Anyone who reads Green Global Travel knows we’re passionate about ecotourism and wildlife conservation. But it’s less well known that we’re equally passionate about Christmas. So when an opportunity came along to visit Mary’s dad in New Jersey for Thanksgiving, we decided to make a quick visit to Manhattan to experience the legendary NYC Christmas attractions for ourselves.
We were in the city for exactly 24 hours, ending with a lifelong dream of seeing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in person. So to make the most of our limited time in the Big Apple, we designed our own NYC Christmas walking tour.
Stretching across 35 blocks, our self-guided tour took us to all the major department store holiday displays, past iconic landmarks like Rockefeller Center and the Empire State Building, and into public green spaces decked out for the holidays.
You can download and print our map pictured below for free here: NYC Christmas: A Free Walking Tour. Read on for step-by-step directions, photos and more!
Before I begin, I have a confession to make: My name is Anna, and I have a soft spot for animals. Asian animals have become a particular favorite.
In the last three years, I have traveled across four continents. In every place we visit, I always check out what type of animal conservation programs I can visit.
Sadly, animal rights in Asia are almost nonexistent. Which is why supporting animal conservation and responsibly managed wildlife sanctuaries there is even more crucial. In addition to making a difference, volunteering your services while you travel is also a great way to learn more about the local culture of a place.
So without further ado, here are a few of the best wildlife conservation programs helping to save Asian animals…
(This post was brought to you in part by Travelocity. But we will never compromise our obligation to our readers. Our opinions remain our own.)
Every year at Christmastime, my mother chooses and champions a cause. In lieu of fruitcakes, popcorn tins and kitschy socks, she sends out donations to what she considers the best non profit organizations in our honor.
It’s not that she isn’t festive, or doesn’t believe in Christmas traditions. But when it comes to gift-giving, she assumes that the bulk of recipients have handled their own food, drink and decor.
Instead, she gives something that embodies the true spirit of the holidays. Since she started this tradition, many friends and relatives have followed suit. Our Christmas gifts now carry much more meaning, because they’re more personally reflective than any sweater or box of chocolates I’ve ever received. They are gifts from the heart that also help to make the world a better place.
So perhaps this year, in a time when both national and international philanthropy seem crucial, others might be interested in picking up this charitable giving habit. Whether it’s nature/wildlife conservation or the rights of women, children, racial minorities, the LGBTQ community and/or indigenous people, we can all find causes we believe in to support.
I’ve been dreaming of seeing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade ever since I was a young boy, watching the annual broadcast from the cozy comfort of my family’s living room in Atlanta.
Despite the fact that it took me 48 years to make that dream come true, there was no shortage of child-like awe and wonder as Mary, my daughter and I made our way into New York City on Wednesday for a marathon 24 hours in the Big Apple.
Members of North Dakota’s Standing Rock Sioux tribe (along with thousands of their fellow American Indians and allied supporters) have been camped at the Standing Rock Reservation for over 6 months now.
They’re there to protest the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which they insist infringes upon tribal lands ceded to them in a historic treaty and which potentially will pollute the drinking water they need to survive.
Along the way the Standing Rock Sioux have faced attack dogs, rubber bullets, beatings and arrests in their attempt to protest peacefully. The weekend before Thanksgiving, the situation becalm even more charged with tension as Morton County police sprayed a crowd of nearly 400 people with tear gas and water as temperatures dipped below freezing.