BELGRADE–I fell in love with Belgrade long before I fell for the Serbian man who would become my husband, the two loves blurred and intertwined. On the night before our wedding, the lobby bar of the Square Nine hotel (pictured below) was bathed in a marmalade lamplight, as if time were suspended. I still recall the bear hugs of my arriving friends, coats slapped, hands warmed with foam-clouded hot chocolates; the glorious mayhem that followed. Read more

BRUSSELS — Ask many people what comes to mind when they think of Brussels, and chances are they’ll say the European Union, NATO, wonderful chocolate shops and arguably the world’s best moules et frites. But when Olga Polizzi, deputy chairwoman and director of design at the Rocco Forte Hotels, thinks of the Belgian capital, she thinks of great antiques.

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FRANKFORT, MICHIGAN–Over the years there have, of course, been comparisons made between Northern Michigan and Cape Cod or the Hamptons; all are summer getaways with charming beach towns that attract everyone from preppy golfers and wealthy boaters to college students who wait tables at beachside restaurants by day and hone their sailing skills at dusk. Read more

FRANKFORT, MICHIGAN–Every morning for about eight weeks each summer, Leslie Ritter becomes bait. As head of the lifeguarding program at the Congregational Summer Assembly (a vacation community in northwest Michigan), Ritter wades into Crystal Lake up to her knees. After 30 minutes she gets out and records wind and temperature data. If her skin starts to tingle, she knows something in the lake is after her—and swimming lessons are canceled.

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LAC ROSE, SENEGAL-Not surprisingly, my tracksuit-wearing guide slid onto the back of his dromedary with great ease and aplomb, barely noticing that the camel let out a huff as he settled into the saddle, and lifted the rope that was attached to its jaw. I, meanwhile, was hesitant, gingerly stepping to the animal’s side, leery of being spit on. Read more