Navigating Medellín’s Innovative Transportation System

In the year 2012, the Wall Street Journal crowned Medellín as the most innovative city in the world. Colombia’s second largest city was chosen amongst a list of 200 progressive cities across the globe, and was chosen other finalists such as New York City and Tel Aviv. The driving force in Medellín’s victory was its slick and ingenious transportation system; Metro de Medellín carries over 500,000 passengers per day, and integrates seamlessly with ...

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Santa Marta, Colombia: An Expat’s Hub for Adventure

Santa Marta is a small Colombian city nestled between the Caribbean Sea and the Sierra Nevada Mountains (famous for boasting the tallest coastal peaks in the world). The city holds a major claim to history as the first Spanish settlement in Colombia (founded in 1525) and for being one of the first Spanish settlements in South America in general. Santa Marta’s historical importance is furthered as the death place of Simón Bolívar, who led many Lat...

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Publishing-Related Internships and Opportunities in Washington State

Washington state may not be a hub of American or international publishing akin to New York, Chicago, or Washington D.C., but it’s definitely one of the most literate. As such, the town has multiple prospects for writers looking to be published and for word-worms looking to intern and/or learn more about the publishing industry in general.   Opportunities for Those Wanting to Publish Their Work: Washington State University Press is an ac...

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How Not to Explore Thailand by Scooter

I haven't been on a scooter, moped, dirt bike, or other fuel-propelled two-wheeled machine since I ran into a tree at a friend’s birthday party in fifth grade, but no matter. My partner and her brother are confident I can learn as I go. We want to explore Koh Tao from one end of the island to another. Rural Thailand roads aren’t crowded. Rentals are cheap. How hard can it be? I rent a basic automatic scooter – a Honda “Scoopy” on the menu of bike...

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Visiting Medellín, Colombia: A Beginner’s Guide (Part 2)

So you’re visiting Medellín for a while. You saw the Christmas lights. You stared into the night sky at Plaza de la Luz, rode the San Javier open air escalators, and toured four or five of the Parque Bibliotecas. You rode the metrocable to Mazaanti’s Parque Biblioteca España and hiked Parque Arví. You’ve done it all. Now you’re ready to experience more of the city, a town former Mayor Luis Perez called “an urban poem.” Here are three parks, three...

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Visiting Medellín, Colombia: A Beginner’s Guide (Part 1)

You’re in Medellín for a while. Before you settle in your hostel or apartment, or throw yourself head first into a new job, or begin your studies at the Universidad de Medellín, get to know your nook of the city and its surrounding neighborhoods. Here’s how. December through mid-January, Medellín is illuminated by Christmas displays. Highlights of the free tour include Christmas lights along Medellín River and La Playa Avenue and a technologicall...

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Preparing for a Visit to Kauai Through Newspapers, Film, Television, Music, and Literature

Full participation in small town life entails tracking the web of high profile out-of-town visitors and remembering any time the town or region was featured in newspapers, film, television, music, or literature. This is especially true of Kauai, the smallest of the four major Hawaiian islands. People who live on Kauai might gossip that Oprah flew a helicopter to Puka Dog or that Tiger Woods visited Brick Oven Pizza or that Evangeline Li...

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From Panama to Colombia: A Guide to Traveling Between North and South America

While planning to travel from North America to South America, it is easy to look at a map of the area and assume that the journey from Panama to Colombia is as easy as catching a short bus ride. While the 29,000-mile Pan-American Highway stretches all the way from Alaska to Argentina, there is just one 100-mile section that is not passable by any vehicle. This swath of rather dangerous land separating Panama and Colombia is called the Darien...

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Places to Study in Panama’s Marbella Neighborhood

Santino Café On Facebook Located: Av Balboa con Av Aquilino de la Guardia, Galerias Balboa. Hours: Mon - Fri: 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.; Sat: 7:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Item: double espresso on ice Price: $2.75 ($2 for the first shot and $.75 for the second) Electricity & wifi: plug-in available along the back wall; speedy internet; password provided by cashier Description: I made the mistake of trying to order like I was at a Starbucks – “grande iced...

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The Search for What’s Real on Kauai’s Nā Pali Coast, Part III

17 Absolutely Essential Items for Camping, Squatting, or Living Long-Term in the Kalalau Valley 1. Spices – small plastic containers of potent powders and flavorful flakes like oregano, chili powder, garlic, onion, ginger, turmeric, lemongrass don’t weigh much and do wonders for occasionally feeling civilized in the middle the wilderness. Ditto for hot sauces.     2. Vacuum-sealed burritos – not everyone wants to catch fish, cut vegetab...

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