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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.

National Geographic Traveler editor at large Christopher Elliott is the magazine’s consumer advocate and ombudsman. Over the past 15 years he has helped countless readers fix their trips. Here’s his latest advice.

I was first sent to the Dordogne Valley in southwestern France more than two decades ago to shoot a story about a truffle farmer for a food magazine. Later, when I tasted my first black truffle, I thought my head was going to explode with the heady new flavor. And by dark that first day, I was as hooked on truffles as I was on the place of their origin.

Chris Guillebeau achieved something most people only dream of: visiting every country in the world. If that wasn’t impressive enough, he managed to complete this remarkable feat before his 35th birthday. When he’s not traveling, Chris can be found writing (he’s the New York Times best-selling author of The Happiness of Pursuit and The $100 Startup) and hosting the World Dominations Summit, an annual gathering of creative people from across the globe. Here’s a look at the world through Chris’s unique lens.

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.

Tea Time in the Amazon

The next superfood is brewing deep in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Guayusa tea packs twice the antioxidants of green tea and as much caffeine as a cup of coffee. Local Kichwa people have long steeped the leaves to help them focus during hunts and help interpret dreams—and now, thanks to Brooklyn-based Runa, thirsty travelers can taste…

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.

Adventure 101: Ice Climbing in Ouray

Chatter about the world’s top ice climbing spots will always circle back to Ouray, a sleepy town in southwestern Colorado where more than 20 years ago, a few visionary climbers started teasing streams of water down the walls of a steep, shadowy gorge. Since then Ouray Ice Park has blossomed into an ice climber’s dream-come-true,…

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.