culture

Get the authentic cultural experience on your next foreign jaunt. Wander like a local; here, there, and everywhere.

  • Vijay Chakravarty
    Published 8 days ago
    What learning the English language meant for me as a non native English speaker

    What learning the English language meant for me as a non native English speaker

    There are things I overhear which push my brain into contemplation. During my last visit to the grocery store, there was a couple along with their 4 year old choosing biscuits for themselves. The mother was showing different brands to her kid, opening up Robert Frost's two roads diverging into a wood for her child! The activity doesn't invite much attention, really, for it's quite normal. But what struck me was the language that the mother used with her child. English!
  • Kirsten
    Published 12 days ago
    Why I left NYC (& I'm not going back)

    Why I left NYC (& I'm not going back)

    I grew up in NYC and spent most of my life there, even attending college at NYU. I've seen my city at its best and worst. I remember 9/11 and years from now I will say I remember Gov. Cuomo's press conferences. Still, I've been itching to leave this city for a while. As rent prices and college costs grew, I realized that living in NYC as a young person is often unsustainable unless you have a very high paying job. When I traveled, I found many other cities that didn't have this problem to the extent of NYC, and that people were less stressed and happier. NYC is also often quite disgusting. There are smells of urine, trash, and homeless people who haven't showered. There are rats, cockroaches, and too many pigeons. Now that COVID-19 has driven out many of the commuters, tourists and workers that would create such a high density population in the city, I wonder if these problems will change. Recently my friend in Brooklyn sent me a news article about homeless people being found dead in the subway. This is horrifying. I hope that COVID-19 will wake us up to help these vulnerable populations. Even before the pandemic, I always found the inequality in NYC to be striking considering the extremes of lifestyles on display. I attended an elite private school in Manhattan, and would often see children of the uber-wealthy get driven to school in black SUVs. COVID-19 has only made these differences more noticeable as the poor face more difficulties in beating the disease. For me, living in NYC has lost its magic, perhaps because it no longer feels like a place where anyone with enough drive and a bit of luck can make it. Instead, it has become a place of the haves and have-nots, which is often decided by the lottery of birth. Living in NYC seems like an endless rat race to me, although perhaps this will change as many have fled the city to work from home in various states. I made the decision to move to Europe (a plan I had decided upon before COVID-19) and although it initially appeared to be the epicenter of the disease, I think the way many European countries have responded to the virus has been admirable, as well as reassuring that a universal health care system is the way to go. I have been living in Germany for the past two months and really enjoying the ability to get fresh air, sun and nature without much stress. I feel healthier here.
  • Amargeaux Rai
    Published 14 days ago
    Time to Learn Spanish!! Chap. 1

    Time to Learn Spanish!! Chap. 1

    Oh, hey!! You're back!!
  • Amargeaux Rai
    Published 16 days ago
    Time to Learn Spanish... Prelude!

    Time to Learn Spanish... Prelude!

    Anyone else feeling like they could use a new hobby? I know with the quarantine going on, being in the house all day can be a pain in the neck!!
  • Heather Lee
    Published 20 days ago
    Peace Out, Corona!

    Peace Out, Corona!

    *For the sake of this article, we’re going to pretend we’re living in a perfect world.*
  • N J Wood
    Published 23 days ago
    Top Ten Endearing French Terms.

    Top Ten Endearing French Terms.

    The French got up early the day they handed out national stereotypes. While the Brits were sleeping in, they pinched a flair for gastronomy, romance and fashion, leaving les Anglo-Saxons to take home bad teeth, inferior lovemaking and good queuing.
  • Heather Lee
    Published 27 days ago
    She Left Her Heart In Colorado

    She Left Her Heart In Colorado

    She's ready. She's so unbelievably ready... So ready, in fact, that she's not even phased by the ungodly time of a 4am departure.
  • Annie Lane
    Published 29 days ago
    Welcome to the Island of the Gods

    Welcome to the Island of the Gods

    Take my hand; the gods are calling you to the secret and sacred land of Bali. Let the heat of the glorious sun embed into your skin, waking every cell within you with its pure golden radiance, as locals welcome you with open arms and wide smiles. A Balinese local once told me “when in Bali all your troubles melt away.” You are starting to feel this now, as the distant, steady beat of a kemanak finds its rhythm in the wild, mixed in with a chorus of voices entwined together signalling the start of a ceremony. Their words are unfamiliar to you, but contain a beautiful melody that make your hips sway slightly as you take this moment to close your eyes and soak in the magic that has been intricately woven into their repeated chants.
  • Jordan Ashleigh
    Published about a month ago
    How Do We Re-Capture That First Experience Of A New Place?

    How Do We Re-Capture That First Experience Of A New Place?

    “Help us leave nothing but footprints, not only for our beautiful planet earth but also through inspiring others to pursue their passions and dreams. Take what does not belong here and create it into something that will help drive our enthusiasm and passion.”
  • N J Wood
    Published about a month ago
    Postcard From The Pandemic

    Postcard From The Pandemic

    Agde is a little-known town one hour's drive west from Montpelier. Traditionally beautiful with boulangeries around every corner, each likely having served there fair share of TV commercial scouts through the years.
  • Catherine Melanin
    Published about a month ago
    THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE MAASAI

    THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE MAASAI

    1) THERE ARE OVER 1 MILLION OF THEM
  • Claire Amy Handscombe
    Published about a month ago
    Language Learning and Me: Norwegian

    Language Learning and Me: Norwegian

    In a new series of interviews about the experience of language learning, I asked Katy a few questions about her experience with Norwegian.