iOS app Android app

Rachel Stern
Rachel Stern is a freelance journalist based in Berlin and covering German and international affairs for a variety of print, online and broadcast publications. She enjoys traveling to, and writing about, tourism destinations that are often hard to find on a map.

Entries by Rachel Stern

A Balkan Roadtrip Along the Adriatic Sea

(0) Comments | Posted August 25, 2015 | 1:33 PM

The azure Adriatic Sea, which cuts through Italy and the Balkans Peninsula, is home to some 3.5 million people. I visited the Balkans side, traveling from Slovenia down to Albania, Greece's northern neighbor. Below are highlights from the coastal journey.

Albania: American Odes and Colorful Cities

Stretching along the Adriatic...

Read Post

Slovenia: Travels in Central Europe's Green Gem

(7) Comments | Posted April 16, 2015 | 2:24 PM

"Ljub-what?" a friend asked when I mentioned I was headed to Slovenia's small capital, Ljubljana. The tongue-twister stems from the Slovenian word for "beloved" -- an apt name for an often overlooked European country, and its walkable main city, subtly sandwiched in between Austria, Italy, Hungary and Croatia.

Read Post

Belarus: Travels in One of Europe's Least-Traveled Countries

(11) Comments | Posted March 25, 2015 | 5:46 PM

When you enter a country often hyped in international media as a draconian dictatorship, it's hard to know what to expect. I felt a tad nervous when traveling to Brest, Belarus from the tiny border town of Terespol, Poland by train. Even for my Polish friends, Belarus --...

Read Post

Adriatic Adventure: Travels in Two Italian and Slovenian Coastal Cities

(0) Comments | Posted December 30, 2014 | 7:21 PM

Nearly 3.5 million people live along the iridescent shores of the Adriatic Sea, with tourist-flocked Split, Croatia and Venice among its best known cities. Yet Trieste, Italy and Piran, Slovenia are two impressive coastal gems that are often overlooked.

Trieste: Where East Meets West in Italy

Walking through...

Read Post

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,...

Read Post

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.

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

Read Post

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...

Read Post

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....

Read Post

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...

Read Post

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...

Read Post

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...

Read Post

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...

Read Post

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...

Read Post

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...

Read Post

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...

Read Post

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.

Read Post

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...

Read Post

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...

Read Post