#MatadorN reader @katcarney catching a glimpse of the #MilkyWay at Joshua Tree National Park. Thanks for tagging #travelstoke!
#nightsky #astronomy #stars #nightphotography #joshuatree #california #desert #longexposure
OHIO IS A RELATIVELY QUIET, unassuming state. It doesn’t make it into the national news all that much unless it’s football season or election season, and while the state does have a vibrant culture, unlike those of the coastal states, it tends to be a softer-spoken Midwestern culture.
Because of this polite Midwestern-ness, Ohioans may not speak up as loudly as they ought to on important issues, but there’s a lot that other Americans can learn from the great state of Ohio.
1. It pays to be indecisive.
Everyone always talks about electoral indecision as if it’s a bad thing. What those people don’t realize is this: no one panders to someone who has already made up their mind.
2. If you love him, let him go.
He’ll be super shitty when he leaves for someplace warmer, but then he won’t win all the championships he wanted and will come grovelling back to you in the exact way you always fantasized he would.
3. Diversify your portfolio.
Seriously, investing all of your town’s money in a single manufacturing industry is not going to pay off in the long run. Trust us.
4. If you can’t get the best musical acts to stop in your city, just build a Hall of Fame that serves as a giant monument to their egos.
They’ll suddenly be much more interested in dropping in. Seriously though, could someone else take the Hall of Fame? We can’t get Bono to leave.
5. The best waterfronts are on lakes and rivers.
In 100 years, when Florida and New Jersey are underwater, our shorefront property values are going to be skyrocketing. Also, it’s way easier to waterski on smooth water.
6. One of the best ways to get an employee to perform better is to give them a lot more money.
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton in 2013? Kinda sucked ass. Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton in 2014 after we dumped $115 million dollars on him? Kinda awesome.
7. Just because your neighbor is doing something doesn’t mean you should do it, too.
Especially if the thing your neighbor is doing is owning slaves.
Plenty of superlatives are (justifiably) thrown around to describe the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, but the most powerful is this: It’s the “most photographed event in the world.” Check out their Instagram to see why.
One of my most vivid childhood memories is of standing in a field on the outskirts of Albuquerque at dusk, breath misting into the October air, watching as the bright glow of hundreds of flames lifted flocks of colorful bubbles into the air. Yes, it’s the “largest ballooning event on Earth.” Yes, it’s the “largest annual international event held in the United States.” But all that aside, all you really need to know is: It is one hell of a beautiful sight, and one you won’t soon forget.
2. Hatch Chile Festival
There’s one thing the small town of Hatch, NM, located in a fertile agricultural valley of the Rio Grande, is known for. And if you really want to learn what it’s all about, plan a visit during their annual Hatch Chile Festival in late summer.
The terroir of the region contributes to the Hatch chile’s unique flavor profile, and the crop is shipped all over the world every harvest season, including to many US grocery stores. At the festival, you’ll get to sample classic dishes that feature the chile as an ingredient, and of course grab a plate of rotisserie-roasted peppers to eat on their own.
From: 10 cultural events in New Mexico you shouldn’t miss
#MatadorN reader @gregorsnell checking out Port Douglas & Daintree from above in tropical North Queensland, Australia. #travelstoke
#queensland #australia #windowseat #nature #portdougas #daintree #ocean #travel
1. It’s fucking empowering. Any time you do something on your own, despite what the haters might think, you’re empowering yourself. This is especially pertinent for solo female travelers, who deal with all kinds of negative energy and commentary that might otherwise dissuade them from traveling. So long as we don’t let the naysayers get in the way, the experience of traveling as an independent female is about the most awesome feeling you can have.
2. It’s something to brag about. Hell yes you hiked the Sierra High Route on your own — and it was no big deal.
3. It helps promote the image of a strong woman. You’re a walking billboard for female empowerment. When others say it’s unsafe for a woman to travel on her own, you smile and show them photos from your recent solo trip to New Delhi.
4. You can do whatever you want, whenever you want. Volunteer with a women’s microenterprise group in Ghana? Spend the afternoon shopping at the Siam Paragon in Bangkok? No one’s there to tell you the way you spend your time is boring, annoying, complicated, frivolous, touristy, or too “girly” (what does that even mean, anyway?).
5. You can have sex with whoever you want. You can let your inhibitions go, especially because you don’t have to see any of your romantic prospects ever again if you don’t want to. You can practice your flirting with total strangers. You can become romantically involved with no strings attached.
6. You don’t have to have sex with anyone. No one’s there to pressure you into starting a family and settling down. In fact, it’s awesome to go somewhere and just enjoy being in love with yourself.
7. You’ll form special bonds with the people you meet on the road. Sometimes we hide behind our other travel partners, seeking familiarity over getting to know new people. But the friends we make on our own abroad are a super special bunch.
8. You’re proof that other people aren’t necessary in order to have a great trip. Some people can’t comprehend the fact that solo female travelers are able to enjoy themselves without friends, family, or boyfriends/girlfriends, but you still had a baller time club-hopping around New York City without people tagging along.
9. You don’t have to worry about makeup/fashion. The media puts so much pressure on women to “look good,” but the same standards of beauty don’t necessarily translate abroad. The people you meet while traveling are getting to know you for the first time and don’t know what you look like otherwise anyway.
10. You’re an active part of breaking down stereotypes. The more women travel on their own, the less other people will think it’s so strange. You’re able to prove that women aren’t weak, dependent creatures who can’t fend for themselves in this “big, scary world.”
Amazing view on the way to Glenorchy, New Zealand. Photo by #MatadorN reader @blacksheeptouring. Thanks for tagging #travelstoke!
#newzealand #queenstown #glenorchy #wildflowers #nature #travel
In Germany, mentioning someone’s birthday before the date is considered bad luck. If your German friends are nice enough to give you a birthday present, don’t open it until your actual day. Or at least don’t tell them you opened it before your actual day.
If you’re sending someone a gift, make sure to write “GEBURTSTAG” in all-caps, red-alert style, so they don’t inadvertently open it a few days early and bring unknown horrors upon themselves.
2. You buy your own cake.
Given how silent everyone is pre-birthday, you may be tempted to drift right through the day unnoticed. Particularly if you’re at work, things will get awkward around the early afternoon when everyone expects a cake and you don’t deliver. In Germany, this custom is referred to as einen ausgeben.
If your coworker drops by to wish you “Alles Gutes zum Geburtstag” (all the best for your birthday), the jig is up. You’re going to need to get that cake. Stall for time by requesting a pre-cake cigarette to ponder your advancing age and eventual doom. Everyone in Germany smokes and is a little morbid, so this won’t seem too out of the ordinary. Sprint out the door to the nearest bakery, buy the first Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (black forest cherry cake) you see, and throw it on the office coffee table before anyone catches on.
3. You organize (and pay for) your own party.
There are pros and cons to this one. Cons first. 1. Party planning is annoying. 2. Buying food and drink for all your friends is a lot of money. And 3. It’s your damn birthday! Aren’t people supposed to be celebrating you?!
On the positive side, you get to have total control over what you do on your birthday and who celebrates with you — no randoms invited.
4. Your celebration seems to personally offend every German in sight, even the ones who are participating in it.
Get used to that prickly, “I’m-being-watched” feeling, because more often than not, your German neighbor/fellow tram passenger/coworker is expressionlessly, dispassionately observing your every move. It’s such a startling thing for most outsiders that the German Der Spiegel, one of the largest publications in Europe, wrote a whole article about the phenomenon.
So don’t let the ocular pat-down worry you, that’s just how they do it in Germany.
Check out these reflections! Photo by #MatadorN reader @roadsruneveron from a camping trip in #NewZealand. #Travelstoke!
#nature #stars #nightsky #reflection #camping #outdoors #milkyway #astronomy #travel