These 11 Cities Are Extremely Close to Active Volcanoes

There’s potential, if not immediate, danger.

Travelers love the thrill of seeing a volcano up close and personal. From lava hunting and climbing to sledding and abseiling down an active volcano, adventure seekers have found ways to add a twist to their sightseeing tours. The imposing volcanoes are a dramatic sight, even more so when they’re spewing smoke and ash. But the dangers of living close to an active volcano are real.  Just this month, the eruption of the underwater Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano in the Pacific has caused devastation in the remote archipelago of Tonga. This was the biggest volcanic activity recorded in 30 years on the planet. It triggered a tsunami that hit the archipelago and the main island of Tongatapu was severely damaged while the neighborhoods were also covered in ash. The waves were also felt on the west coast of the United States, as well as Peru, Japan, and New Zealand. There are many other cities in the world that are in the path of volcanic eruptions. There are also small communities and villages at the foothills of these volcanoes that face imminent danger from smoke, ash, pyroclastic flows (a hot mix of gas, rock, and ash that travels quickly) and lahars (mudflow), earthquake, and/or tsunami. DID YOU KNOW?The Pacific Ring of Fire is an arc that stretches over 25,000 miles from South America to New Zealand. It has 75% of the world’s active and dormant volcanoes and 90% of earthquakes happen here. The U.S., Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, Peru, Indonesia, Chile, and Papua New Guinea are all part of this belt.  

11 Magical Places Where Snow Falls on the Beaches

Bye, bye, bikini. Hello, parka!

When the weather turns chilly, travelers run in the direction of sun, sand, and sandals. But there are some beaches in the world where it’s hardly beach weather in winters. Quite the opposite, in fact. From the Jersey Shore to the Baltic coast, snow falling on beaches is an incredible, magical sight. White, powdery snow covers sandy beaches and turns the scenery into a winter wonderland unlike any you may have seen. Here we have 11 beaches where snow makes an appearance, so pack your beanies and gloves because things can get pretty cold out there.

13 Lunar New Year Traditions From Around the World

Usher in the Year of the Tiger with these traditions hailing from Vietnam to Malaysia.

Chinese New Year is possibly considered the most significant and important festival on the Lunar Calendar. This year, the Year of the Tiger, officially begins on February 1 and so marks many traditions and cultural activities Asian families must adhere to in the lead-up to the big day. Lucky foods must be cooked and eaten, a visit to the temple to honor those no longer with us is mandatory, and cleaning the house is imperative to remove any evil spirits and bad energy for a fresh start to a new year. With millions of Chinese migrants around the world, the Lunar New Year is not restricted to just the walls of China but has expanded all across Asia. Each country, region, and even sub-regional communities have their own traditions, showing the diversity of the Asian diaspora. My childhood involved a visit to the temple with my aunty and uncle, as well as going shopping with my mom for new clothes, but my friends in Vietnam, Singapore, and Malaysia have other family traditions I didn’t even know existed, which I love hearing about. Here are a few of my favorite Lunar New Year traditions that you too can incorporate into your new year celebrations. 新年快樂! Happy New Year!

Could This Be the Most Underrated Winter Destination in America?

The Pacific Northwest really heats up in the winter.

When it gets cold, everyone you know probably heads somewhere warm. Florida, Mexico, the Caribbean, you name it—if it’s warm and has a beach, people are flocking there. But may I propose the Pacific Northwest (or “PNW” for those in the know) to you instead? There’s a variety of climates, from rainy Seattle to relatively comfortable Portland, to snowy Boise, meaning a little something for everyone. And the region is packed full of stunning nature, marvelous food, and memorable experiences. If you haven’t been to the PNW in the wintertime, let me tempt you with the very best to add to your itinerary wishlist.