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Confession: I used to be afraid of flying. I would fly, so it wasn't enough of an all-consuming fear to keep me off airplanes, but I would get terribly nervous during takeoff though climb, and especially during turbulence. This is not abnormal as many, many people suffer from varying degrees of a fear of flying. I conquered my fear by flying more, and more, and more, and eventually I learned to love and even look forward to being in the air.
British Airways offers coursestitled "Flying with Confidence"to overcome fears like this, and though they typically take place in the UK, they'll be mounting a special course in New York City this April. Virgin Atlantic offers a similar course, but we're afraid their iPhone app is the closest to the USA it's getting.
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We realize that going to the airport isn’t exactly as exciting as flying out of the airport—like when you’re the only one that can drop-off grandma on a Thursday afternoon. Sometimes it just isn’t in the cards, so why not just take an airport tour? Here’s three airports that offer up free field trips to everywhere but the sky:
· John Wayne Airport
The tour of Orange County’s airport might not be as exhilarating as the area’s other attractions—uh, Disneyland—but it’s still better than watching repeats of Real Housewives. The Thomas F. Riley Terminal is open to one and all, as volunteer tour guides are eager to take you for a spin around the airport.
It's not often that package tours excite us, but every time we read about the Smithsonian Journeys we get really itchy feet. The catch is that the price tag for the once-in-a-lifetime journeys is relatively highusually pretty fair considering they include interesting experts and experiences that the average traveler often missesbut still kinda pricey.
But this could be your lucky week since a Smithsonian promotion arrived in our in-box with the promise of discounted prices, and we sat up and took notice. The tours are still not exactly in the budget travel range, but they're a little more affordable.
San Francisco / San Francisco Travel / Educational Travel / California / California Travel / → All Tags
San Francisco's majestic orange gateway, the Golden Gate Bridge, has served as highlight in panoramic film shots, and famously, a protest site for a green-friendly Hollywood actor. It's come to represent the City by the Bay like no other landmark, hence the throngs of tourists and locals that flock to it for photo opportunities, or to see its fantastic details up close.
To augment its beauty, the San Francisco Chronicle reported this week that The National Science Foundation "awarded the bridge district $3 million...to install outdoor exhibits explaining "its engineering and history." For visitors, this offers the chance to soak up some educational details while ogling its impressive construction. During most of our visits to the Bridge, we've seen people cruise by for a quick picture and maybe a moment of reflection, then quickly depart. The installations will, hopefully, remedy this hurried tourist mindset. Reports the Chronicle:
If the London storefront known as The School of Life is "an apothecary for the mind," then what they prescribe are cures for boredom, sluggish creativity, and an overall feeling of being "stuck." Tough times these may be, and call us equally tough for saying so, but we've grown tired of hearing the same tired moan and groan of pessimism.
Travel is about exploration, not least of all self-exploration, so we were excited to hear about this small shop offering big ideas—a place to break the touristy routine of museum visits and double-decker buses and get a little more out of our next London experience.
If you've always wanted to make the hike to Machu Picchu to see the Incan ruins, or snorkel alongside the fish at the Great Barrier Reef, Smithsonian Journeys is foaming at the mouth with the desire to plan your trip. Journeys—the official travel program of the granddaddy of all museums, the Smithsonian—launched a new blog series and photo gallery focusing on UNESCO World Heritage sites, those places around the planet that the group deems to have "outstanding value to humanity."
Of course, both the blog and the photo gallery are a way for Journeys to entice you to take its educational tours. But the blog does offer mini history lessons (what do you expect, it's the Smithsonian) for each featured site. For example, one post discusses how shifting commercial routes helped preserve the traditional Vietnamese trading town of Hoi An. And to ensure you're learning something, the Smithsonian enlisted historians, scientists and travel experts to do the blogging.