So it's getting cold and the air conditioners are off as you settle in for a cold winter, but it doesn't have to be the end of sunny adventures. There are tons of amazing destinations that you will fall in love with this October. With beautiful weather and for even better prices than you may have realized, here's to planning your next vacation!
As a lover of food, and a tourism professional, the fall holds a special place in my heart. The summer air cools, the season's bounty is gathered and celebrations abound. This fall, I'm particularly excited because I'm also returning to Galway, Ireland for the inaugural Food On The Edge Symposium -- where I'll experience a second harvest, of an idea planted by Chef Jp McMahon.
If it cost the same, what would you rather spend: seven days in San Francisco, or seven days in Madrid? I know what my husband and I chose for our special occasion vacation. Here are my travel tips so you can create special memories abroad with your loved ones too-on a budget and without sacrificing your travel experience.
It's safe to say this year's winter definitely had us looking forward to spring! We may have theoretically passed that long-awaited first day of spring, but in Canada, Mother Nature doesn't seem to be ready to give up with grace. To beat back our late winter blues, we rounded up top Canadian Instagrammers who've been capturing the beauty of Canada and the rest of the world, whatever the season.
The magnificent 1,000 year old mosque in Cordoba is one of the country's best attractions. If you like art, Spain boasts one of the largest art galleries in the world -- The Museum of El Prado, in Madrid. The museum is home to more than 8,000 paintings and works of art by the country's famous artists like Pablo Picasso, César Manrique, Goya, Velazquez and Salvador Dalí.
I now travel with a smartphone and like many of us, I'm completely guilty of being connected while away. It's nice to check-in for a flight on your way to the airport or book hotels on the fly. Yet it's hard to be fully aware of your surroundings while you're so busy capturing them to brag to everyone at home.
"Page unpublished ... flagged for self harm ... What?" Don't get me wrong, as a director of adult film, I've been temporarily suspended from Facebook a few times. But my community manager pointed out that the pro-choice banner I had published a month ago was nowhere to be found. In English it reads "My pussy, my rules: free and accessible abortion." This image alone generated 1,200 comments -- 17,500 likes -- and was shared 29,000 times. That is, until enough members found the image offensive to their beliefs and flagged it, and Facebook subsequently dubbed it "self harm."
Toronto is facing a political problem that it hasn't asked for. That problem has threatened both the trust Torontonians place in their government and how the world sees this city. We can strengthen our city. We can empower our immigrant communities, create jobs, and create a safe environment. But in order to do so, next year we have to stay focused on policy, not politics.
There's a reason why Animal Farm was written in the style of a children's book -- so people could easily swallow the uneasy truth. In fact, Orwell originally titled it Animal Farm: A Fairy Story, and the child of a publisher was an early fan of the manuscript. But Orwell struggled to get his book, which he had spent almost a decade developing, out into the world.
I feel really lucky to have met a bunch of different people in a bunch of different settings since moving here. But now I'm at the point where I'm looking to move forward in these relationships. What's been difficult is that I lack the language skills to communicate with people beyond what I would share with a new person or casual acquaintance. So now I find myself stuck on the surface or obliging other people to speak with me in English.
I recently returned to Madrid from a trip to Portugal with my sister. I think we both felt a little bit guilty about our lack of interest in the historical aspects of the Portugal experience. I mean, how effed up is it to stand in a palace originally built in the middle ages and say, "meh" to yourself? But I had to own the privilege to get over the guilt. Instead of pretending to enjoy what wasn't working, My sister and I spent the second half of our trip doing all the aimless non-touristy touristy things that we love. And this is what made Portugal perfect for us.
Anyone who has tried it will tell you that moving to a new place by yourself can be lonely. As obvious as this is, it was probably the scariest thing about moving to Madrid. The last year has been somewhat atypical and I've surrounded myself with wonderful people. Learning to enjoy time spent by myself was a top-five goal before leaving for this trip; to really push myself to accept the challenge of loneliness.
It has certainly been a global sporting affair this summer. With EuroCup 2012 in the history books, the world is now prepping for more sporting love with the upcoming London 2012 Summer Olympics. In that spirit, we thought what better way to show our love than with this photo feature by Shanghai-based fashion photographer Yocky Zhang. Shot in Shanghai, Zhang takes us on a global excursion filled with flags, colour and international models.
If no longer -- thank goodness -- the geo-political cockpit of Europe (caught between rival ideologies in the civil war era), Spain cannot be dismissed as a periphery or marginal country out of step with the European project. Spain has all the features of a highly efficient and accountable country, from its ability to produce majority governments from both the respectable left and right, its elaborate system of federalism, and its increased multicultural identity.
There already are two currencies: the "Lutheran Euro," characterized by countries that are based on Protestant work ethic, discipline and thrift. Then there is the "Latin Euro," where style is often more important than substance. The euro crisis is this: The "Lutherans" are balking at bailing out the "Latins."