What do National Geographic staffers bring back from their travels? Here’s a peek into our baggage.

Truth is stranger than fiction. Here are five travel factoids to help prove it.

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…

There are some amazing events on tap all over the world, all the time. Here’s a taste of what you can see and do in February.

Conservation photographer and National Geographic Explorer Carlton Ward, Jr., has been captivated by Florida’s Everglades National Park since he was a child, so much so that he’s made protecting it—and the amazing wildlife that lives there—his life’s work. Here’s a look at the ecological wonderland through his unique lens.

Planes, trains, and automobiles certainly provide travelers with an edge when it comes to getting the most mileage out of Europe’s dreamy, castle-flecked landscapes. But there’s a price to pay: We end up being passive observers, rather than participants in the journey itself. For an intimate travel experience alive with nature and a sense of history, train your sights on these five routes.

Just Back: Paris

Nat Geo Travel associate producer Megan Heltzel (on Twitter and Instagram @MeganHeltzel) recently returned from a trip to Paris. Though it was her second visit to the French capital, this trip was especially memorable because she returned home engaged to be married! Here are some of the high points of her trip (besides the ring on her finger), in her own words.

Fez native Hamza El Fasiki is a jack of all trades. The social entrepreneur, artist (he learned the traditional art of tea-tray etching from his father), musician (he plays a mean oud), and academic (he holds a master’s degree in Moroccan culture) has been led by his interests all around the world. Though Hamza’s spent time in the U.S., Japan, Greece, and the United Arab Emirates, nothing can compare to his hometown. Here are a few of his favorite things about the “Athens of Africa.”

I’ve been traveling to Miami for 15 years. In that time, it has changed dramatically, evolving from a spring break destination into one of America’s most sophisticated cities, with an incredible art scene, fantastic food, and a host of cool hotels. Anyone who visits Miami in winter has cursed the weather gods when a tropical weekend turns cloudy and chilly. But fear not. Take advantage of these days to explore beyond the beach scene. Here’s where to go.

Travel Lately—a roundup of the best new dispatches from the travel blogosphere—is a regular feature on Intelligent Travel every other Wednesday. You can play, too. Follow us on Twitter @NatGeoTravel and tag your favorite travel stories #NGTRadar to help us find the crème de la crème on the Web.

Lisbon Like a Local

I recently spent nine days in Lisbon, which felt downright decadent. The whole time I was there, I kept meaning to visit Castelo de São Jorge. It’s a guidebook must-see and I definitely had time. But the castle on the hill started to feel less and less important as I roamed the city’s colorful neighborhoods and joined the rhythm of everyday life. Here’s why I returned home an ambassador for the Portuguese capital.

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.

A new year calls for new additions to travel to-do lists. To get inspired, we asked our Nat Geo Travel Facebook fans to share their picks for 2015’s must-visit destinations.

Fellow travelers frequently ask me if there are any places I have been that I would go back to in a heartbeat. Well, Sri Lanka quickly comes to mind (I’m currently planning my third trip there). Which, of course, begs the question: Why? Here are seven reasons Sri Lanka is on my revisit list for 2015.

Backcountry management specialist Christine Hoyer has spent the last seven years working at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. An outdoor enthusiast through and through, Christine is fortunate enough to have made her love of the outdoors into a career. When she’s not working in “America’s most visited national park,” Christine can be found hiking, backpacking, and photographing in her favorite place—the Great Smoky Mountains. Here is a look at this diverse park through her unique lens.

Our travel writing guru Don George sounds off on the latest and greatest #TripLit titles that will transport you from Cuba to Sri Lanka.

I Heart My City: Tim’s Cologne

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.”

London’s most lovable bear, Paddington, is hitting big screens across the globe. To celebrate in England’s capital, retrace the teddy’s wellie-wearing footsteps to Portobello Market.

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.

Postcard From Penang

There’s no finer end to a day in Penang, Malaysia, than to watch the tropic sun drop into the Strait of Malacca. Drink to the dusk with a cold Tiger beer, a reward for exploring the tightly packed and steamy streets of the city’s preserved inner core—a 640-acre UNESCO World Heritage site known by its English colonial name, George Town.

National Geographic Traveler columnist Heather Greenwood Davis is the magazine’s family travel advocate, guru, and soothsayer. Here’s her latest advice.

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.

Whenever a traveler returns to a beloved place after a long hiatus, the trip is inevitably attended by some combination of anticipation and dread. Will it be as great as you remember? Has time treated it well?

Travelers have largely overlooked the Balkan region, which has long been shrouded by a troubled past. But its enigmatic nature may prove to be its most potent drawing card.

When you work at National Geographic, one of the first questions people ask is if you get to travel. The answer is often yes, but one of the best parts of the job is being surrounded by sharp, globe-trotting people, and getting to hear their stories. That’s why we asked folks on the Nat Geo Travel team to share a story about the best trip they’ve taken in the past year with our readers.