I Heart My City: Sabina’s Baku, Azerbaijan

“The world should heart my city because Baku embraces Jewish communities, Orthodox and [Roman] Catholic churches, [and] international visitors,” local Sabina Yadullayeva says, “while being a modern Muslim city where the East meets the West.” Here are a few of her favorite things about the Azerbaijani capital she’s proud to call home.

Ten Ways to Go Local in Bulgaria

As Andrew Nelson writes in a recent feature story he wrote for Traveler magazine, Bulgaria is a whirlpool of civilizations. “Everyone, it seems, has come [here]. The Thracians, with their gold. Rome, with its legions. The Asiatic Bulgars, the country’s namesake. Also Huns, Slavs, Jews, Turks, with their many traditions.” Here are ten ways to do like the locals do in this Balkan beauty.

Reader Recs: The Best of South America

From the spectacular wildlife of the Galápagos to the pulsating nightlife of Lima, South America offers a tremendous diversity of experiences. That’s why we asked our fans on Facebook to share their top tips for the continent. Here’s what they had to say.

I Heart My City: Ingrid’s Cancún

German national Ingrid Ernst has been living in Cancún for the past decade. She has traveled extensively throughout Mexico, documenting her adventures on her Facebook page and a bilingual (German and English) blog she started. “The world should heart my city because [Cancún] combines breathtaking beaches, natural wonders, culture, and history,” she says. Here are a few of Ingrid’s favorite things about…

Big on Charm: Colonial Cartagena

Your calendar might say winter’s drawing near, but Cartagena de Indias, just a few degrees north of the Equator, is warm year-round. Flowers, the season’s clear skies, and world-class cultural events create an eclectic allure in this coastal resort city in Colombia.

I Heart My City: Anne’s Chambéry, France

Few outside of France have heard of Chambéry, and those who have probably know it as a pit stop en route to their favorite Alpine ski stations. Washington, D.C. native Anne Donnelly (on Instagram @amdonn8) has the pleasure of living in this little medieval city in the mountains while she works as an English language teaching assistant in the…

Surfing Sand in the Arabian Desert

Sandboarding may have been invented on California’s coastal dunes, but the sport reaches new adrenaline-packed heights on the rolling dunes of the Arabian Desert.

Spiritual Slumber Party: ‘Champing’ in England

Falling asleep in church has been frowned upon—until now. Thanks to the Churches Conservation Trust, four of England’s historic churches become hallowed hostels by night.

I Heart My City: Claudia’s Dublin

Claudia Rodríguez lives to explore Dublin—and to share her insider intel on Spotted By Locals. Here are a few of her favorite things about the city she’s been proud to call home for the past seven years (and counting!).

Free-Wheeling India: Kerala By Bike

Slow life down with a ride among elephants and temples in the magical backwaters of southern India.

Mexico’s Island Eden: Isla Holbox

“Holbox reminds me of Tulum, ten years ago.” “Yeah, or Playa del Carmen back in the day, when the Blue Parrot was the only place on the beach.” Okay, I was eavesdropping; a Holbox Island newbie sitting beside a group of silver-haired norteamericanos in faded board shorts and boat shoes who looked like they would…

I Heart My City: Hajar’s Singapore

Hajar Ali is the founder of Urbane Nomads, a company specializing in luxury travel to off-the-beaten-path places. Though she’s based in Singapore, the entrepreneur spends much of her time exploring the world. But no matter how far she roams, Hajar’s always happy to be back in Singapore. Here are a few of her favorite things about the place she’s proud to call home.