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For the Love of Travel: Giving Back to Local Communities

Source: SkitterphotoIt’s much easier to claim that we love something, or someone, than to act upon that claim. Beyond its commercial and romanticised façade, love is a mutual bond that requires commitment, sincerity, and a lot of hard work; a bond that is capable of building bridges where misunderstanding would otherwise fuel hatred and disparity; a bond that can heal the deepest wounds.Can the same be said of our love for travel?Many of u...

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Rock Musician to Rock Climber: One Egyptian’s Epic Journey

Hazem El Shamy on top of Nirekha Peak, Nepal at 6,069m All photos are courtesy of Hazem El Shamy.“Falling was the last thing I remembered; the next thing I knew, I was regaining consciousness on the shore as the fisherman tried to resuscitate me.“When I woke up coughing water with pain in my neck, I told myself I wasn’t going to do this again until I was fully aware of everything there is to know [about technical rock climbing], and app...

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Answering the Big Question: Why Adventure Sports?

Credit: Liza Cicuto/ PixabayWhen asked what the best religion is, the Dalai Lama replied: “The best religion is what brings you closest to God.” What about riding ghastly waves, or meticulously calculating the next move on a narrow mountain ridge? Can you find spirituality there? As long as you do it for the right reasons, then yes, you can.Over the past few decades, extreme sports have garnered a lot of attention. Despite this growing inte...

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How to Choose the Best Suited Kilimanjaro Route for You

Each year, approximately 25,000 people attempt to climb the 5,895 meter Mount Kilimanjaro - Africa’s highest summit and the world’s highest free-standing mountain – around half of whom don’t succeed at reaching the summit. Although the climbing motives may change, almost everyone wants to reach the summit.Many elements contribute to the success or failure of summiting Mt Kili: how physically and mentally prepared you are, the gear you’re u...

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Sinai Trail: Walking the Nomadic Paths

All photographs by Enas El MasryReaching out and connecting is an innate human tendency. Some people reach out through mindful observation, while others do so through conversation. However, there’s nothing like walking a mile in someone else’s shoes to really understand them. For as long as we’ve inhabited the deserts and highlands, nomadic tribes have walked these ragged terrains and made them home. Beneath the surface, many secrets and pl...

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Denmark in Pictures: My Time in One of the Happiest Countries in the World

All photographs by Enas El Masry.“Hello. Is this Enas El Masry?” a phone call interrupted my already slow day at work. “I would like to inform you that you have been accepted to the journalism summer school program to take place this August in Copenhagen.”Quite gracefully, I thanked the lady on the other side of the phone, and hung up. Seconds later, I stormed through the shared workspace squeaking and stomping my feet, telling my friends t...

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The Secret Ingredient to a Memorable Family Trip

We all yearn to travel, to live richer experiences, to broaden our horizons, to learn more about ourselves and the world around us, and more often than not, to escape the various forms of pressure that we deal with on a daily basis. To a lot of teenagers and youth, this sadly includes their families, making traveling alone with their friends the ultimate getaway – from everything.It’s no wonder that when I tell people I’m travelling with m...

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Summer Splash of Adventure: 5 Must-Visit Middle East Beaches

The Middle East can be one of the most exciting destinations for adventure travelers – that is of course conditioned you dig past all that’s commercial and stereotypical. But as spring starts to recede, allowing for the summer scorching sun to settle in, adventure travel in the Middle East becomes as good as a mild death wish. Nonetheless, one silver-lining remains, and that’s the region’s extended beaches along the Mediterranean, the Red...

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Sri Lanka: Hidden Scars Behind Picturesque Beauty

Source: PixabayNo travel destination can ever solely fulfill all of your travel wishes, but some destinations can certainly offer you a lot to feast your soul and senses on. One perfect example is the ‘pearl of the Indian Ocean,’ the ‘teardrop of India,’ or as it’s officially known, Sri Lanka.From jungles to beaches, tea plantations, temples, and more, one can easily describe Sri Lanka as breathtaking. However, what most travelers don’t kno...

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Humans of Cuba: Living a Life of Rhythm and Color

All photographs by Lara SabryCommunist Cuba, a country where time seems to have stood still, capturing the essence of life in its full glory away from the consumerist, free-market societies. Famous for its vibrant colors and 60’s lifestyle, many spectators are under the impression that Cubans stepped off the fast-paced train of change a long time ago, failing to keep up with the continuous evolution that brings in something new each day.Aw...

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Climber Diaries: Hopes and Fears on Mt Everest

Visionary people have pretty inspiring goals, with some doing things like climbing to Earth’s highest summit – Mount Everest – resting at 8,848 meters above sea level. Since 1953, the year Sir Edmund and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay recorded history’s first ascent to the Everest summit, there are nearly 1,000 annual attempts at climbing to the summit, with an average of 500 people actually making it to the top. While the idea of climbing the worl...

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Las Cholitas de Bolivia: Feminine Strength Wrapped in Colorful Shawls

Far from the sweeping impact of globalization whereby different cultures around the world have morphed into visual replicas of one another, a group of indigenous Bolivian women continue to give life to a culture that has stood the test of time, accentuating it with vividly colorful costumes and unmatched feminine strength. Las Cholitas de BoliviaBolivia’s cholas/cholitas (feminine for 'cholo') are indigenous Quechua and Aymara women – predominan...

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Beginners' Guide to Planning a Backpacking Trip

While it is customary for the urban life to make us more reliant and attached to our material belongings, one of the best remedies is to pack your bare necessities and embark on a soul rejuvenating adventure. Although this nomadic life releases you from the daily, materialistic concerns, planning a successful backpacking trip entails many considerations that guarantee your trip will be both safe and enjoyable.A backpacking trip is commonly...

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The Day My Mother's Eyes Sparkled With Life Again

I stood back and looked at her in silence, contemplating and appreciating the masterpiece of a woman that she is. I’ve always treasured my mother for so many reasons, but I never thought the day would come when our roles would switch, leaving me in awe and pride at her ability to still grow and change. Venturing farther than anything she would have considered a comfort zone, the day she decided to go on her own adventure was the day I saw...

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6 Ways To Be a More Responsible Traveler

Did you know that in 2015, the number of international tourist arrivals worldwide amounted to approximately 1.2 billion? That’s a lot of traveling going around. It may not seem like much if translated to percentile, but if you come to think of it as 1.2 billion ambassadors exchanging cultures with others around the world, maybe it’ll then scale to something noteworthy.While tourism contributes greatly to global economy, reaching up to USD...