Hundreds of distilleries produce and market mezcal in Oaxaca. Photo © Justin Henderson.

All About Oaxacan Mezcal

With agave growing in hundreds of small-scale family plots, mezcal is a modern-day cultural phenomenon in Oaxaca—one with deep historical roots. Mezcal has been the “national” drink of the state of Oaxaca for centuries, and though perhaps the method to make it is more mechanized than in the past, it is mostly the same hands-on, handmade operation.

Beach at Cahuita National Park. Photo © Christopher P. Baker.

Things to See and Do in Laid-Back Cahuita

The offbeat village of Cahuita is an in-vogue destination for backpackers and escapist vacationers who like things simple. What you get are golden- and black-sand beaches backed by coconut palms, an offshore coral reef, and an immersion in Creole culture, including Rastafarians, with their dreadlocks and a lifestyle that revolves around reggae, Rasta, and—discreetly—reefer.

Rugby and beer are a winning combination in New Zealand. Photo © by David Blaiki, licensed Creative Commons usage.

The New Zealand Lifestyle

What will life be like for you in New Zealand? That answer is as individual as you are. Whether you’re off to become a banker in Auckland, a student in Southland, or a farmer in Marlborough, there is a good chance you can find a lifestyle that suits you.

Floating market in Amphawa, Thailand.

Adjusting to Living Abroad in Thailand

The combination of a vibrant, cosmopolitan capital, a fast-growing economy, friendly people, a higher standard of living, and a beautiful landscape make Thailand a paradise. If you’re considering a move abroad to this Asian country, keep an open mind and learn what you need to know to make it home.

Cookies rest on a saucer beside a cup of tea.

London’s Tea Culture

It is odd how some stereotypes never really ring true to form, and yet others are spot on. Certainly the stereotype of the British loving tea is very apt, and this affinity with a cup of tea is incredibly pervasive; tea is offered on social and business calls, it’s a mid-afternoon snack, it’s a meal, it is everything and anything it needs to be. As a foreigner, learning these customs and all the various meanings of ‘tea’ makes life in London much easier, and much more enjoyable.

Mmmm, chocolate. Photo © Cindy Eccles/123rf.

A Taste of History: Aztec Chocolatl

The refreshing drink chocolatl enjoyed by Aztec nobility is a remote but distinct relative of the chocolate consumed today by hundreds of millions of people. In Mexico, chocolate is more than mere dessert; used to spice the tangy moles of southern Mexico, it’s virtually a national food.

Monumento al Indio. Photo © Suzanne Van Atten.

Sights in Isabela, Puerto Rico

The area known today as Isabela was once ruled by Cacique Mabodamaca, one of the island’s most powerful Taíno chiefs. The town of Isabela features a charming little plaza anchored by a church, as are all town plazas, impressive cultural sights, ruins, and one of the most hair-raising mountain drives.

New Orleans Jazz Procession Fountain. Photo © legacy1995/123rf.

The Evolution of Jazz and Blues in New Orleans

While New Orleans is known for its fine art galleries and historical architecture, its biggest artistic claim to fame is indeed its music. This city is one of the world’s most dynamic live-music scenes. New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz, blues music has its origins just upriver, and it was here in the 1950s that they mixed together to form rhythm and blues.

Catedral Metropolitana in San Salvador. Photo © Milosk50/Dreamstime.

San Salvador, El Salvador’s Urban Heart

Chaotic, congested, and consistently noisy, San Salvador is El Salvador’s capital and resilient urban heart. Battle hardened by civil unrest and natural disasters, the city bears the scars of its past with a fierce determination to create a better future, and it seems that perhaps finally, the tide is turning. It’s an exciting time of transition, and as a visitor, there is much to see and do. In fact, San Salvador can be the perfect base for your travels, with all of the comforts and amenities you need and many of the country’s top sights within a short bus ride away

A statue of Nobel Prize laureate Miguel Ángel Asturias on Avenida La Reforma. Photo © Al Argueta.

Sights in Guatemala City’s Zona 10

Zona 10 is home to Guatemala City’s most pleasant commercial district, a beautiful example of 19th century architecture, and two excellent historical museums–one a definite must-see for anyone with even a passing interest in Mayan culture.