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Wake Up in Paradise: EX-PATS Escapes to Belize

EX-PATS, the Reserve Channel’s new YouTube series, showcases people who've abandoned the home front to pursue their passions in a more exotic culture.

In this next episode of EX-PATS, host Savannah Jane Buffet takes a trip to Placencia, Belize to visit Pam and John Solomon. After living the fast life in New York City, the couple decided to resign to paradise, packing their love for food and drink, and opening RumFish y Vino restaurant in this Belizean fishing village.

Now parents, Pam and John are thrilled to be raising their daughter, Libby, in a country where farm- or sea-to-table is the only way to eat. Press play to catch the island breeze.

Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Whole Foods Launches Culinary-Themed Tours

Whole Journeys: Ticino farmstand

Shoppers who frequent Whole Foods in search of organic broccoli and fair-trade coffee beans will soon have another kind of offering to browse: food-related travel itineraries.

Starting this spring, the natural-foods supermarket chain will launch Whole Journeys, a series of international trips geared toward “active foodies.” The small-group excursions, which will combine physical pursuits like biking and hiking with explorations of food culture, range from pedaling through the vineyards and orchards of Provence to trekking along the ancient Tea and Horse route in southwestern China.

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Amazing High Res Image of Machu Picchu

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Machu Picchu is one of the world's most visited ancient ruins with one million annual visitors, yet no one has captured the Incan ruins like this before. Jeff Cremer, photo tour director for the sustainable tourism outfitter Rainforest Expeditions, returned from a recent trip with what may well be the highest resolution (15.9 gigapixels) photo of this man-made wonder ever taken.
 
Head over to www.gigapixelperu.com to see the entire image and explore its remarkable detail by zooming in and out. The photo, shot with a Canon 7D and a 100-400mm f/5.6 lens, consists of 1,920 separate images recorded over the course of nearly two hours. The final image was stitched together on a computer and is 297,500 x 87,500 pixels total. Almost as good as visiting the real thing, right?

Lyndsey Matthews is a digital assistant editor at Travel + Leisure

Photo by Jeff Cremer/Courtesy of Widness & Wiggins PR

Did You Check That Camel's License?

Did You Check That Camel's License?

Good news: Camel safaris have entered the 21st century.

The Times of India reported the other day that officials in Jaisalmer, in India's Rajasthan, are implementing a user-friendly way of booking one of the popular, days-long camel safaris in the neighboring Thar Desert: pre-paying beforehand, the same way you would pre-pay for a taxi at a train station.

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Live the Dream: “EX-PATS” Debuts Fourth Episode on YouTube

If you haven’t checked out EX-PATS, the Reserve Channel’s new series on YouTube, you’re missing out—not only on great al desko daydream opps, but also on some truly inspiring stories of people who’ve dared to leave it all behind for a new life in a foreign country.

The fourth episode takes viewers to a jungle-filled archipelago in Panama, where a surfer and former medical salesman from San Diego, Neil Christiansen, founds the nonprofit organization GiveAndSurf.org to fund a pre-school for the isolated island children from Bahia Honda. Press “play” for a look at his inspiring story.

New Resort Inside Malaysian National Park

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This July marked the opening of Gaya Island Resort off the coast of Malaysian Borneo. With 120 villas overlooking the South China Sea, the hotel takes full advantage of their stunning national park space with a resident naturalist and marine biologist, private yacht, and underwater photography classes. This land is as pristine as it gets.

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Live the Dream: “EX-PATS” Launches Third Episode on YouTube

The Reserve Channel’s new series on YouTube, EX-PATS, is off to a great start. As the name suggests, the show profiles people who’ve traded in their lives in the mainland U.S. for a more fulfilling existence elsewhere—they’ve followed the road less traveled, found happiness, and want to share their stories.

Created in cooperation with Travel + Leisure, the third episode returns to St. John to meet a wooden boat builder from Vermont, Jamison Whitbek, whose love of the open water and island life inspired him, and his family, to move to St. John fulltime. Today, he owns and operates a sailing charter; his hand-crafted 55-foot catamaran, KEKOA, is staffed by women—and occasionally his three kids. Watch for a peek into a dreamy life that many think about, but only a few pursue.

Where would you want to move?

Burning Hot New Trend? Tourists as Firefighters

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If Detroit is seeking to find the next craze in adventure travel, they are really missing the mark. The city commissioner, Don Austin, is thinking of charging visiting firefighters to spend the day doing what they do best: fight fires.

According to My Fox Detroit, the plan would be an extension of the city’s ride-along program, which has long been a main tourist attraction in Detroit. Firefighters from other towns, would get the opportunity to fight a real-life, big-city fire, for a small fee, of course. Risking one's life included.

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Win a Trip to Outer Space with Virgin Galactic

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For the next year, I'm only flying Virgin Airlines. Why? Their frequent flier who has the most Elevate status points by August 7, 2013 wins a Virgin Galactic suborbital space flight. A free trip to outer space! How cool, right? Enter into the running by . . .

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The Race is On at Vail Resorts

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We love it when celebrities drop by the T+L offices. And on Wednesday, Olympic and World Cup Champion skier Lindsey Vonn stopped in to tell us about how many pairs of skis she travels with (150), how many days a week she trains in the off-season (6, for several hours each day), and how many eggs she eats to fuel her workouts (a lot).

But the gold medalist didn’t come to the snowless east coast just to talk training. Lindsey’s also involved in a cool new program with Vail Resorts, and she brought along the company’s CEO, Rob Katz, to announce EpicMix Racing.

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