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Rachel Stern
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An avid world traveler and international news junkie, Rachel Stern has reported stories in locales ranging from Dakar, Senegal to Helsinki, Finland. A Columbia Journalism School graduate and San Francisco native, she is currently based in Berlin as a Fulbright Journalism Fellow.

Entries by Rachel Stern

Q&A: Why Does the Sharing Economy Matter?

(0) Comments | Posted May 6, 2014 | 5:14 PM

Amid a rapidly rising cost of living, many in the San Francisco Bay Area have been embracing the sharing economy movement. Through it, participants divvy up their access to products and services, be it a bike or entire apartment, rather than take individual ownership.

It's not surprising that Share,...

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West Africa: Travels in the Lands of Mosques and Mangoes

(0) Comments | Posted April 7, 2014 | 6:30 PM

Ubiquitous mangoes, grandiose mosques, endless coastlines and welcoming locals are the core images that come to mind when I reflect on the three months I spent in West Africa. Here are some of the highlights from each country.

Senegal
"Welcome to Senegal," greeted locals every day during...

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5 Fascinating Former DDR Locales

(0) Comments | Posted October 3, 2013 | 11:15 AM

For Germans, October 3 marks the Day of German Unity (Tag der Deutschen Einheit), a national holiday commemorating Reunification in 1990. The country's five eastern German states -- previously their own country under Soviet rule -- merged with West Germany to form one nation shortly after the fall...

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Guinea-Bissau: Travels in One of Africa's Poorest Countries

(0) Comments | Posted August 15, 2013 | 12:52 PM

The torrential rains began in Bissau, and women and children ran nearly naked into the street, equipped with soap. Even in the capital of the West African country of Guinea-Bissau, most people are without running water, and see the rainy season as a chance to enjoy several warm free showers....

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Cape Verde: Travels In an African Archipelago

(0) Comments | Posted July 9, 2013 | 12:32 PM

"Cape Verde...Where is that?" is the response I most commonly received when telling friends about my plans to travel to this scenic West Africa island nation. Admittedly, my plane landed there only a few months after I discovered its identity from examining a map of Senegal, where I'm based for...

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Exploring Finland Beyond Helsinki

(0) Comments | Posted May 8, 2013 | 5:04 PM

Snow, Cold and Nokia: the three words I most often hear associated with Finland.

Yet the Nordic Country -- full of swathes of untapped wilderness, quirky and creative design and up-and-coming cuisine -- has a lot more that meets the eye, especially in the summer.

I was lucky enough to...

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A Russian Village That Creates Art And Jobs

(0) Comments | Posted February 7, 2013 | 6:00 AM

Quirky art configurations dot a vast, snowy plain: a giant silver cylinder curves upwards into the sky, a wooden ship tosses on an icy sea and long-winged insects cling to a pole.

In some ways, the Russian village of Nikola-Lenivets in December looks like Burning Man's...

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How Couchsurfing Epitomizes the 'Sharing Economy'

(2) Comments | Posted January 25, 2013 | 1:13 PM

Alexandra Liss, 29, tried not to grimace when waking up at 4 a.m. in Morocco. Living like a local, the San Franciscan agreed to try a pre-dawn prayer with her Couchsurfing host.

"Manage your expectations and perfect your cultural poker face," reads one of Liss' rules gleaned...

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Out Of Breath And Sorts In Tibet (PHOTOS)

(5) Comments | Posted January 17, 2013 | 6:00 AM

Thousands of red, orange and green prayer flags dance around me, leaping and falling and twirling as the wind pushes the air, thin at 18,700 feet, over the shrine. I can barely believe my legs have carried me this far so I savor the last of my last energy bar...

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Luxembourg's Discreet Charms

(6) Comments | Posted October 15, 2012 | 7:00 AM

As the headquarter of several European Union agencies and Skype, Luxembourg is a growing global player. Yet this country of a half million citizens is often overshadowed by its neighboring giants. "I didn't realize this was a country until yesterday," confessed a Canadian at the hostel I stayed...

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Mozilla's Newest Office Used to Be Part of the Berlin Wall

(0) Comments | Posted August 8, 2012 | 12:33 PM

For many visitors to Berlin, Germany, the remnants of the Berlin Wall have become the city's largest tourist attraction. For Mozilla, they will be part of its newest office.

The Mountain View-based web search company will stake out its latest locale -- a hybrid community center and work space...

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How to Travel the World for Months (Or Years)

(18) Comments | Posted July 17, 2012 | 5:47 PM

In the U.S., many people believe a two-week vacation is all they can manage. But it's possible to hit the road for two months or even two years -- even with only a small amount in the bank -- according to a panel of chronic world travelers in San Francisco.

...
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Mountaineering For Dummies: Basics Gleaned From A Novice's Mt. Shasta Climb

(0) Comments | Posted July 10, 2012 | 7:00 AM

Having backpacked extensively, I assumed climbing the 14,162 foot Mt. Shasta -- about a 4.5 hour drive from San Francisco -- would not be that hard.

Yet while I grasped a rickety boulder around 12,000 feet, pummeled in the face by fierce snow-laced winds of 40 mph...

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7 Myths of Why You Can't Travel the World

(2) Comments | Posted June 12, 2012 | 4:18 PM

I tell friends or acquaintances I'm traveling to another far-flung locale, I receive a version of the following response: "I wish I could travel more, but I don't have the money." Or sometimes the issue isn't money but time. Or energy. Or children.

When I hear this, I want to...

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