The Arctic Circle Is Owned by 8 Countries, and 4 More Facts We Think You’ll Love

Ready to learn some good stuff?

Geographers define the Arctic Circle as everything at or above 66 degrees and 34 minutes north latitude -more simply, anything between the 66th and 67th parallels in the Northern Hemisphere.

The Arctic Circle keeps strange hours, with the entire winter being more or less dark and other times of the year being sunny all the time. The land encompasses less than 4% of the globe’s surface, but it’s home to hundreds of thousands of people.

If you’re intrigued to know more, we’ve got you covered – below are 5 super cool facts about the Arctic Circle!

5. It’s not totally dark.

Image Credit: Wikipedia

First of all, even if the sun doesn’t make it all the way over the horizon, there’s still a sort of twilight that lends light to the skies. Even if the cities there don’t get a true sunrise for up to 65 days each winter, it’s not completely dark all the time.

If you’re looking for the “astronomical polar night” you’ll have to head farther north than 88 degrees latitude, where there are no human settlements. There, the complete and total darkness lasts for around 11 weeks.

4. It’s owned by 8 different countries.

Image Credit: Wikipedia

The United States, Canada, Russia, Norway, Finland, Greenland, Denmark, and Sweden all own land that falls north of the border for the Arctic Circle.

That’s fun!

3. It’s far colder in the Antarctic Circle.

Image Credit: Wikipedia

All of the seawater beneath the North Pole moderates the climate, while the South Pole is a larger, deeper landmass with a far lower average winter temperature – -76 degrees F. The North Pole only (!) gets down to around -40 degrees F.

There are no human settlements in the Antarctic Circle.

2. Murmansk, Russia, is the biggest city.

Image Credit: Wikipedia

It’s home to around 295,000 people, as well as the tallest building (236 feet high) in the Arctic Circle.

The second largest city, Norilsk, is also located in Russia, and famous for its mining operations and the historic Nord Kamal Mosque.

Around 295,000 people live in Murmansk, a port city founded in 1916 at the height of World War I. One of its Soviet-era landmarks, the 236-foot (72-meter) Arktika Hotel, is the tallest building north of the Arctic Circle.

The region’s second-largest city is Russian, too. Norilsk, a community of some 179,554 souls, is famous for its mining operations and the historic Nord Kamal Mosque. Outside of Russia, the Arctic Circle’s most populous municipality is Tromsø, Norway, which boasts the world’s northernmost university.

1. It’s shrinking.

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Earth’s axial tilt is changing, which means every 40,000 years or so, the boundary line retreats by between 46 to 49 feet.

Scientists project that the first human settlements will move outside the Arctic Circle by 2050.

I’m feeling ready to best someone at a trivia game any time, anywhere!

What’s your favorite fact about the Arctic Circle? If you’ve got one, lay it on us in the comments!

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Flight Attendant’s Video Highlights All of the (Many) Things You Should Never Touch on an Airplane

We’re all thinking more about germs and what we touch when we’re in public these days, and that goes double for indoor, confined spaces like airplanes. And while you’re probably not under any kind of illusion that commercial aircraft are super duper clean places, this flight attendant’s TikTok should probably still come with some kind of trigger warning.

Seriously, if you were a germaphobe before the whole pandemic situation, you might not want to subscribe to Kat Kamalani’s TikTok.

Kat has gone viral will all kinds of insider videos, in which she shares tips, tricks, and behind-the-scene knowledge from the airline industry.

Image Credit: TikTok

This video, though, shows all of the places on airplanes that people touch and touch and touch – and that only get cleaned at the end of the day.

As someone with a fairly severe peanut allergy, I’ve known for years that planes don’t really get cleaned between flights – which shouldn’t come as a surprise to you, either, given how quick the turnaround is between deplaning and boarding the next set of passengers, right?

Image Credit: TikTok

If I don’t wipe down everything in my tiny sphere, I will end up with puffy eyes and more sneezes than I can clean up with a travel pack of Kleenex.

Which means someone (or many someone’s) have been there before me, touching everything in sight with peanut oil on their fingers.

@katkamalani

Flight attendant hack. GROSS things on airplane. #flightattendants #fyp #flightattendantlife #lifehack #travelhacks

♬ original sound – Kat Kamalani

So, Kat’s video is just confirming all of that for me – and now you, too.

Her video has been viewed over 1.2 million times.

The next time I travel, I’m going to bring plenty of Clorox wipes and hand sanitizer along for the ride…providing I can find them on the shelves.

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A Lucky Duck Will Earn $50K a Year Exploring National Parks

If you’re a certain type of person, wandering the nation’s national parks – even if you’re getting paid – does not sound like your idea of a dream job.

For someone who lives for exploring, for hiking, for communing with nature and spending your days outdoors instead of in an office would seem like what they’d been dreaming of for a lifetime.

If you’re the latter type of human being, good news – you can earn $50K a year roaming America’s national parks.

Image Credit: Pexels

The position is for CEO – Chief Exploration Officer – with Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold. And no, you can’t apply because they got so overwhelmed with applications, that the process is now closed. Sorry.

The person who gets this job will be provided one camper van (with a complete bathroom), and 6 months to visit, hike, and photograph a list of national parks that includes Yosemite, Sequoia, Joshua Tree, Saguaro, and Big Bend.

Your $50,000 salary doesn’t include money for necessary expenses like gas or the van, and you’re welcome to take a friend along for the ride.

Image Credit: Pexels

The website lists the following qualifications:

  • An affinity for outdoor/nature photography and/or videography
  • A deep appreciate for the joy that connecting with nature brings
  • A willingness and an ability to hike through national parks and other outdoor areas
  • A valid U.S. driver’s license
  • Being at least 21 years old

They would also prefer the candidate enjoy and respect the great outdoors, have a knack for seeing the big picture, and be willing to follow all CDC guidelines on traveling responsibly.

Being a natural strong leader with a clear sense of direction is also a plus, as is – of course – a love of beer.

Image Credit: Pexels

The deadline might be passed, but you can root on the person who gets the job this year, and remind yourself to apply next year for your own adventure.

Better yet, maybe this will catch on, and all of the beer companies will hire their own CEO for summer 2021.

Cheers!

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Check Out the World’s Largest Chocolate Museum in Switzerland

It really happened! No, Willa Wonka isn’t inviting five lucky kids to tour his chocolate factory in hopes of finding someone to take over his empire, BUT if it’s chocolate you desire, then it’s chocolate you shall receive.

In September 2020, world-famous Swiss chocolatier and confectionery company Lindt opened a new chocolate museum: The Lindt Home of Chocolate, located in in Zurich, Switzerland.

There is plenty to discover in the Lindt Home of Chocolate, including the world’s largest chocolate fountain.

Image Credit: Lindt & Sprüngli

According to the Lindt Home of Chocolate website, this fountain measures over nine meters tall, and drizzles 1,500 liters of chocolate from the golden whisk into the signature Lindor truffle and back again.

Guests are welcome to take their picture with the fountain, so long as you don’t pull an Augustus Gloop!

Image Credit: Lindt & Sprüngli

You can learn all about the origins of chocolate and how Switzerland became the ultimate chocolate capital, through the museum’s guided tours.

You can choose a self-guided audio tour or join a group tour. Either way, you’ll get to see a real chocolate production line in the pilot plant, which allows you to follow a product every step of the way as it is produced.

And yes, before you ask, OF COURSE you’ll be given a chance to sample some delicious chocolate!

 

Image Credit: Unsplash

The museum boasts an inviting cafe, as well as the biggest Lindt chocolate shop in the world.

In the chocolate shop, you can watch a real Lindt Master Chocolatier as they work.

Savor the chocolate masterpieces they create fresh daily, or even have a Lindt Master Chocolatier create an original bar, customized to your taste preferences.

Image Credit: Lindt & Sprüngli

If the COVID-19 pandemic is still affecting your ability to travel and you know you won’t be able to pop on over to Switzerland anytime soon, check out this video in which the Lindt Maître Chocolatier gives professional Swiss tennis player Roger Federer a personal tour. It’s almost like being there yourself!

I want to see that chocolate fountain, but I don’t know if I can promise to keep my hands inside the ride. I wonder how they prevent kids from reaching in? I doubt oompa-loompas are involved, but who knows!

Which part of the Lindt Home of Chocolate museum do you want to experience the most?

Let us know in the comments!

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Strategies That Disney Parks Use to Preserve the Magic

People travel miles and miles to visit a Disney theme park. We know and love the movies, we’re familiar with the brand, and we’re ready to visit a place where, at least for a few days, we can let ourselves believe in something magical.

But how does Disney do it? We may never know the full secret recipe. Only those who sign on to work for the Mouse are educated on its inner workings, and many of them prefer to “keep the magic alive,” but we can share at least 10 strategies Disney parks use to ensure you have a magical experience.

1. Only a select few may become Disney character actors.

Image Credit: Pixabay

The audition process to become Disney a character actor is tough. Character actors play costumes characters, like Micky Mouse, Geni, or Pinocchio.

After waiting in line for potentially hours, hopefuls are divided into groups of 50 people, lined up in rows of 10, and each appraised for their physical appearance. Many will be “typed out” at this point, and let go.

Professional actors are used to facing rejection consistently, but for the average Jane this part can be heartbreaking. I only auditioned for Disney once, but I remember after being typed out, I passed so many girls openly weeping on my way out.

2. The ‘Disney look’ is very specific.

Image Credit: Pexels

These iconic characters each have a specific look that must be preserved. To be cast as a Disney character, actors have to fit specific height and body type requirements. You have to be between 5’3-5’7 to play a Disney princess, and between 4’11-5’2 to play Wendy, Alice, or a fairy like Tinkerbell.

Male Disney characters like Kristoff, Gaston, and Tarzan are always 6’0-6’3. In addition to meeting height requirements, all princesses are required to have a “slender build” and men are required to have a “strong, athletic build.”

3. It’s time for “Princess School.”

Image Credit: Unsplash

Training to play a Disney park character includes watching their movie and receiving coaching to learn their every move, gesture, and facial expression. It’s important for actors to know the character’s story inside out, down to their favorite color. Actors want to be prepared for any question a child could throw at them. They also have to learn their character’s signature vocal pattern.

Susan Banks, an actor who portrayed characters like Tinkerbell and many petite fur characters told BuzzFeed,

“For most girls, the character is higher than their actual voice…Actually it’s so high that some girls will go on vocal rest because it strains their vocal chords — especially when they first start out.”

If someone is playing Mary Poppins or Wendy Darling, they’ll need accent coaching, but even characters we wouldn’t normally think of as having accents still have a specific way of speaking.

4. Consistency is key.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

All character actors will be taught by a professional cosmetologist how to apply their character’s signature makeup look. They’ll be paid for one hour of makeup/costume prep time each day they perform, and Disney provides the makeup products to ensure consistency. Ben Nye, a professional brand used specifically for the stage and theatrical performance, is the official brand of Disney park actors.

Whether you’re a fur or a face character actor, everyone has to learn the official signature of each character they portray. This ensures consistency from year to year. If doesn’t matter if you visited the park last year and your friend visited three years ago, you should both have signatures that look pretty much the same.

5. “Fur characters” must also be consistent.

Image Credit: iStock

Fur characters are the characters dressed up in big suits. They are not allowed to speak and can only communicate through physical gestures.

Fur characters get paid less than face characters (those who don’t wear the big suits), but they also have shorter sets. A fur character won’t have a set that’s longer than 30 minutes when outside or 45 minute when inside, and they’re guaranteed just as much time to rest as the spend interacting with guests.

Fur actors also have to be able to sign autographs, despite how difficult it can be to see in those suits. (On that note, please don’t ask them to hold your baby for a picture.)

6. Practically perfect.

Image Credit: iStock

Character actors, especially the Disney princesses, are basically expected to look and act perfectly at all times. This pressure also extends to maintaining a certain weight. In an interview with Refinery29, Disney character actor Becca opened up about the pressure she felt to stay trim.

“You can’t help but be judgmental about your looks when it comes to this job — honestly, it’s pretty sad. We all constantly compare ourselves and try to copy each other. I have a gym membership because I feel like I’m supposed to maintain the look I was hired in with.”

I’ve also had friends who work as character actors for Disney echo this same sentiment. Unfortunately the happiest place on Earth can become a toxic, unsafe environment for the young people working to portray these face characters.

7. Every Disney employee is a “cast member.”

Image Credit: Disney Wiki

The “Disney Look” isn’t just for actors. All cast members (anyone employed in a Disney park or store) have to memorize their customer service scripts and follow a specific dress code.

For instance, cast members can only have “natural” hair colors (no pinks and purples), nails must be kept short and a natural shade. Females may only wear one ring on each hand (with the exception of wedding bands). There are even guidelines for the types of hairstyles and facial hair men are allowed to have.

All cast members are players in the show that is Disney parks.

8. There are strict rules to follow.

Image Credit: Unsplash

In an interview with Cosmopolitan, an anonymous princess who played Belle explained,

“You have to smile for an hour straight; you can’t drop your smile until you go on break and are behind closed doors because Disney doesn’t want any pictures of us not smiling. The first few weeks, my face literally hurt…

She goes on to explain how she was expected to greet 172  guests per hour. If she or the other princesses went under, they would get a reprimand. Four reprimands equals termination.

Disney cast members could also be fired for taking selfies or pictures backstage while at work. Those who work as character actors can’t even post about it on social media. They’re only allowed to make comments like, “It was so nice to see my friend Ariel at Disney World today…” Disney doesn’t want social media to spoil the magic.

9. But guests will be held accountable too.

Image Credit: Attractions Magazine

Guests who break rules at Disney World will be held accountable. Spreading a relative’s ashes at Disney World (especially in the Haunted Mansion) is a consistent offense the park strictly prohibits. The ashes only end up getting cleaned up and disposed of, and those caught doing so can be escorted off the premises and banned for life.

And don’t think you can be sneaky about it. Security is everywhere in Disney world, in uniform and plain clothes. If you attempt to injure a cast member, smoke in non-smoking areas, or make a drunken fool of yourself, don’t be surprised if you end up in a not-so-magical jail cell.

10. The magic is in the details.

Image Credit: Unsplash

As harsh as some of these rules might seem for “the happiest place on Earth,” it’s the details that really make a Disney experience so special.

Thanks to careful scheduling, guests will never see two of the same characters out and about at the same time. If Micky is in the parade at 3:00pm, you won’t be able to find him anywhere else until that parade has ended.

Disney cast members are also required to employ the “Disney point,” which means pointing with two fingers instead of one, because pointing with one finger can be seen as rude.

Of equal importance is the idea that children are never “lost” at Disney world. Only adults can be lost, and it will be the job of a Disney cast member to help a child find their lost adult. Disney utilizes tricks like this to preserve the magic.

Image Credit: iStock

Sometimes knowing how the sausage is made makes it less appetizing. Certainly there are aspects to Disney culture that can be seen as potentially problematic, like the expectation put on character actors to maintain a specific weight, but knowing how much thought and detail has gone into creating the Disney park experience also makes me respect it a lot more. The people who work for Disney do so by choice, and most of the time they do it because they love the culture.

Are you more or less in love with Disney after reading this article? Let us know in the comments!

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A TikTok User Filmed Her Ride of Space Mountain With the Lights on and People Are Freaked Out

Roller coasters provide park-goers with a rush of adrenaline that keeps them coming back for more. Match that with the magical production value of Disney Parks and you have yourself the vacation of a lifetime.

But what if that magical production value were to disappear? Have you ever considered what it would feel like to ride an indoor roller coater ride without the lights and the music?

This is exactly what happened to TikTok user @ashleyofpeeee when she rode Space Mountain.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Space Mountain is a staple of the Disney World experience.

Having first opened in 1975, Space Mountain is the oldest operating roller coaster in the state of Florida.

You’ll find it located in Tomorrowland, within the Magic Kingdom.

Those who’ve ridden Space Mountain before will know it is an entirely indoor roller coaster, usually experienced in space-like darkness with flashing lights for effect. See the video below for the full ride, lights off.

I’ve ridden Space Mountain once in my life, as a little kid. All I remember is closing my eyes tight the entire time and praying for it to be over as soon as possible.

But riding it with the lights on would be a completely different experience…

Image Credit: TikTok

@ashleyhopeeeeI FREAKED OUT. The lights were on when we went to space mountain!! 😮 ##MagicMoment ##disneyworld ##spacemountain♬ original sound – disney aesthetic

From her video, we see the tail-end of her Space Mountain experience, with the lights on.

This reveals a web of tracks and scaffolding.

To me, riding Space Mountain with the lights on would be preferable. It would be a lot less scary to know what’s coming, I think, but it looks like I’m in the minority.

Image Credit: TikTok

But isn’t it interesting to see how the roller coaster is put together?

Isn’t this a treat? Peeking behind the curtain to see the inner workings?

Apparently not.

Image Credit: TikTok

All the commenters agree that this ride is scarier with the lights ON, but I still think it would be really cool to ride Space Mountain this way.

A few years back, Theme Park University released a video of the full Space Mountain with the lights on.

Can you handle this, or is it too creepy?

Watching this video of Space Mountain with the lights on actually has me itching to ride a roller coaster, and I don’t even really like them.

Getting to see the inner workings of this ride has helped me better appreciate all the hard work that went into creating it. Plus, with the lights on you know when to duck!

Could you handle Space Mountain with the lights on, or is it took unnerving? Let us know in the comments!

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Issues From Third World Countries That People From First World Countries Can’t Comprehend

A lot of times, we get so caught up in our own lives, we can lose sight of the bigger picture. If you’ve only ever lived or spent time in a first world country, you might not understand just how different life can be in a third world country.

AskReddit users offered their real life experiences living in or spending significant time in third world countries.

1. I never thought I’d take a crosswalk for granted:

“I was in Egypt while it was under Mubarak, and I remember trying to contend with traffic in Cairo.

I had to ask the police officer who was standing there if the drivers obey the lights or the road markings.

He told me that those were there to make the roads look nice!”

– IVTD4KDS

2. I’ve gotta remember this one: 

“I walk with my cellphone hidden in my pants because it’s extremely common for you to get robbed.

I’ve been through a violent robbery while dinning, and very few people I know haven’t been through similar experiences, multiple times even.”

– alulugrace

3. And this:

“I learned this trick from a friend: a gang member tried to rob him, he told him to give him his cell phone, so he took out his fake cell phone and threw it as far as he could.

The gang member went after the cell phone and my friend used that moment to run. The gang member realized what was happening, but it was too late.

My friend managed to get to a store with security guards where they helped him and called the police.”

– EpicAlmond

4. Start clipping those coupons:

“Argentinian here.

You just go to the store expecting everything to be 5-10% more than the last time you went.”

– Alzusand

5. This is actually pretty similar to how Midwesterners give directions:

“I’m American but have worked in 70+ countries over the last 12 years. So let’s discuss Nicaragua….

There are no addresses. None.

Trying to get to your hotel? You’ll get a description of the general location using the rising or setting sun, lake shores and other prominent land marks which may or may not exist! Then the distance from that landmark in a unit of measurement that hasn’t been used for centuries. (The vara…which is about 2.5 feet).

It’s truly amazing that anyone gets anywhere in Nicaragua.”

– TinKicker

6. This sounds pretty scary…

“Having a sh*t ton of deterrence mechanisms around your house.

Burglar bars on all the windows, trellis doors on your front door and then probably one in the bedroom hallway.

Keeping your door locked. If you don’t have a fence you’re just asking people to break in and murder you.

South Africa.”

– liam_eras

7. I’m starting to feel the same way:

“I’m Canadian, and I’ve visited my South African in-laws twice now.

One of the biggest culture shocks for me was having to be locked up so tight.

Being able to safely be in an unfenced backyard or take a walk by myself at nearly any time of day is a luxury I no longer take for granted.”

– JByrde76

8. So much for man’s best friend:

“Stray dogs, which some of them are hostile, are everywhere.

It is not possible to roam in the streets around sunrise when they walk in groups or during night, without risking yourself being attacked by dogs.

I moved to Europe now but I am still unreasonably nervous around leashed dogs that people are walking.”

– hardware26

9. The next time you get annoyed while waiting in line to place your order, remember this:

“Having to stand for hours in bread lines, then for hours at the petrol lines, then for hours at the cooking gas lines, then coming back home to find that they shut off the electricity because there’s too much load.”

– DRIZZYLMG

10. Accessibility to medical care is never something to be taken for granted:

“Here in Peru (specially if you are not from the capital) to get a medical appointment you need to wait 3 months. (For surgeries or actual medical treatments it can take over a year.)

So many people I knew got random appointments just in case something happens.

You’d better suffer the hemorrhage that day or you have to pray for the eucalyptus tea to actually work.”

– lStormVR

11. And I thought the broken washing machines in my apartment building were annoying…

“One aspect of living in a first world country is that it’s normal for things to work. In third world countries, it’s the opposite.

Technology, roads, institutions…there is a tacit assumption that none of these things work the way they’re supposed to, and that’s just the way it is.

When you live in the third world, your roads are full of potholes, your lights go out every week (if not every day), everything is on the fritz and politicians are incredibly corrupt (and yes, I know that there’s corruption in Europe and the US as well, but it’s not like our corruption).

– machu_pikacchu

12. At least the bananas are amazing?

“I don’t live there anymore, but I used to live in Guatemala. Here’s a list of some of the differences I remember:

You could pay people to watch your car if you parked it on the street to keep it from being broken into.

The bananas were amazing there though! The open-air market was one of the best things about living there. Bananas in the US where I moved back to taste like wax in comparison. :/”

– AvengerofSquids

I don’t know about you, but I feel pretty privileged to live where I live right now. Listening to the stories of what others are experiencing is a great way to gain perspective. Suddenly that 10-minute wait in line at the drive-through doesn’t seem too bad.

Do you live in a third world country? What issues do you deal with that people in first world countries can’t comprehend?

Let us know in the comments!

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American Destinations That Make You Feel Like You’re in Europe

The pandemic is still in full swing in the United States. As a result, many countries, including those that are part of the European Union, have imposed travel bans or restrictions against US citizens.

Thankfully, if you’re dead-set on taking that vacation this year, there are at least 10 U.S destinations that will make you feel as if you’ve journeyed across the pond, without ever leaving American soil. And each of these U.S cities is rich with the history and culture of the settlers who founded them.

Let’s take a look!

1. Leavenworth, Washington

Image Credit: iStock

It’s no accident that Leavenworth, WA looks so charming and inviting.

In the 1960s, after thirty years of economic struggle, town leaders agreed to adopt a Bavarian theme and give the city a makeover in order to attract tourists.

They instituted a series of festivals, including the Autumn Leaf Festival, Maifest, and Christmas Lighting Festival.

Be sure to visit the Bavarian village for bratwurst & sauerkraut and enjoy a daily morning alp horn saerenade.

2. Frankenmuth, Michigan

Image Credit: iStock

Michigan’s “little Bavaria” is known for it’s world-famous chicken dinners but it’s that German pride that really makes Frankenmuth special.

Enjoy German-inspired architecture, craft-beer and wine, and don’t forget to visit Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, the world’s largest Christmas store, open 361 days a year.

3. Helen, Georgia

Image Credit: iStock

Here you’ll find a touch of Bavaria tucked in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

This charming little alpine village makes the perfect backdrop for a relaxing getaway.

Tour local vineyards, enjoy scenic water falls and hiking trails, or even scout out the perfect location for your upcoming nuptials.

4. St. Augustine, Florida

Image Credit: iStock

As the oldest city in the nation, St. Augustine has much to offer.

Gaze upon stately castles, enjoy historic reenactments, and even take a ghost tour.

Originally a busy port town for merchants, it’s also a great place for those who enjoy shopping or romantic water-side dinners.

5. Santa Barbara, California

Image Credit: iStock

With its stunning natural landscape and classic Spanish heritage, The American Riviera is hard to beat.

Its distinct architectural style comes from the early Spanish settlers who built Old Mission Santa Barbara, now the County Courthouse.

Soak in the sun and the culture with a walk down Santa Barbara’s Museum Mile or take yourself on the Red Tile Walking Tour.

6. Holland, Michigan

Image Credit: iStock

This quaint but colorful city is picture-perfect for a relaxing vacation.

Tour Windmill Island Gardens or make your way downtown for authentic Dutch architecture and cuisine.

Be sure to visit in the spring, during the Tulip Time Festival for the true Dutch experience, as millions of tulips burst into bloom.

7. Solvang, California

Image Credit: iStock

Visiting Solvang is like stepping into a storybook.

Enjoy this “little slice of Denmark” by strolling through the village, Danish pastry in hand.

Or maybe hop a ride on a historic, wooden, horse-drawn streetcar!

Be sure to take your picture with Danish icons, including the Little Mermaid Fountain, five windmills, the giant red clog Round Tower.

8. Calistoga, California

Image Credit: iStock

You’ll find this European-influenced city Nestled in California’s Napa Valley.

Home to wineries, geysers, and plenty of natural beauty, Calistoga is the perfect spot for endless outdoor adventures.

Take it all in during your hot-air balloon tour.

9. Vail, Colorado

Image Credit: iStock

Modeled after the ski districts of European Switzerland, Vail is the perfect spot for the adventurous vacationer.

Take advantage of the country’s largest free transportation system and visit the cobble-stoned, Bavarian-inspired village of Lionshead.

In the summer, come prepared to hike, bike, and enjoy the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens; be sure to bring your snowboard or skis if you’re visiting in the winter.

10. New Orleans, Louisiana

Image Credit: iStock

A pillar of community and resilience, this French-influenced city is a must-see.

While Mardi Gras always draws a crowd, there are so many other reasons to visit this city, including its whimsical architecture.

Enjoy mouthwatering beignets and Creole cuisine as you take in the romantic and jazzy vibe of French Quarter.

Now you know! You can enjoy the experience of visiting Europe, without the overseas flight. Visit each city’s websites to learn about the safety measures in place keeping both locals and tourists healthy and happy.

Even if you don’t feel safe traveling right now, it doesn’t mean you can’t start planning for the future.

I don’t know about you, but Santa Barbara is calling my name. Which city would you like to visit first? Let us know in the comments!

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You Can Rent a Floating Pod That Can Sail Anywhere!

A lot of people are looking for ways they can take a vacation but still stay safe from the global pandemic.

The health crisis appears to only be holding steady or getting worse, which makes a lot of usual forms of travel ill-advised.

Luckily, there is a brand new way to travel around the world: by taking a floating pod that can fit up to 12 of your family and friends.

The “pods” are actually luxury hotel suites from the company Anthénea. Architect Jean-Michel Ducancelle was inspired by James Bond’s floating pod in the movie The Spy Who Loved Me.

Kelly Allen at Delish explains the wonders of the floating hotel suites:

The floating habitat runs off of solar energy and releases clean water back into the ocean using black and gray water stations. It uses sand screw anchoring to avoid any damage to the underwater ecosystem and environment.

Inside, the dome-shaped vessel offers 360-views of the ocean. The bedroom includes an extra large round bed with an overflow round bathtub that can be filled with sea or freshwater.

There’s also a small living area with kitchen necessities and fiberglass windows that allow you to see into the ocean.

Sounds pretty incredible, right? You can even buy the pod outright and live in it as your second home!

If you’re truly interested, the pods are based in Côte de Granit Rose in Brittany, France.

Even though floating around the world in a luxury pod isn’t something everyone can do, it’s still fun to fantasize about it!

Where would you go if you could travel anywhere in one of these pods?

Let us know all about it in the comments!

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