Young Woman Travels the World for Free by Getting Men to Pay for Dates in Exotic Locations

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Most people would love nothing more than to quit their jobs and travel the world, but they simply lack the courage, and most importantly, the funds to do so. A young woman from Alabama has managed to do it though, by meeting rich men on the internet and having them pay for dates in some of the most exotic places on Earth. She’s now in a serious relationship with one of them, and he might just turn out to be ‘the one’.

It all started in December 2014, when 25-year-old Monica Lynn decided that her life was too boring and lacked adventure. So she quit her high-flying job as a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch in order to find something more interesting. Soon, she stumbled upon MissTravel, a website where people search for partners to go on holidays with.

“I came across Miss Travel in an article about weird websites,” Lynn explained. “I thought, ‘Yes, that sounds weird – but also kinda cool. This website attracts very successful men who don’t have the time to date in the normal way, so this allows them to accelerate the whole thing. They’re going on trips anyway, and they can afford to search through profiles and afford to bring one they like with them.”

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Neft Dashları – A Once Bustling City Built on Oil Platforms in the Caspian Sea

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People have been temporarily living on oil platforms ever since they were created, in the early 20th century, but Neft Dashlari, a giant oil platform complex in the Caspian Sea, roughly 40 miles east of Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, serves as a permanent residence to around 1,000 souls. Known as the largest and oldest offshore city in the world, the Soviet-era structure was built in 1949, after engineers found vast resources of oil in the region, thousands of feet beneath the sea floor.

The original foundation consisted of pillars mounted on seven sunken ships, including Zoraster, the world’s first oil tanker. The poles were erected around a central hub, a 17,300-acre artificial island where the main oil wells were located. Between 1952 and 1958, the city grew in size to include 2,000 drilling platforms, joined by a 300-kilometer network of bridge viaducts, spread in a 30-kilometer circle.

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La Colonia Tovar – A Picturesque German Alpine Village in Venezuela

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Venezuela is one of the last places you would expect to find a picturesque German alpine village, and yet… La Colonia Tovar, also known as ‘The Germany of the Caribbean’, is conspicuous for its white houses with timbers and red roofs surrounded by flower gardens, carefully tended fields and creeks with water mills, and its hearty German cuisine of sausages and sauerkraut and large slices of black forest cake followed by a cold pint of beer.

It’s hard to imagine such a place actually exists in a South American country with a predominantly tropical climate, like Venezuela. But travel north to the state of Aragua, about 1,800 meters up in the forests of the Cordillera de la Costa, and you’ll reach this quaint little town reminiscent of alpine Germany. Founded in 1843 by a group of 300-odd immigrants from the Schwarzwald (the Black Forest) of the Grand Duchy of Baden, on the eastern bank of the Rhine River, the town still maintains the original cultural imprint of this centuries-old community.

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Startup Lets You Share a Hotel Room with a Stranger to Save Money

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A new startup called The Winston Club is offering travelers the opportunity to book hotel rooms at just 50 percent of their cost. Obviously, there’s a catch – they have to be willing to share the room with complete strangers.

“We started Winston Club because we felt there should be an easy way for people to connect when they’d like a low-cost way to access the comfort and convenience of a hotel,” said founder Byron Shannon. “We wanted a safe, reliable, economical solution that provided a better experience than hostels or CouchSurfing alternatives.”

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The Artistic Water Tanks of Punjab

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The state of Punjab, in northern India, is well known for its rich, vibrant culture, including great food, music, and dance. But what most people don’t know is that the Indian state is also home to some of the most extravagant water tanks in the world.

The concrete structures that the people of Punjab use to store water on the roofs of their houses are hardly ever ordinary-looking or boring. Instead, these ‘designer’ tanks come in a variety of unlikely shapes and sizes inspired by people’s interests and experiences. It’s not uncommon to see water tanks modeled after airplanes, army tanks, ships, birds, animals, and even humans!

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Cliffside Capsule Hotel in Peru Offers Stunning Views, Is Not for the Faint-of Heart

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The Nature Vive Skylodge hotel, in Cusco, Peru, is made up of three transparent capsules attached to the side of a cliff, 1,312 meters above the beautiful Sacred Valley, once the heartland of the Inca Empire. Reaching this unique hotel is an adventure in itself, but once inside the pods, thrill-seekers can enjoy a stunning view of this natural paradise.

Each of the three 24×8-foot hanging capsule suits are built from an aerospace-grade aluminum frame and weather-resistant polycarbonate. Furnished with four beds, a small dining area, and a separate bathroom, the rooms can accommodate up to eight people. The transparent walls allow visitors to enjoy an almost 360-degree view of the Sacred valley, while four ventilation ducts let in the fresh mountain air. High quality mattresses, cotton sheets, down pillows, quilts and curtains for privacy are provided to ensure your your stay is as comfortable as possible.

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These “Walking Trees” in Ecuador Can Allegedly Move Up to 20 Meters per Year

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The Socratea exorrhiza is perhaps the world’s only mobile tree. They say its complicated system of roots also serves as legs, helping the tree constantly move towards sunlight as the seasons change. Walking trees can apparently move up to 2-3 cm per day, or 20 meters per year. That may not sound like much, but it’s pretty much a marathon by tree-standards.

Rainforest guides in Latin American countries like Ecuador have been telling tourists about the amazing walking trees for decades now. The most common version of the story is that the tree slowly ‘walks’ in search of the sun by growing new roots towards the light and allowing its old roots to die. The unusual roots, split from the trunk a few feet above the ground, add to the illusion of the tree having legs.

“As the soil erodes, the tree grows new, long roots that find new and more solid ground, sometimes up to 20m,” explained Peter Vrsansky, a palaeobiologist from the Slovak Academy of Sciences who lived for a few months in the Unesco Sumaco Biosphere Reserve, about a day’s journey from Ecuador’s capital Quito.

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The Balinese “Deaf Village” Where Everyone Knows Sign Language

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In the remote Balinese village of Bengkala every one of the 3,000-odd residents can fluently communicate in kata kolok, a centuries-old sign language, and people with speech and hearing deficiencies are always treated with respect.

That so many people would bother to learn sign language might seem strange, but there’s a good reason behind the unique tradition – the number of hearing and speech impaired in Bengkala is about 15 times higher than the world average and it’s believed to have been even higher in the past. So it’s only natural that, in time, body language took precedence over words, and villagers developed their own unique sign language which has been passed on for centuries.

The high incidence of deafness is apparently caused by the geographically-centric recessive gene DFNB3, present in the village for over seven generations. Parents with normal hearing may have a deaf child, and deaf parents are known to have children who can hear perfectly well. Either way, it seems to make no difference to the villagers, who have long learned to treat everyone the same, without any kind of discrimination.

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This Is Probably the Most Precarious Vehicle Bridge in the World

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There are plenty of dangerous-looking vehicle bridges around the world, but few as adrenaline-inducing as Kuandinsky Bridge, in Russia’s Trans-Baikal Region.

Stretching 570 meters over the Vitim River, this precarious vehicle crossing is just over two meters wide and features no railing or other safety features to keep the cars from falling into the frozen water if anything should go wrong. Its decaying metallic structure is simply covered with old wooden railway sleepers that become very slippery when covered with ice and snow, which is almost all year round, since this is Siberia we’re talking about.

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Not the Place for a First Date – Moscow’s New Toilet-Themed Cafe

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Following in South Korea’s footsteps is Moscow’s newest eatery, ‘Crazy Toilet Cafe’. The place offers its customers a highly realistic toilet-themed dining experience, complete with faecal-inspired dishes served in miniature lavatories and urinals!

The cafe, which opened late last month on the busy Arbat street, features about 50 real toilet bowls
that serve as seating. The tables are mini bathtubs propped on legs and covered with glass, showing cartoon characters using the toilet. Cafe management says they’re solely relying on the novelty of the place to attract one-time customers, as people are highly unlikely to pay the cafe a second visit.

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Would You Spend the Night at This Creepy Clown Motel?

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If you’re looking for the ultimate test of courage, spending a night at the creepy Clown Motel of Tonomah, in the middle of the Nevada Desert might just qualify as a worthy challenge. Not only is the place filled with grinning clowns, but there is also an abandoned cemetery located literally right next to the motel.

A clown-themed motel in the middle of the dessert sound a lot like the perfect setting for a classic horror flick, but the Clown Motel is actually very real. For decades, it has been catering to truckers, long-haul drivers and tourists traversing the Nevada desert, although those suffering from coulrophobia – the fear of clowns – tend to stay well away even if it means driving dozens of miles to the next town. And for good reason, considering the place is crawling with clowns.

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The Sea Organ of Zadar – A Musical Instrument Powered by Wave Movement

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The Sea Organ is an incredible musical instrument made up of a system of pipes and whistles that plays actual music as the waves of the Adriatic Sea push air through it.

At the end of World War 2, the shoreline of Zadar, a beautiful Croatian city with a history dating back to prehistoric times, had been almost completely destroyed. In the years that followed, many of its lost landmarks were rebuilt as plain blocks of concrete, and the coastline was no exception. Seeking to restore it back to its former glory, local authorities brought in award-winning architect Nikola Bašić, who, inspired by the hydraulis, an instrument built by the ancient Greeks that used water to push air through tuned pipes, designed and overlooked the construction of the Sea Organ, or Morske orgulje.

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Man Sells House and Company to Bond with His Daughter While Traveling Around the World

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In a bid to spend more time with his daughter and get to know her better, a Shanghai dad sold his two million yuan ($300,000) house and his share of the company that he co-founded. He is now using the money to travel the world for five years, along with his two-year-old girl.

“If I don’t keep her company now, I will lose the chance after she grows up,” Zhu Chunxiao said. According to news reports, Zhu, who is of Korean descent, lived and worked in Shanghai for the past 10 years. As a successful entrepreneur he lived a comfortable life, but he decided to give it all up to give his daughter a taste of the real world. So after three months of careful planning, he sold all his assets and decided to take off for the next five years.

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Iconic “Tree of Life” in Kalaloch Is a Monument to Resilience

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Located on an eroded, partially caved in cliff on Kalaloch beach, within Olympic National Park in Washington, the Tree of Life is stubbornly hanging on to the eroding soil with just a few of its roots. Some call it magical, others immortal, I just think it’s resilient. 

The roots in the middle are exposed and spread out, making it look like the tree is hanging on for dear life. And what’s truly surprising is that it has managed to survive this way for years, sprouting fresh green leaves despite its roots having very little contact with soil. It hasn’t toppled over, not even during the worst of storms that regularly hit the coast. While many other healthy trees in the area have succumbed to the unpredictable weather, the Tree of Life manages to survive, year after year.

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China’s Surreal Firefly-Themed Park Comes Alive at Night

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If your childhood memories are filled with summers spent chasing fireflies, then you’re going to love this new theme park in China. It’s completely dedicated to the glowing insects that naturally illuminate their habitat at night.

The park, located at the East Lake Peony Garden in Wuhan city, central China’s Hubei province, is home to about 10,000 fireflies. The insects are divided into five separate zones – the flying zone, the observation zone, zero-distance contact zone, breeding zone, and the science popularization area. Each zone is meant to cater to different categories of visitors, right from casual visitors to researchers.

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