About 3,000–4,500 Tibetan refugees arrive in Dharamshala, India every year. Since the early 1950s, the Tibetan people have faced harsh Chinese rule — destruction of monasteries, brutal force against protesting and the slow, deliberate wiping out of Tibetan culture — forcing many to flee, on foot, over the bordering Himalayan mountains. The Dalai Llama himself fled in 1959 and leads his people from exile in Dharamashala.
While the popularity of displaying Tibetan prayer flags is still seen in cities across America, the need for more exposure and aid is more relevant today as the Tibetan culture slips away daily. Most recently, Humans of New York photographer Brandon Stanton has been shedding light on the ongoing struggle of the Tibetans living in Dharamshala. He has been documenting their stories, ranging from imprisonment by the Chinese to the everyday laughter of Tibetan child refugees, all of which received thousands of likes. That translates to thousands of people being educated on the situation of these people.
Not surprisingly, there are an abundance of service opportunities in the region. Teaching English, working with children and women, human rights activism and countless others, these programs are not only invaluable to the Tibetan people, but are also located in the serene Himalayan mountains. The opportunities for hiking, photography and just plain disconnecting make this an incredible voluntourism destination.
The Saronic or Argo Saronic Islands of Greece call travelers to explore its seven small islands and islets brimming with history, natural sites and more. With most easily accessible by boat, the islands’ proximity to ports of Athens make the Saronic Islands an ideal destination for those preferring shorter boat rides. In fact, trips from Athens ports to the islands take only between 10 minutes and two hours, depending on the island you choose, making them perfect for day or weekend trips.
As travelers look for ways to slow down, be present and be a little more mindful during their trips, some hotels and resorts tout a new accommodation concept: the deconstructed hotel. Just like a deconstructed dish separates all of the dish’s individual ingredients so one can experience each separately but still enjoy the overall effect of the whole, a deconstructed hotel breaks down a property into its separate components, requiring a traveler to move between each in a more mindful, present manner.
Cherry blossom season is right around the corner. Check out these hotels and destinations to see cherry blossoms in their prime.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
Planning an international road trip for later this year? You’ll want to choose your destination carefully, as some are better than others. Compare the Market, a platform helping shoppers compare insurance, recently conducted a survey to uncover which international destinations are best for a road trip, based on factors such as gas prices, fatal accident likelihood, traffic, car rental costs and road quality.