From the Muay Thai rings of Bangkok, to the Sumo wrestling matches of Osaka, Japan, the tradition of fighting for sport and public entertainment exists across many cultures around the globe.
Travelers visiting these countries will often adopt a ‘when in Rome’ mentality, eagerly paying their admission tickets to cheer on local contenders. But, as MMA (mixed martial arts) dominates pay-per-view popularity here in the U.S., travelers don’t necessarily have to go far for gladiator-style grappling with global flair.
A honeymoon, surfer and yogi mecca, the Indonesian hub of Bali is a dream destination, ripe with unique culture, incredible food and affordable wellness retreats. But with endless hotels to choose from, actually deciding on where to rest your head may foster accommodation anxiety. On a recent trip to Bali, I slept around… sampling many hotels the island has to offer. Here were some of my favorites:
Travel junkies listen up! Want to win a free, all-expense paid trip to some of the world’s most exotic destinations? Umm…let me think about it…um yeah! DoubleTree by Hilton has just launched DTour of a Lifetime, a year-long competition that will provide six lucky winners with, you guessed it, adventures of a lifetime. Each “DTourist” will embark on a two-week to two-month adventure to one of the six continents, staying in several iconic DoubleTree by Hilton properties. I’ve partnered with Hilton as their DTour ambassador, so I wanted to share the details with fellow travel addicts, so they can take advantage of this awesome travel opportunity.
It’s been called one of the world’s most scenic drives. The Hana Highway along Maui’s eastern coast is 52 miles of narrow roads that carve through lush rain forests along rocky coastlines. Stretching from Kahului to the sleepy coastal town of Hana, this curvaceous highway coils around the island, across hundreds of curves and one-lane bridges. A trip there reveals the rugged natural beauty of postcard perfect Hawaii, from sweeping ocean views, to tropical waterfalls and volcanic black sand beaches.
Picture 6,000 people dancing like lunatics, high-fiving each other, shouting “YES!” and “I OWN YOU” at the top of their lungs. Add personal breakthroughs, hilarious storytelling, group massages, moaning, nose picking, a Jumbotron, coarse language, and a fire-walk across hot coals—there you have the Tony Robbins experience. It’s a unique blend of convention meets summer camp, therapy meets rock concert, motivation meets techno party mega church.
An artistic town and hippie hangout in the heart of Bali’s terraced rice fields, Ubud is a go-to spot for most travelers passing through the popular Indonesian island. Whether it’s for a few days or a few months, the charming community of Ubud promises lush landscapes, exotic culture, Hindu temples and mischievous monkeys. A featured destination in the Elizabeth Gilbert franchise “Eat, Pray, Love,” Ubud is Bali’s cultural capital promising a laid-back vibe, yoga retreats, spiritual healers, affordable guesthouses, romantic restaurants and traditional dances. Having just returned from Bali a week ago, I’m excited to share some of the best activities in Ubud:
With jaguars, anacondas, black caiman and piranha, the jungle is home to a long list of creatures eager to eat, squeeze, bite or nibble on you if given the chance. With so many predator-free high-end luxury resorts around the world, it’s a wonder why people would choose to spend their vacation time in the thick of nature, (far from air-conditioning, room service or HBO) battling the elements. Seems counter-intuitive but learning to survive in the jungle is the exact reason why I, like the many other adventure-seekers before me, have found themselves in Guyana. Nestled between Brazil and Venezuela, approximately 80 percent of this small South American country is primary tropical rainforest, making it the perfect locale for Bear Grylls wannabes on a quest to survive.
With ancient Roman, Christian and pagan roots, Valentine’s Day is now less about history and more about Hallmark. It’s a retail cash cow, drawing billions of dollars annually in chocolates, roses and sexy gifts. Many people share in the sentiments of Jay Leno, when he said: ”Today is Valentine’s Day. Or, as men like to call it, Extortion Day.” In this spirit of romance, raunch and bitter cynicism, I bring you some weird and wacky eros-themed Valentine’s Day events to check out this year. From luchadore wrestling and burlesque strip shows in Hollywood, to the Museum of Sex in Manhattan, there are many titillating and provocative events in cities across the country that are sure to spice up your V-Day plans: