Back in 2010, Houston-born schoolteacher Lynda Martinez traded the Gulf of Mexico for the Persian Gulf—with two sons in tow—when her husband was offered a job in Dubai. Though her “heart is still in Texas,” Lynda has grown fond of her current home base and shares the love on her blog, Longhorns and Camels. Here’s a look at Dubai through her unique lens.
From music festivals to flower shows, beaches to wineries, here are 20 ways to make the most of the next few months in 20 cities around the globe.
Anne Elder “fell in love with France somewhere between Madeline and Moulin Rouge.” After studying abroad in Paris, the life-long Francophile migrated south and found a home in Aix-en-Provence, France. When she’s not helping students learn English as a teaching assistant, Anne spends her time keeping her blog up to date, working on the perfect bœuf bourguignon, or trying to blend in with…
Diana Orduna began her love affair with Geneva—a place she describes as “a huge melting pot of cultures, people, and international organizations”—three years ago. Soon after relocating from Mexico to the capital of Switzerland’s Romandy, or French-speaking, region, she started sharing her discoveries with the world on Spotted by Locals and on her own blog, LivinGeneva. Here are a few of Diana’s favorite things about her hometown of choice.
In 2013, Trevor Huxham left Texas for Santiago de Compostela and never looked back. Now an English teacher at a bilingual school, Trevor spends his extracurricular time cataloguing the many pleasures of Santiago de Compostela on his blog, A Texan in Spain. “Not only is Santiago the endpoint of the historic and modern Camino phenomenon, but it is also a lively university town with great seafood and beautiful granite architecture,” he writes. Here are some of Trevor’s favorite things about the World Heritage-listed city he calls home.
Avid traveler and Venezuelan national Andreina Pantin moved to Panama in 2009, and has been exploring the ins and outs of its capital city ever since. Adreina believes that “to love a place, it is important to know it, its people, and its culture,” and practices what she preaches by blogging about her ongoing discoveries in and around Panama City. Here are a few of her favorite things about the cultural crossroads she calls home.
Avid traveler Risto Kuulasmaa has explored monasteries in Bhutan, trekked across deserts in the Middle East, hiked across Iceland, and then some. Despite his wanderlust, the Scandinavian television producer has proudly called the “hassle-free, pocket-size metropolis” of Helsinki home for the past 12 years. Here are a few of Risto’s favorite things about Finland’s capital city.
Despite her many travels, Melissa Mederos cannot imagine calling any place but Miami home. The Magic City native is as up for an urban adventure as she is for exploring the abundant natural splendor that surrounds her city (think the Everglades and the Keys). Here are a few of Melissa’s favorite things about her hometown paradise.
Ana Maria Malpartida was born an ocean away from Zurich, but that hasn’t stopped her from calling Switzerland’s biggest city home. The Peruvian-born, Swiss-at-heart foodie spends most of her time—and a good portion of her salary—searching out the best eats in Zurich and sharing her finds with the world on Spotted By Locals. Here’s a look at Ana Maria’s adopted hometown through her unique lens.
Even though Nicole Brewer hails from Detroit, Michigan, she has made the world her home. After stints in South Korea, Germany, and South Africa, Nicole decided to take a job as an English instructor in Nizwa, Oman. When she’s not at the head of the class, she’s hard at work building I Luv 2 Globetrot, a blog she co-founded with a…
Texas native Diana Skok Corridori traded the Lone Star State for the Old Country when she moved to Milan to live with her Italian husband. In addition to raising her two sons, she spends her time writing about the quirks and beauty of life in northern Italy through her travel blog Vino Vita Viaggi. Here’s a look at Milan through Diana’s unique lens.
Tim Steins is no stranger to Cologne. Born 30 kilometers north of this German city, he spent his childhood exploring Cologne on the weekends with friends in tow. He now channels his hometown pride into the Spotted by Locals blog while working for a media analysis agency. Though he’s lived in numerous places around Europe, Tim recognizes the “heart-warming spirit” of his current home: “Cologne is not a city, it’s a feeling.”
Laura Bronner is an American expat who has been living in Sydney for the last two years. After graduating from college, she set off on what was supposed to be a year of travel; that was almost four years ago. Since then she has lived and traveled all over New Zealand and Australia.
Rebecca Davis is a St. Petersburg native through and through. A recent transplant to Washington, D.C., she now delights in visiting what she describes as a “tropical, art-conscious city with a laid-back beach vibe.” Rebecca gets to explore the world by way of photographs and stories as an associate producer at Nat Geo Travel, but she’ll always be proud of her Florida roots. Here are a few of her favorite things about St. Petersburg.
Freelance writer Karen Attman moved to Venezuela from the United States nearly two decades ago to embrace the ex-pat life and hasn’t looked back. She moved her home base to Bogotá in 2012 and thrives on the Colombian capital’s enthusiasm and creativity. “It’s a flourishing city that has an amazing energy,” she says, “but the main reason is all about the people. They are innovative, creative, loving, open, and generous.” Here are a few of Karen’s favorite things about her adopted hometown.
Raised in a quasi-treehouse on the edge of Cayuga Lake in Ithaca, New York, Nat Geo Young Explorer Alizé Carrère now travels the globe to illuminate how humans and other animals adapt to changing environments. When she’s not in the field, she recharges her batteries in her beloved hometown. Ithaca “is an incubator for creativity, intellectual development, self-expression, and a place to gain an appreciation for life’s diversity,” she says.
Magda Przedmojska delights in sharing her city with the rest of the world—that’s why she’s a regular contributor to Spotted By Locals Warsaw. Though this avid traveler has lived elsewhere—from Aberdeen to Berlin—the Polish capital has her heart. “Warsaw is still the place to be because of my friends and family—the most important people in my life,” she says. Here are some of the reasons Magda describes her hometown as “quite a nice melting point to visit.”
Nat Geo Young Explorer Erin Spencer is a marine scientist with a curious fascination with invasive lionfish and tri-cornered hats. After visiting Virginia’s Historic Triangle every year as a child, she ended up moving to Williamsburg to attend William & Mary. Though she now lives in D.C., she takes frequent trips to satisfy her colonial cravings. Here are some of Erin’s favorite things about her home away from home.
Zubair Khawar is a textile designer, but his true passion is travel photography. Born and raised in Lahore, he has recently started exploring his hometown through the eyes of a visitor—the true mark of any travel photographer worth his snuff—wandering the city’s markets, observing the crowds, and sharing the color and bustle of daily life through images. Here’s a look at the Punjab provincial capital through Zubair’s lens.
Seattle local Adina Marguerite Pease is a creative type who lives to wander. While she’ll always be a California girl at heart, she moved to the Emerald City seeking greener pastures, and found them. When she’s not exploring the Pacific Northwest, Adina sets out on road trip adventures around the world with her husband and their Vizsla pup, Parsley. Here are a few of her favorite things about the city she calls home.
Vilnius native Kamilė Naraitė attributes her effusive hometown pride to her mother, who exposed her to the most beautiful and historic spots in Lithuania’s capital city. And though Kamilė loves traveling around the world, she makes a point to share her insider intel on the best things to see and do in Vilnius on Spotted by Locals. Here’s a taste of what she thinks will make fellow travelers “fall in love with this green, natural, and unique city” she calls home.
Researcher and artist Mimi Onuoha was living in Brooklyn…right before she found out she had been selected as one of five Fulbright-Nat Geo digital storytelling fellows. She’s since hopped the pond to London to explore how technology and culture influence and affect each other, but she’ll never get Brooklyn out of her soul. As she says, “you can’t help but find endearing a city that will offer you everything but only kind of heart you back.” Here are some of Mimi’s favorite things about NYC’s most populous borough.
Nat Geo Young Explorer Hannah Reyes is a photographer and travel enthusiast whose work has taken her to the unlikeliest of places to document threatened indigenous cultures. After growing up in the Philippine capital, Manila, she chose a similarly chaotic city in Cambodia—Phnom Penh—as her new home base. With its rich history and its diverse landscapes, Hannah says, “those who decide to take a close look at this changing place enjoy the reward of discovering its wonderful secrets.” Here are a few of her favorite things about the city she calls home.
A bodhrán player (and also a maker of the traditional drums), set dancer (a type of Irish folk dance), and bog oak sculptor, Belfast native Eamon Maguire is well versed in Irish culture. He also helps pass on these traditions as an instructor at An Droichead, an Irish language and arts school in the city. Here are a few of Eamon’s favorite things about the capital and creative hub of Northern Ireland.