Where the wild things are: A swamp walk through the Everglades

For Peggy Farren, photographing the Everglades is always a thrill. As the owner of a Naples, Florida-based photography business, her job is high-paced, stressful and comes with long hours. Most days she is in the office snapping corporate headshots, teaching classes, assisting with bookkeeping and generally holding down the fort. Any chance to get out of the office and into nature is a major stress reliever for her– but the Florida’s Everglades, known best for its wildlife and overgrown wetlands, may seem like an unlikely place to get away from it all.  We’re talking trudging through thigh-deep water, covered in bug spray, with just a walking stick. Related Image Expand / Contract Naples, Marco Island, Everglades CVB (Rediscovering wildlife during a swamp walk at Fakahatchee…

Italian hotels try to combat low birth rate with free stays for couples who conceive In an effort to combat Italy’s declining birth rate, one group of hotels wants to incentivize citizens to procreate. Hotels in Assisi-- a central town in the country's Umbria region-- are offering a free stay to couples who conceive at their properties. Ten hotels are currently offering the “Fertility Room project,” an effort geared toward both improving the country’s low birth rate while simultaneously boosting tourism to the small, hilly city, The Independent reports. MCDONALD'S ITALY HAS A SWEET TREAT PEOPLE ARE GOING CRAZY FOR The hotels involved in the initiative, which began Friday, will offer either a reimbursement or a future complimentary stay to guests who conceive during their scheduled visit. In order to take advantage of the offer, couples must provide a birth certificate...

A hostel in Sarajevo offers guests a taste of life in war SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) - A hostel in Bosnia is offering visitors a unique experience: the opportunity to live like civilians in a war zone. But at the Sarajevo War Hostel, guests have the luxury of knowing they won’t be killed, starved or lose family or friends. And unlike the Sarajevans who actually endured the 1992-95 war, the visitors can leave any time. Those who check in to the War Hostel are greeted by the owner wearing a helmet and a flak jacket. They get to sleep in rooms with just one bulb on the ceiling, running on a car battery. The plastic sheets on the windows are just like the ones the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees handed out to Sarajevans so they could replace window glass...

Next Stop: Gems, Hidden in Plain Sight in Macedonia My guide, Slobodan (who goes by his nickname, Danko), works for one of these operators, Macedonia Experience, run by Jane Josifovski, which organizes Jeep safaris, horseback riding, caving, diving and paragliding. My visit last year came when Macedonia had been in the headlines, as hundreds of thousands of refugees had crossed the country’s southern border en route to northern Europe. And yet, Mr. Josifovski told me, overnight stays and tourism in general in Macedonia were moving at a strong clip, helped along by cheap flights into Skopje on the budget airline Wizz Air and inexpensive travel within the country. View of Ohrid from Samuel’s Fortress. Danielle Villasana for The New York Times The morning after I arrived in the capital, Danko drove me to Matka Canyon, one ...

Things you Need to Know Before Road-Tripping Round Iceland Picture one of those TV documentaries where the camera pans across deserted icy tundra... and you have Iceland! The unparalleled natural scenery makes it the perfect place to take a road trip like no other. Driving in a strange country in wintery conditions can be daunting. You could take a tour, but the freedom of being able to pull over whenever you want just to take a look at something beautiful was what made it feel like a true adventure to me. Photo by Moyan Brenn/CC BY 2.0 Ready for your road trip? Here are my ten top tips to help you plan an unforgettable journey: 1. If you're visiting in winter, bear in mind that the F-roads that cross the middle of the country are closed...

'Everything is here': Map reveals tourism slogans around the world It's not easy capturing the essence of an entire nation in just a few short words - but some countries are definitely better at it than others. One holiday website has mapped almost every tourism slogan in the world, offering an interesting insight into how destinations try to market themselves. Some prefer to keep it simple, like "Incredible India" and "Wonderful Indonesia". Others might struggle to fit on a souvenir t shirt, such as "Brunei Darussalam – A kingdom of unexpected treasures" or "United Republic of Tanzania – The land of Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar and the Serengeti".  Then there's the classic I-see-what-you-did-there category: "Ukraine – It's all about U", and "I feel SLOVEnia". Pun game strong in Europe. READ MORE:* Best and worst...

From Syria to Paterson, a Thanksgiving food odyssey PATERSON, N.J. (AP) - Before the bomb fell in her garden, Ghussoon Zouabi grew lemons. She grew okra, too, and grapes and squash, eggplant and pomegranates. When her children wanted a snack, they walked into the yard to pluck figs. Then came the war, and the hunger. “The kids would cry because they wanted food,” said Zouabi, a mother of six who fled the Syrian civil war. “But I had no more food to give” she told The Record (http://bit.ly/2gKwH6k). She tracks the last five years of her family’s odyssey in food. First there was plenty. Then came the war, and there was nothing. Now there is plenty again. Zouabi lives in a house on the south side of Paterson, near Arabic...

Backers of monument don't think Trump will undo Obama's move PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - The backers of a new national monument in Maine don’t believe Donald Trump will undo President Barack Obama’s move.Obama this year created the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument on 87,000 acres donated by Roxanne Quimby, the co- founder of Burt’s Bees.Trump criticized Obama at the time. The leader of a group opposed to the monument recently told reporters that the idea of Trump reversing course has crossed opponents’ minds.But Quimby’s son, Lucas St. Clair, says he’s “pretty confident” that Trump won’t get involved.St. Clare says visitation to the monument already has increased, and that a $20 million endowment is paying for new roads, trails and bridges.Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC. Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered ...