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Posted by on Oct 1, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The Batik Mystique

A map of Indonesia could be stitched from swatches of batik. From its regional origins in central Java, where creams and browns dominate, to coastal sultanates, where international trade inspired bright colors, batik is the fabric of an evolving nation. “It’s made and used in almost every part of the country,” says Benny Gratha, a curator at the Museum Tekstil Jakarta. “It’s a symbol of our identity.” Visible in everyday clothing as well as in pillowcases and iPad covers, the textile technique uses a painstaking wax-dyeing process; artists dot designs by hand or use a copper stamp. National Batik Day (October 2) marks this UNESCO-listed art form with festivals and exhibitions in Jakarta, Surakarta, Yogyakarta, and Pekalongan. This piece, written by George W. Stone, first appeared in the October 2015 issue of National Geographic Traveler...

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Posted by on Oct 1, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I Heart My City: Sandra’s Lisbon

I Heart My City: Sandra’s Lisbon

Sandra Henriques Gajjar, founder of the Tripper cultural travel blog and author of the Lisbon Travel Guide for Urban Explorers, may have been born and raised in the Azores (one of Portugal‘s two autonomous regions), but she has spent most of her life in Lisbon. “Lisbon’s mix of vibrant youth, cosmopolitan flair, and historical richness [are what sets it apart]” Sandra says. Here are a few of her favorite things about the city she’s proud to call home. Lisbon Is My City When someone comes to visit me, the first place I take them is to the Bairro Alto neighborhood. Spring is the best time to visit my city because there aren’t many tourists around yet, the weather is starting to get warm, and the days are growing longer. You can see my city best from the top of the Albergaria Senhora Do Monte hotel, which offers a unique view of São Jorge Castle and downtown Lisbon. You can walk downhill straight into the heart of Mourari, the city’s old moorish quarter. Locals know to skip taking a photo with the statue of Portuguese...

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Posted by on Sep 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Twitter Chat: Life-Changing Trips

Learning how to weave from traditional artisans in Ecuador. Sipping limoncello with a farmer on his lemon orchard in Italy. Arranging a home stay to get a feel for everyday life in Jaipur. These are the kinds of travel experiences that get under our skin, enrich our view of the world, and change our lives for the better. But finding them is easier said than done. That’s part of the reason National Geographic and award-winning Canadian tour operator G Adventures have joined forces to launch National Geographic Journeys with G Adventures, a new line of experiential trips to destinations all over the globe. If you believe, as we do, that straying from the well-traversed path to travel with passion and purpose can lead to personal transformation—and lifelong friendships that span oceans and time zones—join us for our next Twitter chat, this Friday, October 2. > Here’s how: When: 2-3 p.m. ET on Friday, October 2. Where: On Twitter via @NatGeoTravel. Follow the hashtag #NatGeoTravelChat to join us! National Geographic’s chief media officer Declan Moore (@MediaDec) and G Adventures...

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Posted by on Sep 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Just Back: Queenstown, New Zealand

Just Back: Queenstown, New Zealand

National Geographic Creative photographer Jill Schneider (on Instagram @jillhsphotography) teaches travel photography to high school students as a National Geographic Student Expeditions trip leader. She recently returned from Queenstown, a resort town on New Zealand’s South Island known as the “Adventure Capital of the World.” Here are some of the highlights from Jill’s trip, in her own words: Biggest selling point: There is plenty to do in Queenstown any time of year. During the winter (June-August), the city abounds in outdoor recreation opportunities—from skiing and glacier trekking to dogsledding. But when spring arrives, (September-November), hiking and biking take center stage. Tip: If you love a good walk in the woods, go “tramping” (the Kiwi name for hiking) on the famous Milford and Routeburn tracks. Authentic souvenir: When you’re shopping around town, you’ll see the same souvenirs in every store. Products made from possum merino (a blend of possum fur and sheep’s wool) are the antidote to tacky tourist fare. Insulating wool and soft fur combines to make the perfect material to keep you warm all winter. Merino possum gear—from...

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Posted by on Sep 29, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Travel Sketching 101

Travel Sketching 101

I’ve been sketching my way around the world for five years now, and I can safely say the practice has forever changed me as a traveler. I love how my sketchbook slows me down, throws all of my senses wide open, and paves the way to spontaneous encounters with locals and fellow visitors alike. So, in the hopes of convincing more travelers to embrace the paintbrush and sketch pad as a way to be wholly present while they explore the world—and to record their unique experience of a new place—I’m offering my take on how to get started. Establishing your sketching style is an evolution—but, as is always the case with travel, the journey can be as much of a delight as the destination. The following steps are ones I’ve found work for me, and to help illustrate each stage of the process, I’ve included step-by-step photos from a sketching session in the Costa Brava region of Spain. Photograph by Candace Rardon 1. Choose a subject. Let your natural interests and curiosity be your compass as...

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