Living in Los Angeles I felt a poverty of the senses; the stifling of authentic exposure. I shared my experiences of a dozen years ago in Vermont, and how I wished I could recapture that sense of calm and brightness. "You're suffering from Vermont Deficit Disorder," he explained. "But there is a cure."
For a small, ocean-loving subset of visitors, this dusty corner of the Middle East is renowned for more than political turmoil. Every year, from February to May, the coral reef off Eilat's coast is an unparalleled place to spot some of the planet's strangest, most beautiful animals: nudibranchs, or tiny, jewel-like sea slugs. While the words "sea slug" probably don't ignite your imagination like "great white shark" or "blue whale," there may not be more spectacular critters in the entire ocean.
The Big Island, the largest and one of the least-visited islands in the 50th state, is certainly exciting. To say our family just survived a visit might be a stretch -- but not much of one. From an erupting volcano to a tsunami warning to sidestepping deep lava tubes obscured by rainforest foliage, we feel lucky to still be alive.
When I finally arrived in the Catskills I expected Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog, and an overkill of free love and recreational psychotropics. Instead I found an unexampled rebellious spirit that stretches back to the 18th century, and is a connective tissue between Woodstock and the Borscht Belt, and a life-force that upholds today.
For outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy the unique experience that traditional winter sports have to offer, snowshoeing is the perfect sport. Add in the magnificent natural beauty and perfect snow-covered terrain of the Dolomites, and you've got the perfect setting for an unforgettable snowshoeing adventure.