Binula

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11 Cities You Must Backpack At Least Once

There are almost too many must-see cities in the world -- and the most seamless way to hit them all is by backpacking. With little luggage and a huge sense of adventure, a backpacking trip allows you to experience new places with freedom and ease (all while teaching you more than college ever …

18 free things to do in Barcelona

Barcelona has enough to keep the most voracious of culture vultures and self-indulgent of gourmands happy for weeks, but all those entry fees and tapas bills can mount up. Fortunately, help is at hand with a variety of ways to make your holiday budget stretch a little further.<p>In addition to the …

Unmissable South America

South America is home to dramatic landscapes, archaeological splendours from the past and a dizzying variety of wildlife - the largest collection of plant and animal species on earth, in fact. For the sheer awe factor, it's hard to top seeing Incan ruins through mist-covered cloud forest, spying …

Best ways to see Quito

Way up in a 30-mile long valley of the Andes, Ecuador's capital is undergoing a complete make-over. Quito's Spanish-colonial center helped it become the first city declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site 35 years ago, and 'Plan Q' has continued to help preservation and rebirth. The plan has pumped a …

Barcelona's top museums and galleries

<i>This highlighted list of museums and galleries is taken from Lonely Planet's city guide to</i> <i>Barcelona</i><i>.</i><p>GALLERIES<p>CaixaForum<p><i>Image of CaixaForum by</i> <i>montuno</i><br>Housed in a former Modernista factory, an outstanding brick caprice by Josep Puig i Cadafalch, this extensive private collection of contemporary art is …

Barcelona

Splash out: the world's most amazing waterfalls

The bigger they are, the harder they fall – feel the power of the planet's mightiest and most beautiful waterfalls.<p>1. Victoria Falls, Zambia/Zimbabwe<p><i>Image by MAZZALIARMADI.IT</i><p>Explorer David Livingstone could be accused of dampening expectations by naming these falls after England's doughy queen: …

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Zürich: more than finance and fondue

Ask the average person to name the party capital of Europe and Zürich probably would not top the list. What's in Zürich? Erm…bankers, fondue, chocolate, chalet-style cuckoo clocks. Think that covers it? Think again.<p>Switzerland’s largest city may not have the glamour of Paris, the hedonistic party …

A beginner's guide to Brazil

What do you get if you combine cinematic landscapes, kaleidoscopic culture, head-spinning biodiversity and a constant rhythm of carefree joie de vivre? Welcome to Brazil!<p>The world's fifth-largest country commandeers the lion's share of South America, all the way from the Amazon Basin – the world's …

Been There. Done That. What's Next? 8 Truly Novel Travel Ideas for 2014

Climbed the Sydney Harbor Bridge; mountain biked the Khyber Pass. <i>Been there.</i><p>Tried zorbing; swam with Great Whites off South Africa's coast. <i>Done that</i>.<p>Did the Antarctic Ice Marathon; sick of sand in every orifice after Burning Man. <i>What's next?</i><p><i>Been there. Done that. What's Next</i>? Indeed, what? Okay, so …

“Tip-of-the-Tongue Syndrome,” Transactive Memory, and How the Internet Is Making Us Smarter

<i>“The dangerous time when mechanical voices, radios, telephones, take the place of human intimacies, and the concept of being in touch with millions brings a greater and greater poverty in intimacy and human vision,”</i> Anaïs Nin wrote in her diary in 1946, decades before the internet as we know it …

The Science and Philosophy of Friendship: Lessons from Aristotle on the Art of Connection

<i>“A principal fruit of friendship,”</i> Francis Bacon wrote in his timeless meditation on the subject, <i>“is the ease and discharge of the fulness and swellings of the heart, which passions of all kinds do cause and induce.”</i> For Thoreau, friendship was one of life’s great rewards. But in today’s cultural …

The Science of Procrastination and How to Manage It, Animated

From AsapSCIENCE — who have previously brought us the scientific cure for hangovers, the neurobiology of orgasms, and how music enchants the brain — comes this illustrated explication of the science of procrastination and how to manage it, a fine addition to these five perspectives on …

Long-term travel: top tips for a fulfilling trip

Most of us have fantasised about ditching the daily grind of the office job and domestic duties for a one-way ticket to happiness. Now more people are taking action in striving for a more meaningful existence, and travel is at the top of the list.<p>The ease of leveraging digital technology is giving …

Top five nerve-shredding road trips in Costa Rica

Renting a car in Costa Rica is costly and can even be dangerous if you're not prepared for what's to come. It’s also ridiculously good fun. Some of the most interesting, little-explored destinations are only accessible by car, and for the adventurous traveler, there’s simply no substitute for the …

Central America

Top 20 free things to do in Berlin

Berlin may be one of the best-value cities in Europe but, for visitors, those euros can start to add up after days of museum-hopping and nights of clubbing. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to stretch your budget further by cashing in on some tip-top freebies.<p>Catch a ride to the Reichstag’s …

Germany

The world's best places to see autumn colours

The dog days of summer are over. But despite the chill in the air, there’s no need to be downhearted. Autumn is the most spectacular season, a last hurrah before the bitter winds of winter take hold.<p>Pull on your walking boots and head to one of these stunning destinations to witness glorious autumn …

Victoria (Australia)

How to choose between Thailand’s classic gulf islands

With hundreds of dreamy tropical islands scattered along Thailand’s extensive coastline, choosing your ideal island escape can be overwhelming. Each one of those specks in the ocean is a tantalising composition of turquoise water, lush jungles and divine beaches – so how's a traveller to …

The Spirituality of Imperfection: Storytelling and the Search for Meaning

The poet John Keats once described the ideal state of the psyche as <i>negative capability</i> — the ability “of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts without any irritable reaching after fact & reason.” “The truth of life is its mystery,” echoed Joyce Carol Oates. This comfort with mystery and the …

A natural history of love – a must-read: http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/04/29/a-natural-history-of-love/

Literature

How to find fulfilling work – a fantastic read: http://j.mp/10aU7fH

Charles Bukowski, Arthur C. Clarke, Annie Dillard, John Cage, and Others on the Meaning of Life

The quest to understand the meaning of life has haunted humanity since the dawn of existence. Modern history alone has given us a plethora of attempted answers, including ones from Steve Jobs, Stanley Kubrick, David Foster Wallace, Anais Nin, Ray Bradbury, and Jackson Pollock’s dad. In 1988, the …

Alain de Botton on How to Think More About Sex

<i>“When we hook up with another, in sex or love (or, more rarely, both) we prove that our isolation is not permanent,”</i> Dorion Sagan — son of Carl — wrote in his fascinating history of sex. And yet that very quest to end our isolation has been subject to centuries of stigma and incessant friction with …

How to Write with Style: Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Keys to the Power of the Written Word

<b>Kurt Vonnegut</b> (November 11, 1922–April 11, 2007) has given us some of the most timeless advice on the art and craft of writing — from his 8 rules for a great story to his insights on the shapes of stories to his formidable daily routine. But hardly anything examines the subject with a more potent …

Why Emotional Excess is Essential to Writing and Creativity

The third volume of Anaïs Nin’s diaries has been on heavy rotation in recent weeks, yielding Nin’s thoughtful and timeless meditations on life, mass movements, Paris vs. New York, what makes a great city, and the joy of handicraft.<p>The subsequent installment, <b>The Diary of Anais Nin, Vol. 4: 1944-1947</b> …