8 around-the-world food experiences to have before you die

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Eat pretty much anything you can stuff into your face at the Djemaa el Fna in Marrakesh, Morocco.

Like a scene from Indiana Jones, the Djemma el Fna is a colorful entertainment-filled town square in Marrakesh. There are cobras, medicine men and storytellers, and the real fun always begins at dusk. Teams of hand-pulled carts are slowly wheeled into the square to form a maze of steaming, bubbling and smoking food stalls. Perhaps the original food trucks? Try not to sit at one of the many tourist-laden eateries and instead search around for where the locals are sitting. You’ll be well received and you’ll get traditional fare like boiled sheep’s head, stuffed intestines and coal roasted brains, all of which taste better than they sound. Make sure you get an oily bowl of the cooking broth to dip your bread in as the sound of the snake charmers Pungis fill the night.

Get some Pad Thai noodles on Khao San Road, Thailand.

Is it the best Pad Thai you’ll ever have? Probably not, but the Khao San Road acts as the perfect restaurant setting for this simple street food and elevates it to one of the greatest food and ambiance combinations out there. Grab a cold Tiger beer from one of the equally cold A/C-chilled 7-11s and sit on the curb with your Steaming $2 Noodles. Top it with the traditional dried micro shrimp and crushed peanuts and take in the backpacker and expat fueled craziness that surrounds you. And it’s worth it to splash out the extra 50 cents for an egg.

Have some fish & chips in Hastings, England.

Fish shop in Hastings, UK

I’m actually from the fishing town of Hastings, so I might be a bit biased here, but nevertheless. There are countless chippies selling this traditional coastal fare but head to the old town and you will be surrounded by fishing history and a deep seeded passion for all things fried from the ocean. The largest working wooden fishing fleet in the UK lands right on the cobble beach and the catch is delivered merely meters away from the many fishmongers and chip shops. Order a large crispy cod and chips, dowse it with some salt and malt vinegar and dig in with the little wooden fork they give you…just watch out for the seagulls.

Make a fool of yourself and say Smørrebrød! in Denmark.

This is an extremely hard item to pronounce but extremely easy to love. Smørrebrød literally means “buttered bread” and it’s the best open face sandwich you’ll ever have. It’s a piece of buttered rye topped with a never ending display of ingredients. It can be as simple as a working man’s lunch, usually with pâté or sliced meat, to a visual explosions found proudly on display at a sidewalk specialty shop. Heaps of toppings adorn these works of art from pickled herring, sharp horseradish cream, and mounds of fresh fjord shrimp, Fish or meat frikadeller (meatballs), to pigs fat, crispy onions and pressed pork belly. No matter which one you choose, be sure have a dish of the traditional remoulade sauce at hand and of course, an ice cold Tuborg.

Get your massive pancake fill with the Murtabak in Malaysia.

Believed to be middle Eastern in origin, this giant stuffed pancake dominates in Malaysia. Forget the thin crepe-like ones and go for the double handheld version. The first time I saw this I thought it looked like a giant British crumpet until the seller lathered it with chocolate, bananas and crushed nuts, folded it in half and gave me a 6 inch thick steaming sandwich of deliciousness. If sweets are not your thing, no worries — stuff the beast with ground meats, mixed spices and fresh herbs, plunge that bad boy into a bowl of spicy curry sauce and enjoy.

Try to solve the question Castelnaudary …or is it Toulouse? …by eating Cassoulet in France.

We all know that France has a deep history when it comes to top notch nosh and of course the ability to claim a dish as their own. No matter the controversy of who the hell owns this amazing stew or which town it originated from, all you need to know is it is DELICIOUS. A bubbling pot filled with a slow-cooked concoction of beans, duck confit (duck legs cooked in fat), sausage and vegetables. Forego the giant glass jars in the supermarkets and find a side street bistro. (I recommend Le Colombier.) Order a carafe or two of the local vin de table made from the popular Négrette grape and prepare for an event, not just a dinner.

Bury a pig and meet some friends with ukuleles in Hawaii.

OK, first of let me set the scene: a pit is dug large and deep enough to house a pig, fire is set in the hole, rocks are added and then layers of banana leaves followed by a seasoned pig. All of this is buried under a layer or burlap sack and sand for many hours. I mean, come on. The result is the traditional Kālua pig: a smoky, sticky, fork tender porker. Now pair this with the experience of enjoying it under the North Pacific stars with the welcoming nature of the local Hawaiian community, a crisp glass of Lilikoi Champagne (champers and Passion Juice) and some swaying palms and I dare you to find a more complete experience.

Go for some roast goat with the Maasai in Kenya.

The Maasai herd cattle across the vast plains of Kenya — their “mobile bank account” as they call it — so every celebration they have is usually centered around the roasting of goat or cow. You can guarantee that the goat was slaughtered that day and simply cooked over burning Acacia wood without any fancy marinades.

All pictures by Ray Wyatt

4. Get blown away by the Great Wall of China

Snaking across the dusty hills of northeast China, the Great Wall is an unforgettable sight. It’s impossible not to be blown away by this 7m-high, 7m-thick fortification. Take at least a day to walk between its battlements, shunning hawkers and tourists for less-visited sections where you clamber up unrestored stairs and through crumbling towers. Yet even after you’ve seen, touched and walked the wall, it’s still hard to believe this was built by simple human endeavour.

Where to stay

Best for great value and location to surrounding activities: Delight Inn

Delight Inn features free bikes, seasonal outdoor swimming pool, a garden and bar in Yanqing.

Best for being on a budget: Beijing Badaling Leo Great Wall Hostel

Located next to a very quiet part of the Great Wall of China, Beijing Leo Great Wall Hostel offers a peaceful retreat away from the city.

What to do

Follow the Great Wall through the mountains, lakes, and ancient villages in our Beijing and The Great Wall of China trip. If you're looking for a day tour from Beijing instead, check out this day tour including pick-up and skip-the-line access.

25 Adventures You Should Have Before You Die

You really should live life to the absolute fullest. Here's how.

If you've spent hours daydreaming out your office window, dreaming of endless open roads and ceaseless adventure, there's a simple solution: Pack up and go. Few things are more humbling or magical than traveling—we mean that both metaphorically and physically—out of your comfort zone. So immediately adhere to step one: Begin filling your life with experiences that beggar belief. Steps two, three, and beyond will follow. To get started, here are 25 life-changing ideas. And for more subtle experiences, check out the 15 Under-the-Radar American Escapes.

Traveling is all well and good, but sticking around in a foreign country for a while is even more adventurous and advantageous, as you master the trials and tribulations of everyday life. Everywhere you go, people will hear your funny accent and want to start a conversation with you. It's a fast track to meeting people and feeling more interesting and exotic than you could've imagined if you never left these shores. If you need a place to start, learn why Vienna is the best place for Americans to live abroad.

It's way more far out than a laser show, even without the Pink Floyd soundtrack. The Aurora Borealis—which you may know as the Northern Lights—can be seen between 65 and 72 degrees latitude, meaning that, on a clear night, you can see the colorful curtains created by solar particles colliding with atmospheric gases in a number of countries: Scandinavia, Finland, Iceland, Scotland, Greenland, Russia, Canada, and Alaska (yes, technically not a country) among them. If you need another excuse to visit the northern lights, here are the 35 Best Reasons to Take a Vacation.

The fastest you can legally drive on a U.S. highway is on a 41-mile stretch of toll road between San Antonio and Austin, Texas. There, you can open her up to 85 mph without worrying about getting pulled over. The thing is, there are plenty of cars in the U.S. capable of hitting almost twice that speed. Next time you're in Germany, rent yourself a 2017 Audi R8—the fastest series production Audi of all time—and head to the autobahn, where ordinarily there are no speed limits, and take it to the max: A scorching 200.7mph. And you're feeling the need to simply cruise, check out the 40 Roads Everyone Should Drive By Age 40.

The Incan empire was the largest in pre-Columbian America. Networks of paths were a vital part of keeping the empire together and strong. The most famous Inca trail path is known simply as 'The Inca Trail Trek', the royal route to Machu Picchu. Traveling a little over the distance of a marathon over four days is made challenging by both steep inclines and high altitude. You'll cross three high passes and encounter several ancient sites, ending at the famous Lost City of the Incas. And for more out-there escapades, book one of the Best Exotic Vacations in the World.

It's not exactly skydiving, but being naked in the warm sunshine can be almost as exhilarating and nowhere near as dangerous. Revel in the initial cognitive dissonance, then soak up the sun like you never have before. For a bit of clothing-optional solitude, book a trip to one of the 20 Best Nude Beaches on the Planet.

Get on one of those flights or machines that simulates zero gravity. It'll cost around five grand. Are there more practical ways to spend $5,000? Yes. Are there more fun ways? Sure. Are there more fun legal ways? Not really.

One of British Columbia's Haida Gwaii Islands, Langara Island is said to have some of the world's best salmon fishing. After you arrive via helicopter at the opulent lodge, experienced guides will help you haul up giant fish. There's so much salmon here that other salmon hunters like orcas, sea lions and salmon sharks won't mind. Once you've reeled in your catch, it gets flash-frozen on site. A fringe benefit of this experience: Salmon is one of these 25 Foods That'll Keep You Young Forever.

The cheapest, most effective way to gain some perspective on your place in the universe is to get someplace dark on a clear summer night and look skyward. Breathe in the air and listen to a cacophony of hundreds of other lifeforms within a few steps of where you lay. Bring your one-and-only, too: This is one of the 40 Best Non-Cliché Date Ideas.

The American colonies and the early U.S. were bordered by the Atlantic to the east and the Appalachian Mountains to the west. Back then, it hampered the young nation's expansion, now the Appalachian Trail invites people to trek its 2,200-mile length. It's an adventure that will take you between five and seven months to complete.

Until a few years ago, the only music you'd hear at Pyongyang's only nightclub was a CD of trance music from 1993 played on a continuous loop. Things have improved somewhat since then, but you can bet your bottom imperialist dollar that getting down with the Pyongyang party people are still going to be a pretty adventurous experience.

The hottest: 134 degrees Fahrenheit in Iran's Lut Desert. The coldest: -128 Fahrenheit at Vostok Station in Antarctica. That's a huge amount of variation on a planet you could circumnavigate in just over two weeks of driving 70 miles per hour. Experiencing the extremes of our world is a great way to gain a perspective on this wondrous, varied blue marble in the limited time you're walking around on its surface.

Whether you're one-half of an existing couple—or a "unicorn," meaning an unattached playmate—having a threesome can be a lot of fun in the moment and an experience you'll remember for years to come. But it's not just about the ol' in-and-out—if you're the instigator of a ménage-a-trois, it can be an opportunity to sharpen your ability to bring people together to do something a little out of the ordinary, to manage the thoughts, feelings, concerns, and expectations of other people—and to learn a lot about yourself in the process.

Sure, you'll see elephants, lions, leopards, buffalo, giraffes, hyenas, gazelles, etc. But even if you're from Dubuque, Poughkeepsie or Paducah, you'll feel an eerie sense of homecoming on the savanna. Sub-Saharan Africa is where modern humans got our start, and to experience the landscape, flora and fauna that would be recognizable to our ancient forebears will instill a sense of awe and wonder in you. Try one of these Best Safari and Luxury Desert Experiences.

Is it illegal? Well, if someone sees you, and depending on the place, you could certainly get into some hot water. So pick a secluded spot when you're traipsing through the woods. Swim out to a depth of four feet in a lake or a cove. Give yourself the experience of doing a very natural thing in a very natural setting.

For thousands of years, riding on horseback was about as fast as any human being could travel, save for falling off a cliff. Saddle up, take a ride and experience what until 200 years ago was the last word in rapid transit. Ready for a stable relationship? Check out our guide on How to Buy Horses.

We hear about it daily, but the idea of building a giant wall to keep people out of a country is nothing new. The Chinese did it more than 2,700 years ago as a means of blocking nomadic tribes from the Eurasian steppes. Most of the Wall was constructed during the Ming Dynasty, which, you may recall, came into being after the most notorious steppe-dwelling interlopers–the Mongols–had seen their power dissipate. So regarding effectiveness, the Ming–era wall construction was a bit like closing the gate after the horse had bolted, but it symbolized a barrier between Chinese civilization and the and the rest of the world. Think about that as you spend a day (or more) walking a section of it.

Seventy percent of the planet we live on is covered by water, and you're living in the 0.01% of human history in which you can harness the technology that enables air-breathers to go and check out the deep first hand. Don't miss your chance. It's literally a whole other world. Take the plunge while you're on one of these 9 of the World's Greatest Beach Vacations.

It's relatively cheap to take flying lessons. What could be more fun than being in the cockpit, pulling back and getting up, up and away? If that's not your speed, rent a private jet. Here's your handy guide on How to Uber a Private Plane.

This long-distance event was born more than 2,500 years ago when a Greek runner was dispatched to Athens from the battlefield at Marathon to announce that the Greeks had won an improbable battle. When he got to Athens, he promptly keeled over and died. Don't do that. But do run a marathon. Fewer accomplishments feel as good. Set the goal six months to a year before the event—that'll give you plenty of time and reason to institute a better diet, regular exercise, and improved time management. (For a top-secret edge, learn How Playing With Marbles Can Make You Run Faster.)

Chances are that you and people in your friend circle have visited five of the six continents. But probably not Antarctica. It's farthest away from any other continent, it's cold as all get out, and a few humans are the only land mammals inhabiting the place. Fewer than 40,000 people visit Antarctica annually. Be one of them.

You remember the movie Cannonball Run, right? Well every year, a wacky race that's three times longer starts in London and ends in the steppes of Central Asia. It's called the Mongol Rally, though in recent years the race has merely gone through Mongolia and actually ended in Ulan-Ude Russia. It's described as the "greatest adventure in the world". There are three fundamental Rules of the Rally: "1. The car must be small and rubbish, 2. Teams are totally unsupported, 3. Teams need to raise at least £1000 for charity."

Rogues, adventurers, lovers, scoundrels — give your family tree a good shake, and all kinds of fascinating characters are bound to drop out. We live at a time in which resources for finding out we came from abound, such as ancestry.com and 23andme. Having a sense of who those people were may give you a new perspective on who you are, the choices you make and, crucially, where you might be heading. In fact, learning your genetic history is one of these 100 Ways to Live to 100!

The English-speaking people have been great at spreading their armies, commercial interests and hodgepodge language around the globe, and they have been for centuries. One unfortunate byproduct of that: Most native English speakers are only fully conversant in their mother tongue. Language informs how we think, and learning another language gives us a richer way to experience the external and internal world. So, hit the books and use this Secret Trick For Learning a New Language Quickly.

At home, drinking scotch all day long for four days straight means you've got a problem. Drinking scotch all day long for four days straight in the Scottish Highlands means that you're on a distillery tour. Scotch is the drink of the contemplative man who enjoys the finer things, so head to the Highlands and get to grips with this most masculine cache of knowledge. (While you're still at home, bone up on these 10 Creative Whiskey Cocktails That'll Impress.)

Drive six hours north of New York City, and you'll hit the Canadian province of Quebec. Continue driving north, and you'll find yourself on the tundra and needing a place to bed down. Where better than a series of igloos carved by Inuit elders? Adventurers will be offered caribou stew and frozen Arctic char. When you've had your fill, fall asleep to the gentle flicker of a seal-blubber-fueled lamp.

Want to live a life of adventure without the hefty price tag? Then one of these 10 Stunning American Resorts Under $150-a-Night may be calling your name.

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25 Foods You Have To Eat Before You Die

There are a lot of things people hope to accomplish in their lives. Having successful careers, raising a loving family, making a ton of money -- these are among the most common goals. While those are all good and fine, what about the finer things in life? Like making sure you've tasted freshly-made whipped cream (it will make you a better person) or eating a big bowl of the classic Korean dish bibimbap before you're buried six feet under?

We know how easy it is to get caught up by the fast pace of our lives, so we're here to remind you of what's really important: eating. And since we don't want you to go through life without eating as best as you can, we've put together a list of things you have to eat before you reach the end of your life, most of which you can make in your own kitchen. (And the ones you have to travel for, we promise they're worth spending your savings on.)

If you feel like we left an important have-to-try food off the list, let us know in the comments below!

Watch the video: Stand By Me. Playing For Change. Song Around The World


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