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Call for Entries: 2015 Travel + Leisure Design Awards

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We invite you to participate in the eleventh annual Travel + Leisure Design Awards. Design impacts travel in ways both small and large—shaping everything from fashion and luggage to hotel rooms and city skylines—and these awards are a tribute to both the practical and the beautiful.

The 2014 award winners, representing 18 different categories, included the Herzog & de Meuron–designed Parrish Art Museum in Watermill, New York (Best Museum); a refined first-class cabin for TAM Airlines (Best Transportation); the farmhouse-style Bhutanese Gangtey Goenpa Lodge (Best Small Hotel); a stone-and-glass cultural center in Mexico City (Best Cultural Space); and Norway’s minimalist Høse Bridge (Best Bridge), among others.

To see all of the 2014 honorees, please visit travelandleisure.com/articles/2014designawards.

The 2015 winners will be chosen by a panel of outstanding experts in their fields. The deadline for entry is Monday, October 31, 2014, and the application is available at travelandleisure.com/designawards. The winning projects will be published in our April 2015 Design Awards issue. Please contact designawards@travelandleisure.com with any questions.

- Travel + Leisure Staff

Welcome to Transylvania

Transylvania

We were haring across the countryside, to swipe a phrase from Renata Adler’s novel Pitch Dark, traveling cross-country along back roads threaded through rows of sentinel beech trees, past dromedary hillsides and fields whose freshly furrowed soil was so deliciously black and loamy you were tempted to leap out of the car and scoop up a bowl. Some friends and I were headed into Transylvania, a little-visited swath of continental Europe in the shadow of the Carpathian Mountains, terra incognita except, of course, as a fantasy place familiar to the legions of readers and moviegoers who make the obvious instant association with the invincible Prince of Darkness and box-office ka-ching!: Dracula.

Talk about the undead! Not garlic or holy water or well-aimed stake can stop this revenant’s franchises—Twilight, True Blood, the eroto-gothic Vampire Lestat. But forget Dracula. The residents of Transylvania certainly have. Except at his alleged birthplace and an unimpressive castle where the Muntenian prince who provided a historical armature for Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel occasionally sojourned, hardly anyone there spares much thought for the midnight creeper. It’s no cinch even finding the kitsch souvenir mugs depicting him with blood dripping from his ceramic fangs. I tried.

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The Moment: Hayman Island, Australia

Hayman Island, Australia

6:24 p.m.: You’re on the verge of sensory overload. It’s golden hour at the new 160-room One&Only Hayman Island, a green haven on the Great Barrier Reef, and you’re reliving the day’s adventures. It began with a seaplane flight over this, the world’s largest living structure, touching down to snorkel in a pristine lagoon that exploded with color: rainbow-hued parrot fish bobbing among forests of staghorn coral, glowing purple and pink; green turtles and manta rays commuting casually by. (And don’t forget the giant clams, whose magenta lips slowly closed into contented grins as you swam past.) Lunch was a picnic and a chilled Barossa Valley rosé on the blazing-white sands of Coconut Beach. Now you’re back in a breezy cabana, met by a server with a tray of tart passion-fruit daiquiris to cleanse your palate for the evening ahead. What next? Take a short hike to Sunset Peak to catch the day’s last light? Maybe. Book an “Ocean Dreaming” massage, performed as you float on the warm tides of the Coral Sea? That sounds more like it. Then you remember you’ve planned a kayak trip tomorrow morning to one of Hayman’s secluded coves, and decide it’s best to tuck in early. So you head back to your suite, order up a platter of Sydney rock oysters, and count the shooting stars.

Photo by Petrina Tinslay Photography

New Photo Book Chronicles Celebrity in the Caribbean

Escape: The Heyday of Caribbean Glamour

Movie stars, heiresses, tycoons— in the early to mid 20th century, they turned the Caribbean into the American Riviera. Hermes Mallea’s Escape: The Heyday of Caribbean Glamour (Rizzoli) chronicles the birth of the palm-lined playgrounds and extravagant, colonial-style resorts that fueled our country’s fascination with the tropics. Ernest Hemingway poses with the day’s catch (swordfish) in Bimini; the Duke and Duchess of Windsor play cards in their tassel-and-toile-filled Nassau living room; Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward take a straw-hatted holiday at Jamaica’s Round Hill. All of it proves that elemental truth: tans may fade, but the lure of paradise is forever.

Photo courtesy of Emory Kristof/National Geographic Creative

Unlocking the Past with a Vintage Souvenir Collection

Vintage keys

For much of the 1970’s, my father was a traveling salesman, moving across the country by car and plane. Upon returning home, he’d empty his nicked hotel keys into a green wooden crate. The box lived on the top shelf of my parents’ closet, and I used to pull out a chair and stand on my tippy-toes to reach it, then lie on the floor and sort the 200 or so keys by fob shape, destination, or hotel chain. For a little girl in a one-bedroom Brooklyn apartment, that box of keys was a window to the exciting world outside.

Each key tells a story. There’s one from the Host Motel, in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, where Dad found himself during the historic flood of 1972. There’s another from the scary Rodeway Inn in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he knew to put a chair under the doorknob at night. (“But they had great ribs,” he insisted.) There are the many Ramada Inns, from exotic places like Portland, Oregon, and even more Howard Johnsons and Holiday Inns, whose purloined towels hung neatly in our bathroom—I imagined the stylized star to be our family crest. One lone cast-iron key from the King David Jerusalem was pilfered during my parents’ honeymoon; the Quality Inn in Omaha was from the night I was born, Dad off to chase a deal. My father would rave about the gym at Chicago’s Hyatt Regency O’Hare because it was such a luxury—those keys signified boom times.

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Celebrity Chefs' Favorite Restaurants

Wexler's Deli

Where do culinary celebrities go on their night off? Dana Cowin, editor-in-chief of Food & Wine magazine, asked three star chefs—all of whom contributed to her new cookbook, Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen (Ecco)—​ to dish up their go-to spots.

Suzanne Goin
Los Angeles (Lucques; A.O.C.)

“It’s pretty cool to see downtown’s Grand Central Market revived in such a wonderful way, with a new selection of modern food shops, such as Belcampo Meat Co., Valerie Confections, Eggslut, Wexler’s Deli, and McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams.

Niki Nakayama, who spent three years cooking in Japan, has opened her latest venture, N/naka ($$$$), a kaiseki restaurant in West L.A. My husband and I go there on our nights off.

My kids are obsessed with the ice cream at Mashti Malone’s, on North La Brea Avenue. Two Iranian brothers have been making their flavors (orange blossom with pistachios; rose sorbet with sour cherry) in-house for more than 30 years.”

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How to Buy a Moroccan Rug in Marrakesh

How to buy a rug in Marrakesh

Haggling for a carpet is a lively cultural tradition in Morocco—but it takes some savvy. Local hotelier Maryam Montague, who also runs the online textile shop Red Thread Souk, shows us the ropes.

1. Head to the Souk Zrabia, in the medina, where you’ll find the largest selection of handmade carpets. Comparison-shop among the options hanging outside the interconnected storefronts.

2. Local hucksters are notorious for markups, so know your rugs: shaggy and knotted types are piles; flatweaves are flat, woven, and less expensive. No matter the style, opt for wool (the highest quality).

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Frank Gehry's Fondation Louis Vuitton Opens in Paris

Fondation Louis Vuitton

The latest must-see attraction in Paris floats like a cloud of glass above the treetops of the Bois de Boulogne. The Fondation Louis Vuitton, devoted to contemporary arts and culture from France and beyond and supported by the luxury fashion conglomerate LVMH, opens on October 27. The building, designed by Frank Gehry, has galleries for its art collection (Daniel Buren; Rineke Dijkstra; Ellsworth Kelly), spaces for site-specific works, and an auditorium for music and dance.

Gehry, who was inspired by the greenhouses and pavilions of the Haussmann era, created a dozen curved glass canopies, comprising 3,600 panes. “I imagined Albertine and Proust playing there,” Gehry says, a nod to the neighboring Jardin d’Acclimatation’s past as a 19th-century children’s park. It’s that exuberance that makes the foundation one of the architect’s most magnificent designs since the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.

Photo courtesy of Todd Eberle for Fondation Louis Vuitton, 2014

Take a Selfie, Help Save a Rhino

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Every seven hours, a rhino in South Africa falls prey to poachers. The country is home to 83% of Africa’s rhinos and 73% of all wild rhinos worldwide. In recent years, rhino populations have dwindled dangerously, with three out of five species classified as critically endangered (the highest risk for extinction). In looking for ways to combat the decline, andBeyond’s Rhinos Without Borders project has started a social media campaign to help fund protection of the endangered animals by relocating them to safety. Helping is as simple as taking a photo.

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Artsy Postcard: Brazil

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Brazil was front and center on the world stage this summer as the host of the FIFA World Cup—now the country kicking off art fair season with DW! Design Weekend, the Bienal de São Paolo, and ArtRio. The team behind Artsy, the art collecting and education resource, has touched down in the nation of rainforests and concrete jungles, and we’re back on T+L to share our favorite gems.

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New Luxury Rail Itinerary Travels to Iran

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A new luxury train itinerary has us dreaming of the Orient Express. "Jewels of Persia," on Golden Eagle’s Danube Express, will run from Budapest to Tehran, beginning in October.

And while Orient Express trains could transport passengers from London to Baghdad in eight days, the Danube Express will take its time, covering a far shorter route in almost double the time.

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Vail Acquires Park City Mountain Resort, Plans Country's Largest Ski Area

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Good news for Vail Epic Pass holders: you now have access to yet another world-class ski mountain. Vail Resorts just announced the acquisition (for a cool $185 million in cash) of Utah’s Park City Mountain Resort. Powdr Corp, the former owner of the Utah resort, had been struggling financially in recent years and was embroiled in a legal battle with Talisker, the Canadian company that owns much of the actual ski mountain. It has been increasingly uncertain if the resort would even open for ski season this winter.

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Hong Kong's New Design Hub, PMQ

PMQ, Hong Kong

The sleek, spare corridors of PMQ are a stark contrast to what’s going on inside its 100-​plus studios. Set in the middle of Hong Kong’s stylish Soho neighborhood, these former policemen’s dorms have been transformed into a chic retail center, complete with fashion boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants. Perhaps more important, PMQ acts as an incubator for homegrown designers, who pay discounted rent for a place to grow their companies and open them up to the public. (You’ll also find a smaller percentage of established labels such as Vivienne Tam and Herman Miller.) There’s the design collective Glue Associates, which makes quirky gifts such as dim-sum-shaped candles; Aly & Rachelle, known for its lacy little black dresses; and Flying Zacchinis, a purveyor of leather accessories for both men and women. Art Projects Gallery continues to champion emerging artists in its new location here, while chef Jason Atherton marks his third Hong Kong opening with the bi-level Aberdeen Street Social—a combination gastropub and modern British restaurant—in the former officers’ clubhouse.

Photo by Philipp Engelhorn

Oceania Cruises Introduces Free Wi-Fi

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Oceania Cruises is the latest luxury line to launch complimentary Internet access on its five ships—a first for the brand. It joins Regent Seven Seas, which announced that it was adding free WiFi last month. The on-board Wi-Fi system was recently upgraded across its five mid-size ships, bringing connectivity that’s twice as fast as before to public spaces, outdoor decks, plus all suites and staterooms.

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Hotels.com Reveals Where to Find Luxury for Less

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The city where travelers can find the most affordable five-star hotels in the world? Warsaw, Poland, where the average luxury room went for just $130 a night in the first six months of 2014. This is according to the annual Hotel Price Index from Hotels.com, which looks at how much people spent for rooms at properties across the globe over the first half of the year.

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Iconic Friends Coffee Shop Pops Up in NYC


Confession: I'm a Friends addict. For nearly the entire ten years since the cult comedy took its last now, I've watched reruns every night as my bedtime ritual (true story). But I know I'm not alone. And for all of you Rachel and Ross cheerleaders, who know that the TV guide always came to "Ms. Chanandler Bong" and that there's no good answer to "How you doin'," there's big news up ahead. Next week, Warner Bros Television Group, Warner Bros. Consumer Products, and Eight O’Clock Coffee will be honoring the show's 20th anniversary by recreating Central Perk, with a month-long pop-up in lower Manhattan (at 199 Lafayette St.), kicking off next Wednesday. Among the fun details: a soundtrack of Phoebe's best songs, props from the original set, and guess appearances from none other than James Michael Tyler (AKA, Gunther). Naturally, coffee will be served all day long. The only thing that could be better? Making that ever-elusive Friends reunion—with more than just three members of the gang—a reality. Fingers crossed.

ne_headshotjpgNikki Ekstein is an Assistant Editor at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.

Southwest Reveals Bold New Look

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Domestic airlines have been upgrading right and left in recent months, from introducing premium economy seats (Hawaiian Airlines) to new-and-improved websites (Virgin America). This week, Southwest got in on the action, revealing top-to-bottom design updates that include a new logo, livery, app, and website.

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Nancy Novogrod: The Exit Interview

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Before we let longtime Travel + Leisure editor in chief Nancy Novogrod walk out the door to pursue new opportunities (including writing a book), we had a few questions for her. As you can imagine, after 21 years traversing the globe on behalf of the magazine, Nancy has some opinions about travel—how it has evolved, where it’s going, and what experiences and destinations rise to the top. Here, the Nancy Novogrod Exit Interview. 

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The iPhone 6 and Apple Watch: What it Means for Travel

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Today the iPhone got a long-awaited upgrade—and Apple finally unveiled its rumored plans for the Apple Watch. What’s in it for travelers? Here’s a closer look at how the world’s most popular travel accessory is changing—and the latest round of innovations by the technology giant.

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Cute Animals Help Passengers Relax on British Airways

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This month, nervous flyers and homesick cat and dog owners can tune into British Airways’ new, adorable, Paws & Relax channel.

The stream of cat and dog footage (think camera-collar documentaries and animated shorts) is perfect for entertaining young travelers, and for soothing anxious passengers during their fight.

Of course, who hasn't spent hours at their computer streaming cute cats and cuddly pups on YouTube?

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The Best Hotel Loyalty Program Promotions for Fall 2014

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These days, competition is heating up in the hotel industry. The big chains are not only competing against each other, but they’re also competing against online travel agencies and startups like Rocketmiles and Hotelied for your business. When you book through the hotel directly, it’ll give you points, whereas reserving through online travel agencies generally disqualifies your stay from earning valuable hotel points and possibly even getting your elite status. So if you want those points, book directly with the hotel—especially during the busy fall travel season when many brands offer lucrative promotions.
 
Here are the major hotel chains and their promotion details. You should always double check and make sure that the hotel you want to book isn’t listed as an exclusion—a lot of hotels opt out of these promotions because they get charges for the extra points. You may also want to plan your stays around the days where you’ll earn the most points.
 
Starwood: More For You
 
SPG members can earn either double or triple Starpoints depending on which nights of the week their stay is with Starwood. This promotion is valid for stays between September 15 and December 15, 2014.

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Shop Like a Local Twitter Chat on Tuesday, September 9

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Where do style insiders shop? Find out in our Shop Like a Local Twitter chat on Tuesday, September 9th from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EDT. Join along to ask the experts for tips and advice!

The Host:

T+L's Editorial Assistant, Katie James, @kjames259

The Panelists:

Refinery29, @Refinery29

Lilly Pulitzer, @LillyPulitzer

Nanette Lepore, @nanettelepore

Botkier, @botkier

Rebecca Taylor, @myrebeccataylor

Haute Hippie, @HauteHippie

Rafe, @RafeNewYork

Executive Editor of Yahoo Travel, Laura Begley Bloom, @laurabegley

David Keeps, @davidkeeps

T+L Lifestyle Correspondent, Shane Mitchell, @shanegoesforth

Patrizia Chen, @PatriziaChen

Maryam in Marrakesh, @MyMarrakesh

How does it work?

1. Log in to Twitter before the chat starts at 2pm ET and be sure to follow @TravlandLeisure.

2. Head over to http://twitter.com. Enter the hashtag #TL_Chat into the search bar and select the "All" search option to follow the chat in real time.

3. Remember to always add the hashtag #TL_Chat to your tweets.

4. We'll pulse out some questions for our expert panel to answer, but feel free to post your own responses. Or ask questions of your own! 

All tweets are subject to our social media terms and conditions and may be used in any and all media including editorial. See full social media terms and conditions.

Gabrielle Blitz is Associate Social Media Editor at Travel + Leisure.

New Monthly Subscription Club Highlights U.S. Cities

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Want to travel the country without leaving home? Or just need inspiration for your next American getaway? Turn to Hazel Lane, a new San Francisco-based start-up that curates monthly packages filled with artisan crafts and edible goodies from cities across the country. To start, the company is focusing on of-the-minute destinations—Nashville, Austin, Brooklyn, and Portland, Oregon, to name a few—and two six-month regional subscriptions will launch in time for the holidays: California Crawl (including wine country, Los Angeles, Oakland) and Hawaiian Island Hopper. 

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I’ve Heard Repositioning Cruises Are a Great Value—But Are They Worth It?

Celebrity Cruises

These seasonal cruises, when ships relocate from one part of the world to sail in another, can offer as much as 70 percent off the price of regular voyages—though be prepared for more days at sea and potentially costly one-way flights. We asked cruise editor Jane Wooldridge to find the best ones.

Crystal Cruises, San Diego to Auckland, New Zealand; Cost per day*: from $212; 15 days
You’d ordinarily pay more than $400 per night on the luxury 922-passenger Crystal Symphony, where a recent update added Murano glass, Calcutta marble, and a 37-foot-long living wall. Guests have two days to explore Oahu, Hawaii, then a dozen more on board that are filled with filmmaking and art classes, magic shows, and lectures on maritime history and international relations. Oct. 28, 2014.

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Runners to Hit the Tarmac for Charity in Chicago

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This fall, Chicago’s two airports give new meaning to the word runway. On September 21, Midway Airport is hosting the second annual Midway Fly Away 5K, benefiting the Special Olympics of Chicago. And on October 5, O’Hare International Airport gets in on the action with the O’Hare 5K on the Runway, which raises money for military vets through the Wounded Warrior Project.

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Affordable New Hotels Video

Less than $200 a night and brand new. Meet the latest crop of affordable new hotels in the U.S.

The Remote Outpost: Outlook Lodge, Colorado Springs, Colorado

To get to the new Outlook Lodge, in Colorado, you’ll set off along a dirt road into the Rocky Mountains. After being welcomed by a strapping host, you’re on your own to explore the area trails or just grab a book and relax on the rustic porch.

For more Travel + Leisure videos, click here.

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What Business Travelers Really Think

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What do some of the most experienced travelers think of life on the road? T+L and Fortune surveyed them to find out. Readers of both magazines offered insights into the best—and worst—parts of business travel. 

Travel Habits
Besides work, here's what business travelers have done while on the road:

• 71% snuck in sightseeing between meetings
• 71% only bring a carry-on bag
• 68% said they maintained their regular exercise and eating habits
• 54% have extended a work trip for leisure
• 40% ordered room service
• 28% say scrutiny of expense reports has increased from five years ago
• 23% have not removed liquids from their bag at security
• 7% got "creative" with their expense report

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Should I Be Worried About Cybersecurity While Traveling?

Cybersecurity

Smartphone, tablet, laptop. Chances are you carry at least two of these devices on the road. I’ve been known to pack all three, along with a BlackBerry, for good measure. (Yes, I know: overkill.)

In many ways, our gadgets have become invaluable travel companions. But with their proliferation come new opportunities for cybersecurity breaches—whether it’s using an insecure Wi-Fi hot spot to check your e-mail or losing a device as you move from place to place. Unless you are carrying state or trade secrets, you are probably not a target for major espionage. But even the most leisurely of leisure travelers is still vulnerable. The risks run the gamut from having your credit card information stolen to full-on identity theft. Here are the major threats you should be aware of—and how to avoid them.

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Backstage Beauty at Ann Yee SS15

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Climate change was the theme of Ann Yee's Spring/Summer 2015 collection—something that was on the minds of those who turned out for her presentation yesterday morning in 90-degree September weather. Prior to the show, the scene was cool, calm, and collected on the rooftop of midtown Manhattan's Refinery Hotel.

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#SpottedAtThePalace for New York's Fashion Week

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With New York's Fashion Week kicking off on September 4, the New York Palace is getting in on the fun.

Once home to Gossip Girl stars, the hotel is celebrating #NYFW and the series finale's 9th anniversary on September 5-6, by inviting fans to share a picture dressed as their favorite character for a chance to win goodie bags or cocktails. Here are details on how to enter.

Use the hashtag #SpottedAtThePalace on Twitter and Facebook to have a chance to gossip over cocktails and remember, XOXO.

Gabrielle Blitz is Associate Social Media Editor at Travel + Leisure.

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