Tag Archives: tours

A Walk through Dreams: The Ellis Island Hard Hat Tour

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From 1892 to 1954, Ellis Island processed about 12 million immigrants before it could be decided that they would be allowed to begin their lives in this country. The Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital, the United States’ first public health hospital, opened its doors in 1902. It is here where immigrants who were deemed too unhealthy to enter the country would stay. The treatment for various ailments, some far too gruesome for today’s standards, would either result in success, at which point immigrants would be released to enter the country, or failure, at which point they would be sent back.

It is difficult to imagine the fear and stress many of these newcomers experienced through the overall immigration process, especially for many who did not speak the language or had ever even seen a doctor before. Imagine the intimidation of being poked at, examined, or even questioned by men in lab coats, separated from your family, from your parents, being spoken to in ways you could not understand, all the while knowing that your dreams where just one more boat ride away.

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Timeless Ireland at Ashford Castle

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I think back at the days I spent touring Ireland and I realize that the moments where I was happiest was when I felt the history of the place around me. There’s something to be revered about a place that has survived the test of time and the whims of humanity.

There would be many places in my Ireland road trip with Insight Vacations that would wow me, but none would be as awe-inspiring as the majestic Ashford Castle.

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Off on an Iberian Adventure!

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Over the next week I will be joining the nice people of Insight Vacations for another fabulous tour. This time, I will be going on an Iberian adventure which will kick off at Lisbon, Portugal and end in Madrid, Spain.

The itinerary promises to delight my senses with the food, sights, and sounds of these two countries. Other stops are: Evora, also in Portugal, and Sevilla and Madrid in Spain.

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Taking in Prague, Czech Republic

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Though I visited Prague for the first time a few weeks now while on a luxury tour with Insight Vacations, it has taken me a bit to really wrap my head around how I was left feeling about it.

Prague is a beautiful city, old and historic, artistic and cultural. It is largest city of the Czech Republic as well as its capital and that of Bohemia. On a Spring day, walking through Prague is a great experience. But just as the city is beautiful, its history is heavy, forcing you to take pause from all that has happened here and the lessons humanity can walk away with after touring the many museums and memorials.

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Thoughts on Guided Tour Travel and My Experience with Insight Vacations

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I’ve met a lot of people who take great pride in solo travel.  There’s something really courageous and inspiring about the idea of taking on the world alone, the journey of self-discovery, the sense of adventure. The funny thing is that despite the negative messages I often hear from these same travelers about group travel, I have found that traveling with others, being with a group of friends, family, or even like-minded strangers brought together through a common goal, can be just as inspiring and courageous.

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Fun Holiday Sights & Tours in NYC

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The holiday season is in full effect and the streets of New York are as crowded as ever. Personally, I can’t get enough of the energy of the city now – with its festive, happy vibe – though it’s important to note that I make sure to clear my head and place myself in total zen mode before hitting the streets to take it all in.

But, taking it all in can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t exactly know where to start. This is when taking a list can be extremely helpful in not only getting you to the best spots to see in the city, but also to highlight some other things you might have not noticed or known about.

I took a couple of days of playing tourist in the city to check some fun tours and happenings in town.

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A Walk Back in Time at Saint-Émilion, France

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What I love the most about my visits to Europe is how you can learn so much not just from its literature, but also from taking a tour, walking around, or admiring their surrounding architecture. There are countless cities and villages like these, but when in France a visit to Saint-Emilion, a World Heritage Site, is a wonderful passage back in time.

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A Walk Through Williamsburg, Brooklyn

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New York City changes so quickly that what you once knew can be something entirely different a short time later. This ever-evolving shift is the story of New York and as communities come in and out they shape both the landscaping and the culture of the city, sometimes a difficult pill to swallow for those being pushed out or left with the realization that there is no longer a place for them to call home. I returned to such a place during a tour recently.

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What The Ghetto Tour Didn’t Tell Travelers About The Bronx, NY

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Last Sunday the New York Post reported on a popular excursion hosted by Real Bronx Tour called “The Ghetto Tour“. The groups participating in the tour were mostly made up of European and Australian tourists and covered sections from Midtown to the South Bronx. New York Pass describes the tours as a ride through a real New York City “GHETTO”.

The price to stare at poor people of color? $45 per person.

And with that, tourists lined up, cameras in hand as tour guides took them along low-income neighborhoods, lines of homeless people waiting for food at their local shelters, and everyday people just going about their lives. Though a lot of these tourists will see many people different from them, doing things that maybe they don’t often see being done in their own country, in ways that they are unfamiliar with, I can guarantee that they won’t see “the ghetto”.

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The Finger Lakes as a Foodie Destination

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If you are in NYC, or close enough to it, you might actually believe that you have no need to travel too far to taste the best of the best. But the truth is a lot of the best of what NYers enjoy in their favorite city restaurants come from upstate, and when it comes to a farm-to-table experience, there is no better place to be. Many restaurants and chefs work with their local farmers, often their closest neighbors, to deliver and create the many seasonal dishes I enjoy with each visit there. 

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