Kwin Mosby

Kwin is Managing Producer of TravelChannel.com. His multimedia career has included working as a TV news reporter/producer and publications editor. What inspires Kwin to travel? It’s relaxing beach locations, vibrant urban epicenters and awe-inspiring outdoor destinations like Glacier and Joshua Tree National Parks, Barcelona, Miami, Paris, New York City and Brazil. Kwin’s travel mantra is simple: talk to the locals to fully experience the true flavor and culture of any new destination.

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Posts by Kwin Mosby

New Year's in New York City's Time Square

Before you ring in 2012, remember the year in travel. Travel Channel’s Year in Photos slideshow captures several memorable events around the world, including the Austria’s World Bodypainting Festival, the Middle East’s revolutionary demonstrations, the 135th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in NYC, DC’s MLK Memorial opening, and Iceland’s Grimsvotn volcano eruption.

We also remember 2011 with When Nature Attacks, a look back at some of the most devastating natural disasters around the world. And don’t forget to check Travel Channel’s Most Memorable Moments of 2011, which highlights fun moments from some from our TV shows, including No Reservations, Ghost Adventures, Bizarre Foods and The Dead Files.

In addition to this slideshow, we also take a look ahead at the upcoming College Bowl Championship series, what’s hot in and what’s out in travel, and our TV show hosts give you the dish on their new year’s resolutions. So start your New Year off right, with a look back and a look ahead, on TravelChannel.com!

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New Year’s Eve Around the World
2012 Hottest Destinations
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by Matthew Karsten,
ExpertVagabond.com

 

South African Sangoma

I’m one really lucky guy. At least that’s what my sangoma tells me. What is a sangoma, you might ask? A traditional Nguni healer, seer, counselor and shaman. The native peoples of South Africa have been practicing the profession for thousands of years and many still do today. While visiting Khula, a rural Zulu township on the outskirts of St. Lucia, I was invited into the home of the local sangoma to consult with my ancestral spirits.

Men always enter the sacred ndumba (healing hut) before the women, in order to protect against snakes. Luckily, the small thatched room was snake-free. Once seated inside, I was given a smoldering bundle of Imphepho (perennial herb) twigs and was told to inhale the smoke while reciting my name. This ritual act would summon my ancestors with whom the sangoma would consult. READ MORE

by Christina Ricchiuti,
PackedSuitcase.com

 

KLM To Launch New

Never fly lonely again … at least, that’s a service that Dutch airline KLM is hoping to provide their passengers in 2012. The airline will be launching a new “Meet and Seat” tool that will allow fliers checking in online to utilize Facebook and LinkedIn to check out their fellow passengers pre-flight and pick their preferred seatmate.

Depending on the user’s interests, “Meet and Seat” could be used for a variety of different “matchmaking” motives. Whether a flier is looking to schmooze with a potential professional contact, bond over alumni connections (or a common interest) or flirt their way from point A to point B with a handsome stranger, there doesn’t seem to be any structure or restrictions to how a seatmate may be chosen. READ MORE

by Matthew Karsten,
ExpertVagabond.com

 

Delaire Vineyard in South Africa

When you think of great wine, does South Africa come to mind? I’m certainly no wine expert. But a recent visit to the winelands around Franschhoek and Stellenbosch outside of Cape Town gave me a renewed respect for this age-old alcoholic beverage. South Africa’s wine-making traditions are actually much older than those of Napa Valley in California. The fertile, rust-colored African soil has been producing delicious reds and whites for hundreds of years.

I decided to spend a whole afternoon tasting many varieties of South African wine at 2 different estates, both with surreal landscapes. Row upon row of vibrant green vines spread out in all directions, while majestic mountains off in the distance rose up to touch the sky. It’s hard to imagine a better wine-tasting setting than this! READ MORE

by Christina Ricchiuti,
PackedSuitcase.com

 

Harry Potter fans celebrate plans for new theme park in Hollywood

Get ready, West Coast Muggles … the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is coming to Universal Studios Hollywood in California!

Just when you might think that our favorite boy wizard’s been replaced by the latest literary craze (I’m looking at you, Hunger Games …) Universal goes all-in and continues to make Harry the cornerstone of its amusement park empire.

This looks to be a good move. The Orlando attraction, which opened to the masses in June 2010, led to a 68% increase in attendance during the first 3 months of 2011 and continues to be a top incentive to visit the older Universal Studios parks. Needless to say, the Orlando version has been a resounding success, and the Los Angeles attraction is sure to draw its fair share of fans as well. READ MORE

by Matthew Karsten,
ExpertVagabond.com

 

South African Penguins

South Africa has a serious problem that’s spiraling out of control. Fluffy, lovable, tuxedo-wearing balls of feather are on the loose. Think you’re immune from the charms of an African Penguin? So did I. But after strolling along the bright turquoise-blue waters around Simon’s Town, I quickly discovered how wrong I was.

Hundreds of these funny birds line the white sand of Boulders Beach, sunbathing in style and protecting their eggs. Normally penguins would have been the last animal I expected to find in Africa. But there they were directly in front of me! Did you know African penguins like to sing too? Unfortunately their songs sound like a cross between a donkey and a kazoo. But don’t tell them that to their faces, as they are easily offended. READ MORE

Alec Baldwin Gets Booted Off American Airlines Flight

Alec Baldwin is back in the news again, and this time it has nothing to do with his tense relationship with his ex-wife Kim Bassinger or because he decided to berate his daughter again in a candid cell phone conversation. This time the 30 Rock celeb was booted off an American Airlines flight after he refused to turn off his phone. Apparently he was in the middle of playing the addictive game, “Words with Friends.”

OK, we’ll discuss the 2 sides to this story later, but for now, let’s get to a more important matter. Do we really need to turn off our iPhones, iPads and other mobile devices before the plane takes off or lands? I mean are we really harming anyone by wrapping up those last-minute phone calls or listening to the last verse of Adele’s “Someone Like You?”

Well, the FAA rules are clear. Everything must be turned off before the plane pushes back from the gate or prepares to land. Experts say high radio frequency signals are transmitted from video screens on portable devices. “There is a potential for these signals to cause interference to the (airplane) radio,” Boeing Technical Engineer Bruce Donham says. There’s no hard proof that radio frequency signals have ever causing in-flight problems or a crash, according to NBC News. READ MORE

Organic Skincare Products for Men

Tis’ the holiday season! Christmas is right around the corner, and finding the perfect gift for your significant other can be a hassle. Well, Travel Channel already has a few gift guides on the website, but we wanted to include a few gift-giving suggestions for the consummate gay traveler.

The Gift Guide for the Gay Guide is not only for the gay traveler, but it’s for women or that stylish straight guy who’s always on the go. Our list includes something for everyone, including skincare products, a unique relaxation mat, an emergency roadside spotlight/beacon and much more. READ MORE

American Airlines Plane Takes Off

The holiday season is usually a time to spend, spend, spend, but American Airlines’ parent company, AMR Corporation, has filed for bankruptcy to reduce labor costs and shed billions of dollars in debt.  According to the New York Times, AMR is the last of the major legacy US airline companies to file Chapter 11.

For the past 3 years in a row AMR has posted losses, including a $471 million loss last year. Major airline companies cut their costs as a way to compete with low-cost carriers like Southwest Airlines.

So what does American Airlines’ bankruptcy mean for travelers? Well, company officials say it’s business as usual, and the airline will operate normally throughout the bankruptcy process. And you can rest easy if you’re enrolled in one of American’s frequent flyer programs. Plans to restructure the company are not expected to affect the number of travel miles you’ve clocked.

I have to admit I was a little worried at first, especially after I doing a little fare surfing last night for a cheap airplane ticket to Miami. Today, I received an email telling me not to be alarmed about my membership to the AAdvantage frequent flyer program.  Part of the email states: READ MORE

Port St. Charles Marina in Barbados

So, you've decided to take a break from all the schmoozing with celebrity chefs at the Barbados Food, Wine and Rum Festival, and you want to experience the best of Barbados. We have a few suggestions. Check out our slideshow of things to do while on the island and read our top 5 picks below.

1. Hit the beach. There are more than 70 miles of beach to explore in Barbados with no shortage of water sports. Snorkel with sea turtles, go jet-skiing or just drift in a small sail boat. The most pristine beaches are in the south, while surfers will find paradise in the east at Bathesheba.

2. Go to the Oistin’s Fish Fry. Everybody is there on Friday nights, so don’t be the only one to miss out on some of the best food the island has to offer. Stop by Pat’s for the fried or grilled flying fish platter for a mere $10. Have a Banks, the local beer, to wash it all down, then stroll around the open food and craft market and join in the dancing to reggae and soca beats. READ MORE

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