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Mother Africa in Brazil: Alive and Well
Exploring Afro-Brazilian Culture in Northeastern Brazil by Volker Poelzl
Exploring Afro-Brazilian Culture in Northeastern Brazil
Northeastern Brazil prides itself on its unique cultural heritage, especially its Afro-Brazilian traditions. Brazil's African heritage goes back to colonial times, when the Portuguese—who were the first Europeans to settle in Brazil—brought several million African slaves to Brazil to work on plantations. Despite repression and restrictions, Brazil's slaves succeeded in preserving much of their African cultural traditions, many of which are still practiced today. Visiting Northeastern Brazil is a feast for the senses. Streets are filled with the smell of spicy dishes sold by women dressed in colorful costumes. You can hear fast percussion rhythms coming from rehearsal halls or performed by street musicians, and can you watch captivating street performances of the Brazilian martial arts... Read more
Dominican Republic
The little boy grips his mother's hand and stares hard at me. He slides his sunglasses down, and two Hershey's kisses appear above the rims. They start early here, I think, feeling flattered even though he is only four years old. I sit drinking soda in the main plaza of La Romana, Dominican Republic. It is early, but today is Carnival and already crowds start to form. Pockets of teenage girls laugh conspiratorially. Boys act cool, pretending not to notice. Street vendors do brisk business, and the Presidente (beer) stands have been up since yesterday... Read More 
Adventures in Quebec, Canada
Standing atop Mount Sutton, we overlook the magnificent scenery of pine and maple tree forests, the vast Sutton valley below, and the impressive Appalachian mountain range in the distance. What we are mostly here for, however, is the tree-top adventure course of d'Arbre en Arbre, in Quebec's Eastern Townships close to the U.S. (Vermont) border. So here we are, ready to fly high, although safely attached to a life line... Read More 
Surfing in Cornwall, England
Pirates may be the most convenient scapegoat, but the truth is I marooned myself in Penzance. In fact, I reached the Penwith Peninsula by train, not aboard a tall ship. Besides, the loud, bass-heavy music streaming out of the Admiral Benbow told me I probably wouldn't fit in with the buccaneer set anyway. Yes, my compass pointed back out to sea, but the treasure I sought had little monetary value.

I had chosen Penzance as the location for my first surfing lesson. Oddly enough, a long-held desire to learn what I could of a Hawaiian tradition led me to the medieval port town. Willing to take a chance on the September water temperature of the North Atlantic... Read More 
Mekong Delta Vietnam
Most visitors to Vietnam consider themselves more adventurous and independent than your average package tripper. Then why do nearly all take group tours of the Mekong Delta?

Rising just above the surface of the moss-covered water, our canoe rocked uneasily on tiny, tree-lined canals as the sun started to set. We went ashore, then crossed a bamboo-pole bridge to a rickety watchtower, from where we looked over rhyming mountains Cam and Sam as the skies turned dark cranberry. But for my driver and the thousands of birds-openbill storks, cormorants, cattle egret and a few dozen other species-I was alone. None of the package tourists streaming into Chau Doc, 25 kilometers north, make it here... Read More 
Japan 3000 year-old tree
Two hundred and fifty miles and a metaphorical world away from the concrete bustle of Tokyo, an ancient pilgrimage road winds through the mountains of Japan's spiritual heartland. The Kumano Kodo, or "old road," connects scores of temples and shrines scattered across the stunning Kii Peninsula. Recently transformed into a hiking route, the Kumano Kodo is an excellent destination for visitors who want to explore the back roads of Japan... Read More 
Festival in Thailand
For three days in April, the entire population of Chiang Mai gathers along the moats that surround the historic section of the city. Drenched and smiling faces pack the sidewalks, while pickup trucks decked out in festive ribbons and special paint, as well as tuk-tuks with their roofs taken off, inch bumper-to-bumper down the road. Children wear traditional Thai outfits and teens sport water pistols and festive masks. Bars blast traditional and Western music, while young Thais and Westerners dance and throw water from their doorways. Huge plastic barrels full of water sit at small intervals on the sidewalks to serve as communal refilling stations. Carts piled high with blocks of ice make their way down the street, making a lucrative business of cooling people's water supplies. This is the Songkran water festival... Read More 
Kyrgyzstan
With luggage and camping equipment firmly tightened on top and kitchen utensils and supplies stuffed in boxes under the seats inside, the old Russian army truck with which we will follow the Silk Route through Kyrgyzstan is ready to take off. The crew, a friendly English speaking guide and her three colleagues, two drivers, and a cook who only speak Kyrgyz and Russian, occupy the driver's cabin, while the rest of the expedition members have the rather basic, tight, and springless seats in the truck itself. Contact with the cabin can be made by pushing a button in case we need an emergency stop... Read More 
 
Dominica (pronounced Dom-in-eek-a), bills itself as "the nature island of the Caribbean" for good reason. Its spectacular lush and varied flora and fauna are protected by an extensive natural park system, it is the most mountainous island of the Lesser Antilles, its volcanic peaks are cones of lava craters, and the island is characterized by wonders like Boiling Lake, the second-largest thermally active lake in the world... Read More 
Alison Gardner
The word "pilgrim" immediately conjures up images of travel, but it goes far beyond that. Since the word first appeared in the western vocabulary of 14th century Europe, it has been associated with a sense of purpose, a commitment not just to wander through life but to pay attention, to focus, a wake-up call that may lead to positive change. Most of all, it has meant sacrifice, not just of time and money to reach the pilgrimage destination, but hardship to the human body and mental well being... Read More
The Motivation for Full-Time Travel
Professional Hobo Columnist Nora Dunn
Nora Dunn
What makes full-time travelers tick? What does it take for somebody to pack up and hit the road, embracing a life of full-time travel, and shunning many of the creature comforts that we are accustomed to? Read More
Travel Without a Purpose
Women's Travel Columnist Beth Whitman
Beth Whitman
In my early 20's, I backpacked through the Pacific Rim countries for a year. With a Circle the Pacific ticket that carried me from Seattle to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia and Hawaii, I had no real timeline and no ulterior goals or purpose other than experiencing Asia... Read More
Culinary Adventures Abroad
Long-Term Traveler Columnist Friedel Rother
Friedel Rother
"Are there any vegetables?" I ask my husband as we eye the huge spread of food that stretches over three tables. "Don't be silly," he whispers back. We've just been invited to share in a celebration dinner for a new English school opening in one of Kazakhstan's provincial capitals and the hosts have pulled out all the stops. This means meat and lots of it. There are painfully few garden greens on the table so there will be no debating between spinach and broccoli for us. We have other choices to ponder... Read More
Volker Poelzl
People move abroad for a variety of reasons; for work, study, retirement, business, etc. But what most of us have in common is ultimately the search for a better quality of life and the type of experience that we would not be able to have at home. Figuring out which foreign country best matches our lifestyle and interests is no easy task, but if you are a bit methodical in your selection process it should not be too difficult to narrow down the number of countries. Quality of life means different things to different people, so before selecting a destination you should determine what is important to you... Read More
Book Reviews
Moon Canada
Living Abroad in Canada by Carolyn B. Heller

Author Carolyn Heller has accomplished what I have heard a growing number of Americans fantasize and talk about over the past decade: she moved from the U.S. to Canada... Read more
What's New at TransitionsAbroad.com
TAzine Editorial
We are proud to launch TAzine as a monthly Webzine which continues the 31-year tradition started by Transitions Abroad magazine. TAzine features many of the same columnists who wrote for the magazine, a growing group of new columnists, while featuring many freelance writers who wish to share their experiences and expertise within the context of our pioneering coverage of work, study, travel, and living abroad.

Founded in 1977 by Dr. Clayton Allen Hubbs, Transitions Abroad magazine was the only print publication dedicated to work, study, living, volunteering, and immersion travel abroad. Its purpose—in print and now as a Webzine—is the dissemination of practical information leading to a greater understanding of other cultures through direct participation in the daily life of the host community.

Send in your submissions for the webzine to webeditorial@transitionsabroad.com on the subjects of work, study, travel, and living abroad in accordance with our detailed writers' guidelines!

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Cultural, Adventure, and Independent Travel
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Narrative Travel Writing and Cultural Travel
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