now available in all global territories through the Apple App Store.

“We are excited to launch Jumper to give people an engaging way to explore the world using their mobile phone. We look forward to providing an AR experience that lets them find great travel and tour possibilities,” said Jeren Chang, Chief Product Officer of Data Insight Solutions, Inc.

Jumper provides users with an AR experience to explore locations using their mobile phone camera. After selecting an AR icon or “Jump” button, they can point their camera in any direction and see other attractions, a video showing the experience of each attraction, and how far that attraction is from them — as well as the spatial relationship of attractions to one another. A radar indicator also shows users the direction and proximity of locations outside the current camera view. By enabling Jumper to access their phone’s location services and camera, Jumper users get access to AR. At launch, Jumper supports iPhones 6s and later with iOS version 14.5 and higher.

The Jumper travel and tours app detects the nearest city to a given user, and lets them choose from a searchable menu of 114 global cities to explore. For each city Jumper shows a collection of attractions and sightseeing tours, a city map, and a browse-able menu of tours and excursions sorted by Day Trips & Extensions, Walking & Biking, Cultural & Themed, Private & Custom, Luxury & Special Occasions, and Food, Wine & Nightlife.

Whether users browse via menu or AR, the Jumper app can spontaneously book their next tour while already on the go, plan future vacations from far away, or enjoy vicarious travel during a global pandemic. Tour details, and tour booking are enabled via a partnership with Viator, a Tripadvisor company.

Future possibilities for Data Insight Solutions to expand capabilities of the Jumper app include adding locations, services, experiences and partners.

About Data Insight Solutions

Data Insight Solutions, Inc. (DIS) is a New York City-based developer of cross-platform mobile applications. DIS’s forward-looking, international team takes an innovative approach to creating new mobile experiences, leveraging big data and technologies like augmented reality. More can be learned about Jumper via The App Store, jumper.city, the Jumper blog, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Media contact: Dave Anderson, dave@jumper.city

Media Contact

Dave Anderson, Data Insight Solutions, 3479308520, dave@jumper.city

 

SOURCE Data Insight Solutions





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Monday Scramble: Will Saudi league be anything more than a mid-senior tour?


The Saudi golf league has a new face, Lucas Herbert survives in Bermuda, amateur status rules change for the better and more in this week’s edition of Monday Scramble:


Rumored for months, the shadowy breakaway tour finally started to emerge last week.

Here’s what we know, for sure: Greg Norman will serve as the commissioner of a Saudi-based golf league. There is a new 10-year, $200 million deal with the Asian Tour, with the promise of 10 new “marquee” events in 2022 and further “disruption” in the future. There is expected to be some sort of media availability soon, perhaps this week, with more details about the league format. And the launch date remains unknown, though Norman suggested they will begin hosting official tournaments next spring (even if that seems awfully ambitious for a circuit that’s only in the early stages of being unveiled).

Whether this is a legitimate threat to the Tour’s empire remains to be seen.

The decade-long commitment and financing of the Asian Tour – a shrewd way to remain in good standing with the OWGR – suggests this is less an immediate takeover and more of a long-term play. Even so, the league’s viability depends on the players who sign up, and as of this writing there have been no sealed contracts or early indications that the superstars will bolt en masse. Seemingly unconcerned, the Tour hasn’t even issued a statement about the news.

In a purse race, the Tour can’t compete with the deep-pocketed Saudis, but for those less interested purely in financial gain there are desirable aspects of the status quo: the best competition, history, security. Bloated Tour purses will be the norm, too, once the TV money kicks in.

Until more details emerge about the format, it seems like – for now – the breakaway league remains only an enticement for the aging warriors who have paid their dues, served their respective tours and now are eager for one massive payday. That … doesn’t seem like a successful formula or an appealing product.



So miserable were the conditions at the start of Sunday’s final round that Lucas Herbert didn’t even hit any drivers on the range.

“It was just pointless,” he said.

The 25-year-old Australian knew the type of gut-check day he was in for, and he handled it better than anyone else. Taking advantage of Taylor Pendrith’s final-round free fall, Herbert’s 2-under 69 was enough to erase a four-shot deficit and claim his first PGA Tour title at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship.

During a wild, windy and wet final round, Herbert battled the conditions, a stoppage of play and a couple of out-of-nowhere contenders. Already a two-time winner on the European Tour, he birdied the 14th hole and then made four gritty pars to close to become the first first-time winner of the new PGA Tour season.

“To survive all that,” he said, “I’m very proud.”

With the victory, Herbert – who earned his card through the Korn Ferry Tour Finals – moved inside the top 50 in the world rankings (No. 43) and qualified for his first Masters. He’s also in the field for the 2022 lid-lifter in Kapalua as well as a host of other big-time tournaments.

Not a bad promotion for a guy who two months ago was fighting for Tour status. 

“The next 12 months are going to be really cool,” he said. “No matter how I play, it’s just going to be phenomenal to play in those tournaments.”



The governing bodies announced last week that they were loosening some of its amateur status rules beginning Jan. 1 and allowing players to cash in on their name, image and likeness without forfeiting their status.

Often criticized for being behind the times, the USGA and R&A had little choice but to rewrite their regulations following the NCAA decision regarding NIL rules this summer.

Will it matter? Probably not for the majority, at least not in a significant way.

College golfers obviously won’t be as sought-after as quarterbacks and power forwards, and we’ve already seen a few examples this fall (here’s looking at you, Spencer Rattler) of players who inked lucrative deals this summer and failed to live up to expectations. That has 1.) angered certain fan bases, because those who are paid to perform naturally become easy targets, and 2.) led companies to be a bit selective in whom they’re endorsing. Players’ families are exercising more caution, too. 

In the past few years only a handful of college golfers could have profited handsomely from this relaxed amateur environment – players like Jon Rahm, Matthew Wolff and Muni He. Looking ahead, only standout freshman Rose Zhang will draw significant interest from the outside market if she opts to stay in school for a few more years.

Other than that, the situation has little risk of getting out of control – only a generational talent will start earning more than his college coach.

 

THIS WEEK’S AWARD WINNERS … 

Costume of the Week: Josh Allen. The Bills QB nailed his Phil Mickelson impersonation, from the visor to the calves to the thumbs-up to even the awkward cap tip. Well done. 

Don’t Mind If I Do: Lydia Ko. After initially saying she’d skip the LPGA’s penultimate event, Ko reentered the Pelican Championship, presumably to give herself a chance to capture the Vare Trophy, for the lowest scoring average. The top three players on the list (Nelly Korda, Jin Young Ko, Inbee Park) are ineligible for the scoring title because they either haven’t played 70 official rounds or 70% of the tournaments … which is ample reason to blow up these eligibility rules and try again. The LPGA is a global tour, with worldwide demands, and this award clearly isn’t identifying the best player.



Return to Form: Patrick Reed. A man among boys in the weak Bermuda field, Reed’s closing 65 made him the clubhouse leader and left him with an outside shot to steal the title. He wound up one shot shy, but it was his first top-10 on Tour since the Memorial in June. Finally, it seems, he has put his ankle injury and pneumonia diagnosis behind him, if not the weird burner account that only seems interested in defending him.

Ouch: Taylor Pendrith. Leading by three as he aimed for his first Tour title, the Canadian failed to record a single birdie on a difficult day of scoring and doubled the 71st hole to doom his chances. His closing 76 was the worst score of anyone inside the top 45. On the other hand …

Best of the Rest: Scott Stallings. Beginning the day 14 (!!!) shots off the lead, Stallings actually made a valiant run at the title before falling just short. His 9-under 62 stood up as the best final round by THREE; his Sunday score was more than nine shots better than the field average. That rocketed him 45 spots on the leaderboard, into joint fifth. 



Anyone Left?: Bermuda field. It’s happened only a handful of times in recent memory, but the Bermuda field had fewer participants than its intended field of 132. There were a couple of reasons for this, from the country’s strict COVID-19 protocols to its remote location, but it presented the rare week when there was a $1 million first-place prize, full FedExCup points on offer, a Masters invite on the line … and not enough players to fill out a field. Of course, the Bermuda field was elevated in status this year because of the WGC-HSBC cancellation, so next fall it’ll be back where it belongs, in opposite-field territory. But at least … 

This Week It’ll Be Better: Mayakoba field. A week after only 24 world-ranking points were awarded to the winner, a decidedly stronger field will tee it up south of the border at the Mayakoba, where Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka, Rickie Fowler, Will Zalatoris and Tony Finau are among the headliners. Only three official events remain in the Tour’s fall slate.

All the Best: Brian Morris. One of the head pros in Bermuda, he got a sponsor exemption into the field after being diagnosed in December 2019 with stage IV brain cancer. Uncertain how much time he has left, he took advantage of this unexpected opportunity and teed it up among the best in the world. It mattered little that he shot 89-92. He inspired everyone who read about his story, or heard his interviews, and we can only hope last week gave him a bit of light amid so much darkness.  

You Love to See It: Q-School coverage. They’re jockeying for position and not necessarily their livelihoods, and it’s for the Korn Ferry Tour and not the big show, but the final stage of Q-School always delivers good drama. That’s why we’re pumped to see the news that this week it’ll be streamed, live – the first time that’s happened in this new era.

That’ll Do It … Barely: Jim Knous. Heading into the week needing a solo 67th or better to earn a conditional Tour card and full Korn Ferry Tour status in the final event of his major medical extension, Knous eagled his second-to-last hole of the day Friday to make the cut on the number. Then he did just enough on the weekend (69-72) to survive and advance, tying for 57th to sew up the status.   

Blown Fantasy Pick of the Week: Christiaan Bezuidenhout. Such was the Bermuda field that the South African entered the week as one of the headliners, at No. 43 in the world and coming off back-to-back top-5s worldwide. Alas, even while well-rested, his game didn’t travel, as a closing 74 dropped him all the way into a tie for 57th – his second-worst finish since summer 2020. Sigh.





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European Tour legend Lee Westwood shares GREAT PUTTING DRILL






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Haunted Halloween Tour Featuring Portland Businesses


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Oregon Governor Kate Brown received the Moderna COVID-19 booster and a flu shot Tuesday afternoon at Salem Health’s Edgewater Clinic.

Initially vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the governor described the safety and efficacy of all COVID-19 vaccines, explaining “all three of the vaccines are safe, and incredibly effective at protecting against hospitalization and death. I am grateful to have received extra protection against both COVID-19 and the flu with the Moderna booster shot and the flu shot.” Gov. Brown said in a press release.



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Tips on how to tour colleges from home | The Learning Key


STATEPOINT

Many schools are offering virtual tours, chats with admissions officers and current students, and other online options to help students get familiar with their school.

Be sure to check the websites of schools that you’re interested in to take advantage of any opportunities they’re providing to prospective students!

Take a virtual tour

• Check the school’s website to see if they offer virtual tours.

• Some colleges also offer virtual chat rooms to connect prospective students with current students and tour guides.

• If you’re able to join one of the chats, consider asking the following questions:

Why did you choose this college?

How was your transition from high school to college?

What do you do in your free time?

What is it like to live at this college?

What does the college do to promote student involvement in campus groups, extracurricular activities, or volunteering?

What are the housing options?

What is the graduation rate?

Are there work-study programs and part-time jobs available?

Learn about everyday life• Follow the school’s social media accounts.

• If you’re interested in joining a specific major, sports team or club, try finding their specific social media accounts as well.

• Explore the school’s student-run newsletters, magazines, online publications, or blogs

• Learn about the campus services that are available for students including: residential services, counseling, health and religious centers, financial aid office, information technology support, career centers and commuter services.

Browse course catalogs• Read the short descriptions for the courses that may be required for your major

• Learn about some frequently offered elective classes.

• Find out if there are internship opportunities that you can also take for college credit.

Look into housing options

• Find out what sort of housing options are available for incoming freshmen.

• Depending on the school, certain dorm types may only be available as special living options, honors colleges, or upperclassmen, so make sure you become familiar with the type of dorm that you may be living in.

• Double-check the living requirements as well, because some schools make it mandatory for freshmen to live on campus.

• Colleges offer all sorts of dining choices, such as restaurants, cafes, and dining halls, so check out your dining options and what sort of foods are available on campus and off campus.



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Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski begins farewell tour at ACC media day


“You don’t spend your life doing this and say, ‘Well, I think I’m going to leave tomorrow,’ so it’s been planned out,” Krzyzewski said. “I knew I wanted to coach another year, but I knew I wasn’t going to coach beyond this year, so recruiting this year would be an ethical dilemma. You wouldn’t want to recruit somebody and say you’re going to be staying and then not stay, so we came up with this plan, and I think it’s an outstanding plan.”



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Charlotte Odusanya on being cast in the farewell tour of ‘Rent’ and her love of Egypt and Trident gum


For Emerson College student Charlotte Odusanya, being cast in the 25th anniversary farewell tour of “Rent” is a dream come true. “It still feels crazy. I remember earlier this year saying to my friends that it would be really great to book something and leave school for a while,” said the 20-year-old performer, who is doing just that. Odusanya is taking a gap year to tour the country — and Tokyo — from mid-October through May 2022. “I saw ‘Rent’ my sophomore year in high school and I remember thinking how cool it would be to sing that song,” she said, referring to “Seasons of Love,” perhaps the musical’s most popular song in which, on this tour, she is the featured soloist. In a phone call from New York City, where the cast is rehearsing for the upcoming tour of the Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning show (which will be at the Boch Center Shubert Theatre Oct. 12-17), Odusanya said that “Rent,” which debuted on Broadway in 1996, was “ahead of its time” in addressing social issues including gender, sexuality, and race. “Especially during this time, during the pandemic … it will make people think and perhaps change their perspective,” she said. “Rent” follows a year in the lives of a diverse group of artists and friends who are struggling to follow their dreams and passions without selling out and who choose love over fear. We caught up with the Portland, Ore., native to talk about all things travel.

Favorite vacation destination? London. It feels like a second home. I love the city, but also enjoy the quaint countryside. There’s a distinct smell that brings me back to my childhood.

Favorite food or drink while vacationing? I am a pizza connoisseur. I love pizza anywhere and anytime.

Where would you like to travel to but haven’t? I would love to go to Greece. I have an obsession with “Mamma Mia!” and I feel like I need to experience the beauty.

One item you can’t leave home without when traveling? Gum. Trident Layers strawberry and citrus flavor is my favorite.

Aisle or window? I’ve always been a window gal. I love looking out of the window and pretending I’m the main character of a movie.

Favorite childhood travel memory? Going inside the pyramids in Egypt when I was 8 or 9. I remember you had to climb a ladder to get to the museum part and it was really crowded. It was an interesting feeling being in those ancient pyramids and literally in a piece of history.

Guilty pleasure when traveling? Going clubbing!

Best travel tip? Take it one day at a time. Sometimes it might feel like you have to do and see everything. Enjoy the moment and where you are. You never know when a surprise might sneak up on you.

JULIET PENNINGTON



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