Thinking of Making a Big Move? Your Guide to Life in Other Countries

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a different country? A country across the globe with vastly different cultures, living standards, and social norms?

There can be major differences in how people live within your own country, much less across the world, but this cool new generator makes imagining what life would be like in another country a little easier. Pick any two countries and compare statistics like the amount of free time people have on average, median income, and the number of active internet users.


12 Photos That Will Make You Want to Visit the Yonghe Temple (or Lama Temple) in Beijing

Located in the middle of Beijing in China, the Yonghe Temple aka Harmony and Peace Palace Lamasery aka Yonghe Lamasery aka Lama Temple is a complex made up of a maze of elaborate arches, stunning tapestries and massive temples, opening to expansive courtyards filled with people on their knees, eyes closed, filling the air with smoke from burning incense. 


To Tip, Or Not To Tip? Your Guide To Tipping Around The World

The plates have been cleared, dessert is finished and the last sips of coffee have disappeared. Your waiter or waitress has left your bill, face down on the table, for you to deal with whenever you are ready —but you aren’t ready. You are not in your own country and you forgot to do your research which has left you with an etiquette challenge.

To tip, or not to tip? 

Don't worry, I've got you covered. Here are some basic tipping guidelines for countries around the world. 


Your Guide to Drinking Coffee In Italy

Italians consume over 14 billion espresso drinks each year (!) making the country’s coffee intake the highest in the world.

That’s A LOT of caffeine.

Baristas in the boot-shaped peninsula take great pride in their ability to extract perfectly flavored espresso every time, so much so that it takes 2-3 years of training before they are even allowed to work in a cafe.


Why You Should Never Tell Men From The UK That You Like Their "Pants"

I and two of my closest friends had taken the long flight from Canada to the UK (specifically York) to be the bridesmaids for our childhood pal. A fellow Canadian, she was marrying the love of her life — a ginger-haired lovable guy from Scotland. 

The days leading up to the wedding were a whirlwind of last minute shopping, events, decorating and general wedding preparations, giving very little time to get to know the Scottish/English side of the family that would be attending the wedding.


Traditional Temporary Tattoos: The Art of Henna

Henna has been used for more than 5,000 years to dye skin, hair, fingernails, and even fabrics in Pakistan, India, Africa and the Middle East. The act of giving intricate henna tattoos is called Mehndi and is traditionally only done on women — never men.

Why not men?


Macarons! The History of These Beautiful French Treats

The first time that I ever saw a macaron was 14 years ago in Paris and I wasn't really sure what I was looking at. 

Why? Well, these tasty treats (which hadn't made it into the cafes and bakeries at home yet) are very brightly colored, often neon green, pink, yellow, and even blue. Colors that looked to me like they were going to make your teeth melt, or were full of artificial ingredients that were sure to give me a tummy ache


Travel Tip: Don't Sit Down When Dining In Rome, It Will Cost More! 

An article published in The Telegraph a few years ago told the tale of a few tourists in Rome who kicked up a stink when they were charged 42 Euros for two ice creams and a bottle of water in a cafe. Thinking that they were being scammed, they even went so far as to get the police involved.

Seriously.

They called the police. 


Reads For The Road: "The Female Brain" by Louann Brizendine, M.D.

I knew that I HAD to read this book by Louann Brisendine, M.D. (a neuropsychiatrist at the University of California) when I saw an interview with Whitney Cummings on Live With Kelly & Ryan (confession: I watch that sometimes), where she talked about how this book blew her mind and inspired her to co-write and direct a movie by the same name. 


Banned Books in The USA: Top Books Banned By Genre + Why They Are Censored

As soon as a book becomes banned, people all over the world want to get their hands on a copy to find out what the latest "controversial" novel has to say.

More often than not, they are disappointed as the content of the book seems a lot less shocking than something that you would see on TV on an average night. A few curse words are sometimes all it takes to ban a certain book from the average school.


10 Fun Facts About The Winter Olympics

Curling, Figure Skating, Ice Hockey, Snowboarding, and Ski Jumping — oh my! I don't know about you, but I am an Olymp-addict — and I can never get enough of the Winter Olympic Games! 

Here are some fun, crazy, and intriguing facts about the Winter Olympics.


What's The Difference Between Ice Cream and Gelato?

Colorful mounds of sweet iced goodness sit in glass-topped coolers, enticing those walking by to stop and purchase a scoop (or two) of melt-in-your-mouth flavors like lemon, Nutella, and blood-orange creamsicle.

Nothing beats gelato.

But, then there's ice cream — served in crunchy waffle cones in favorite flavors like vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry, or mixed with things like cookie dough, or cheesecake.

Mmmmm...


6 Golden Rules For Being A Good Writer

Recently, I had a chance to attend a seminar — led by novelist, and magazine editor Curtis Gillespie — about narrative journalism. Curtis is the editor of the award-winning Eighteen Bridges magazine and has won National Magazine awards for his writing.  

The biggest takeaway for me was, what he called, his six golden rules for being a good writer. 


Reads For The Road: "The Wave" by Susan Casey

I will be the first to admit that the science section of any bookstore can be a bit intimidating.

Most of the books there are by someone with "Ph.D." after their name and are written in a language that may as well be Greek to me. 

Luckily, Susan Casey writes in a language that I have no problem understanding. 


A Day In The Life of An English Teacher in South Korea

The weekend had disappeared quickly, too quickly, and when I opened my eyes, I realized that the fluttering in my stomach meant that it was Monday and even if I wasn’t entirely prepared for it, my official first day as an English teacher had arrived.

On my way out the door, I couldn’t help taking one last glance in the mirror and a long deep breath to try and settle the butterflies in my stomach.


Quiz: Which Book Should I Read Next? 

Is your New Year's resolution to read more? Are you looking for something interesting to read on your next trip? Or, have you just finished a book and want to try something new? 

Take our quiz below to see which book you should read next! 


Your Guide To Christmas Traditions Around The World

Did you know that the first Christmas card was sent in the UK in 1843? That the most important holiday decoration in Peru is a nativity scene? Or, that candy canes were originally all white? 

Check out this fun infographic showing you how different cultures around the world celebrate the holiday season with their family and friends!


Reads For The Road: "The Witches of New York" by Ami McKay

This is one of those books that weaves you into its spell and has such interesting and dynamic characters that you are heartbroken when the story ends because you so badly want to continue to be a part of their lives. 

Ami McKay's third book (she is also the author of the bestselling novels The Birth House and The Virgin Cure), The Witches of New York takes place in 1880, two hundred years after the Salem witch trials.


   10 Things That Are Illegal In Singapore   Some of the things that are illegal are, well, kind of normal — especially to a visitor.

10 Things That Are Illegal In Singapore
Some of the things that are illegal are, well, kind of normal — especially to a visitor.

   Reads For The Road: Escape From Camp 14 by Blaine Harden   North Korea is fascinating because there is so little that we know about it.

Reads For The Road: Escape From Camp 14 by Blaine Harden
North Korea is fascinating because there is so little that we know about it.

   Reads For The Road: Wilful Disregard by Lena Andersson   This novel is a whirlwind of intense and all-to-real emotions.

Reads For The Road: Wilful Disregard by Lena Andersson
This novel is a whirlwind of intense and all-to-real emotions.

   The Book Flood: An Amazing Icelandic Holiday Tradition   One out of every 10 Icelanders will publish one book in their lifetime! 

The Book Flood: An Amazing Icelandic Holiday Tradition
One out of every 10 Icelanders will publish one book in their lifetime! 

   The Best Subscription To Give For Any Occasion   Does your friend live on the other side of the country?

The Best Subscription To Give For Any Occasion
Does your friend live on the other side of the country?

   The History of The Swedish Dala Horse   An important part of Swedish history and culture. 

The History of The Swedish Dala Horse
An important part of Swedish history and culture. 

   Reads For The Road: "The Shadow of The Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafron   This book was recommended to me by a friend that I met while travelling.

Reads For The Road: "The Shadow of The Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafron
This book was recommended to me by a friend that I met while travelling.

   Why Do People In North America Wear Poppies in November?   Remembrance Day is a day that has been observed since the end of WWI.

Why Do People In North America Wear Poppies in November?
Remembrance Day is a day that has been observed since the end of WWI.

   8 Fun Facts You Didn't Know About Halloween   Did you know that Halloween is actually an Irish holiday?

8 Fun Facts You Didn't Know About Halloween
Did you know that Halloween is actually an Irish holiday?

   Why Teaching English As A Second Language Isn't Easy   It may seem like an easy language for those of us who speak it, but it's not. 

Why Teaching English As A Second Language Isn't Easy
It may seem like an easy language for those of us who speak it, but it's not. 

   Reads For The Road: The Social Life Of Ink by Ted Bishop   How can ink be so fascinating, you ask? Here's how… 

Reads For The Road: The Social Life Of Ink by Ted Bishop
How can ink be so fascinating, you ask? Here's how… 

   10 Ways To Be Like A New Yorker On The Streets of NYC   Here's how you can blend in with the locals in New York City! 

10 Ways To Be Like A New Yorker On The Streets of NYC
Here's how you can blend in with the locals in New York City! 

   Karate, Judo, Taekwondo: Your Guide to Martial Arts Around the World   What is the difference and where did they come from?

Karate, Judo, Taekwondo: Your Guide to Martial Arts Around the World
What is the difference and where did they come from?

   Be Polite to Your Waiter In France or You Might Be Charged More!   Waiters can charge customers more depending on how rude they are.

Be Polite to Your Waiter In France or You Might Be Charged More!
Waiters can charge customers more depending on how rude they are.

   Why Are Chinese Gangs Called Triads?    If you watch crime dramas, you have heard the term 'triad' at some point.

Why Are Chinese Gangs Called Triads? 
If you watch crime dramas, you have heard the term 'triad' at some point.

   The Legend of Guatemalan Worry Dolls   What are worry dolls and where does the tradition come from? 

The Legend of Guatemalan Worry Dolls
What are worry dolls and where does the tradition come from? 

   How Important is the First Line of a Book?   The following are first lines from some new works, old-favorite, and obscure stories.

How Important is the First Line of a Book?
The following are first lines from some new works, old-favorite, and obscure stories.

   Don't Point Your Feet In Thailand!    The head is the most sacred part of the body and the feet are the dirtiest. 

Don't Point Your Feet In Thailand! 
The head is the most sacred part of the body and the feet are the dirtiest. 

   100 Best Novels Written In English   Here is the list in order of the year the book was published.

100 Best Novels Written In English
Here is the list in order of the year the book was published.

   Reads For The Road: "The Swerve" by Stephen Greenblatt   A journey through antiquity to the modern age.

Reads For The Road: "The Swerve" by Stephen Greenblatt
A journey through antiquity to the modern age.

   What Is Ramadan? The History of The Religious Celebration   This month-long holiday involves fasting, and abstaining from  indulgent activities

What Is Ramadan? The History of The Religious Celebration
This month-long holiday involves fasting, and abstaining from  indulgent activities

   Interview With The Incomparable David Suzuki   Suzuki is an environmentalist, activist, public speaker, writer, and teacher. 

Interview With The Incomparable David Suzuki
Suzuki is an environmentalist, activist, public speaker, writer, and teacher. 

   Why Are Elephants Lucky?    In some places elephants are treated like gods and are symbols of luck.

Why Are Elephants Lucky? 
In some places elephants are treated like gods and are symbols of luck.

   What You Need To Know About Canadian Food   Here's what you need to know about Canadian food: there is no Canadian food.  

What You Need To Know About Canadian Food
Here's what you need to know about Canadian food: there is no Canadian food.  

   Some of My Favourite Inspirational Quotes   Get inspired for your next adventure with one of these inspirational quotes!

Some of My Favourite Inspirational Quotes
Get inspired for your next adventure with one of these inspirational quotes!

   7 Scottish Wedding Traditions You Need To Know   Scottish weddings are not for the faint of heart — they are loud, rowdy, and  fun!

7 Scottish Wedding Traditions You Need To Know
Scottish weddings are not for the faint of heart — they are loud, rowdy, and  fun!

   Amazing Inspirational Quotes To Inspire Your Next Big Adventure   Check out quotes by actors, writers, and other famous folk. 

Amazing Inspirational Quotes To Inspire Your Next Big Adventure
Check out quotes by actors, writers, and other famous folk. 

   7 Things I Learned From Being a Female Rugby Player   Well, first of all, no one actually believes that I played rugby. 

7 Things I Learned From Being a Female Rugby Player
Well, first of all, no one actually believes that I played rugby. 

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