A Handy Guide to Wines

Written by Hank Martin in Culture

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The Star Spangled Banner

Written by Payton Lee in Culture

Happy Fourth of July! Proud to Be an American! The National Anthem consists of four verses. On almost every occasion only the first verse is sung. Have you ever heard the other verses?  Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming? Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight, O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming? And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave? On the …

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Goodbye, U.S. Citizens

Written by Hank Martin in Culture

Did you know 1,001 U.S. Citizens have already renounced their citizenship in 2014? Where are they going and why are they renouncing?

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5 Quirky Ballparks

Written by Hank Martin in Culture, N. America

It’s baseball season again, and with it comes cold beer, hot dogs, cracker jacks and some of the most interesting baseball stadiums in the United States. If you are a baseball aficionado than the stadiums we’ve chosen will surely satisfy your baseball fix. Each of the parks selected is extremely unique and quirky in some manner. So grab a beer, sit down and let’s play ball! Miller Park Milwaukee, WI Before Miller park was built in 2001 the previous stadium, County Stadium had a beer slide. Every time the Milwaukee Brewers hit a home run Bernie Brewer would slide down his slide into a mug of beer. Unfortunately, when the Brew Crew relocated to Miller …

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Tell us a story

Written by Hank Martin in Culture

Keyser Soze, played by Kevin Spacey, in the movie “The Usual Suspects” is a legend among the criminal and police world. He is a ruthless, highly feared crime lord who has built up a masterful image of himself as someone with a mythic past. Be aware, reading in will spoil the movie if you have not seen it.

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Beaches in Paros: Solitude

Written by Hank Martin in E. Europe

The island of Paros is littered with beaches, which stands to reason, since it is an ISLAND! But with so many choices how do you find the best of the best? You don’t, not without figuring out what you’re looking for.

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The Iris of Greece

Written by Payton Lee in E. Europe

Greece is one of the most beautiful places I have ever laid eyes on. From the azul oceanDSCN2781 and clear skies to the puffy white clouds and bright sun, the cities of Greece…

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Run with Reindeer

Written by Hank Martin in N. America

While not nearly as extreme as running with the bulls in Spain, this novel event is still sure to get your blood pumping.

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Running like Water

Written by Hank Martin in N. America

Cliff faces, about 2,500 feet deep, box in the mighty Gunnison River on all sides. The stoic rock prison, covered in lichen and imbuing the canyon with it’s black appearance, are just an illusion, though, as the canyon itself is a testament to who is really in control.

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Spectacular Views from the Most Unexpected Places

Written by Payton Lee in N. America

  Apostle Island, Wisconsin This photo contest winner was selected by our readers, and is a spectacular view from an island off the very northern part of Wisconsin. How many of you knew Wisconsin had islands? Neil Schott took this photo on an outdoor adventure trip. He told us the sea kayaking was amazing as you paddle around to the sea caves and explore the world of Lake Superior. Do you have a spectacular view from an unexpected place? Share with us and maybe you will be our next photo contest winner!

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5 Quirky Ballparks

Written by Hank Martin in Culture, N. America

It’s baseball season again, and with it comes cold beer, hot dogs, cracker jacks and some of the most interesting baseball stadiums in the United States. If you are a baseball aficionado than the stadiums we’ve chosen will surely satisfy your baseball fix. Each of the parks selected is extremely unique and quirky in some manner. So grab a beer, sit down and let’s play ball! Miller Park Milwaukee, WI Before Miller park was built in 2001 the previous stadium, County Stadium had a beer slide. Every time the Milwaukee Brewers hit a home run Bernie Brewer would slide down his slide into a mug of beer. Unfortunately, when the Brew Crew relocated to Miller …

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Alaska: Out of the Darkness Into the Light

Written by Breaking Trail in N. America

With spring around the corner, winter is starting to feel long and drawn out. As the sun edges back more each day, the thought of summer nights with friends makes the dark winter just endured…

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How to Bargain in Morocco

Written by Hank Martin in Culture, Middle East, Personal Development

Bargaining at a market, with a friend, or anywhere else is an art form and a long-lost skill. We’ve become conditioned to accept what the price tag tells us. But, in many parts of the world bargaining is as common as breathing.

Before there was such a thing as money people bartered for goods. The skills and techniques of bargaining are thousands of years old.

These skills are useful even if you aren’t going to be traveling anywhere. Looking to buy a car? How about something from Craigslist or your local newspaper’s classifieds? Even in the U.S. the art of the haggle is alive and well.

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5 Reasons for Taking a Job

Written by Hank Martin in Personal Development

Life is full of frustrations. But, I like to think many of these can be eliminated by putting things in perspective. One of the things that createsfrustrations is your job. Your boss is a jerk. You are overworked and underpaid. Will there ever be a balance between what we want and what our employer wants? There are many different reasons for taking a job. Maybe you want to live somewhere exotic, or develop certain career skills. With each job comes a different set of expectations that can help keep your work in perspective. Here is a list of common reasons why people take a job. I’ve broken down the job reasons into pay, job length, …

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30+ Essential Travel Books

Written by Hank Martin in Personal Development, Travel Tips

There is nothing I enjoy more then escaping from the world and into a good book. When you bury your nose into the pages of something special you find yourself transported to a different world. Some books inspire. Some books take you around the world. Some books even help you put life in perspective. When I moved home from Italy I filled one of my suitcases not with Tuscan Wine, Limoncello, or Disaronno, but books. For a college student this was a bizarre thing. But, I have always loved books. A good book can change your life. Here is a list of books that have changed mine. They make excellent travel companions, and were compiled …

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The Quarterlife Crises

Written by Hank Martin in Personal Development

Do you know that feeling you get when you stand on the shore of an ocean looking out? That same feeling of being dwarfed by the world around you is the feeling you get when you look upon all of the possibilities for life. While on the road there is always an open bar stool next to someone at an Irish Pub who is traveling because of an existential life crises, a mid-life crises, a GAP year crises, or a multitude of other psychological dilemmas.

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How to Walk the Streets of Barranquilla and Not Die

Written by Payton Lee in S. America

People often think Colombia is a dangerous place because of drugs and sex-trafficking. That is still a strong possibility, but I’m willing to bet there is more potential danger in simply walking the streets by foot. Not because of dangerous drug dealers, pocket thieves, or rapists. Not because it’s easy to get lost or end up in a bad neighborhood. Walking the streets of Colombia, specifically Barranquilla, is one of the most dangerous threats to tourist because

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Photo Story: Bogota Revealed

Written by Payton Lee in S. America

For those who love the big cities. For those that want to travel from the comforts of your own home. For those that want to see from way up high but have a fear of heights. For those that love seeing the world through Breaking Trail’s eyes. Here is another story for you! (click to view slideshow)

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Colombian Hats and History: Art and Design

Written by Hank Martin in S. America

Look around you. Look at yourself. What are you wearing today? What do your clothes tell the world about you? What do they say about the culture we live in?

Today, many of our clothes have evolved past the practical and into a different arena completely. Take the suit for example, or the tie? Chuck Palahniuk put it best.

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Photo story of Cartagena

Written by Payton Lee in S. America

Take a walk in our shoes Colombian style. A photo story through the coastal city of Cartagena.                            

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Start Doing

Written by Payton Lee in The Backpack

We can be our own worst enemies at times. Procrastination from fear of the unknown, from daunting work loads, or from laziness prevent us from DOING. “

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New Eyes

Written by Payton Lee in The Backpack

I have driven by and ridden my bike by this small barn at least 50 times. The other day I just happened to stop biking and pull off the side of the road to get a drink of water. As I looked around at the beautiful scenery of Crested Butte

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Live Today

Written by Hank Martin in The Backpack

That day you have been waiting for, that future happiness you hope to find and have been saving all of todays to reach…live that day today.   I hope this inspirational life quote helps you live your dream today.

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A Pale Blue Dot: A Dose of Inspiration

Written by Hank Martin in The Backpack

Travel makes the world seem so large, but in the grand scheme of things it is nothing more than a pale blue dot. It’s hard to have this perspective when there are so many new and exciting things to see everywhere you go.

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Dove that Ventured Outside

Written by Hank Martin in The Backpack

    Dove that ventured outside,     flying far from the dovecote: housed and protected again,     one with the day, the night, knows what serenity is,     for she has felt her wings pass through all distance and fear     in the course of her wanderings. The doves that remained at home,     never exposed to loss, innocent and secure,     cannot know tenderness; only the won-back heart     can ever be satisfied: free, through all it has given up,     to rejoice in its mastery. Being arches itself     over the vast abyss. Ah the ball that we dared,     that we hurled into infinite space, doesn’t it fill our hands     differently with its return: heavier by the weight     of where it has been.   -Rainer Maria Rilke

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Traits, Tech, and Travel: PE and Stayinf Fit

Written by Hank Martin in Travel Tips

[This will be the one of several subjects we examined. Look for future posts which will deal with History, Science and Math, Tech, and more] Did you know that Americans average only about 5,000 steps a day? In the world of health, according to some scale that some smart scientist or doctor made up, 5,000 steps is the border between a sedentary life and an active one. So less than 5,000 steps a day means you just aren’t moving very much. It’s true, we drive all over the damn place. Physical Education is a lost subject in American culture. I’m gonna be brutally honest with you for a minute here. Americans are obese. Yes, we …

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Traits, Tech, and Travel: History

Written by Payton Lee in Travel Tips

[This will be the one of several subjects we examined. Look for future posts which will deal with Tech, Science and Math, PE, and more]   Short Synopsis: Smart technology is here to stay. We are all hooked and future generations will be connected to it one way or another. The access to these tools will be a part of every day life for most young kids. As a means to bridge the gap I will take 5 important subjects from school and show how travel combined with these new modern day tools can lead to a positive education and growth for kids and adults alike. History This subject is a no brainer when it …

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Traits, Techs, and Travel: Math and Science

Written by Payton Lee in Travel Tips

[This will be the one of several subjects we examined. Look for future posts which will deal with History, Tech, PE, and more] Short Synopsis: Smart technology is here to stay. We are all hooked and future generations will be connected to it one way or another. The access to these tools will be a part of every day life for most young kids. As a means to bridge the gap I will take 5 important subjects from school and show how travel combined with these new modern-day tools can lead to a positive education and growth for kids and adults alike.   Math and Science We either love or hate these subjects. For those …

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Traits, Tech, and Travel

Written by Payton Lee in Travel Tips

[This will be the one of several subjects we examined. Look for future posts which will deal with History, Science and Math, PE, and more] Look around you. Who is on their smart phone, iPad, or other electronic device? How many of those are young kids or young adults? Facebook and social networks connected to the World Wide Web have launched society into hyper-speed. Anyone born after 2004 has a completely different set of tools and expectations in life. Literally anything they want to know is at their finger tips. I’ve seen posts on Facebook of this exact idea. It went something like “Things people born after 2000 will never know about”. They go on …

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Hiking the Zugspitze

Written by Hank Martin in W. Europe

The Zugspitze is not an impressive mountain. Topping out at only 9,718 feet it is the foothills of the Alps, even though it is the tallest mountain in Germany. But, the climb from base to top takes at least 6 hours.

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ATV the Greek Isles

Written by Hank Martin in W. Europe

The wind in your hair, the freedom of the open road, the sun on your shoulders. And all for under 25 Euros a day.

The Season for Blooming

Written by Payton Lee in W. Europe

The Tulip flower is a sign of spring. Once the snow melts away and the ground temperatures rise, these flowers are some of the first things we see. New life, new season, new beginning. The Tulip flower is a unique bulb that pops its head up after a long hibernation. It’s brilliant green leaves seem to protect the delicate stem and head of this simple flower. But once that head opens up to reveal a brightly colored display, we understand why it would be so protected. The tulip flower has quite a history with the Dutch heritage. Although the flower was first seen in Asian countries, Turkey is where the flower was first cultivated. The …

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A 400yr Tradition of Keeping the Faith Strong

Written by Payton Lee in W. Europe

A quaint German village named Oberammergau lies nestled in the Bavarian region. Its people are skilled wood workers and artists. They produce some of the most beautiful wooden toys, trinkets and culinary pieces I have ever seen. There is also a monastery in a near by town that is attached to a brewery or visa versa. The monks have many talents and they figured out a way to survive the season of fasting. Although small in population this place is world famous for a tradition that they have held for over 400 years. It is the tradition of their passion play. Back in 1634 the Black Plague was devastating much of Europe and it was …

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