Things to Do in May

While you wait for summer’s official arrival, there are still plenty of things heating up in May. Don’t miss May’s must-dos like the Kentucky Derby, National Bike Month, Cinco de Mayo and more.

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singapore gardens
singapore gardens

singapore gardens

Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge visit the famed Singapore Botanical Gardens during their first stop of their tour, where this orchid was named Vanda William Catherine to mark the occasion. 960 1280

Nicky Loh/Getty Images  

gardens by the bay

gardens by the bay

Day 2 brings the royal couple to the stunning Gardens by the Bay, one of the largest garden projects in the world. 960 1280

Shiny Things, flickr  

raffles hotel

raffles hotel

During their stay in Singapore, Will and Kate stayed in the famous Raffles Hotel, known for hosting many dignitaries since its opening in 1899. 960 1280

Courtesy of Raffles Hotel  

kuala lumpur

kuala lumpur

The duo travel to Malaysia to visit Kuala Lumpur Park and attend a cultural event. 960 1280

budgetplaces.com, flickr  

kranji war cemetery

kranji war cemetery

Will and Kate will lay a wreath at Kranji War Cemetery in Singapore before heading to Malaysia. 960 1280

Edwin Lee, flickr  

kota kinabalu

kota kinabalu

The couple will arrive in the historical Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia, for a reception in their honor. 960 1280

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danum valley

danum valley

To promote conservation, the royal couple visit Danum Valley in Malaysia on day 6 of their Diamond Jubilee tour. 960 1280

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solomon islands

solomon islands

The couple plans to visit schools, women’s groups, and attend a charity benefit while in the Solomon Islands. 960 1280

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funafuit island

funafuit island

The last stop for Will and Kate is Tuvalu. The couple will visit the Funafuit Island, which is home to a coconut tree that the Queen planted during her 1982 visit. 960 1280

Ashley Cooper/Visuals Unlimited, Inc.  

Rio Carnival
Rio Carnival

Rio Carnival

Fabulously sexy, this annual fest of flesh and fun rightly lays claim to being the world’s biggest Carnival bash. Join the throngs of 2 million revelers who descend upon Rio this February -- we dare you not to get swept up in the fabulous energy of blocos, bandas and bods. 960 1280

Reuters  

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

Fabulous genes meet fabulous scenes in the most hotly anticipated sports magazine cover of the year. Nearly 50 years after the magazine’s debut, the latest entrants onto the scene carry on the time-honored tradition of sun, sand and skin. 960 1280

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NY Fashion Week

NY Fashion Week

Fabulous fashionistas stay ahead of the fashion curve here. Officially known as Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, this twice-annual bash is NYC’s single-largest media event, attracting more than 100,000 industry insiders from around the world. 960 1280

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Quebec Winter Carnival

Quebec Winter Carnival

For fabulous winter fun, head to this annual festival in Quebec City. Fabulous skiing, snow rafting, sled rides and a masquerade ball are among the many attractions, in what is the largest winter carnival in the world, now 60 years strong. 960 1280

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Chocolate-Covered February

Chocolate-Covered February

Yes, yes, yes! February wouldn’t be quite so fabulous without this fabulously decadent treat! Treat your Valentine to the Sweetest Place on Earth (Hershey, PA, of course) for this month-long celebration. No guilt allowed. 960 1280

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Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day

Our fabulous, furry little friend here sure knows how to grab our attention. Bring your lawn chair to Gobbler’s Knob, and keep your eyes peeled as Punxsutawney Phil, the Seer of Seers, the Prognosticator of Prognosticators, reveals his end-of-winter predictions. 960 1280

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Super Bowl

Super Bowl

Are you ready for some football? Don your warrior paint, grab your favorite jersey, it’s time for the ultimate fabulous showcase of brawn and muscle. As the Ravens and 49ers go toe-to-toe, place your bets in our city vs. city showdown. 960 1280

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Grammys

Grammys

Music’s biggest night of the year spells fabulous entertainment. This February’s headliner is JT, taking center stage after a 4-year hiatus, plus Jack White, The Lumineers, The Black Keys, Taylor Swift and the fabulous Sir Elton. 960 1280

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Black History Month

Black History Month

Inspiring will and accomplishment that paved the way for future generations -- mark this fabulous month-long celebration with a trip to a place like the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the interpretive museum in Alabama that chronicles the struggles of the civil rights movement. 960 1280

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Oscars

Oscars

Fabulous performances, fabulous fashions, fabulously long speeches (oh, please, no!) -- the 85th annual Academy Awards take center stage at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre this month. Our prediction: Daniel Day-Lewis for best actor, Jennifer Lawrence for best actress. What's yours? 960 1280

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Westminster Dog Show

Westminster Dog Show

Before there was ever “America’s next top model” or “America’s top chef,” there was America’s top dog. For the past 137 years, this annual showcase of canine’s best breeds has dazzled dog lovers everywhere. And in fabulous news for Russell Terrier lovers, this year sees the little pooch make its Westminster debut. Woof! 960 1280

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American Heart Month

American Heart Month

Feel fabulous as you do your part in this month-long public health campaign. First thing’s first: Get up out of that chair (you know, the one you’re sitting in now), and go for a walk. Thirty minutes, most days of the week, is all you need to get going. Your heart will reward you in fabulous ways. 960 1280

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Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

The longest and most important festivity on the Chinese calendar had to make our fabulous list. Get ready to ring in the Year of the Snake! Our sources tell us lucky directions for the snake are southwest and northeast. Start … slithering. 960 1280

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Chichen Itza is the largest known city of the Mayan civilization, located in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. The powerful city flourished from AD 800 to 1200 and was a trading center for cloth, slaves, honey and salt. 960 1280

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The main attraction of Chichen Itza is the pyramid also known as El Castillo. Built sometime between 1000 and 1200, the pyramid was used as a temple to the god Kukulkan. Archaeologists believe that the pyramid also served as a calendar for the Mayas. In total it has 365 steps -- one for each day of the year. 960 1280

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The Christ the Redeemer statue stands at the top of the 2,330-foot-tall Corcovado Mountain, looming over the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 960 1280

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The 130-foot-tall statue of Jesus Christ was completed in 1931 and is made of reinforced concrete and soapstone. It is one of the largest Art Deco statues in the world, and it weighs in at 2.5 million pounds. 960 1280

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The Roman Colosseum was built between AD 70 and 80, and it was in used for gladiatorial events, battle reenactments, animal hunts and other performances for 500 years. 960 1280

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The Colosseum sat nearly 50,000 spectators, and its design still influences the construction of modern-day amphitheaters. Earthquakes and stone-robbers have left the Colosseum in a state of ruin, but portions of the structure remain open to tourists. 960 1280

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The Great Wall of China, actually a series of many walls, stretches 5,500 miles across northern China. 960 1280

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Built between the 5th and 16th centuries BC to protect China's borders from invasion by nomadic tribes, the Great Wall is the world's longest manmade structure. 960 1280

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Machu Picchu, a 15th-century Inca archaeological site, sits 7,000 feet above sea level in the Andes Mountains of Peru. It is often referred to as the 'Lost City of the Incas,' because it was known only to locals until it was discovered in 1911 by American historian Hiram Bingham. 960 1280

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Archaeologists estimate that 1,200 Incas could have lived in Machu Picchu, although many believe it was most likely a retreat for Incan rulers, built as an estate for the emperor Pachacuti (1438-1472). 960 1280

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Petra, an archeological city in Jordan, is known for its dusty pink buildings carved out of rock and its impressive water conduit system. Built sometime around the 6th century BC, Petra was the capital city of the Nabataeans. 960 1280

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The entrance to the city of Petra is through a narrow gorge, flanked on either side by 250-foot cliffs. The most recognizable building in Petra is the Treasury, carved completely out of rock as a tomb for a Nanataean king. The building's façade stands almost 150 feet high. 960 1280

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Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan was so distraught by the passing of his third wife Mumtaz Mahal, that he commissioned an elaborate mausoleum to be built for her. The Taj Mahal shines as a symbol of eternal love and was built entirely of white marble. Construction stretched over a period of 22 years, beginning in the 1630s. 960 1280

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The Taj Mahal, located in Agra, India, is just one part of a vast complex that consists of a main gateway, an elaborate garden, a mosque, a guest house and several other magnificent buildings. 960 1280

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Pyramids of Giza

Pyramids of Giza

The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza Necropolis bordering Cairo, Egypt. It is the only remaining member of the Seven Wonders of the World and is believed to have been built as a tomb for Fourth Dynasty Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu, constructed over a 20 year period concluding around 2560 BC. The Great Pyramid is the main part of a complex or set of buildings that include two mortuary temples in honor of Khufu. There are also three smaller pyramids for Khufu's wives. 960 1280

JimPix / Getty Images  

Temple of Luxor

Temple of Luxor

The Luxor Temple was dedicated to the Theban Triad of Amun-Re, his wife Mut, and his son Khonsu. The large ancient Egyptian temple complex is located on the east bank of the Nile River in the city once known as Thebes, but today it is known as Luxor. For the ancient Egyptians and modern tourists, access to the temple is granted from the north, where a path lined by sphinxes once led all the way to Ipet Sut in modern city of Al-Karnak. 960 1280

Hosam Zienedden / EyeEm / Getty Images  

The Great Sphinx

The Great Sphinx

The Great Sphinx of Giza is a large half-human, half-lion statue in Egypt, on the Giza Plateau at the west bank of the Nile River near Cairo. The commonly used name "Sphinx" was given to it based on the Greek creature with the body of a lion, the head of a woman and the wings of an eagle, though this sphinx have the head of a man. It is one of the largest single-stone statues on Earth, and is commonly believed to have been built by ancient Egyptians in the 3rd millennium BC. 960 1280

Paul Hardy / Getty Images  

Cairo

Cairo

Cairo, which means "The Vanquisher or "The Triumphant", is the capital city of Egypt. Old Cairo was founded in 648 AD near other Egyptian cities and villages, including the old Egyptian capital Memphis, Heliopolis, Giza and the Byzantine fortress of Babylon in Egypt. Today, Greater Cairo encompasses various historic towns and modern districts. A journey through Cairo is a virtual time travel: from the Pyramids, Saladin's Citadel, the Virgin Mary's Tree, the Sphinx, Al-Azhar (the Mosque of Amr ibn al-A'as), Saqqara, the Hanging Church, and the Cairo Tower. 960 1280

danefromspain / Getty Images  

Abu Simbel

Abu Simbel

The archaeological site is comprised of two massive rock temples that were originally carved out of the mountainside during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II in the 13th century BC, as a lasting monument to himself and his Queen Nefertari. The Great Temple at Abu Simbel took about 20 years to build and after its completion, it was dedicated to the gods Amun Ra, Ra Harakhti, and Ptah, as well as the deified Ramesses himself. 960 1280

Jasper Sassen / EyeEm / Getty Images  

Temple of Karnak

Temple of Karnak

The largest ancient religious site in the world, the Temple of Karnak is a vast open-air museum and is probably the second most visited historical site in Egypt, second only to the Giza Pyramids. It consists of four main parts, of which only the largest temple -- The Precinct of Amon-Re -- is accessible by tourists and the general public. The key difference between Karnak and Egypt's other temples is that construction occurred over a vast amount of time; approximately 30 pharaohs contributed to the buildings, enabling it to reach a size, complexity and diversity not seen elsewhere. 960 1280

Hector de Pereda Photography / Getty Images  

Saqqara

Saqqara

Located about 30 km south of Cairo, Saqqara or Sakkara is a vast, ancient burial ground in Egypt, featuring the world's oldest standing step pyramid. While Memphis was the capital of Ancient Egypt; Saqqara served as its cemetery. Although the earliest burials of nobles at Saqqara can be traced back to the First Dynasty, it was not until the Second Dynasty that the first kings were buried there, including Hotepsekhemwy and Nynetjer. 960 1280

Reinhard Dirscherl / Getty Images  

London

London

London, England
When the 2012 Summer Olympics get rolling in July, millions of visitors will descend on the British capital. The first event ticket application window has closed, but officials plan to release more during the winter. While you’re in London, don’t miss the Making of Harry Potter studio tour at Leavesden Studios, where all 8 Harry Potter films were shot. The tour officially opens in spring 2012.
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Necker Island

Necker Island

Necker Island
Sir Richard Branson’s exclusive island getaway in the British Virgin Islands suffered a devastating fire in summer 2011 that destroyed the resort’s Great House. Actress Kate Winslet famously helped save Branson’s 90-year-old mother from the inferno, carrying her down slippery stairs in the midst of hurricane-force rain and wind. The Great House is scheduled to be rebuilt by the end of 2012, and in the meantime, 7 luxurious Balinese homes dot the island and are currently open for business.
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Titanic

Titanic

North Atlantic Sea
April, 15, 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the maiden voyage and sinking of the Titanic. At least 2 companies are offering memorial cruises with itineraries that include key ports of call, as well as experts, family members’ descendants and memorial services at the wreck site. Two expedition ships will go a step further, offering guests the opportunity to dive to the wreck in submersible vehicles. Cost is approximately $66,000 per person for divers and $12,000 for non-divers. Visitors to the Titanic’s embarkation port of Southampton can tour the Sea City Museum, which is slated to open in 2012.
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Belize
According to legend, the world will end in 2012 because the ancient Maya calendar, which spans 5,000 years, mysteriously ends on Dec. 21. Belize will host several events on and around the predicted apocalypse. The ruins of Xunantunich will be the location of Belize’s main event on Dec. 21, where festivities will include a concert and light show on the ruins, plus a fire ceremony to usher in the next 5,125 years.
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New Zealand
2012 will usher in epic levels of fanboy drool in anticipation of the first installment of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit films, set for release in December. Why not celebrate with a jaunt to the island nation where it all began with the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy? Visitors can ride a jet boat or fly in a helicopter to tour the trilogy’s shooting locations. Then hop over to the town of Matamata on the north island where Jackson is currently filming in nearby Hobbiton.
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Guimarães, Portugal
This city in northern Portugal has been dubbed the European Capital of Culture in 2012. Building on an already robust arts scene, 2012 will see the city showcasing the work of creative artists from Portugal and across Europe. Don’t miss a tour of the medieval old city, a Unesco World Heritage Site, where you can wander a maze of red-roofed, colonnaded buildings, palaces and a central castle.
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Michael Runkel  

New York City
If you haven’t been to NYC lately, 2012 would be a good time to visit. The Conrad New York, slated to open in early 2012, is the city’s newest all-suite luxury hotel. Located in the heart of lower Manhattan's Battery Park City, the future hotel boasts views of the Hudson River, is adjacent to the Hudson River Park and is a great base from which to explore lower Manhattan neighborhoods like SoHo and TriBeCa, as well as the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.
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Curacao
Celebrating its first year of independence since the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles, Curacao is a cosmopolitan Caribbean island where flavors of both Europe and the West Indies mingle with white sand beaches, turquoise seas and vital coral reefs. Take a spin around the capital, Willemstad, where gabled colonial architecture is splashed with playful Caribbean color, then grab a snorkel and mask and take a dip in the Curacao Underwater Marine Park.
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Spaceport America
Travel to the middle of the New Mexico desert to tour Spaceport America, the world’s first commercial spaceport. Follow the Sun Tours offers exclusive public access to the site, with tours that include visits to the vertical launch area and vertical mission control building, as well as construction areas like the airfield, spaceport operations center, fuel storage complex and iconic terminal hangar facility. Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic plans to begin flying paying customers into space from the facility before the end of 2012.
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Spaceport America  

Oman
We can’t ignore the fact that this little gem on the tip of the Arabian Peninsula and its capital city, Muscat, is on all sorts of 2012 must-see lists, including those from Lonely Planet and National Geographic. While neighboring oil-rich countries are erecting skyscrapers, Oman is adding an opera house and planting desert gardens amid the capital’s white stone buildings. We want to go to there.
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African Safari

African Safari

"Something definitely on my bucket list is to go on an African safari. If we're faced with the apocalypse, hey, I might as well stare down a rhinoceroses or a lion. If it's the last thing I'll ever see, I'd love to watch the sun set and the stars come out over the African hillside. But in all honesty, if my days were really numbered, I'd probably be sipping wine in a Parisian pied-à-terre even though it's a lot less wild." -- Sara, Producer 960 1280

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Go Bare in Bora Bora

Go Bare in Bora Bora

“I’d spend my end of days on this island paradise in French Polynesia. I’d be wearing next to nothing and enjoying unlimited tropical drinks and fresh seafood. I’d walk the beaches, said to be as white and soft as baby powder, and swim in the clear blue waters of the lagoon and surrounding barrier reef. In the evening, I’d retire to one of those over-the-water bungalows where I could watch the fish through the coffee table and fall asleep to the sound of the waves below. What a way to go!” -- Jodi, Site Director 960 1280

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Hike the Inca Trail

Hike the Inca Trail

“It's no surprise that, being a travel editor, my bucket list is long ... it's an occupational hazard. Things have moved up and down on my list, but there is one trip that's always been set in ink: Hike the Inca Trail. While I know there is a comfortable train that goes directly from Cusco, Peru, to Machu Picchu, there is something very end-of-days about making the same arduous 4-day, 30-mile trek through the Sacred Valley that the ancient Incas once made. The most memorable travel moments are the ones that don’t come easy, right?” -- Kathleen, Producer 960 1280

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Virgin Galactic Space Program

Virgin Galactic Space Program

“World coming to an end?! Hurry, sign me up with Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic space program fast! Oh, shoot! The first flight out isn’t until 2013? Guess that means Branson is betting the world won’t stop spinning come Dec. 21. A ticket aboard this flight will cost a cool quarter mil, but with a passenger list that reportedly includes Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie this is one trip I wouldn’t want to miss. Oh yeah, plus it would be pretty cool to see the Earth from outer space.” -- Lisa, Producer 960 1280

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Penguins in the Falklands

Penguins in the Falklands

“Most people probably wouldn’t know where the Falkland Islands were if you asked them, which gives me all the more incentive to visit these isolated islands just off the southernmost tip of South America. The main reason I'd like to visit the Falklands is the chance to meet a penguin … or a few thousand. Five different species live on the tiny islands. And they're not afraid of humans; so I wouldn't have any problem getting a perfect photo op.” -- Amanda, Producer 960 1280

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Daydreaming in Fiji

Daydreaming in Fiji

“When I find myself daydreaming, there is only one place I go -- to the secluded, white-sanded, clear-watered beaches in Fiji. For me it’s the perfect place to relax in the sun, far away from the rest of the world. The island nation in Melanesia, located in the middle of the South Pacific, spans more than 330 islands, making it an ideal place to escape with your loved ones or simply spend time alone far away from the rest of civilization.” -- Ben, Producer 960 1280

  

Backpacking in the Outback

Backpacking in the Outback

"Taking a dive in the Great Barrier Reef, climbing to the top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge or just people watching and relaxing au naturel on Lady Jane Beach are all fun things I imagine my trip Down Under would include. However, if my days were numbered, I’d go on a balls-to-the-wall adventure and backpack my way through Australia’s Outback. Exploring natural beauty like Ayers Rock, Alice Springs, Kakadu National Park and the diverse wildlife would maintain my Zen state even though the Earth is about to fall off its axis, go hurling into space or just become a hot ball of sizzlin’ mess." -- Kwin, Managing Producer 960 1280

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See the Maldives

See the Maldives

"Working at Travel Channel has opened up a Pandora’s box; my bucket list will now take a Mega Millions-sized fortune to realize. The top of my list are the Maldives. Sadly, this stunning collection of 1,190 tiny islands and atolls may become the first nation to disappear into the water if climate change persists. It’s only a matter of time before my dream of scuba diving in the islands’ reefs becomes a distant wish, so my lottery win better be imminent!" -- Allee, Producer 960 1280

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Bouldering in Rocklands

Bouldering in Rocklands

“I made an afternoon trip to South Africa’s Rocklands a few years ago and the memory of those few hours there still hasn’t escaped my mind. The region is a massive collection of boulders in the country’s Cederberg Wilderness Area, just north of Cape Town. With the impending apocalypse upon us, I’ll spend my remaining moments climbing boulder after boulder with my trusty Nalgene flask filled with Talisker 18 for one final adventure in pebble wrestling.” -- Arthur, Video Project Manager 960 1280

  

Shopping in Dubai, UAE

Shopping in Dubai, UAE

"Let me tell you, Dubai is no joke -- we’re talking luxury at its finest! Besides being home to Burj Khalifa, which currently holds the title of the world’s tallest building, the city is a stone’s throw from the Palm Islands, the world’s largest artificial islands now being called the eighth wonder of the world. The UAE city has been on my bucket list for about 10 years, and once I find reasonably priced direct flight, I’m packing my bags. Whatever else Dubai has up its sleeve, I’m already looking forward to running around Dubailand and the Mall of Arabia like a kid in a candy store." -- Vanessa, Photo Editor 960 1280

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Dinosaurs in Patagonia

Dinosaurs in Patagonia

“Dinosaurs intrigue me. Maybe it’s because they ruled the Earth for such a friggin long time -- 160 million years. Granted, it may sound a bit odd to spend the end of days roaming the halls of Museo Carmen Funes, a small natural history museum in Patagonia, pondering the last days of a species that went extinct 65 million years ago. But looking up at the fossils of the biggest, most fantastical giants to have ever roamed the Earth would definitely transport my imagination to a place far, far away.” -- Lisa, Producer 960 1280

Claudio Bustos, flickr  

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