Demonstrators with Frente por los Derechos Igualitarios in Costa Rica.

LGBT Life in Costa Rica

Gay life in Costa Rica is fairly similar to life in the U.S. in that it varies from region to region, city to city, even neighborhood to neighborhood. San José is known as a gay-friendly city, and all around the country there are pockets of openly gay culture.

In May 2013 it became legal for same-sex couples in France to not just marry, but adopt children together, too.

Gay and Lesbian Culture in Paris

Though the Assemblée Nationale didn’t vote to decriminalize homosexuality until 1982, the closet door has long swung wide open throughout Paris’s history—a tradition that is happily embraced today in legal rights, day-to-day life, and festivals.

Rainbow flags and umbrellas at the Tokyo Pride Parade.

LGBT Culture in Japan

Same-sex attraction and love has long been a part of Japanese Buddhism and samurai tradition, according to historical and literary references. Compared to the United States, Japanese society seems rather nonchalant toward gender, as far as dress and mannerisms go.

Buildings cluster along the hillside beyond a citrus orchard in Bodrum, Turkey.

Wild and Cultivated Plants in Turkey

You may be surprised to learn that tulips originate in Turkey, not in Holland. Anatolia is one of the world’s pantries, with plants that have been cultivated for human and animal sustenance since prehistory, and Turkey is one of the few countries in the world to be self-sustaining in food production and still make exports.

Statue of three figures outside Istanbul University.

Turkey Demographics: Peoples, Cultures, and Languages

The peoples of Turkey include dozens of ethnicities—all who hold citizenship are considered Turkish under the constitution—so is very rich and varied culturally. The official language is also Turkish, but many other languages are spoken and represented in the media.

Buildings cut from rock in Cappadocia.

Booking Accommodations in Turkey

Before booking accommodations in Turkey, make sure you fully understand the ratings system to avoid unhappy surprises when you arrive, as the star-class system used isn’t standardized. Turkish travel expert Leeane Murphy shares tips for finding the best rates, understanding what’s included in your booking, and other handy advice.

Olive trees on a hillside in Turkey.

Turkish Olives and Olive Oil

In 2013, Turkey became the fifth-largest olive oil producer in the world. Turkish olives are so different—and prized so highly for the oil they make—than those cultivated in the rest of Europe because of the sandy soil in which the trees grow, the prevalence of a sea breeze, and the sheer variety of the fruits.

Turkish Angora cats are known for their heterochromatic eyes.

Wildlife Native to Turkey

Turkey is a natural habitat for a wide variety of animals. Europe in its entirety is home to 60,000 species, while Turkey has 80,000, not counting subspecies. From migratory birds to ancient species of lions to two almost extinct sea creatures, here’s a little about Turkey’s wonderful native wildlife.

Tamarisk trees growing on the banks of the Colorado River as it cuts through a canyon in Utah.

Environmental Issues in Utah’s National Parks

While Utah’s national parks have generally been shielded from the environmental issues that play out in the rest of the state, increasing popularity has seen a rise of several environmental issues. Do your part by being aware of the issues outlined here.

Clear turquoise water on the Aegean coast of Turkey.

Turkey’s Regional Climates

Turkey’s four western and central regions all have different climates. Year-round there’s some variation as well, so to help plan when and where you’d like to visit, here’s what to expect in the Marmara, Aegean, Mediterranean, and Anatolian areas.