WASHINGTON (Feb. 11, 2015)—Many of us dream of traveling to new and exotic destinations, but we don’t always have the time or resources to do so. In March, the National Geographic Travel Team offers a new book, ABROAD AT HOME: The 600 Best International Travel Experiences in North America (National Geographic Books; ISBN 978-1-4262-1499-8; on sale March 17, 2015; $24.95), that takes travelers on a trip around the globe without ever leaving North America.
Organized by region, ABROAD AT HOME is a beautifully illustrated, fact-filled travel planner that provides enticing tips on how to experience the best of North America’s international flavor. Tapping into the diverse melting pot that makes up the U.S. and Canadian populations, the book travels from our cities’ many Chinatowns and Little Italys to Polish, Ethiopian, Russian and Japanese enclaves — transporting readers to authentic landscapes and experiences that are the next best thing to being in New Zealand, Portugal, Brazil or France. A bonus index listing each destination by heritage makes this travel guide the perfect resource for culture vultures, those eager to trace their ancestry and history buffs alike.
Robert Reid, National Geographic Travel’s “Offbeat Observer,” wrote the introduction to ABROAD AT HOME and serves as spokesperson for the book. Reminiscing about the time he lived in the diverse neighborhood of Queens, New York, walking past carts selling Salvadoran cornmeal pupusas and shops filled with Tibetan noodles, Argentine steaks and Uruguayan pastries, Reid writes: “… as I ventured beyond my international urban mecca and through the pages of this book, I was amazed to see how much of the sense of the world you can feel all across the United States and Canada. … Experiencing the world at home is fascinating, fun, and real. And more important, put together, these experiences add up to a fuller understanding of what the United States and Canada really are.”
For travelers seeking exotic experiences in their own backyard, a potpourri of domestic options abounds:
- Amsterdam in Albany, New York: Enjoy more than 100,000 tulips that blossom every year in Albany, and celebrate the city’s rich Dutch roots.
- Peru in Paterson, New Jersey: Discover the Peruvian enclave of Little Lima in Paterson, where seviche and papa a la huancaina, popular Peruvian dishes, are found on neighborhood menus.
- Africa in Washington, D.C.: Join an eclectic crowd of footloose dancers, acro-yogis and hula-hoopers at Washington’s Meridian Hill Park, featuring an African drum circle, a weekly tradition with roots in the Civil Rights movement.
- Iceland in Spanish Fork, Utah: Spanish Fork was home to the first Icelandic settlers in the mid-1800s. Every February, their descendants congregate for Þorrablót, a mid-winter feast with shark meat, dried fish and sheep.
- India and Pakistan in Vancouver, Canada: The Punjabi Market or Little India of Vancouver boasts authentic eateries and several festivals. The annual 10-day City of Bhangra festival is the largest celebration of its kind in North America, with Punjabi music and dance.
- Basque culture in Boise, Idaho: The “Basque Block” in the heart of downtown Boise offers an array of culture, food and art, including the largest exhibition about Basque culture in the United States.
ABROAD AT HOME also includes 22 “The Best” lists, profiling the best destinations in the United States and Canada for global experiences for everything from international art galleries to foreign cooking classes to language immersion programs.
Seasonal festivals, authentic restaurants, sporting events, musical performances and religious celebrations fill the pages of ABROAD AT HOME, accompanied by in-depth travel guidance and comprehensive walking maps. The book also features intriguing facts and statistics about each destination as well as “My Neighborhood” reminiscences from locals that give an insider and colorful perspective of featured locations. Yelp’s community manager Kimberly Van Santos recalls hating her childhood visits to Eden Center, a Vietnamese restaurant and shopping center in Falls Church, Virginia, with her Vietnamese refugee father, when other kids were going to McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts, but as an adult, she now appreciates this Vietnamese enclave and returns frequently to experience comfort foods like bubble tea, pho and bánh mì (baguette). Asha Gomez, chef and owner of Atlanta’s Indian patisserie, Spice to Table, recommends heading to Decatur, Georgia, for all things Indian: travel agencies, gold jewelers, Bollywood video stores and especially spices.
ABROAD AT HOME is a dream trip planner for excursions into “other worlds” on any North American trip. No matter where you go, there are cultural surprises around the corner.
About Robert Reid
Robert Reid, travel expert and National Geographic Traveler writer, wrote the introduction to ABROAD AT HOME and serves as spokesperson. As National Geographic Travel’s Offbeat Observer, Reid investigates the whys and hows of experiencing the world and he encourages people to follow his lead by “traveling like travel writers.” Reid often uses his own hobbies and interests to build trip itineraries, research articles and provide a framework for video storytelling. Follow Reid on Twitter @reidontravel.
About National Geographic Books
National Geographic Books creates and distributes print and digital works that inspire, entertain, teach and give readers access to a world of discovery — and possibility. Each year we publish more than 150 new books for adults, families and children on a wide range of nonfiction subjects, from animals to travel, cartography to history, fun facts to moving stories. National Geographic books are available in 38 languages and more than 60 countries and in countless bookstores, mass-market outlets, schools, libraries and specialty retailers throughout the world.