Windowless Planes

Photography by CPI

Windowless planes may very well be the future of air travel. The aerodynamic and sleek engineering of these new planes will cut fuel costs significantly. The great thing about lower fuel costs? Lower ticket prices, which is a definite plus for regular travelers.

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Hallway of Wizard Chambers at Georgian House hotel

We might not have a magic broom for you to get to London this Halloween weekend, but if you’re planning on being in the big city anyway, why not go all the way? No costume needed for this Hogwarts experience: Stay at London’s Georgian House in the residential district of Victoria. The Georgian House is a beautiful hotel that has created a special space for its Wizard Chambers. It’s as if you’ve come to Hogwarts Castle for the weekend. This, my friends, is where your Harry Potter package begins. The chambers are designed with rustic wood paneling and an Old-English-style bed frame with clever accent pieces from floor to ceiling. The Harry Potter package also includes complimentary tickets for an exclusive Muggle walking tour; see firsthand where Harry Potter was filmed, hear stories of London’s rich history and explore the secret places once known only to Harry, Hermione and Ron. READ MORE

Ostriches

Photography by Emmanuel Brunner

As host of the Mysteries at the Museum franchise, it’s no surprise that Don Wildman has seen some of the creepiest and oddest places around the globe. But which one of those eerie places left the host with the biggest chill? We asked him that very question, and his answers may surprise you.
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Andrew Zimmern

It’s been a little over 8 years since my first production meeting with Andrew Zimmern, a chef who was unknown to me at the time — as I was brand new to the TV and foodie worlds. He has hundreds of hours and thousands of miles recorded on national television, and to this day, I still ask myself, “How does he do it?” How does anyone travel so much, eat so exceptionally well, and then be expected to return to normal life? As we prepare for another season of Bizarre Foods With Andrew Zimmern, which kicks off tonight at 9|8c on Travel Channel, I decided to get the answer to that question, along with others about what we can expect on Bizarre Foods, what Andrew is most excited about this season, his future travel plans and projects in 2015, and more!

As you go into another season of Bizarre Foods, what are you most excited for the viewers to see?

I think what’s most exciting for me is that we are finally able to slow down a little this season and dive deeper into the cultural elements of the show that are more interesting to me than skimming along the surface of the places we visit. TV needs to be relevant to stay current, and today’s viewers demand that. I think this season, we are finally delivering on that in spades.

What locations can the viewer look forward to this season? Any of them at the top of your list?

Mexico City, LA, Hawaii, Brooklyn, Ireland, Newfoundland, Lisbon, Kazakhstan, Shanghai, Ho Chi Minh City, Dubai, Rome, Iquitos and Panama. Top of the list has to be all of them. I am always most thrilled to talk about where I’ve just been.

On Oct. 27, we’ll showcase your trip to Mexico City, where you indulged in whole-minnow tamales in Xochimilco Market. How do the tamales in Mexico City differ from those found in popular places such as Los Angeles and Chicago’s Tom Tom Tamale?

Well, we got the chance to try many tamales with pre-colonial roots. Those don’t exist, in the purest sense of the word, anywhere else than in the culture you are diving deep into. I believe in the transformative power of travel, so going to the source has many side benefits that are crucial for personal and societal change.

Next, you’re off to Lisbon, and the steamed clams you posted on Instagram look amazing! What surprised you the most about Lisbon’s food scene?

The seafood in Lisbon is epic, and in the summer, there is nowhere else I would rather be. Uncrowded and accessible, inexpensive and delicious. The clams weren’t even in the top 10 once I was done. Food entrepreneurship and food tourism is helping to revive their sagging economy, and I think that was the biggest surprise for me.

Andrew Zimmern with an animal carcass head

While filming for the Ireland episode, you spent a lot of time in Cork. How does Cork differ from the popular city of Dublin?

We actually spent all our time in Cork and Cobh, with a side trip for a few hours to Dublin to eat at my friend Kevin Thornton’s restaurant. The greater Cork area offers some of the purest farm-to-table experiences on Earth. I was blown away by the horizontal and vertical reach of Irish cookery. I think that’s the best show we’ve made to date.

Out of all the foods you’ve tried this season, which dish do you have to have again and again?

So many — that’s not a fair question. Giana and Clovisse Ferguson made me several meals that I regard as some of the best of my life, and I begged them for recipes, and I cook them all the time now. Clovisse’s farmhouse bread recipe is on my Kitchen Adventures page at www.foodandwine.com for anyone who wants to take a peek.

Is there any place you haven’t traveled to, either on Bizarre Foods or during personal travel, that you’re eager to get to?

So many! I have a list in my office of over a hundred places I want to take our viewers, from the Trans-Siberian Railway to a boat trip down the Mississippi River, from Poland to Paraguay. And I want to do another dozen shows in China and Mexico, 2 countries with the deepest and most complex food cultures on planet Earth. Personally, I want to spend some time with my family in Thailand, take my wife to the far reaches of the Pacific Ocean, and do the dude ranch thing with my kid.

With only 2 months left in 2014, what have been your highlights from this year (including personal, professional and unforgettable food moments)?

Holy moly, hard question. Professionally, I would have to say that I am consistently amazed at how lucky I am to be in the places I go with the people I am with. Diving for prawns in the Waipio Valley in Hawaii is something you only dream about, right? Cooking with and being fed by the world’s greatest chefs and cooks is another. But the biggest and best treat of the year from a food standpoint was eating the 3,000-year-old butter that was found in the Kildare bog a decade ago. Starting my production company, Intuitive Content, is a great milestone; seeing my cookware line launch is another. Creating another book right now — that’s fun. Seeing young people I mentor go out in the world and do great things is a high that I never imagined having. My longtime colleague Molly Mogren is out on her own, writing and creating content for her own web projects, and that’s incredibly satisfying. And of course, we continue to expand our AZ Canteen food business, so that’s exciting.

What are you looking forward to in 2015? Any big trips — outside of Bizarre Foods — planned?

New Year’s will turn in Costa Rica, spring in France with family — that’s fun. For 9 years, I have had a shooting hiatus in spring, and it’s taken this long to turn that around and take the summer months off, so that’s going to be a great time to travel with my family. A driving vacation across the USA is on the docket for sure. I want to go camping with my kid and teach him some survival craft; I think he would dig that. I have some shoots I am planning for other projects in China and Haiti that I am very excited about, entrepreneur-oriented social innovation documentaries that I am really excited about. I want to create businesses in developing communities and leave them behind as a piece of a new sustainable, economic development, social aid program. Along the way, I want to make these into mini-docs. Imagine creating energy systems to help solve energy poverty in Africa, making electricity available so that wood-burning kitchens can be transformed into safer environments for families. I think this is important stuff.

As of now, what dish/restaurant is on your bucket list?

I want to eat my wife’s roast chicken more often. That’s a good goal.

Sao Paolo, Brazil

Photography by Getty Images/iStockphoto

This week’s travel blog roundup will turn up the wanderlust — read on for tips and seriously inspiring photos from Sao Paulo to Ubud.

Roads & Kingdoms has 14 things to know before you go to the sprawling metropolis of Sao Paulo.

Have you been to Ubud yet? If not, this beautiful Bali photo journal by Nomadic Habit will have you wondering why.

The Voyageur has the (almost) perfect 15-day itinerary for Sri Lanka, including what she’d do differently if she could go back.

Camels & Chocolate invites you to sit, have a drink and stay for a while at the South’s swankiest resort.

Where to stay in Paris: Adventurous Kate shares her picks for the best neighborhoods and accommodations.

 

Ostriches

Photography by Maria Bukhonina

Recently back from filming an episode of the upcoming series Booze Traveler in South Africa, cocktail connoisseur, adventurer and host Jack Maxwell shares some of his favorite memories from the Rainbow nation.

What brought you to South Africa?

When you think of a place like South Africa, different kinds of drinks are probably not the first thing that pops into your head. I thought that would really be worth exploring and figured it would be a great surprise, which it was, and of course, that’s what the show is all about.

Bee Shine

Photography by Maria Bukhonina

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ClauWau

Photography by Swiss-Image

Samnaun, Switzerland, has one of the quirkiest holiday traditions in the world. On Nov. 29, hundreds of Santa Claus impersonators will form teams and compete to win the title of Santa Claus world champions.

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Whether you’re going the distance for the world’s largest marathon or cheering on a friend from the sidelines, here are hotels offering packages for the TCS New York City Marathon, which are filled with pre- and post-race pampering. Running a whopping 26.2 miles — you deserve it.

Courtesy of the Pierre Hotel

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Mickela dances with women celebrating at the Asrlar Sadosi Festival in Navoi, Uzbekistan.

Whose dream isn’t to dance around the world? Mickela Mallozzi, host and creator of the travel TV series Bare Feet, ”experiences the world one dance at time,” and boy, are we jealous. From reconnecting with her family’s roots while folk dancing in Italy to sweating it out with locals dancing salsa in Puerto Rico, Mickela discovers how different cultures express themselves without words.

A classically trained dancer, Mickela has performed on various other TV shows, including Sesame Street, the Today show and The Dr. Oz show, and she is the co-director of the Women’s Travel Fest, an annual conference for inspiring and connecting women through travel.

We caught up with Mickela — between her Riverdancing in Ireland and getting intimate with Argentines over tango — to chat about the intersection of travel, dance and culture.

Find out how Mickela got hooked on dancing around the world, how dance enthusiasts (read: amateur dancers) can join her as she moves around the globe, and what country she thinks has the best dancers. (Hint: It’s not the US.)

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This Week in Travel

Move on, nothing to see here — according to some Yelpers.

From the ironic to the eye-popping, here are the stories that got passed around the Travel Channel offices this week.

“If you’ve seen one [geyser] you’ve seen them all.” Whether they are funny because they’re sad or just plain sad, you have to see these 1-star Yelp reviews of national parks on imgur.

“Home is wherever your feet take you,” and 31 more things people with wanderlust will understand, from Buzzfeed.

Missing summer already? Stare wistfully at these 15 snaps of palm trees and deep blue seas from Fathom.

A Luxury Travel Blog picks the world’s top 5 winemaking regions that all oenophiles need to check off their lists.

More than 3,500 kilometers over 20 days crammed into 3 minutes, 32 seconds, and it shows (h/t Skift).

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