skiing kashmirThe media seemed to focus on extreme travel this week; maybe it was the truly dreary weather in the northeastern U.S. that had people looking to break out of the humdrum. At the New York Times, Russ Juskalian writes about skiing at the base of the Himalayas in Kashmir, an adventure filled with black bears, snow leopards and lung-sapping elevation. Even though the U.S. State Department advises against traveling to Kashmir because of the potential for terrorist attacks and basic public unrest, thousands of foreigners flock to this northern region of India every year.

At the Wall Street Journal, Charles Bethea reports on his adventure climbing Mexico’s 18,500-foot Pico de Orizaba, a long dormant volcano that is the third highest peak in North America. It gets thrilling when they try to climb up the ice-covered crest.

At the Wenger blog, Sarah Esterman takes a look at the seven toughest marathons in the world – filled with extreme conditions, crazy elevation changes, and – in some cases – ravenous polar bears. Be sure to check out the comments, where a couple folks say they’ve done four or five of these; should we be inspired or intimidated, or should we just be suspicious of whether they’re telling the truth?

And speaking of extreme adventures, National Geographic has named space jumper Felix Baumgartner as the People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year.

You surely heard about the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez this week. Chavez’s 14-year reign was marked in part by virtually no one visiting Venezuela. At CNN, Jordan Burchette examines whether Chavez’s death will be good for Venezuelan tourism.

When we travel, there are touristy things that we must do. But a trip abroad gets much more interesting when we peel back a few layers and begin to explore how the locals live in their environment. At USA Today, Jamie Moore offers destination-specific ideas for traveling like a local. Expatriates excel at this (or else they go home quickly); obviously some expats are sent to foreign lands for work, but many others choose to live in a new place with every intention of assimilating to their new home. It isn’t necessarily as easy as it might sound – blogger Megan Starr writes from Norway and offers five lessons she’s learned as an American living abroad.

One of the great treats for travelers that has merged over the last year is inflight Wi-Fi. Now, we don’t need to lose any time, and can continue to be productive while in the air. Of course, as this infographic at Jaunted shows, all we’re really doing is scrolling through Facebook and otherwise mindlessly surfing.

The New York Times’ Seth Kugel suggests that the seemingly endless quest to declare one country the “world’s friendliest people” is foolish, and he’s not playing that game anymore.

However, if you want to be perceived as friendly as you make your way around the planet, SmarterTravel.com’s Caroline Morse strongly suggests you avoid using these eight words.

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About The Author

John Miller is president of ScribeWise. He is an avid traveler and web-surfing junkie. Visit www.scribewise.com.

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