Author: Jonathon Engels

Every year at Christmastime, my mother chooses and champions a charitable cause. In lieu of fruitcakes, popcorn tins and kitschy socks, she sends out donations to what she considers the best non-profit organizations in our honor. It’s not that she isn’t festive, or doesn’t believe in celebrating Christmas traditions. But when it comes to gift-giving, she assumes the bulk of recipients have already handled their own food, drink and Christmas decorations. So instead, she gives something that embodies the giving spirit of the holidays. Since my mom started this tradition, many of our friends and relatives have followed suit. Our Christmas gifts now carry…

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The day before a holiday isn’t often considered a holiday itself. But when it comes to Christmas (and New Years), revelers seem determined to make the most of the celebrations. When it comes to Christmas, it seems as if one day just isn’t enough. It’s as if we can’t wait: We simply have to introduce “eve” celebrations! Isn’t that wonderful? The myriad Christmas Eve traditions around the world are both numerous and varied. There are tons of Christmas Eve dinner traditions. Many of the more religious Christmas Eve traditions around the world are also recognized as Christmas Day events, because…

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[Updated 10/26/21]   Making recycled Christmas decorations at home is a fantastic opportunity to slow down and savor the holiday season.   It gives us a chance to spend some quality time with our family and friends, not to mention avoiding the ever-increasing consumerist trappings of the holiday season. Using waste materials for our homemade holiday crafts is even better. It means that we aren’t producing more garbage in the course of our celebration, nor are we spending money to buy Christmas decorations we could easily make ourselves. But still, we’re fully embracing the festive spirit of the season. When we give…

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[Updated 10/25/21]   Christmas has been celebrated as a Christian holiday dating back to A.D. 336.   But it has also become an international phenomenon whose widespread popularity supersedes both its religious and pagan origins.   Did you know that, while 70% of the planet’s population is not Christian, nearly 80% of the world’s countries observe Christmas traditions in one form or another?   Many of the traditional symbols of Christmas transcend cultures and continents, including Christmas trees, gifts, ornaments, Santa (who’s known by many names), and, strangely, pickles.   Yet Christmas legends and Christmas traditions around the world vary drastically, with…

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[Updated 7/5/2021] There are numerous beautiful forests in the world, and collectively they cover about one-third of Earth’s total acreage. These forests provide the oxygen we need to breathe as well as sequester carbon, that confounding climate change catalyst. Forests also protect our world’s water supply: When they disappear, we inevitably get deserts. Despite these commonalities, the biggest forests in the world are impressively diverse. Each offers its own unique combinations of trees and understory plants. Each is home to a diverse array of animals, fungi, mosses, insects, and people. These incredible forests produce all sorts of food for us…

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[Updated 7/5/2021] Despite R&B legends TLC’s classic admonition not to go chasing them, waterfalls remain among those magical natural features that can put a given destination on millions of people’s world travel bucket lists. You’ll find waterfalls on every single continent. Countries like New Zealand and Norway are known for the volume of waterfalls they offer. Argentina/Brazil and Zambia/Zimbabwe are known for the sheer size of their waterfalls, while Japan’s falls are renowned for their beauty. Even ice-cold Antarctica has a famous waterfall! While most of us have a particular image of what a waterfall looks like, there are actually many…

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The writing staff here at Green Global Travel has been a fortunate group of ramblers, exploring a bevy of the biggest and tallest mountains in the world. From Alaska’s Denali/Mt. McKinley and Tanzania’s Mt. Kilimanjaro to the Andes mountains of South America and the Himalayan region around Ladakh, India, every continent has its most formidable and majestic peaks. Collectively known as the Seven Summits, these massive mountains have inspired adrenaline-fueled adventurers for more than a century now. Even ecotourism enthusiasts like us (who have ZERO interest in climbing Mt. Everest or K2) are drawn to the mountains. We love to explore hiking…

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[Updated 12/15/2020]  Did you know that more people celebrate New Years around the world than any other holiday? But, of course, that doesn’t mean that we all celebrate it in the same way. How I celebrate the New Year– watching the NYC countdown on television, kissing at midnight, champagne toasts, and fireworks– may be relatively commonplace in the United States. But New Year customs vary widely in different cultures around the world. Each country seems to have its own unique New Years celebrations, with different customs for ensuring health, wealth, happiness, and luck in the coming year. As we learn…

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