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Category: Arts & Culture Travel (page 1 of 2)

Connect to other cultures through the arts!

How to Avoid the Crowds at Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is perhaps the most famous, popular destination in Southeast Asia. Before my RTW trip, it was one of the only sites in Southeast Asia I had already heard of! While there’s certainly something to be said for going into a place with few expectations, as I did in Vietnam, and discovering gems you didn’t know to look for, like Halong Bay, I think we’d all be lying if we pretended bucket list sights like Angkor Wat weren’t a major reason we travel. I’m a big believer in managing your expectations well when it comes to bucket list sights. It’s unrealistic to expect to have popular destinations all to yourself, but with a little insider knowledge (perhaps in the form of a guide), savvy planning, and willingness to roll with the punches, you can avoid the crowds at Angkor Wat and enjoy the moments of solitude and wonder you imagined in this sacred ancient city.

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Weaving in Laos with Ock Pop Tock

If food is the best window into another culture, I’d maintain that the arts are the second best. Many of my most valuable travel experiences have come from engaging with local art, and I’m not talking about your average museum. I’ve learned how to paint mountains in the Blue Ridge, formed calligraphy characters in Japan, and, the most out of my comfort zone, spent a day weaving in Laos.

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The Creative Professional’s Guide to Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang, despite its position on the Banana Pancake Trail, likely isn’t the first place you think of staying as a creative professional. But the city’s relative remoteness within Southeast Asia gives it a relaxed pace of life and has preserved much of its traditional art and culture. The colonial center is easily the most beautiful town in Laos, and despite the limited availability of WiFi, the city makes a comfortable place to spend at least a couple weeks as a digital nomad.

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The Creative Professional’s Guide to Chiang Mai

Few places have as strong a reputation among digital nomads as Chiang Mai in Thailand. The northern city has become an expat mecca, and much of my motivation to head north from Bangkok instead of south to islands was driven by the desire to see for myself just how friendly the town was to remote work. I’m certainly not the first to have been lured by promises of strong WiFi, cozy cafes, and an easy pace of life. Of everywhere I’ve been on my RTW trip, no place fits all the living abroad criteria quite like Chiang Mai, often called the Boston to Bangkok’s New York. And while the city itself has become rapidly Westernized, it still provides a great base for exploring Thailand’s north and getting some unique cultural experiences.

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The Creative Professional’s Guide to London

For centuries, people from all walks of life have flocked to London. Henry VIII even believed it to be the literal center of the universe! The city is notoriously pricey in terms of accommodations, but if you can afford to get here, free museums and cheap eats in Chinatown can balance your budget. More importantly, the long history of supporting arts and culture and the wealth of working cafes make it an ideal base for traveling creative professionals. Read on for a digital nomad-friendly guide to London.

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The Creative Professional’s Guide to Athens

For the average tourist, I’m sure three days is more than enough time in hot, graffiti-tagged Athens. Outside the ancient ruins, the Greek capital seems to lack character and charm. So why did I stay for two weeks? This is the reality of being a creative professional. You settle in places for longer than deemed necessary and move past the basics of the tourist trail. Behind the never-bare walls and litter-filled streets, is a passionate city of artists and activists. There is a modern design culture in Athens unlike any other and I had a hunch it would be a strong hub for a digital nomad. So come on. Give Athens a chance.

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The Creative Professional’s Guide to Belgrade

Belgrade is the Old Hollywood romance of European capitals. At first glance, the gray communist bloc architecture might seem like it’s nothing special. You might even expect to dislike the city. But get to know it and you could discover the love of your life – particularly if you have a love for arts and culture, or are working on the road! Uncover one of Europe’s hidden gems in this guide to Belgrade, designed for the traveling creative professional.

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The Creative Professional’s Guide to Ljubljana

As teenagers touring colleges, my high school best friend and I settled on an easy philosophy for judging campuses: If you love a place in the rain, that’s where you belong. I hadn’t originally planned on visiting Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, on my RTW trip. So when I ended up rerouting there to get from Italy to Croatia overland, it only took a few minutes walking around the city center in the rain to realize skipping it would have been a huge mistake.

Eco-friendly and accessible, the pedestrian-only city center of Ljubljana is teeming with cozy cafes and charming historic facades. Tourism has just begun picking up in the last ten years, giving this underrated European capital a great energy. I have no doubt it’s one of the best cities for creative professionals on the continent.

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Racism at the Musee d’Orsay

The Musee d’Orsay is easily one of my favorite places in Paris. The main collection of impressionist works, spanning everything from Manet to Van Gogh, is beyond compare. And housed in a Beaux Arts train station, the building itself is a work of art. But no place is perfect and one of the side exhibits comes with some troubling undertones. So kids. Let’s talk about art and racism.

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The Creative Professional’s Guide to Paris

Paris is a destination of endless romance and deep literary history. Whether you’re more inclined to read Ernest Hemingway or Gertrude Stein, Julia Child or David Lebovitz, chances are somebody has made you dream of dropping everything and moving to Paris, where you can while your day away in a cafe, working from your laptop.

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