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When you’re in the Mediterranean, you can’t help but crave seafood. The smell of the ocean is in the air, the boats are in the harbor, and it’s difficult to imagine cows and pigs and goats. They’re there, but they seem out of place.

We were on the island of Mallorca, the largest of the Balearic Islands and an autonomous region of Spain. It’s an incredibly popular destination for German and British tourists, and you’ll find a mashup of modern Euro-style nightlife and prehistoric archeological artifacts. …


Did you know it’s possible to see a rainbow at night?

Yosemite Falls at Yosemite National Park is famous for them, particularly this time of year when the water is gushing from spring snowmelt and you can catch a full, or nearly full, moon that’s sitting low over the horizon. ⁠

John Muir compared the moonbow to a religious experience, describing it as a “grand arc of color, glowing in mild, shapely beauty.” ⁠

Thanks to John Muir’s passionate writing, even people who’d never seen Yosemite firsthand knew the land was something special. …


Stroll the sidewalks of Europe in the summer, you’ll see café table after café table topped with glasses of bright orange liquid.

It’s the ubiquitous Aperol spritz, featuring the century-old bitter orange and rhubarb liqueur that gives the cocktail its distinctive color.

We spent the summer of 2018 in Europe, and Aperol spritzes were the featured cocktail special everywhere from London to Lisbon. But nowhere was the drink more prominent than in Italy.

“It’s because it’s served over ice,” said my friend Caron Guillo. “There aren’t many iced cocktails in Italy.”

Caron is a professional travel planner who lived in…


My family wasn’t a camping family. We tried it once when I was little, and I believe we lasted one whole night before we turned around and drove home, never to attempt it again.

Mr. Mike Ballard’s family, on the other hand, are tried-and-true campers. Their hometown church has been camping at Tennessee’s Fall Creek Falls State Park every Memorial Day weekend for more than 50 years. The group has only missed two years since 1964: once in 1995 when a tornado destroyed the campground and then in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

And this means that I, too…


You can travel the world, and you’ll find shawarma on menus in populous places everywhere. The Middle East. Northern Africa. Expat communities in Toronto, New York, São Paulo, Los Angeles, and Buenos Aires.

Thousands upon thousands of vendors will proclaim they have the best shawarma in the world. And not one of them is lying.

That’s the great thing about shawarma. Whether it’s spelled that way or as chawarma, shaurma, showarma, or any other variation, the things that make it great are universal. …


I’m a huge fan of British murder mysteries. I especially enjoy the ones that are set from about 1880 until around 1920, before traditional English culture was so very changed by World War I.

In these stories by the likes of Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, and Patricia Wentworth, you’ll come across the phrase, “Shall I be mother?” It seems like a strange question until you realize someone is asking if they should pour tea for everyone.

It’s only fitting, then, that tea is a beverage associated with mothers, at least in the United Kingdom. And on my last visit to…


As Mr. Mike Ballard and I have traveled the world searching for our next home, we’ve encountered numerous expat communities in places that sometimes surprise us.

Expatriates are people who live outside their native countries, and they do so for many reasons. Some have moved for work, others have moved to follow loved ones, and then there are the lucky people who have retired overseas, often to tropical locales, to enjoy the fruits of their labor under a palm tree on the beach.

Roatán, Honduras, is a melting pot of all these types of expats mixed with a population of…


Several years ago, Mr. Mike Ballard and I rented a yacht and took the boys on a sailing trip through the Dodecanese Islands of Greece.

It was entirely Gwyneth Paltrow’s fault and not nearly as glamorous as one might imagine, but it was certainly a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

One of my favorite memories from this adventure happened on Tilos. I’d heard about the island’s Eristos Beach, where self-proclaimed “hippies” from all over Greece and beyond descend upon the shoreline to camp in a makeshift commune for the summer.

As we dropped our yacht’s anchor and…


Travel is in the air!

More and more people are getting vaccinated, and countries are beginning to reopen their borders and welcome visitors once more. Many people are digging out their passports, counting their vacation days, and dreaming of exotic locales they might actually get to see in person for a change.

It’s been so long since most of us have been able to travel that many people have practically forgotten how to pack a suitcase. The producers of Morning Beats, the morning television show airing on The Heartland Network and The Family Channel, recently asked Mr. Mike Ballard and…


Morocco is one of my favorite places on the planet. It’s the country I’ve visited most often outside North America, and every visit has a bit of magic and mystery.

I took a solo trip to Rabat a few years ago to volunteer as an English teacher, and a weekend excursion found me in Merzouga, a town in eastern Morocco just 31 miles (50 km) from the border of Algeria. …

Angela Ballard

Food and folklore from my travels to over 100 countries.

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