Travel

Travel

Life Is Short, So Travel Now!

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Having a lucrative corporate job can be quite fulfilling. But to what extent?

In Alberta, Canada, a couple literally dropped everything to travel the world.

Dalene and Peter Heck had high-paying jobs in the corporate world. They had a good life, but often monotonous. But problems and trials are never too far. At one point, the Hecks found themselves drowning in misery over personal struggles, illnesses and accidents. Then, one day, they realized one very important fact: life is short, so you have to make the most of it.

So yes, you can guess what happened next. Dalene and Peter made the bold move of quitting their jobs. They then sold whatever they have and embarked on a life journey filled with airport checks, passports and visas, hotels, tours and all the privileges and opportunities that no high-paying job will ever be able to offer.

The only plan that Dalene and Peter had when they first started their life of travel was to use all of their savings to fund this new chapter in their lives. Although they had no clue as how they can sustain their plan, they booked a flight to South America.

The couple spent their first year around South America. And like any other first-time travelers, they made the mistake of trying to accomplish too many things in a short span of time. So after a year, they felt beat. After that, they accepted a house-sitting job in British Columbia for a few months.

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Being confined to a single place for a good amount of time gave the Heck couple a chance to recharge, immerse and travel slow. Since then, they have been choosing their next destination based on where they are offered housesitting gigs, allowing them to spend less on their tours while enjoying a deeper travel experience. This is how they got to Ireland and Turkey, which was one of their most favorite trips. They had so much fun in Turkey that they were offered to housesit for the owner again the following year, which of course, they accepted.

While in Turkey, the couple visited numerous places, including Pamukkale, terraces of white carbonate minerals, which Dalene considers “one of the most unique places” they’ve ever been to. But the Hecks did more than just exploring. They visited schools and helped Turkish children with their English.

In the five years of traveling, the couple has lived in Ecuador near a volcano, was almost swept off a mountain while in Peru, sat amongst candles in Jordan, kayaked in Greenland and so much. Today, they claim they are addicted, and the thought of stopping is a bit scary for them.

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The couple has this piece of advice for those looking to follow their path, “Go slow. Most people start out by going to each place for two or three days, but when you go slow, you don’t burn out as quickly and you get a richer experience. You understand a place, rather than just grabbing a selfie and moving on.”

A luxury hotel recreates poverty conditions for tourists

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In the South African city of Bloemfonteine​​, a hotel chain called Emoya Luxury Hotel & Spa has adapted an apartment complex to simulate the South African villages where they live in misery. This complex, called The Shanty Town, has adopted the “Play to be poor for a while” slogan, and it’s designed for upper-class tourists who want to feel poor for a few days without sinking their feet in the mud.

Shanty Town scenario
The Shanty Town scenario

The “poor village” has 12 cottages that keep a poverty facade (with wood and tin houses), so that those ones who fantasize about being homeless for a few days don’t stop feeling the comfort. The surroundings and the history of the place were reconstructed following business purposes: the cabins are immersed in an waste environment (placed there as the attrezzo), the bathroom is out of the houses and tourists are encouraged to heat water in street bonfires.

The Shanty Town website says: “Now you can experience how it is to stay in a hut inside a private reserve. It is the only village in the world equipped with heating and Wi-Fi … The huts are ideal for teamwork, luxury themed parties or for havig a life experience. Our theme park is completely safe and child friendly.”

Slum-themed huts
Slum-themed huts

For an estimated per night of about $80 (150 thousand pesos), equivalent to half the South African average monthly salary, adults and children can spend a night in a similar cabin to the ones in poor areas of the country. The idea, according to Emoya Luxury Hotel, is to put the tourists in contact with poverty in South Africa.

But the experience is not quite complete because the cottages are located in a private space that belongs to the hotel. Here guests have electricity, internet access, heating, bathroom with shower, and other facilities.

Obviously, this kind of fiction meant for the rich to experience life like the poor got several criticisms. In particular, considering that in Africa the majority of the population lives in extreme poverty.

Why Taking a Portable Generator on Your Road Trip is the Best Decision You’ll Ever Make

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Making the decision to head out on a road trip, whether it’s for one week, one month or one year, is a hugely exciting experience no matter how young or old you are, as is the idea of exploring unknown places, whether that’s at home or abroad. From deciding what clothes to pack, how much food you’ll need to take and whether you’re covered by your current motor insurance abroad, there are a huge amount of considerations and preparations you simply must think about.

No matter if you’re a weathered adventurer or you’re setting off on your very first road trip, there are always items you’re going to forget, but one thing you simply must not overlook is a portable generator. A portable generator is just that – portable – and takes up very little room when travelling around. As well as this, they have a whole host of practical uses – here are just a few:

Practicalities

Whether you’re sleeping in a tent or you’re in something a little more luxurious, like a campervan, there are certain things that will make a road trip just that little bit easier. From hair dryers to portable freezers, a portable generator will allow you to power all of those essentials you simply cannot go without. Being able to generate power for a portable freezer or fridge will mean that you can travel around more freely and eradicate the worry of having to plan your days around finding food and drink.

Portable Generator
Portable Generator

Entertainment

A portable generator, like the ones sold by SGS Engineering, are a necessity if you want to use any sort of electrical items whilst you’re away. If you are road tripping for longer than a week or two and especially if you’re camping or spending the night in the middle of nowhere, then you’ll no doubt go a little mad if you’re left with no entertainment. A portable generator can power a television set and a radio, allowing you to catch up on your favourite shows or news whilst you’re away.

Keep in Contact

Modern technology is everywhere these days, and whilst you may want to appear the reckless, un-contactable type, especially if you’re travelling alone, at some point you’re going to want to let someone know you’re okay. As well as this, it’s important for emergency purposes too. A portable generator gives you the opportunity to charge your phone, but it’s entirely up to you whether you switch it on.

Before you hit the road, ensure you spend time researching which generator will suit the jobs you want it to do, as well as emitting little or no noise when you’re using it.

The Joys of Melbourne

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Although the landmarks of Sydney; the Opera House, Harbour Bridge etc., appear on most Australian postcards, it is surprisingly not the city to visit, should you be planning on venturing Down Under. The city that you should travel to, is Melbourne and if you can only go to one Australian city, then it should definitely be the bustling metropolis of Australia’s ‘Second City’.

Established on August 30, 1835, Melbourne has come a long way since John Batman and John Pascoe Fawkner agreed to share the territory. What was once a village is now a city of 4,347,955 people; second only to Sydney in regards to population – largely thanks to mass exponential growth following the gold rush of 1851. The former tented village that was built upon the embankments of the River Yarra is now the most liveable city in the entire world – a position it has held for the past four years. In the recent Economist Intelligence Unit report, the city was handed perfect scores of 100 in education, healthcare, infrastructure and in the sub-category of sport.

Melbourne
Melbourne

By Yasser

So what makes Melbourne such a great city?

Sport

As you may have guessed by the perfect score, Melbourne is a city that is absolutely loves sport. In 2006, 2008 and 2010 the Victoria state capital was proclaimed the “World’s Ultimate Sports City”. Before we go onto the actual sports in Melbourne take a deep breath.

Aussie Rules is the most popular sport in Australia. The game itself originated from Melbourne, in 1858 and before the Aussie Football League (AFL) was founded in 1990, the game was exclusive to Victorian territory – namely Melbourne. As a result of the sport having its roots in Melbourne, the city has an absurdly large amount of teams, nine to be precise. In a league made up of 18 teams it is crazy to think that half of them can come from just one city. The fact that a city can sustain nine teams pays testament to Melbourne’s sporting appetite.

Believe it or not, Melbourne was not too interested in either format of rugby. In 1997 the Melbourne Storm were founded and within two years they had won the Australian Rugby League title. They won it again in 2012 and Betfair have them as one of the favourites for success in 2014 – at a price of 3/10 to advance from the Telstra Premiership Qualifying Finals when they face the Canterbury Bulldogs on Sunday. In Rugby Union, the city has the Melbourne Rebels.

The definitive sporting landmark of the city is without question the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), which at 100,024 is the largest cricket ground in the world, not to mention the 13th largest stadium in the world. The MCG is referred to as the “Spiritual Home of Australian Sport” and is included on the Australian National Heritage List. This gargantuan stadium plays host the world-famous Boxing Day Test in the Ashes Series between Australia and England in the cricket. It hosts the final of the AFL, Australian football matches, the Rugby League State of Origin match and was the stadia used for the 1958 Olympics. The MCG is so much more than a cricket stadium, it is a sporting institution, its Australia’s home.

Cricket Stadium
Cricket Stadium

By sufw

Melbourne represents Australia on the international stage with the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit used in Formula One and Melbourne Park hosting the Australian Open in tennis. Now these sporting events are not small by any means: the Australian GP is the curtain raiser for the F1 season while the Australian Open is one of just four Grand Slam tournaments in tennis.

There are two football teams: Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City, the latter is owned by the same family that own Manchester City and due to this new found financial clout they have been able to acquire Spain’s all-time record scorer, David Villa.

And just because they were feeling greedy; Melbourne natives are very much into their open air swimming.

Few cities in the world are so intertwined and synonymous with sport like Melbourne is. The city has premier sporting events from practically every popular sport on the planet. It literally appeases nearly every sporting desire, and that for one, makes it absolutely brilliant.

Culture

Those have little interest in sport usually get their kicks out of literature, music or film and well guess what? Melbourne is a world leader in the arts as well!

Let us start with film. The city plays host to the Melbourne International Film Festival and the Melbourne Underground Film Festival. Both of these festivals are in the right place as the first ever feature films were made in Melbourne, while the city was also the location of the world’s first religious epic, the 1900 Soldier’s of the Cross. The city has given the cinematic world Cate Blanchett, Rachel Griffiths, Olivia Newton-John, Eric Bana, Guy Pearce and Geoffrey Rush – making it very much Australia’s Los Angeles.

Performing arts in Melbourne are in the abundance. The Australian Ballet Company is based in Melbourne, while the National Theatre in the St. Kilda suburb is the oldest ballet school Down Under. In 1853, the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic was formed; not only is it the oldest of its type in Australia, it is also the only to be bestowed “Royal” status. The Philharmonic was also the home of the first orchestra in Australia. You may be slightly sick of the term ‘oldest’ by now, but – as stated – the city has a plethora of performing arts and also plays host to the oldest art gallery in Australia. There are more theatres and performing venues in Melbourne than anywhere else. Melbourne comedy is renowned, while the Melbourne International Comedy Festival is the third largest in the world and is considered to be one of the international centres of comedy.

The city was the second in the world to be awarded as a UNESCO City of Literature.

Musically, it has given us Kylie and Dannii Minogue, Jason Donovan, Crowded House and John Farnham. A Music Victoria study found that on a typical Saturday night in Melbourne, 97,000 patrons attend a live music venue to see as many as 900 musicians and 740 DJs perform in their respective locations. The music scene in Melbourne is worth more than $1bn per annum to the Australian government.

There is such a dynamic culture in Melbourne, one that is considered separate from the rest of Australia. Of course, there is some influence from Australian culture but more often than not Melbourne is culturally ahead of the rest of the country and they are playing catch up. No city in Australia can stand up to Melbourne when comparing culture.

Landmarks

The aforementioned MCG is one of the cities biggest landmarks, as to the previously mentioned National Gallery.

Sydney Opera House gets a lot of attention but the Arts Centre in Melbourne is just as much of an architectural triumph, with fabricated steel sprouting off in all directions and looking simply magnificent when lit up in the evening. On the other end of the performing arts spectrum you have the Princess Theatre. Opened in 1857, the theatre is a vision of grandeur and Victorian class; in a city that has rapidly modernized this theatre still manages to hold its own in aesthetics.

Do people enjoy going to the train station: probably not. However, if you are a less-than-frequent visitor to Melbourne, the chances are that you will love going to Flinders Street Station. Like the Princess Theatre it is an old-timey construction, complete with a dome and sweeping arches.

Princess Theatre
Princess Theatre

By Public Record Office Victoria

Then there is the other side of Melbourne; the part that looks forward. This is never more evident than with Federation Square. The public space very much fits the modernist mantra that makes up half of Melbourne. The paving is unique whilst the sandstone facades on the building are both innovative and breath-taking.

There are numerous other landmarks in Melbourne; practically everywhere you turn there is a particular building that is the oldest of its kind.

The beauty of Melbourne is that it has managed to assimilate modern architecture into a city with so much revered landmarks. The stark contrast from modern to old is seamless and feels natural. Few places in the world – let alone Australia – can have such a transition.

Even better than the city are the locals. Australians, especially Victorians, love a joke and the atmosphere in Melbourne is jovial at the worst of times. So if you were thinking of vacating, backpacking or relocating, give Melbourne some serious consideration, because it really is one of the best cities on the planet.

New Zealand | The Land of the Rings

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For those who love the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and the Peter Jackson films they inspired, a visit to New Zealand can be the trip of a lifetime. It’s a chance to visit numerous locations seen in the films, enjoy spectacular scenery and feel the thrill of walking where the hobbits, Gandalf and their allies trod, so around 270,000 fans travel there every year. Flights.com makes it easy to arrange travel, so why not make it your next vacation? Here are some of the places that await you.

Hobbiton

Found among the gentle hills of Alexander Farm, in the Matamata area (two hours by road from Auckland), the Hobbiton film set is private property, but you can visit it as part of a tour. Almost every detail seen in the films is still visible here, including the houses, the Green Dragon (recently opened as a real pub and restaurant) and the tree beneath which Bilbo vanished at his birthday party. You can’t go inside the hobbit holes but there’s still plenty to see and a lot to learn about how the set was built and the films made. Matamata’s tourist information center provides further resources.

Hobbiton
Hobbiton

The hobbits’ hiding place

Perhaps the easiest of all Middle Earth locations to visit is right beside Wellington. There, in the parkland that runs along the edge of Mount Victoria, you can find the giant tree beneath whose roots the hobbits took shelter when the Black Riders were looking for them. There’s full public access to this site, so you can take your turn hiding there and imagine the sound of horses stamping in the dirt nearby.

Weathertop

The forbidding hill of Weathertop, where Frodo was stabbed by one of the Black Riders, is situated near Port Waikato. Although it’s on private farmland, so you can’t climb it, it makes for an impressive view even without the ruined fort present in the film, and the surrounding countryside is highly evocative of the hobbits’ early journey in company with Aragorn.

Rivendell

Deep in Kaitoke Regional Park you can visit the area where the Rivendell scenes were filmed. No buildings remain here, but it has the same tranquil atmosphere and makes a great picnic spot. There are signs to help visitors find it, and you can go swimming nearby.

Fangorn Forest

The more sinister woodland of Fangorn Forest can be found on either side of Takaro Road, near Te Anau (about two hours south west of Queenstown). There are no special facilities here, but when you walk through the trees you’ll find yourself instinctively on the lookout for orcs.

Lothlorien

Another woodland location, the elf domain of Lothlorien can be found near Featherston, an hour to the east of Wellington. They’re part of the private gardens of Fernside Lodge, but visitors are welcome, and it’s possible to stay at the lodge itself. Here you can see the white bridge and the river where Galadriel rode in her swan boat.

Rohan

Guided tours can take you into the Mount Potts wilderness where the set for Edoras, capital of Rohan, was built. Across the golden plains you can see the Misty Mountains (the Southern Alps), and you can try your hand at wielding replicas of some of the props used in the film – Gandalf’s staff, Aragorn’s sword or Gimli’s axe. If you want to spend some time in this beautiful region, you can find places to stay in nearby Mount Potts Station.

The Dimholt path

The dreaded path into the mountain that Aragorn walked to summon the dead to his aid can be found among the Putangirua Pinnacles near Wellington. There’s not much else to see here, but the scenery is truly spectacular and quite scary to visit at dawn or dusk.

Mordor

Tongariro National Park was used to create the grim landscapes of Mordor, with Mount Ngauruhoe playing the part of Mount Doom. Ngauruhoe has been erupting intermittently over the past few years, so although you may not be allowed to go up close, with a bit of luck you’ll get a spectacular display. When it’s dormant, it’s possible to climb it, but the thick ash underfoot makes this hard going. Not far away, by the mouth of Whakapapa Gorge, you can see the area where Frodo and Sam were lost when they first entered Mordor, and the field of battle where Isildur cut off Sauron’s hand. On the other side of the mountain, near Ohakune, you can see one of Gollum’s fishing pools.

The easiest way to see all these fantastic locations is to join a tour, some of which last as long as two weeks, crisscrossing the North and South Islands. It’s also possible to do it independently, by car, so you can take as long as you want to explore most of the sites. Whatever approach you take, you’ll find it an inspiring journey, the next best thing to visiting Middle Earth itself.

Tips to beat your fear of flying

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What’s your favorite means of transport for your holidays? The answers vary, and among them, you will definitely come across someone who says that he’s afraid of flying with an aeroplane for many reasons. Traveling around the world is one the best experiences you can live and, to reach some places, you will have to fly there. Here are some tips to help you overcome your fear of flying:

1. Read air accident statistics

Some experts say that people who are afraid to fly would have to analyze aviation accident statistics to ensure that flying is the safest form of transport. This will help them control the anxiety, insecurity and fear that stems from misinformation.

Relax, it is as safe as it gets
Relax, it is as safe as it gets

2. Picture the flight in your head a few days before the flight

A few days before embarking on your trip, you should imagine that you leave your house to the airport. Imagine the situation until the plane takes off. Moreover, start packing in advance so that you will get in the mood of traveling.

Think of the positive aspects of traveling above the clouds
Think of the positive aspects of traveling above the clouds

3. Be at the airport in time

You have to avoid creating more stress, therefore, arrive at the airport in advance and discard that fear of losing the plane.

4. Search for different distractions

Music, according to some experts, the best distraction because it generates positive emotions and skips the negative ones. You should go for something relaxing, mainly for takeoff and landing. Other forms of distraction are striking up a conversation with the neighboring seat, sleeping, reading a good book or watching a movie or an episode of your favorite series.

Watching a movie is a great option
Watching a movie is a great option

5.  Discard all your negative thoughts

You must think only of the positive aspects of air travel, such as its speed. It is clear that air accidents occur but with the thousands of flights that take place daily, are very few- next to none- problems. Whenever you have negative thoughts, focus on these data.

6. Avoid choosing a seat

You should avoid to take a window seat, because people who are afraid of flying normally tend to look out the window to make sure that the aircraft engine or the wings are in good working condition. This, according to psychologists, increases your anxiety because it is something you can’t control.

It's better to find out about your seat when you get your tickets
It’s better to find out about your seat when you get your tickets

7. Breathe deeply during any turbulences

If the plane shakes at some points, you must remain calm as the pilots and the air hostesses are trained to deal all kinds of emergencies. In any case, you can sit between the wings of the plane as it is the most stable place of the plane, and buckle up for the entire flight.

8. Wear comfortable clothes during the flight

When preparing the suitcase, leave some comfortable clothes for the day of the flight and purchase a comfortable flight-pillow so you can keep your body relaxed during the trip.

9. Accept the problem

Don’t be embarrassed to consider the option of asking for help from a professional.

For more check: How to entertain your children during a long road trip, Tips on saving money on traveling in Europe

By +Nikos Kontorigas

How to entertain your children during a long road trip

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When going on holidays, one of the best parts of it is when traveling to get there. However, in case one needs to take a long car trip with the kids, the biggest problem is to get them to sit for a long time and not to whine about it. So, to avoid this, it is important to organize a few games to amuse and entertain them. Let’s see 5 ways to entertain your children while traveling.

You want to avoid that, don't you?
You want to avoid that, don’t you?

The various types of entertainment that you can do during a long trip with your kids must be divided into age groups of children themselves. For a school-age child, you can see the places you are going to visit before you embark on your trip, then memorize the names of the various cities that you are going to cross and the names of rivers, seas or mountains. This is a diversion that its purpose both is to entertain and to review what they may have learned in school. To enlarge the game you can even combine a historical event or a famous person with each place. You can also buy travel size board games, as such materials may be useful in entertainment or get them portable consoles, so that they can listen to music or spend their time playing video games.

Time passes faster when you are occupied with something
Time passes faster when you are occupied with something

For the younger ones, it is quite different becauce, since you can’t have historical or geographical notions, you have to resort to small tricks, such as their favourite toy, a small book of fables or better yet a box of washable crayons to draw the landscape outside without fear that the upholstery of the car can be ruined. Of course, you should not forget to have a nice stack of papers on which to draw. Always with the younger children, you can play the game of fantasy or invent stories that have as protagonists the various subjects that are encountered during the trip.

Make your plans for the trip and everyone will be happy
Make your plans for the trip and everyone will be happy

There is even resort of comic books with adventures of their favorite characters, so remember before you travel to make a certain stock in order to always have a spare. The last thing you can do is be the one who tells them stories or fairytales. In this case it is very important to be able to tell in an engaging and entertaining at the same time. You can try and go on telling stories about some of your long trips. Children are curious by nature and love listening to stories and events that concern their parents, especially from when they were children too.

By +Nikos Kontorigas

Tips on getting the perfect tan during your beach holidays

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It’s summer time! Everyone is already on holidays or planning their next excursion on the beach. What’s more attractive than a great tan during the summer? Read on for some great tips on how to achieve the perfect tan and protect yourself during your beach holidays!

It's time to get tanned!
It’s time to get tanned!

Save yourself from sunburn

Stay away from the sun by prefering the shade of an umbrella between 12 and 3 o’clock in the afternoon. Your aim to get tanned has to with the quality so you don’t want to spend way too much time under the burning sun. It is good to dedicate about an hour a day to sunbathing, spending 15 minutes on each side of your body and taking breaks for diving.

Eat foods that help you get tanned

The foods with vitamin A and carotene help in the fast production of melanin and are considered your allies on tanning. According to a study by the University of Nottingham in England, students were asked to consume fruits rich in beta-carotene for several months and acquired increased pigmentation of the skin. This substance recreates the inner glow of sun-kissed skin. Therefore, buy sweet potatoes, apricots, mangoes, carrots, peaches, cantaloupe, spinach and tomatoes. Apart from the tanning part, they contain antioxidants that are able to protect your skin from premature aging.

Carrots are great for you in more than one ways
Carrots are great for you in more than one ways

Drink plenty of water during the sun

Always have a bottle of cold water with you on the beach, to keep yourself hydrated and your skin fresh. Water extends the life of the cells of the body, giving you the opportunity for an even tan, while keeping your skin soft. Moreover, under the hot sun, your body needs plenty of water to restore its temperature and renew the levels of fluids.

Water will keep you hydrated and your skin soft during your tanning time
Water will keep you hydrated and your skin soft during your tanning time

Exfoliate to get rid of dead skin cells

Scrub with a homemade sugar peeling two times a week, before you get to the beach, so get rid of the dead skin cells, This process will make your skin glow and will also give it the opportunity to develop new healthy cells and absord the tanning better. Women who exfoliate regularly acquire healthy skin, free of blemishes, which retains moisture and remains elastic and tanned. However, keep in mind that you should rub the sponge gently to avoid creating skin irritations.

Use a sunscreen with a high SPF rate and tanning oil

Under the dangerous rays of the sun, a sunscreen with a high protection rate will save you from burns and will offer you a gradual tan. Furthermore, if you use oil for tanning , make sure you buy one with moisturizing ingredients and a SPF rate of 8 or 10. Spread it evenly throughout the body, to avoid the possibility of uneven tanning. Consider your skin type and do not forget to put a generous amount on your back, elbows and knees.

Block the sun!
Block the sun!

For more on traveling check: Tips on saving money on traveling in Europe, Adventure travel with special specifications, Do it for Denmark! A contest to raise the low birthrate

By +Nikos Kontorigas

Touring Pennsylvania | A slice of Old America

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Pennsylvania is one of the most interesting states in the United States. With almost 13 million residents it is also one of the most populous states, with much of the population located in the major cities of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, and Erie.

One of the original 13 Colonies, Pennsylvania is bordered by Maryland, Ohio, New Jersey, Delaware, New York, and West Virginia. It shares a water border on Lake Erie with Canada. The southern boundary of the state is marked by the Mason–Dixon line (39° 43′ N), which is an historic boundary drawn by surveyors Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon between 1763 and 1767 during a border dispute between the British colonies in Colonial America.

As a vacation destination, Pennsylvania has something for everybody. There are 57 miles of shoreline along the Delaware River, and beautiful woodlands throughout the state including the Allegheny National Forest which covers over half a million acres and is a popular spot for canoeing, hiking, camping, snowmobiling, horseback riding, hunting, and fishing.

American history

Pennsylvania is home to some of the most important historic sites in the United States, and historical and cultural attractions can be found from one end of the state to the other.

The battlefield at Gettysburg – where President Abraham Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address in 1863 – is one of the most important historic sites of the American Civil War. The Battle of Gettysburg – fought between Union and Confederate soldiers from July 1 to July 3, 1863 – was the bloodiest battle ever to take place on American soil; over 7,800 soldiers were killed with almost 40,000 others wounded, captured, or missing.

The Pennsylvania Military Museum in Boalsburg is a must-see for those interested in military history; the museum contains an excellent collection of vehicles, small arms, and other exhibits and artifacts from the 20th and 21st centuries.

The Joseph Priestley House in Northumberland is an interesting place to visit for science fans. Priestley is credited with the discovered of oxygen in 1774, and also invented soda water. Priestley was also a liberal political theorist who published over 150 works during his lifetime.

Pennsylvania has several historic farms and farming communities open to the public, most notably the Somerset Historical Center and the Old Economy Village. Other fascinating destinations in the state include the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum and the Scranton Iron Furnaces.

Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania

Philadelphia

Philadelphia is the largest city in Pennsylvania with a population of over 1.5 million, and is the fifth largest city in the United States. It was founded in 1682 by William Penn and within 70 years outgrew Boston to become the largest city in America, and the second largest in the British Empire after London.

Philadelphia is famous for its arts, culture, and sports. There are a number of world class museums to be found in and around Philadelphia including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Rodin Museum, the Franklin Institute, and the Afro-American Historical and Cultural Museum. The city is also home to a number wonderful parks, including the extensive Fairmount Park which covers over 9,200 acres and is home to the Philadelphia Zoo.

Philadelphia played a crucial role in the American Revolution, and is home to a number of historical sites associated with the War of Independence. Among these is Carpenters’ Hall, where the First Continental Congress began meeting in 1774; their discussions eventually led to the signing of the Declaration of Independence at Independence Hall in 1776. The iconic Liberty Bell can be found nearby at the Liberty Bell Center. All of these historic sites are located in Philadelphia’s Old City neighborhood.

Enjoy sports

If you are visiting Philadelphia and you love sports, you will find something to interest you year round. The most popular teams in the city are the Philadelphia Eagles (football), Philadelphia Phillies (baseball), Philadelphia Flyers (ice hockey), and the Philadelphia 76ers (basketball). In recent years the Philadelphia Union soccer team has also become quite popular.

Philadelphia has invested heavily in sports venues in recent years, and if you are visiting the city you should plan to take in a game or two. To see which teams are playing when you will be visiting the city, check out Philadelphia ticket information before you leave home.

Make Pennsylvania a regular vacation destination

With so much to offer, Pennsylvania is a popular vacation location and many people return to this beautiful state year after year. There are camping sites located throughout the state, as well as many hiking trails for those interested in communing with nature.

Individuals who like to explore will find Pennsylvania to be a great place for an extended road trip. National Geographic calls Pennsylvania’s Route 6, which takes in the Susquehanna River and the Endless Mountains, “one of America’s most scenic drives.” Starting from Wellsboro, take Route 6 to Pine Creek Gorge, Smethport, and on to Warren. There are many interesting sights along the way and the scenery is fantastic.