China is an incredible and enchanting country that will captivate you with its stunning scenery and fascinating history. With 3,705,407 square miles of land, naturally there are an endless array of things to do in China, no matter what style of travel you prefer.
When you see the incredible palace that served the Ming and Qing dynasties and the beautiful gardens they created in Beijing, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back to a very different time in this Asian nation’s history.
The famous army of clay soldiers in Xi’an will give you deeper insight into the intriguing, often superstitious beliefs at the core of this ancient country’s society. Exploring the history of China will leave you with countless incredible stories to share with the loved ones you return home to.
However, some of the best things to do in China involve exploring the myriad natural wonders that are scattered across the “Land of Dragons.” If you’re a real nature lover and you’re planning to pay China a visit, these sites should rank among the top breathtaking places on your bucket list!
My heart aches. I feel as if I cannot breathe. I’m halfway through a tour of the Kigali Memorial Centre, which opened in 2004 on the site where 250,000 victims of the Rwanda genocide were buried in mass graves. I find myself so overwhelmed that I have to go outside to get some air.
Strolling among those graves in lovingly landscaped gardens filled with palms, roses, trellised vines and bamboo trees, I slowly regain my composure. But the devastating emotional impact of visiting the memorial still lingers now, a year later.
It’s not as if I didn’t know about the Rwanda Genocide, in which more than a million Tutsi and moderate Hutu were butchered by Hutu extremists (known as the akazu) over a 100-day period back in 1994.
My best friend, who was working with the Peace Corps in neighboring Burundi, was evacuated by UN tanks as the brutal, ongoing civil war spread across borders. But knowing that something happened and understanding how and why it happened are two very different things.
The history of the Rwanda genocide that you’ll learn at the Kigali Memorial Centre will leave you deeply shaken, stirred and saddened. But in order to truly appreciate the ways in which community-focused ecotourism is helping Rwanda to heal and rebuild itself, you must first understand how those tragic events of 1994 came to pass.
The Responsible Travel slogan “Leave no trace” encourages us to explore the great outdoors without altering them. This mentality should obviously apply when visiting any of the 83 million acres of National Parks in the US, or the hundreds of other national parks around the world. But when it comes to protecting these treasured landmarks, leaving no trace just isn’t enough.
If you visited a National Park this year, there’s no doubt you saw garbage. You may have even seen vandalism or other saddening signs of disrespect. In 2014, a graffiti artist tagged iconic natural landmarks in at least 10 National Parks — unwisely posting selfies of the work to social media. This summer saw four young men wander off the path at Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone, endangering the fragile ecosystem in an area that was clearly marked off-limits.
Crowds flooded every park from Death Valley to the Everglades in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the National Parks, presumably toppling last year’s record of 282 million visitors. And while it’s wonderful to see so many people getting outside and exploring these beautiful spaces, the increasing crowds are a constant reminder that we must take great care of these places if we wish to continue enjoying their wild grandeur.
The following responsible travel tips will help you be the best National Parks visitor you can be, so that we can preserve these precious places for our children and the generations to follow.
When we first started Green Global Travel in 2010, we literally knew nothing about blogging. Using social media, WordPress and SEO were completely unfamiliar to us.
So instead we fell back on our professional experience: Bret had a 15-year career as a writer/editor and managed a network of college newspapers, while Mary co-managed an entrepreneurial business in corporate personality profiling for 10 years.
We approached growing our blog just like we would build any other business. And along the way, we learned how to combine our respective business backgrounds with the essential tools of blogging, creating a niche-focused brand that’s frequently ranked among the best travel blogs in the world.
The results have far exceeded our expectations, taking us to more than 35 countries on six different continents, landing us work with National Geographic and Yahoo Travel, and leading us to create a digital media marketing agency (Green Travel Media) that provides freelance work for over 20 of the world’s top travel bloggers. But our greatest joy comes from sharing our success with others, helping them build their own distinctive blogging brands and providing a basic blueprint for success.
We’re excited to announce we’re heading to TBEX Manila on October 13, leading a 2-day “Building a Better Brand” Intensive. Expanding on themes from our TBEX Athens talk (which attendees described as “motivating and life-changing”), this workshop takes a mastermind-style approach, combining detailed analysis with loads of actionable items.
We’ll cover mission statements, taglines, content/social media strategy, PR outreach, freelance work and monetization. We’ll refine your branding message and give tips on using that message in every aspect of your business.
Here are a few testimonials from attendees of the workshop we did at TBEX Costa Brava last year:
“I attended TBEX Costa Brava as a speaker, but also wanted to use my time there to further my blog and brand. When I read about Bret and Mary’s branding workshop it sounded like a great fit, as I was in a place where my website had become a mishmash of ideas. From the first 10 minutes I knew this would be a good investment, and I was not disappointed. Not only did I learn a lot about my own voice, I was able to make decisions and get feedback from other participants as well as Bret and Mary. Since implementing their advice I have seen a big change in my website and business. I could not more highly recommend this course!” –Amanda Ponzio Mouttaki
“Bret and Mary’s workshop on Branding was one of the smartest financial decisions I’ve made in recent memory. [They] gave me invaluable feedback on my website, and explained why certain things I had never really thought about were essential to its success. From focusing my message to community building, from finding my voice as a writer and then using it to create a brand, they crafted a tutorial that has helped me redirect my energy into concrete building blocks for growing my site. I am very grateful to Mary and Bret for being so candid, for sharing their experience, opinions, feedback, and expertise, and for treating us not only as clients but as part of their travel writing family.” – Michael Miszczak
At just $200 for an 8-hour session (4 hours each day), this offers TBEX attendees nearly a 60% off the cost of our blogging mentorships (a $350 value). With less than 10 slots available, visit the TBEX Manila website to sign up before spaces are gone. Hope to see you there!
When people ask me what’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen in my life, Patagonia always comes to mind. Ladakh is also up there, and so are the Faroe Islands, but Patagonia has to be the winner. The southernmost tip of South America, first of all, is stunning – a land of granite mountains, seemingly impregnable; pristine green blue lakes and mighty glaciers, that will make your jaw drop with their sheer beauty and power.
Patagonia is also a haven for adventurers. If you love hiking, you can just walk out of any town or village to find yourself in stunning surroundings. Or you can choose to head to Torres del Paine in Chilean Patagonia and hike the 4-day long W Trail, with views of Grey Glacier. Adventure opportunities are endless in Patagonia – from rock climbing to glacier walking, wildlife viewing to cruising to the edge of glaciers, Patagonia truly is a place you will never forget.
Here are our 7 favorite things to do in Patagonia for nature and adventure lovers, including both Chile and Argentina.