Posts tagged with "visitors"

Filmstrip illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Best Places to Live × Work

The Best Places to Live and Work Abroad in 2021—InternationalLiving.com

While just about every country is willing to provide a tourist visa that lets visitors hang around for a few months, most will not grant permission to live and work within their borders without a job offer from a local employer. Some offer long-term residence visas that let expats legally live in the country, but they don’t typically allow for work. A new report from the editors at International Living highlights four countries where it’s possible to find easy access to a residence visa—and the permits that allow for work as well.

Source: International Living

It’s clear that an increasing number of Americans want a different life and are looking for countries where they can live and work legally. But the options are limited without a local employer willing to provide a job.

Expats able to earn from anywhere do have a few good options, however, according to International Living’s report. While a small collection of countries welcomes outsiders, who can qualify for the necessary visas, four in Latin America and Europe stand out as the best options in terms of cost, ease, and timing.

Panama

If your goal is to live and work remotely overseas, but remain close to U.S. borders, Panama is your best bet. Direct flights land in Panama City from at least nine U.S. cities and take between three and seven hours, depending on where you’re coming from.

Beyond proximity, Panama offers what it calls the Panama Friendly Nations Visa, a special program whereby nationals of certain countries (including the U.S. and Canada) can apply for permanent residence, which comes with a Panamanian cédula, the local ID card. That cédula is permanent, allowing holders to come and go as they please, as would a born-and-bred Panamanian. Separately, the program also allows holders to request a work permit through the Ministry of Labor, though that’s part of a different process.

Obtaining a temporary cédula takes about eight days. It will take another two days to obtain a multiple-entry visa that’s necessary so an individual can come and go as they wait out the roughly five-month process for the government to issue a permanent cédula. Once a cédula has been obtained, a person can then apply for a work permit from the Ministry of Labor, which will take about a month.

To start the cédula process, you’ll need basic documents—passport, proof from the FBI that there is no criminal record—and $5,000 in a Panamanian bank account, plus $2,000 for each dependent. And to obtain a work permit, then you’ll need to set up a Panamanian corporation (which can be disbanded after a year).

Uruguay

If speed is more important, then Uruguay is a great choice. Here, expats can land at the airport with the correct collection of documents, and if they already have a pre-scheduled filing date with the immigration office that day, they can file their paperwork and have a temporary cédula that afternoon or the next day. All that’s required is a birth certificate and an apostilled police record (meaning it has been authenticated and is acceptable across international borders). They will also need to show that they have the financial means to support themselves with a provable stream of income from anywhere in the world.

With a temporary cédula, they will also have immediate access to the state healthcare system, or they can immediately buy access with a local, private healthcare plan, which will cost about $70 to $350 a month, depending on the bell and whistles they want.

To manage the process themselves, expect to pay about $600 to $700. But they will also need to have a proficient level of Spanish, as none of the paperwork is in English. Otherwise, hire an attorney. It will be quicker and more efficient and will cost between $1,000 and $2,000.

­Portugal

Portugal has two visas that would apply to someone wanting to live and work on the Iberian Peninsula: D2 and D7. Technically, the D2 is for independent workers and entrepreneurs, while the D7 is for those who are retired or earning passive income. In practical terms, the D7 will make sense for most people, even if they’re not retired, because it’s based on income. The D2 requires proof that an expat can support themselves as a freelancer and can begin issuing Portuguese invoices on which the business will be taxed, though the tax rate is fixed at 20% for 10 years.

With the D7, instead, a person will need only to show that they have €8,000 (about $9,700) per person in a Portuguese bank account and that they have the equivalent of €30,000 ($36,400) in a bank account back in their home country.

To apply for either a D2 or D7 visa, an expat must enroll in the Portuguese tax system and become a tax resident. That requires obtaining a Portuguese tax number before they can even apply for a visa. And for that, they will need a sponsor, which can be a law office, accounting office, or migration office.

For that reason, they’ll need to hire a pro to walk them through the process and be their sponsor for the tax number. All in, that will cost you between €1,000 and €2,500 (about $1,200 to $3,000). The process will require two to four months to complete.

As a freelancer, an expat will also want to apply for Non-Habitual Resident status, or NHR, which is issued to people who’ve never lived in Portugal before and move to the country. With NHR status, income earned outside the country is exempt from taxes. They will have to file a Portuguese tax return and declare the income, though they’ll owe no taxes on it. The other benefit of this is that it shows Uncle Sam they’re a tax resident of another country, which then helps trigger their eligibility for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion.

A person is eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship and a passport after five years of residence, though they have to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language.

Czech Republic

It’s a two-step process in Czech Republic. First step: apply to join the živnostensky (zivno) list. This isn’t specifically for foreigners. It’s a trade license for any Czech resident who works independently, be that a plumber, masseuse, artist, or whoever. That will take a week at most. Zivno in hand, they can then apply for a one-year, temporary residence visa.

They must apply for a residence visa at a Czech embassy outside of the Czech Republic, show they have housing (a notarized lease agreement) for the full-length of the visa they seek, up to one year. That means they’ll need to visit the Czech Republic to arrange that. Some expats will move to Prague, obtain their housing and zivno, then take the train to nearby embassies in Berlin, Vienna, or Bratislava and complete their application.

They will need a signed letter from their bank stating that they have the equivalent of 125,000 Czech crowns on deposit (about $5,700). That will need to be translated into Czech, which a visa agency can handle. Be sure the account has a debit card, which must be presented at the application meeting at the Czech embassy, because officials will want to see it—it’s proof that a person can access the account.

An FBI criminal background check is required, though as an American an expat can also go to the U.S. embassy in Prague and sign an affidavit attesting to their criminal-free background. Along with a passport and an application form, that’s pretty much all the documents an applicant needs.

To hire a local agency to help with the process, it should cost less than 15,000 crowns (about $685) for everything. The embassy fee is a separate 5,000 crowns (about $230).

Once the temporary visa expires after a year, it can easily be traded in for a renewable, two-year long-term residence visa. After five years as a legal resident, a person is eligible to apply for Czech citizenship and a Czech passport, which like the Portuguese passport, is an EU passport and thus gives them free rein to live and work anywhere in the EU.

The full report on the best places to live and work in 2021, including more information for immigration experts in each of the countries mentioned, can be found at: The Best Places to Live and Work Abroad in 2021.

International Living has launched its new “Work From Anywhere” resource, devoted to coverage of innovative money-making strategies, ways to build a portable income, tips for boosting health and well-being, methods to maximize Social Security, and so much more. More information can be found, here.

Kayaking illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

What’s Trending in Tennessee

What’s New, Trending and Blooming this Spring in Tennessee

  • Memphis – Memphis Zoo’s all-new Kangazoo Experience lets you get face-to-face with kangaroos roaming free in the walk-through exhibit. Visitor favorites also include giraffe-feeding, the panda exhibit and Sting Ray Cove.
  • Jackson – Discover what makes Jackson a unique place for music lovers of all backgrounds whether you’re looking for new eclectic sounds, blues and gospel, country music or more with live performances of Jackson’s Hidden Tracks.
  • Nashville – Enjoy premiere shopping, world-class dining, live music and views of downtown at Fifth + Broadway. This 300,000 square foot multi-level mecca is a must-see and home to the National Museum of African American Musicand Assembly Food Hall featuring two dozen restaurants on multiple levels.
  • Columbia – The Mulehouse is a 55,000 square feet new music and event venue located a few blocks from the downtown square, established by country radio personality and broadcaster, Blair Garner.
  • Manchester – A brand new concert series features live, in-person performances in a socially-distanced setting at the Bonnaroo Farm. Concerts on the Farm includes performances by Billy Strings, Jon Pardy, Jameson Rodgers, The Avett Brothers and more.
  • Chattanooga – Grab your thinking caps, maps and don’t forget your mask. Take adventure to the next level. Learn more about Chattanooga’s top attractions and neighborhoods during the Spring Break Safari Scavenger Hunt.
  • Knoxville – Three levels of magical crystal barrooms wait to be discovered in downtown Knoxville. Bernadette’sbarrooms include the Knox County Quartz House, the Amethyst Lounge, and a stunning rooftop of Crystal Gardens.
  • Gatlinburg – Anakeesta will be in full bloom with the launch of Blooms and Tunes featuring colorful nature-themed art installations, live music and a new spring-themed menu at four restaurants in the park.
  • Townsend – The Smoky Mountain Bigfoot Festival Noon-10 p.m. May 22 includes live music, vendors, food trucks, bigfoot competitions, oral histories, 1-mile fun run and more at the Townsend Visitor’s Center.
  • Johnson City – Grab a scavenger hunt clue card online or from a downtown business to search for 15 bronze animal sculptures as part of Wildabout Walkabout Scavenger Hunt from the public library and King Commons Park to Main and Market Streets.

New Restaurants, Breweries and Distilleries

  • Memphis – Renowned chefs Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman are at it again, this time with their Little Bettie pizza joint inside Wiseacre’s newly opened downtown taproom.
  • Clarksville – The Thirsty Goat is a newer gathering place outside of the city that features a beer garden, artisan coffee shop and oven-fired pizzas.
  • Murfreesboro – Biscuit-based meals made baked fresh daily are at the forefront of Maple Street Biscuit Co. Jams and jellies are also made in-store. Featured on Food Network, The Squawking Goat dish is an all-natural fried chicken breast, fried goat cheese medallion and house-made pepper jelly atop a flaky biscuit.
  • Columbia – Wolf and Scout Coffee Car is located in the Columbia Arts Building serving varieties of coffees and their signature drink, the Wolfhunter.
  • Carthage – Cajun wings, honey BBQ wings, onion rings, fries and delicious sides are on tap at Something 2 Wing About.
  • Farragut – 35 North, located in the heart of Farragut, features the area’s best food trucks, local brews, wine and spirits and features two patios, an outdoor fireplace and a place for gathering.
  • LaFollette – Twin Flame features amazing hot dogs, burgers, wings, catfish, specialty drinks and much more with carry-out and dining room seating available.
  • Wartburg – The MoCo Brewing Project is Morgan County’s latest brewery and coffee shop with signature beers named and influenced by local landmarks. The owners brew beer, coffee and offer flavored coffee and hot chocolate.
  • Sevierville – Tennessee Shine Co.uses family recipes and small-batch distilling, features a tasting bar and Moonshine Tour.
  • Johnson City – Watauga Brewing Company is a three story brewery, restaurant and rooftop bar. Restaurant On 2 combines upscale New American cuisine with Appalachian and southern roots. The chef uses local, seasonal foods in her menu. 

New Attractions and Exhibits

  • Memphis –Visitors can enjoy movie nights and world-renowned musicians in an all-new outdoor setting at The Grove at GPAC.
  • Memphis – Graceland celebrates the 50 anniversary King of Rock ‘n’ Roll meeting then President Richard Nixon with a special pop-up exhibit and artifacts with Dear Mr. President: Elvis and Mr. Nixon.
  • Nashville – Once Upon a Spring at Gaylord Opryland includes a live story time show, art activities, cookie decorating, scavenger hunt, boat rides and other fun programming.
  • Knoxville – Zoo Knoxville’s The ARC (Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Campus), open spring 2021, will showcase the zoo’s pioneering conservation work with these species and feature revolutionary STEM education resources.
  • Johnson City – Paradise Acresis a family farm park with an 18-hole mini-golf course, outdoor laser tag, barn-side drive-in theater and U-Pick produce.

New Hotels & Places to Stay

  • Memphis – Walk the line between southern hospitality, offbeat and elevated cuisine to get a genuine taste of Midtown’s unconventional personality, storied art district and Overton Square at The Memphian, set to open April 2021.
  • Memphis – Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis is within walking distance of the city’s famed entertainment district, nestled in a vibrant neighborhood known for lauded music venues, historic landmarks, southern comfort and Memphis-style barbecue.
  • Nashville – W Hotel Nashville is set to take the stage in the heart of the Gulch. Opening spring 2021 with 346 rooms, the new hotel will welcome visitors with curated local tunes, garden-to-glass cocktails and welcoming communal spaces.
  • Pigeon Forge – Pigeon Forge RV Resort along the Little Pigeon River includes 149 RV sites, camping, riverside fishing, illuminated river walk. On-property offerings include on-site concierge services, a pool, and hot tub, playground, picnic pavilion, a dog park, golf cart rentals, a retail store, conference room, gym, and laundry facilities.

New Stores

  • Columbia – Columbia features several new stores including Cope (in the Columbia Arts Building with a variety of trendy plants), family-owned jewelry store Tillis Jewelry on the downtown square and Southern Clutter Boutique with a variety of clothing, accessories, home goods and crafts.
  • Farragut – Euphoric Cheese features cut-to-order cheeses from all around the world, a wide variety of charcuterie items, specialty groceries and a selection of local brews. Items such as chocolate-covered figs, blue cheese stuffed olives, creamed honey and rosemary crackers will make your grazing board memorable.
  • Kingston – That Local Cheeseboard Co.features handcrafted charcuterie boards & boxes, grazing tables, customizable boxes, corporate catering, and gifts and items for special occasions.

Hot/Trending Places for Spring

  • Hornbeak – Vacation while you dine at Blue Bank Fishhouse & Grill at Blue Bank Resort with delicious weekend specials, local craft beer, live music, fire pits, butterfly garden & front row seating to a beautiful sunset on Reelfoot Lake.
  • Alamo – Drive through the 5.5 miles of safari roads in your own car, interact and feed animals at Tennessee Safari Park. After the journey, experience the walk-through zoo, enjoy refreshments at the concessions, the playground area, and the petting zoo.
  • Clarksville – Downtown at Sundown Concerts at Downtown Commons includes free live music the first and third Friday nights May through October. The large urban outdoor park allows space to socially distance with your chairs or blanket.
  • Linden – Experience serenity on the water. Commodore River Adventures offers an uncrowded, individual or small-group, artisan kayaking experience.
  • Nashville – Celebrate spring, warmer weather and longer days with more than 150,000 blooming bulbs and fun seasonal activities during Cheekwood in Bloom.
  • Nashville – Board the General Jackson Showboat, one of Gaylord Opryland’s most popular attractions, for cruises featuring first-class live entertainment, delicious meals and gorgeous views of Nashville.
  • LaFollette – Chapman Hill Winery is a quaint winery with an elegant tasting room nestled in the hills of East Tennessee on the edge of Norris Lake. Bring a lawn chair or blanket for the Vineyard Vibrations live music series.
  • Farragut – Enjoy a stroll through town, a heritage trail, cemetery and educational sites to learn history of the area, pioneer settlements and more through artifacts, photos and stories during the Farragut History Walk.
  • Harriman – Lakeshore Park offers recreation fun for the family and is home to the Gupton Wetlands area, where at least 114 species of birds can be found. Bring bikes, kayaks, fishing poles and enjoy scenery and trails.
  • Lancing – Lilly Hopyard Brewery is tucked away in the woods near the Obed Wild and Scenic River. Warm up around the campfire, watch the game, play corn hole, listen to live music and enjoy the Sauced Frog eatery.
  • Winchester – Stroll with family and friends during Food Truck Fridays at the downtown Farmers Market Pavilion on the Boulevard. Downtown merchants will stay open late on the first Friday of every month.
  • Johnson City – At the 40-acre Tannery Knobs Mountain Bike Park, riders can experience the thrill of off-road riding from the gnarly, rocky downhill of the Black Diamond to smooth dirt paths on the green trails.
  • Pigeon Forge – Explore larger-than-life plant sculptures adorned in half-a-million colorful flower blooms, dance under an Umbrella Sky and indulge in garden-fresh flavors from chefs during Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival.

Spring Festivals & Events

  • Gatlinburg (March 18-20) – Explore the new Gatlinburg St. Patrick’s Day Celebration complete with traditional Irish music, food, fireworks, and more. The city will be decorated with Shamrock green and feature fireworks show at 10 p.m. Friday at the Space Needle.
  • Bell Buckle (March 20) – The historic town adapts Daffodil Days to include a tree seedling give away, spring bulbs vendors on the square, spring items in stores, and a book signing by beloved former Tennessee Poet Laureate Maggi Vaugn.
  • Chattanooga (March 20-21) – Come see the High Falls flow green during Shamrock City at Rock City featuring Irish food, specialty beer from Chattanooga Brewing Co., bagpipers, pop-up Irish dance performers, and virtual scavenger hunt.
  • Linden (March 26-27) – The Blooming Arts Festival mixes fine arts, local craftsmanship, performances and fantastic local eats. Masks and social distancing recommended. Sanitization stations will be up on Main Street.
  • Pigeon Forge (March 26-28) – Cowboy cooks circle the wagons for the one-of-a-kind outdoor Pigeon Forge Chuck Wagon Cookoff that features chuck wagons–the original food trucks. Attendees can sample the offerings at lunch.
  • Murfreesboro (March 29-April 2) – Looking for a fun and safe way to kick off spring? Stop by the Discovery Center for Mess Fest. Get creative and messy with free outdoor activities such as making oobleck, elephant toothpaste and more.
  • Spring Hill (April 2) – Grammy Award Winner Casting Crowns performs a socially distancing family-friendly drive-in concert 7 p.m. at RippavillaTickets benefit the Well Outreach Food Pantry.
  • Crossville (April 2-June 24) – Cumberland County Playhouse kicks off its 2021 spring season with productions like Clue on Stage, The Savannah Sipping Society, Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now and Duck Hunter Shoots Angel.
  • Savannah (April 3) – The 9th Annual Generals Breakfast kicks off at 9 a.m. at Cherry Mansion with an outdoor breakfast, storytelling program and a Q&A by the homeowners. Tickets are $15. Masks and social distancing are encouraged.
  • Murfreesboro (April 23) – Travis Tritt with special guest Frank Foster takes the stage at 7 p.m. at Hop Springs Beer Park. There’s live music every weekend at the family & dog-friendly park with food and a huge selection of craft beers on tap.
  • Harriman (May 1) – The May Day Craft and Antique Fair will have vendors that display handmade crafts, vintage items and antiques, food vendors, live entertainment and classic car show.
  • Granville (May 1) – The Cornbread & Moonshine Festival features whiskey tastings, cornbread tasting, food, music, and craftsmen. Admission is $5. The new Whiskey Decanter Museum also opens with over 3,000 whiskey decanters.
  • Cookeville (May 1) – Cookeville Storyfest 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. in the big tent in Dogwood Park includes headliners Andy Offutt Irwin and Minton Sparks, and an amateur storytelling competition.
  • Tellico Plains (May 1) – The Tellico Trout Festival 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. downtown gathers fishermen, river sports enthusiasts and families for fun, education, food, entertainment and outfitter services.
  • Gatlinburg (May 1-3) – Guests can begin a creative journey in crafts, woodworking, basket weaving, jewelry making and more during Hands on Gatlinburg in the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community. Register in advance before workshops sell out.
  • Pigeon Forge (May 5-8) – Textile art and techniques to stitch quilts are on display at Pigeon Forge’s A Mountain Quiltfest. Guests can register for instructional classes. The free quilt exhibit and vendor hall are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the LeConte Center.
  • Sweetwater (May 7-8) – Head to Historic Downtown Sweetwater for the Blooms, Bluegrass and BBQ Festival with live music, barbecue competition, vendors, picker’s corner, kids’ zone and fun activities.
  • Smithville (May 8) – Center Hill Lake Fest 4-10 p.m. at The Burlap Room Beer Garden and Dispensary features plenty of space to socially-distance while enjoying food from local food trucks, craft beer and local vendors. Please wear a mask in vendor and restroom lines. Tickets for the kid and pet-friendly event start at $20.
  • Rugby (May 8) – Raise a cup to Queen Victoria during the Queen’s Tea at Historic Rugby. The festive tea will include sandwiches, scones and dessert. Tickets are $22.
  • Wartburg (May 15) – The Tennessee Mountain Laurel Festival is filled with music, food, exhibits, creative arts, crafts, a car show and 24 designated scenic trails 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. around courthouse square.
  • Harriman (May 22-23, May 29-31) – Join a weekend of fun with costume contests, pirate Olympics, treasure hunts, get a picture with a mermaid or scallywag or shop the merchant village for unique treasures at the 5th Annual Tennessee Pirate Fest.
  • Bell Buckle (May 29) – Load up the car and go on an adventure in Historic Bell Buckle geocaching for prizes 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. during the Bell Buckle Car Cache and Pig Bash. Registration information can be found here.
  • Donelson (May-October) – Stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables, shop from local vendors, listen to live music and stroll through the historic grounds of Two Rivers Mansion Fridays 4-7 p.m. during the outdoor Hip Donelson Farmers Market.

For a complete list of what’s happening in Tennessee, visit the calendar on the website.  

Bob Moses illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Bob Moses

Los Angeles Tourism Invites Visitors to #StartYourComeback, Partners with Cercle for a Livestream Set Featuring Bob Moses from the Iconic Griffith Observatory

The “magic hour” timed show happens March 22 and will be available worldwide on Facebook Live and Twitch

Los Angeles is starting its comeback, having moved to the state’s less restrictive red tier which allows the safe reopening of museums, indoor dining, theme parks, and outdoor live events including spectator sports, with appropriate capacity controls and safety protocols. Now, the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board is inspiring lovers of L.A. to start their comeback, whenever they are ready, in a new partnership certain to stir wanderlust. To keep Los Angeles top of mind with visitors sonically and visually, Los Angeles Tourism has partnered with Cercle, known for their jaw-dropping musical live streams from UNESCO World Heritage sites and other cultural icons across the globe. L.A.-based, Grammy-winning electronic duo Bob Moses will perform a live stream, sunset set from the iconic Griffith Observatory on Monday, March 22, beginning at 6:00 p.m. PST. While there will be no audience present, the show is viewable on screens worldwide via Cercle’s Facebook LiveTwitch, and Oculus.

The collaboration kicks off Los Angeles Tourism’s new multi-month, phased effort to inspire visitors to #StartYourComeback. To help plan a future vacation, Los Angeles Tourism has aggregated more than 100 special offers from hotels, restaurants and more, available here.

“Through our partnership with Cercle, we’re inviting people to come back to a sense of wonder, to come back to a spirit of possibility. We have the opportunity to inspire with a dazzling magic hour, our iconic Griffith Observatory and the twinkling lights of the city’s skyline, all the while reminding visitors that L.A. is starting its comeback and we look forward to welcoming them back to L.A. when they are ready,” said Don Skeoch, Los Angeles Tourism’s Chief Marketing Officer.

“We call Los Angeles home, and we’re honored to bring L.A. to the world through this partnership with Cercle, which allows us to perform at the iconic Griffith Observatory during sunset. We’re ready for a magical show,” stated Tom Howie and Jimmy Vallance of Bob Moses.

Derek Barbolla, Founder and CEO of Cercle added, “We’ve dreamt of hosting a show in Los Angeles at the Griffith Observatory for years now, and it’s incredibly special that this will soon become a reality. We know our fans will love seeing L.A. through our lens and will want to get back to L.A. – or discover it for the first time – after the show. We’re happy to safely bring a taste of the city to Cercle fans around the world.”

To learn more, visit @discoverla on TwitterInstagram, or Facebook. Visitors are encouraged to #TravelResponsibly and follow all guidance from Los Angeles County Public Health.

Immersive Van Gogh

Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago, a brand new venue in Chicago’s Germania Club will open Feb. of 2021.

The recently renovated building will open to the U.S. premiere of Immersive Van Gogh. The building’s Victorian Era, 35-foot-tall walls will show off art exhibitions that completely encapsulate an audience, blurring the lines between entertainment and culture, art and blockbuster creation.

Immersive Van Gogh received rave reviews from critics and a wide array of audiences in Toronto, as it allowed them to step inside the iconic, emotional, imaginative artist Vincent Van Gogh.

The Toronto Sun called Immersive Van Gogh “intense and emotional, cathartic and liberating” while Debra Yeo of the Toronto Star said,  “I wondered: could projections of paintings on walls and floors be thrilling? The answer is yes.”

More than 180,000 guests were able to see the exhibition in July 2020, and it passed worldwide ticket sales for any of Ticketmaster’s live cultural events.

Tickets will be available beginning Nov. 23 at 11 a.m. CST. You can find them by clicking right here, or you can call (844) 307-4644. Admission begins at $39.99, or $24.99 for children 16 years old or younger.

The tickets will be for viewings from Feb. 11 to May 2, and parking is available at the James House parking garage, conveniently located nearby.

Given the world’s current state of affairs, the experience also makes health and safety a priority, as admissions will align with Chicago’s capacity guidelines.

Tickets will also be taken contact-free, temperatures will be taken upon arrival and hand sanitizer stations will be open. Markers throughout the exhibit will also remind guests to socially distant as they get sucked into the world of Van Gogh. Face masks will be required.

The same Italian creative team that pioneered Atelier des Lumières will create a design custom to the exhibition’s home in Chicago.

The exhibition was designed by Massimiliano Siccardi, an Italian film producer, with help from composer Luca Longobardi, who delivers a score that combines electronic music with piano, blending modern and classic tones to evoke the perfect tone for the experience. Vittorio Guidotti is the art director.

Siccardi and Longobardi created the Van Gogh, Starry Night exhibition together, setting them up for Immersive Van Gogh, which features more than 50 projectors that cover more than 14,000 square-feet.

Siccardi said Van Gogh has created a lasting emotional impact despite going relatively unknown while he was alive.

“Both myself and Luca Longobardi are very excited to visit Chicago and once again bring Van Gogh’s legacy to life in a way that is unique to the beautiful architecture of the Germania Club Building,” Siccardi said.

Some of the most notable pieces featured include Self Portrait with Felt Hat, The Bedroom in Arles, Irises and The Starry Night.

Corey Ross, the co-producer of Immersive Art Space, said Immersive Van Gogh is a new way to consume art from all directions.

“Both connoisseurs and new admirers of Van Gogh’s work are guaranteed a breathtaking perspective on the influential artist’s oeuvre,” Ross said. “Merging state-of-the-art technology, theatrical storytelling, animation and some of the finest works of art ever created, Immersive Van Gogh is a uniquely mesmerizing experience that seemingly transports the viewer into the artist’s mind to see these timeless works as never before.

For more information, you can click right here.

Chef Claudia at Vallarta Nayarit Gastronomica

Puerto Vallarta will continue celebrating its Centennial with another event of international importance when it hosts the 10th annual edition of the Vallarta-Nayarit Gastronomica scheduled to take place from October 14 -18. With over 48 of the most important international chefs, including 8 Michelin-awarded chefs, Puerto Vallarta is ready to reaffirm its position as Mexico’s Culinary Beach
Destination.

Under the slogan: Mexico, thanks for so much!, Vallarta Nayarit Gastronomica will be a combination of activities and events taking place all around food. Cooking demonstrations, classes and a trade exhibition will take place at the Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta and private gala dinners including one celebrating the career of Mexican chef Susana Palazuelos. Puerto Vallarta’s iconic Malecon will set the stage for the event’s first event on the 14 with its Centennial Reception.

In addition to participating international chefs, Puerto Vallarta will be well represented by Chef Raúl Altamirano and Chef Santiago Pérez, Hotel Sheraton; Chef Memo Wulff, Rest. Barrio Bistro, Chef Alex Gómez, Jardín Nebulosa and Chef Joel Ornelas, Rest. Tintoque, all of whom will be taking part in special classes or hosting events for participants.

Javier Aranda Pedrero, General Director of the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board, said he was pleased to receive this type of international event, which reflects the great culinary amalgam, excellent service, attention and hospitality of the people of Vallarta, who continue to position the port city as the best option for gastronomic events.

Vallarta Nayarit Gastronómica will have invited guests from Chihuahua and Guanajuato, who will participate with renowned chefs. In addition, thanks to the significant growth of Guadalajara in the gastronomic sphere due to the diversity of its cuisine and the traditional dishes it has, it has been chosen as the guest city of this edition.

Participating chefs include eight from Michelin -awarded restaurants in Spain: Chef Ángel León (3 MICHELIN Stars and 3 Repsol Suns) Aponiente Restaurant, Cádiz; Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz (2 MICHELIN Stars and 3 Repsol Suns), Mugaritz Restaurant, Gipuzkoa; Chef Kiko Moya (2 MICHELIN Stars and 3 Repsol Suns) L´Escaleta Restaurant; Chef Diego Guerrero (2 MICHELIN Stars and 3 Repsol Suns) Dstage Restaurant; Chef Kisco García (1 MICHELIN Star and 2 Repsol Suns) Choco Restaurant; Chef Diego Gallegos (1 MICHELIN Star and 1 Repsol Sun) Sollo Restaurant; Chef Roberto Ruiz (1 MICHELIN Star and 2 Repsol Suns) Punto Mx Restaurant and Chef Paco Méndez (1 MICHELIN Star and 1 Repsol Sun) Hoja Santa and Niño Viejo Restaurant.

From the United States, the conference will host Chef Carlos Gaytán, the first Mexican chef to achieve a MICHELIN Star for his work at Mexique Restaurant in Chicago and Chef Marc Pauvert, Hotel Four Seasons, Baltimore – USA. In addition, the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board will be hosting MasterChef US Season 6 Winner and Master Chef Latino Judge Chef Claudia.

For more information on Vallarta-Nayarit Gastronomica, please visit: www.vallartanayaritgastronomica.com

About the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board

The Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board is responsible for promoting the destination in national and international markets. Nestled between the rugged, tropical Sierra Madre Mountains and Banderas Bay — Mexico’s largest natural bay and second largest on the American continent — on Mexico’s balmy Pacific coast, Puerto Vallarta is easily accessible from the U.S. and Canada. The city enjoys a warm tropical climate year-round, with average daytime temperatures of 80°F and cooler evening temperatures in winter months. Located 4 miles from downtown Puerto Vallarta, Gustavo Diaz International Airport receives more than 4 million visitors annually. The destination is home to 300,000 residents and offers an estimated 12,400 hotel rooms, with more than half in 4-star-plus properties.

Sept 2018 Berlin Marathon

The sports world has created a new breed of migratory bird. These are flocks of male and female marathon runners who descend annually on six international marathons (Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York City). While it may be just the elites chasing the cash prizes, everyone else is after the Six Star Finisher Medal given to those amateurs who challenge and accomplish all six of the majors.

This series is the ultimate challenge for those who want to experience an amazing achievement in fascinating cities. But one city stands out from the crowd. More marathon records have been established in Berlin than any of the other majors.

In past years nearly 75,000 runners in one year alone requested to enter the BMW Berlin Marathon in a field limited to 40,000, advised Sports Tours International http://www.sportstoursinternational.co.uk/.

To assure that every marathoner fulfills the dream of joining the Berlin field, Sports Tours International guarantees entry to marathons requiring individual entries. The company also arranges a variety of inclusive accommodations packages for competitors and for non-running visitors who want to track the drama of such stars as Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge who won the BMW Berlin Marathon in 2017.

This marathon, famous for being flat and fast, started in the Grunewald forest in 1974 and moved to West Berlin in 1981. Over recent years the BMW Berlin Marathon has provided nine world records, including Dennis Kimetto’s marathon world record of 2:02:57 in Berlin in 2014. The female course record 2:19:12 was set here in ’05.

The September 16, 2018 BMW Berlin Marathon starts and finishes on Strasse des 17, running past the magnificent Angel of Peace statue and through the Tiergarten district before continuing past the Reichstag at 7Km and the Berliner Dom at 9Km. The field begins to spread out and the race begins to move along quickly where runners can start picking up speed and pace at 12Km while passing the lovely fountain at Strausberger Platz.

The crowds continue to pick up as does the noise, and it’s all supplemented with more than 60 bands lining the route. The course is one big sightseeing loop through one of the most exciting cities in the world. Guaranteed entries are available with travel packages through Sports Tours International. See: http://www.sportstoursinternational.co.uk/events/berlin-marathon/

Sports Tours International’s BMW Berlin Marathon tour packages for competitors and visitors feature:

• Guaranteed entry into the marathon (£130 per entry)

• 3/4/5 nights at a choice of excellent, centrally located hotels

• All hotel taxes

• Daily breakfasts

• The services of the highly experienced Sports Tours International Team

Sports Tours International suggests booking race packages early. For more information, available packages, space availability and reservations please visit online: http://www.sportstoursinternational.co.uk/, email: sales@sportstoursinternational.co.uk, or call: (+44) 161 703 8161.

IGTOA

The International Galapagos Tour Operators Association (IGTOA) has called upon the government of Ecuador to limit land-based tourism growth in the Galapagos Islands and to regulate more carefully this rapidly growing sector of the islands’ tourism industry.

In a letter sent to Ecuador’s Tourism Minister, Enrique Ponce de León on Feb. 5, IGTOA expressed its concern that the rate of growth in land-based tourism over the last decade is unsustainable and may result in irreversible harm to the islands’ famed ecosystems and extraordinary wildlife.

Between 2007 to 2016, according to Galapagos National Park statistics, overall visitor arrivals in the Galapagos Islands increased by 39 percent (from about 161,000 to over 225,000). During that same period, the number of visitors participating in land-based tours increased from around 79,000 to 152,000 (a 92 percent increase), while ship-based tourism actually decreased, from approximately 82,000 visitors to just over 73,000 (an 11 percent percent drop).

“Many of our member companies sell land-based tours to the Galapagos.  We are not opposed to land-based tourism per se, and, properly regulated, we support it,” said Jim Lutz, IGTOA’s Board President and the President of Vaya Adventures.  “But the reality is that 100 percent of the growth in Galapagos tourism in the last 10 years is due to growth in land-based tourism. And unlike ship-based tourism, where there is a de facto limit on the total number of passengers, there is no limit whatsoever on the number of people who can engage in land-based trips.  It is simply not sustainable to have never-ending growth in land-based tourism in this fragile environment.”

From the 1970s to the early 2000s, the vast majority of Galapagos tourists participated in ship-based tourism, which has long been recognized internationally as a model for limited, well-regulated tourism. Ecuador’s government has placed stringent quotas on the total number of berths (beds) allowed on the Galapagos cruise ship fleet and has placed a cap of 100 as the maximum number of passengers any ship can carry. There are no similar restrictions or regulations governing land-based tourism. If the current rate of growth continues unabated, there will be more than one million visitors per year in the Galapagos Islands in less than 35 years.

The international media is beginning to take note of the potential implications of this uncontrolled tourism growth. Both CNN and guidebook publisher Fodor’s recently placed the islands on their lists of destinations not to visit in 2018, citing concerns about the increasingly negative impacts of tourism there.

In 2007, UNESCO took the extraordinary step of placing the islands on its List of World Heritage Sites in Danger in response to a variety of threats, including unrestrained tourism and population growth. The islands were removed from the list in 2010, but in July 2016 UNESCO once again rang the alarm bells by releasing a report that cited Ecuador’s lack of a clear strategy to discourage rapid tourism growth as a source of grave concern.

“There’s no other place on Earth like Galapagos, a place where you can really get up close and personal with the wildlife,” says IGTOA board member Marc Patry, of IGTOA member company CNH Tours. “I’ve always been impressed by the work the government of Ecuador has done to strictly manage ship-based tourism there.  But frankly, I’m not seeing any evidence that it’s dealing with land-based tourism with a similar degree of concern.  We’re seeing a tsunami of growth in that sector. Unless something is done soon, it risks undermining all the good work that has been done to date,” said Patry, who was with the Charles Darwin Research Station for four years, followed by 11 years working at UNESCO’s World Heritage Center.

According to scientists, uncontrolled tourism growth poses several serious threats to the Galapagos Islands. Chief among them is the potential for devastating new invasive species to arrive as cargo shipments and passenger plane arrivals increase. Highly invasive Wild Blackberry, for example, has led to the loss of 99 percent of endemic Scalesia forests on the two largest islands, Isabela and Santa Cruz.  With any increase in land-based tourism comes more shipments of cargo, more infrastructure, more roads, and more pressure for continued growth, something that will only become harder to stop the longer it continues.

About the International Galapagos Tour Operators Association (IGTOA)

IGTOA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit association of travel providers dedicated to the complete and lasting protection of the Galapagos Islands. Through its Galapagos Traveler Conservation Fund, IGTOA raises money to support critical Galapagos conservation initiatives and educates travelers about the challenges facing the islands. Since 1997, IGTOA has donated over $1 million in support of Galapagos conservation initiatives, including efforts to improve the biosecurity of the islands and combat invasive species. See: http://www.igtoa.org/.