Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

Year of Geography: Antigua and Barbuda

Posted on January 29th, 2011 by Laura Byrne Paquet

Antigua and Barbuda is the first country on the Year of Geography list I’ve actually visited. Granted, I was about 15 on my only trip of more than 24 hours; the other visits were quick stops on the way to and from Montserrat. But I did get to spend a very long night on one […]

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Year of Geography: Algeria

Posted on January 13th, 2011 by Laura Byrne Paquet

desert sands dunes Algeria

Unfortunately, Algeria is going through a bit of a rough patch this week, as riots have broken out to protest the soaring prices of food staples such as sugar. However, as I plan to do in the Year of Geography, I’m going to focus less on news and more on history and culture. And when […]

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Book review: Writer explores England by kayak

Posted on June 23rd, 2010 by Laura Byrne Paquet

As British writer David Aaronovitch points out in the introduction to his 2000 travel book/memoir, Paddling to Jerusalem, in the last few years writers have walked around England under the guise of just about every gimmick imaginable. From south to north, around the coast, up the middle, round the sides, in wheelchairs, on one leg, […]

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Book review: Essays capture delight of travel

Posted on November 5th, 2009 by Laura Byrne Paquet

It’s a doozy of a title: The Third Tower Up from the Road: A Compilation of Columns from McSweeney’s Internet Tendency’s Kevin Dolgin Tells You About Places You Should Go. And the cover photo of the Great Wall of China is a bit misleading. Yes, there’s a funny, lovely column in the collection about Dolgin’s […]

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Video: A Finnish bhangra band!

Posted on October 17th, 2009 by Laura Byrne Paquet

OK, this is THE coolest thing I’ve stumbled across on the Internet all week: a Finnish bhangra band! According to its website, Shava “is guaranteed to be the world’s only Finnish bhangra group.” I can’t argue with that. I first came across them in an article chronicling their recent appearance on a Finnish TV network. […]

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Five great sources of international news

Posted on March 30th, 2009 by Laura Byrne Paquet

Looking to keep your eyes–or ears–on the wider world, even when you’re curled up safe at home? Here are five great places to start. The Economist: This venerable, London-based magazine may be a bit stodgy for some, but there are few better consumer publications when it comes to covering just about every corner of the […]

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Video: How to Do It Like an Aussie

Posted on March 9th, 2009 by Laura Byrne Paquet

Although I strongly suspect these two Aussie women, Pip and Kym, are playing up their Aussieness for the cameras, I still enjoyed this little video that tries to teach non-Australians a bit of Down Under culture–from how to make bush tea to what the heck “Good on ya” means. It’s a promo to draw attention […]

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Greg Mortenson REALLY travels like a local

Posted on March 6th, 2009 by Laura Byrne Paquet

OK, I realize I’m very late to this party–the book came out three years ago. But I just finished reading Three Cups of Tea, the story of mountain climber-turned-philanthropist Greg Mortenson, and I was captivated. For those of you who, like me, somehow missed this book when it first came out, here’s the scoop. After […]

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Many forms of worship in Richmond, B.C.

Posted on February 28th, 2009 by Laura Byrne Paquet

Richmond

I’m sure most of you who have been to Europe have done some part of the “famous old churches” circuit. Westminster Abbey? Been there. Notre-Dame? Seen it. Lovely as they are, once you’ve seen 10 of them, they all start to blur together a bit. Another problem with some of Europe’s historic churches is that […]

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Book giveaway: Wanderlust

Posted on February 15th, 2009 by Laura Byrne Paquet

Wanderlust

It all started when I began wondering where passports came from. I pitched every magazine editor I knew on a story about the history of passports, but no one–and I mean no one–was interested. Fine, I thought. I’ll broaden the concept and make it into a book. The history of passports eventually became a chapter […]

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