Pisa in Pictures: There's More to This Gorgeous City Than the Leaning Tower

When I was 19, my friends and I hopped off a train in Pisa, snapped a photo of the Leaning Tower, and then hopped back on another train out of there. What a wasted opportunity! Pisa has Bologna's activist energy (without all the graffiti and snobbery of the punkabestia and well-to-do); Florence’s beauty (without all the tourists); and Naple’s timeless wildness (but a little less wild and less petty crime). This town has so much more to offer than just a photo of at the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Spend at least a full day here, if not a few days.

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Lucca, Italy: Your Insider Guide on the Best Food and Places to See

Enough with Florence and Siena already. You should be walking the medieval walls of Lucca; eating aperitivo in Pisa; sipping Chianti at Castello di Brolio; or lounging by the sea in San Vicenzo. We cover all this on the Postcard Academy podcast episode: “Lucca, Pisa, and Other Towns in Tuscany You Must Visit.” To make things simple, here I’ll focus on the best things to eat and see in Lucca, Italy. 

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Thanksgiving: 10 Surprising Facts to Impress Your Friends this Holiday

Did you grow up learning the Pilgrims came to the New World to flee religious persecution? That’s actually not true. On the Postcard Academy podcast, Melanie Kirkpatrick, author of Thanksgiving: The Holiday at the Heart of the American Experience, helps decipher historical fact from fiction.

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Glasgow, Scotland: the Best Pubs, Restaurants, and Places to See in This European City of Culture

For decades, Glasgow, Scotland had a reputation for being a down-on-its-luck former industrial hub. But the Glaswegians worked hard to turn their city into a world-class tourist destination with museums, opera, ballet, and more. In 1990, Glasgow was named the European City of Culture and since then travelers from around the world have visited to enjoy its cozy pubs, great restaurants — which include a lot of veg-friendly options, delicious food markets, designer shops, and, of course, cultural offerings. 

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Workaway: 9 Tips to Live Like a Local and Travel the World Through Work Exchanges

My friends Daniel and Alinne fell in love when Daniel, an American, lived in Brazil for work as a stunt coordinator. They knew they wanted to stay together, but the U.S. denied Alinne, who’s Brazilian, a visa. To avoid the bureaucracy that plagues multi-national relationships, they decided to travel the world together instead of sticking to one place — and this journey has continued for nearly two years. Volunteering through Workaway has financially enabled them to keep traveling as long as they have. In the latest episode of the Postcard Academy podcast, they share their story and advice on how you can travel more by working your way around the world.

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New Orleans: A Local’s Guide to the Best Restaurants, Bars, & Quirky Fun

New Orleans celebrates its 300th anniversary this year, and since it’s almost Halloween, I thought this was the perfect time to talk about this haunted Southern city. On the Postcard Academy podcast, Hope Kodman, a tour guide with French Quarter Phantoms, joined me to talk about the history of the Big Easy; the origins of Mardi Gras; the difference between cajun and creole; and other fun stories. Of course, we tell you where to find the best: food and drinks, quirky shops and museums, burlesque,  jazz, ‘female-owned romantic boutique,’ and more.

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Why I, an Immigrant, Joined the People’s March Against Brexit

Personally, I don’t want Brexit to happen because, as an E.U. citizen, I would like to remain living and working here without any complications or fears of getting kicked out. I also believe in the core tenets of the European Union: human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, rule of law, and human rights. When expats on my podcast talk about identifying with the values of their adopted European countries, this is what they’re talking about. And in a world seemingly run by cartoon villains happy to destroy democracy and the Earth, a strong and unified Europe that fights for these values is essential. 

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Solo Female Travel: 15 Essential Tips to Ensure an Epic Journey Alone

Solo travel is a transformational experience that everyone should try at least once. Why? Whether you are a single student, married mom, or happy retiree, you deserve time to yourself to do whatever you want, discover new passions, and explore the world. Here’s what you need to get over your fears and book that first solo trip for yourself.

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Munich Must-Sees City Guide (Plus Day Trips)

You may know that Munich was the birthplace of the Nazi movement and that 80-90% of Munich was bombed in World War II. In the decades since, Munich has rebuilt itself into one of the most livable cities in the world. On the Postcard Academy podcast, Munich resident and tour guide Maxine Ryder shares her best insider travel tips on what to do in the old town and outside the city.

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Oktoberfest: Your Guide to Enjoying Munich’s Main Event (Even if You Hate Beer and Crowds)

As a vegetarian who doesn’t like beer, I never thought Oktoberfest would be an event for me. But, independent tour guide Maxine Ryder has convinced me otherwise! To start, did you know that at Munich’s massive event you’ll also find a Prosecco tent?? On the Postcard Academy podcast, Maxine, an British/Australian expat and Munich resident, and I talk about the history of Oktoberfest, the type of food and drink you’ll find there, strategies to have an amazing time, and more.

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Lesbian Travel: Best Resources for Planning the Perfect Vacation

In 1965, the Damron Company published the first gay travel guide for men. Today its guidebooks are more LGBT inclusive, but travel resources for lesbians are still paltry compared to what’s offered to the gay male community. Here’s your guide to planning the ultimate lesbian holiday, whether you’re coupling up or flying solo.

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Best of Barcelona: Your Ultimate City Guide

Barcelona has eight UNESCO sites, beaches, mountains, a beautiful historic center, tons of restaurants and boutiques, and art everywhere you look. No wonder it’s one of the most visited cities on Earth. On the Postcard Academy podcast, Paulina Grzeszczyk, of Devour tours, shares her insider tips to beat the crowds and discover the best the capital of Catalonia has to offer. 

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11 Tips to Surviving Long-Haul Flights in Economy

Flying messes with our mind, body, and spirit in all sorts of crazy ways. And if you’re stuck in economy for hours, it can feel downright painful. Here are 11 top tips to survive long-haul flights that my friend and I came up with after our recent 25-hour journey to Bali. 

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Growth Mindset: How to Change How You Think to Achieve Your Dreams

Did you ever really want to try something, but then not because you worried you’d look dumb? Most of us think like this! We’re plagued by what psychologist Carol Dweck calls a ‘fixed mindset.’ The great news is, we can change how we think, and, with a ‘growth mindset,’ get over our fears to pursue what we want in life. 

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Amsterdam Guide: Best Insider Tips for First Time Visitors

Amsterdam is more than hookers and weed. In fact, only 10% of Dutch people say they smoke marijuana. Want a more authentic Netherlands experience? Follow the advice of Audrey Sykes, author of the Amsterdam edition of the Moon Travel Guides (Don’t worry, we’ll still tell you where to find weed).

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Working Abroad: 6 Countries that are Great for Freelancers

Born in Bermuda, Lené Hypolite has lived in Venezuela, Canada, the U.S., Amsterdam, and is soon headed to Singapore and Tokyo. She loves the excitement of expat life, and also how its benefiting her career. On the Postcard Academy podcast, we talk about six countries where it’s a little bit easier visa-wise to live abroad, and how to find work there.

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Is Expensive Olive Oil Worth It? How to Find the Best in Italy

“That olive oil costs how MUCH? Why would I spend $15 when I can spend $4?” You’ve likely said this to yourself at some point. So what’s the difference between expensive olive oil versus the cheap stuff? Does it really matter? Yes. Toni Mazzaglia, founder of the food tour company Taste Florence came on the Postcard Academy podcast to explain how to find the best olive oil, when you should use it, and when you definitely should not. 

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