Photo by Eric Purcell/Moment/Getty Images
It’s really a tale of 2 countries: 1 the land of opportunity, tolerance and freedom; the other, the land of insecurity, rudeness and the Big Mac. In which category does the rest of the world see us? That’s what author and journalist Rene Zografos set out to discover. He spent 7 years interviewing people on all 7 continents for his new book, Attractive Unattractive Americans. Whether they love us or hate us — or love to hate us — here’s a snapshot of what other countries think of America in 15 quotes.

On friendliness:
“In America you are, in fact, not considered weird if you talk to people you just have met on the street; it’s the opposite [reaction] where I come from.” — Theresa, Hungary

On our unique culinary tastes:
“The only time I eat ketchup is when I’m having pasta. The only time Americans don’t eat ketchup seems to be when they’re having pasta.” — Ellen, Norway

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Wet, hot American summer. That’s what’s expected of the Fourth of July weekend, but we’ll take 73 and sunny any day. And there are few places — our nation’s capital excluded — that are better suited for celebrating than Boston, where you can take in the brilliant Boston Pops fireworks display over the Charles River Esplanade. Whether you round out your weekend with requisite stops along the Freedom Trail or by witnessing Revolutionary War-era re-enactments at the annual Harborfest, here are some key pieces for a (not-so-subtly) patriotic weekend.

Photo by Bill Brett/The Boston Globe/Getty Images

Photo by Bill Brett/The Boston Globe/Getty Images

Clockwise from top left: A 2-pack of organic tanks for layering | Handsome navy duffle with a pocket for your shoes | Red boat shoes, because when else are you going to wear them? | Portable charger for when adding fireworks to your Snap story eats up your battery

Photo Courtesy of Elena Elisseeva/E+/Getty Images

You know the old Johnny Cash tune I’ve Been Everywhere? It’s my anthem. Reno, Chicago, Fargo, Buffalo … yep, seen ’em all.

Traveling for work is a great opportunity for face-to-face meetings that always seem more valuable to me than anything done over the phone. But if I’m being honest, sometimes as I’m striding around the airport with my practical overnight bag and sensible heels, I get gate envy.
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Ah, Montauk, NY — its lighthouse, its Revenge-style manses and its gorgeous beaches beckon to city dwellers all summer long. Whether you go by plane, train or jitney, get thee to the Surf Lodge, where you can watch the sunset with a Montauk Storm in hand. But first, some essentials for your lobster-roll-filled weekend:

Photo by Oleg March Photography/The Surf Lodge

Clockwise from top left: Classic 1-piece that stays put but still looks cute | Colorful sandals for dockside fun | Gold studs that can go from the beach to drinks | Just-big-enough sturdy canvas overnight bag

The Grand Canyon (Photo Courtesy of Alan Majchrowicz/Getty Images)

We’ve shared our list of the world’s most endangered sites, but today, the National Trust for Historic Preservation revealed its 2015 list of America’s 11 most endangered historic places. The list highlights examples of the country’s architectural, cultural and natural heritage that are at risk of destruction or irreparable damage.

“For more than a quarter-century, our list has called attention to threatened, one-of-a-kind treasures throughout the nation and galvanized local communities to help save them,” says Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Without further ado, here’s a quick look at the places that made the diverse list this year, in alphabetical order.
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Big Crazy Family Adventure

It’s a big day: Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there, and cheers to premiere night for Big Crazy Family Adventure. Whether you’re a parent, traveler or virtual tourist, tonight is your chance to live vicariously through the Kirkby family — Bruce, Christine, Bodi and Taj —  as they start their 13,000-mile journey from British Columbia to Ladakh, India. And they’re doing it all without an airplane! Check out the stats and watch a sneak peek below.

Big Crazy Family Adventure

We asked Christine and Bruce, “How do you prepare for a 96-day trip halfway around the world?” See their tips for traveling internationally with kids.

See Bruce’s pictures and Bodi’s sketches, which captured Leg 1 of their journey from British Columbia to Busan, South Korea, via canoe, train and cargo ship.

After the show, watch Bodi and Taj’s Top 5 and get more insight from Bruce on Leg 1 of the journey through his video slideshow, British Columbia to South Korea.

 

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Q&A With Bruce and Christine

Watch a sneak peek

It’s official — summer is finally here (well, this Sunday, to be exact)!  Now you have roughly 13 weeks or 95 days to take advantage of all the best things about summer, from food-fueled road trips to rooftop cocktails to lazy beach days. Don’t have a plan yet? Get inspired to create your own list with our 7 summer must-dos.

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All month long, we’ve been giving you the chance to be a high roller on a $10,000 getaway to Las Vegas. True, only 1 lucky winner will get VIP access to Vegas’ red-hot culinary scene or a bird’s-eye view of the Strip from a hot-air balloon, but there’s nothing stopping you from planning a last-minute trip to Sin City. Already picturing yourself lounging in a poolside cabana or testing your luck at the craps tables? Mentally add these Vegas weekend must-haves to your packing list.

The Weekender: Las Vegas

Clockwise from top left: Classic Panama hat to shield the sun | Thong sandal that’s as easy on the eyes as it is to slip on and off | Colorful carry-on that will stand out from the crowd | Abstract pouch for packing or poolside essentials | Metallic cat-eye shades to make a statement

Last week, Skift released a report that the majority of Americans will take little to no vacation this summer. We’d find that hard to swallow, but our friends at the US Travel Association echo the sentiment, stating that Americans failed to use 429 million vacation days in 2013. That’s 3.2 days of paid time off wasted per worker. We sympathize with the half of vacation-deprived people who say they simply can’t afford it this summer, but for the other half, we imagine the reasoning goes something like this:

Because you prefer to enjoy your coffee from the comfort of your cubicle.

Espresso in Mallorca, anyone? #LiveTravelChannel Photo by: @chubbychinesegirleats

A photo posted by @travelchannel on

And who craves more quality time with loved ones? Not you.

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Rainer standing atop the Sydney Harbor Bridge. (Photo Courtesy of Rainer Jenss)

Rainer Jenss has traveled around the world and clocked thousands of miles on his own and with his family. In preparation for the upcoming premiere of the new Travel Channel TV show Big Crazy Family Adventure (Sunday, June 21, at 9 p.m.|8c), we wanted to get another perspective on traveling abroad with children. As the founder and president of the Family Travel Association, Rainer was the perfect person to discuss his life as a world traveler; how travel has become an integral part of his family’s life; and what advice he would offer to families who want to expose their children to the world beyond North America.
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