• Girl at Taj Mahal, India

    19 Mind Blowing Travel Destinations for '19

    <p>Go deep in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank">Iceland</a>. Have a million-star <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/peru-tours/" target="_blank">Machu Picchu</a> moment. Shorten that bucket list. Stretch your imagination. Your options are as wide as the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco-tours/" target="_blank">Sahara </a>and as deep as <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Bryce Canyon</a>. You’ll be on trend and away from the crowds when you follow our experts’ advice on any of these I-can’t-believe-I’m-doing-this experiences.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank"><b><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015snM" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>CLIFFHANGER PIZZA</b></a><br>Toss and bake your own pizza… and then don&#39;t forget to taste it as you have lunch on a local friend’s sky-high terrace overlooking the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank">Amalfi Coast</a>.</p> <p><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/peru-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015snR" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/peru-tours/" target="_blank"><b>STARRY INCA NIGHTS</b></a><br>Feel <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/peru-tours/" target="_blank">Machu Picchu</a> haunt you as you return to the ruins, lit only by the starry megawatt nighttime sky over the Andes.</p> <p><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015snW" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank"><b>ICY CAVING</b></a><br>Shiver—from the beauty of it all, not the cold—as you enter the glowing natural chamber of a glacial ice cave in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank">Iceland</a>.</p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/japan-tours/" target="_blank"><b><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015snb" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>RAREFIED GEISHA</b></a><br>In <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/japan-tours/" target="_blank">Kyoto</a>, accept the elegant honor of dining as the honored guests of traditional geishas who entertain you with samisen and ritualized dance.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/londonstonehengecotswolds/" target="_blank"><b><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015sng" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>SECRET STONEHENGE</b></a><br>Enter sacred <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/londonstonehengecotswolds/" target="_blank">Stonehenge </a>for a private visit at dusk, and toast the falling night and mysterious past with a flute of champagne.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank"><b><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015snl" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>PRISTINE BAY OF PIGS</b></a><br>Invade the<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank"> Bay of Pigs</a> in a snorkel mask, the better to see the miraculously rich marine environment under the waves.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/chile/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015sri" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/chile/" target="_blank">PATAGONIA TO THE NTH DEGREE </a></b><br>In <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/chile/" target="_blank">Chile</a>, walk at the foot of the snow-capped Andes, eat with the Gauchos at a barbecue on a remote sheep ranch, and boat up to the sheer face of a Patagonia glacier. </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/panama/" target="_blank"><b><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015snq" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>JUNGLE LIVING</b></a><br>Paddle deep into <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/panama/" target="_blank">Panama’s rainforest</a> for a day of interaction with the indigenous Embera Tribe in their riverside village-on-stilts.<br> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank"><b><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015snv" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>PENGUIN PLUNGE</b></a><br>Swim as you’ve never swum before with the world’s only warm-water penguins in the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank">Galápagos</a>.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco-tours/" target="_blank"><b><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015so0" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>BREEZIER MOROCCO</b></a><br>Compare the sands along the Atlantic coast with those around your luxury desert encampment on a 6-day visit that also includes <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco-luxury-tour-package/" target="_blank">Essaouira and Marrakesh</a>.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/portugal/" target="_blank"><b><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015so5" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>UP THE LAZY DOURO</b></a><br>Cruise <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/portugal/" target="_blank">Portugal’s</a> gorgeous river to a vineyard walk, port-tasting, and a picnic for a perfeito Portuguese day.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany-tours/" target="_blank"><b><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015soA" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>TUSCAN FANTASY</b></a><br>Live your dream at a glamorous hilltop villa-hotel with a count and countess as your hosts. Go ahead and go<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany-tours/" target="_blank"> totally Tuscan</a>.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/china/" target="_blank"><b><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015soF" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>GREATER WALL OF CHINA</b></a><br>Leave the masses behind and stroll on a beautiful, unrestored stretch of<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/china/" target="_blank"> the Great Wall </a>to truly grasp the imperial will that built it.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/indochina-tours/" target="_blank"><b><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015soK" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>ANGKOR WATTAGE</b></a><br>Watch <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/indochina-tours/" target="_blank">Cambodia’s </a>legendary temples fade into awesome view on a morning walk in the growing brilliance of sunrise.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/norway-tours/" target="_blank"><b><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015soP" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></b></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/norway-tours/" target="_blank"><b>NÆRØYFJORD</b></a><br>Stroke a silky alpaca at the family hotel where you’re greeted with wide-open arms after a cruise on <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/norway-tours/" target="_blank">Norway’s </a>skinniest fjord.<br> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/india/" target="_blank"><b><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015soU" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>TOO TAJ TO BELIEVE</b></a><br>Claim ownership of the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/india/" target="_blank">Taj Mahal</a> from the unbelievable vantage point of your regal hotel room that overlooks the pearlescent masterpiece.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/normandy/" target="_blank"><b><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015soZ" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>LOW-TIDE HIGH POINT</b></a><br>Channel a 12th-century pilgrim as you walk to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/normandy/" target="_blank">Mont-St.-Michel </a>on the firm sandy seabed emptied by the ebbing tide.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank"><b><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015soe" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>COOL COLLIES</b></a><br>Envy the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank">Scottish shepherd</a> whose team of ridiculously smart border collies respond to his commands with extra-sensory precision.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><b><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015soj" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>HOODOO VOODOO</b></a><br>Walk on Mars, also known as the floor of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Bryce Canyon</a>, where the maze of sandstone spired called hoodoos transports you to a different world.</p>

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  • Earth Day

    Reflections on Earth Day

    Today marks the 50th Earth Day, a time to celebrate our amazing planet and encourage environmental protection.<br><br>Earth Day celebrations today may be more meaningful than ever, given the effects that #stayathome are having on all of us, globally and locally.<br><br>In all kinds of ways, you can explore the ecological changes Earth is experiencing. <br><br><b>Pollution has plummeted, giving the planet a breath of fresh air</b><br><a href="http://https///commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=79293384" target="_blank"><img alt="Fanhe_Town_10_day_interval By Tomskyhaha" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pduv&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000nxjh" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br>Highway closures, factory shut downs and countless cancelled commutes have led to unprecedented drops in emissions.<br><br>March measurements reported pollution in Paris to be down by over 45%, LA by over 25% and Sydney nearly 30%.<br><br>Where Delhi’s Air Quality Index has been known to soar to life-threatening levels, it’s sunk to a fraction of that. Free from boat traffic, Venice’s canal has become incredibly clear. This image (credit: Tomskyhaha CC Wikicommons) is shows the change in pollution after 10 days of lockdown in Fanhe town in China.<br><br><b>We&#39;re noticing new horizons</b><br><img alt="Hollywood sign is clearer in coronavirus LA lockdown" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pduv&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000nxkG" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>In Jalandhar in Punjab, the residents are able to see the Dhauladhar mountains once shrouded by smog. The residents of Milan are waking up to views of the Italian Alps. In Los Angeles, the Hollywood sign and Catalina Island can be seen from a far greater distance. <br><br><b>City-dwellers can hear clear birdsong </b><br><img alt="Birdsong is more audible during coronavirus" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pduv&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000nxjS" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>Stay at home means less or no commuting and so city soundscapes have changed, with measurements showing a dramatic drop in decibels. Classic Journeys guides around the world are telling us how they can suddenly hear birdsong in locations they never have previously, including Susana in Lisbon: &quot;In Portugal, we’ve seen a big change in just a few weeks. It’s like we have gone back in time to the old days when sound pollution wasn’t around and very few people walked the streets. We can hear the birds so clearly now as they sing to welcome in the spring!&quot;<br><br><b>…while whale song is filling the oceans</b><br><img alt="Whales are singing during coronavirus" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pduv&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000nxkL" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>Cruises have been cancelled and shipping traffic slashed.<br><br>Bioacoustic measurements are detecting far quieter waters, and the pollution of the oceans is lessening. Which is wonderful news for whales.<br><br>Whale song is clearer than ever with manmade noise no longer interrupting their communications.<br><br>Sightings have increased thanks to a lack of boat traffic deterring them from coastal areas. Researchers have measured a notable drop in their stress hormones. <br> <br><b>More of us are stargazing </b><br><img alt="Stargazing more popular during coronavirus" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pduv&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000nxjX" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>Stadiums are not lit up. There are fewer car headlights on the highways and fewer airplane trails striping the sky.<br><br>As a result of clearer air and less light pollution, Parisians are seeing starry skies never experienced in decades. There are stunning images of the annual Lyrid meteor shower, and Britons have been watching the Starlink satellites, launched by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, as they cross the skies.<br> <br><b>We have a whole new appreciation for natural spaces</b><br><img alt="Love nature" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pduv&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000nxli" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>As governments limit going outdoors, we’re appreciating the nature on our doorstep more than ever, exploring our local areas on daily walks, craving closed-down beaches and hiking trails and dreaming up a wish list of things to do and see when life returns to normal.<br> <br><b>Animals are roaming free</b><br><img alt="Kruger National Park Twitter lions napping on street" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pduv&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000nxk1" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>Humans may be staying home, but wildlife is freely exploring.<br><br>In Wales, mountain goats have been wandering the streets. In Barcelona, it’s been wild boar. Deer have been spotted grazing in London housing estates and racoons roaming Central Park. Coyotes have been seen on the Golden Gate Bridge.<br><br>South Africa’s Kruger National Park <a href="https://twitter.com/SANParksKNP" target="_blank">tweeted</a> this photo of lions, lazing on roads usually dominated by safari jeeps.<br><br>Even animals in captivity are getting a taste of freedom. Chicago’s <a href="https://twitter.com/shedd_aquarium" target="_blank">Shedd Aquarium</a> released its penguins to waddle around and meet fellow creatures.<br> <br><b>Wildflowers are blooming </b><br><img alt="Wildflowers growing as nature thrives during lockdown" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pduv&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000nxjr" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>Where councils have left grassy areas unmown, bursts of brightly-colored flowers are emerging. With so much new pollen, honeybees are having a field day.<br><br><b>Bike sales are booming </b><br><img alt="Teach your child to ride a bike" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pduv&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000nxjm" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>With limited time to enjoy the great outdoors, people are taking to two wheels.<br><br>Work-from-home parents are using their lunch breaks to teach their toddlers to cycle.<br><br>People are discovering parts of their neighborhood they never knew existed.<br><br><b>We&#39;re taking care of one another</b><br><img alt="NHS sign support healthcare workers" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Pduv&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000nxls" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>People are uniting, and the phrase ‘we’re all in this together’ is used more than ever.<br><br>Neighbors are looking out for each other, helping with shopping and dog walking.<br><br>Communities are supporting local businesses to help them stay open.<br><br>Italians have been leaning from balconies to join each other in song.<br><br>Households celebrate essential workers on the front line: flashing lights from apartments in built-up cities, putting up painted painting &#39;thank you&#39; signs on fences and windows and stepping outdoors weekly applause.

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  • Greeting monks

    How does social distancing affect greetings around the globe?

    Humans are inherently social creatures, and physical greetings have been an act of affection and respect since time immemorial.<br> <br>Beyond social symbolism, they’re a biological necessity, slowing the heart rate, lowering blood pressure and flooding us with feel-good hormones.<br> <br>In times of uncertainty, we naturally draw nearer to each other, holding those we care about close.<br> <br>Yet, in this particular time of uncertainty—for many the longest ever endured—everything has been flipped on its head.<br> <br>No longer a respectful, caring act, the simple shake of a hand, hug, or kiss have been deemed dangerous and irresponsible: no longer sharing affection, we are sharing pathogens. All of a sudden, distance, once a sign of detachment or unfriendliness, now conveys care and responsible behavior.<br> <br>We all smile in the same language, but customary greetings can differ from country to country. Some nations have been practicing socially distant greetings for centuries. Others have had to adapt to a new way of communicating.<br> <br>As we’re viewing greetings in an entirely new way, we looked into customs around the globe, and how some have had to change in the age of coronavirus. <br> <br><u><b>Greeting customs that are already socially distant</b></u><br><br><br><b>Sticking out your tongue</b><br><img alt="Young Tibetan boy sticking out tongue" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Q0Fn&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001y8EG" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>It’s an ancient <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/china/" target="_blank">Tibetan</a> tradition for monks to stick out their tongues as a greeting or sign of agreement. According to folklore, this stems from the rule of of a cruel, black-tongued king. After he died, Tibetans would stick out their tongues upon meeting to show they weren’t the cruel leader reincarnated.<br> <br><b>Clapping hands</b><br><img alt="Africa young girl clapping hands greeting" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Q0Fn&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001y8EV" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>In parts of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/africa/" target="_blank">Africa</a> like Zimbabwe and Mozambique, clapping hands is a part of saying hello. One person claps once, the second responds by clapping twice in a call and response pattern.<br> <br><b>Wai / Sampeah</b><br><img alt="Asia Thailand wai bow girl outdoors greeting" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Q0Fn&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001y8Ek" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/thailand/" target="_blank">Thailand</a> call this the wai greeting, in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/indochina-tours/" target="_blank">Cambodia</a>, it’s the sampeah. You hold your palms together in front of your chest, pull your hands into the middle of chest and bend your neck forward in a slight bow, so that your index fingers touch your nose.<br> <br><b>Namaste</b><br><img alt="Asia India woman headscarf namaste" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Q0Fn&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001y8Ep" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>Performed in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/india-tours/" target="_blank">India</a>, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/nepal-walking-tours/" target="_blank">Nepal</a> and yoga classes across the world, namaste is a sanskrit salutation, meaning “I bow to you”. You join palms together, with your fingers pointing upward, held at heart level, and say the word namaste. <br> <br><b>Bow</b><br><img alt="Japan cherry blossom season two people greet bow" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Q0Fn&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001y8Eu" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>In <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/japan-tours/" target="_blank">Japan</a>, a bow is used to say hello and goodbye and also as a sign of gratitude, sympathy and apology. Keeping your back and next straight, with your hands by your sides and your feet together, you bend down from the waist. The deeper and longer the bow, the more formal and respectful your greeting.<br><br><b>Shaka</b><br><img alt="USA Hawaii couple shaka beach island" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Q0Fn&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001y8EQ" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>Shaka is the most popular name, but this surfer salutation is also known as the <i>tjovitjo</i> in<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/south-africa-tours/" target="_blank"> South Africa</a>. Born in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/hawaii-big-island/" target="_blank">Hawaii</a>, it consists of your three middle fingers curled into a fist, with your thumb and pinky extended.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/private/" target="_blank"><img alt="Private trips tailored to your taste" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Q0Fn&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001z1QP" style="height: 177px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><u><b>Greetings that will need to be adjusted for social distancing</b></u><br><br><b>Cheek-kissing</b><br><img alt="French man and woman kiss on cheek in street greeting" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Q0Fn&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001y8Ez" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>The Romans began this trend, and it soon spread from <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italy/" target="_blank">Italy</a> across <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/europe/" target="_blank">Europe</a> and beyond. There are regional and generational variations when it comes to how many kisses, which cheek to kiss first and whether an embrace is involved (when in doubt, follow the lead of the other person). In <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italy/" target="_blank">Italy</a>, Spain, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/portugal-tours/" target="_blank">Portugal</a> and Arab countries like <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco-tours/" target="_blank">Morocco</a>, it tends to be two kisses. In <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/france/" target="_blank">France</a>, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/switzerland-tours/" target="_blank">Switzerland</a> and the Netherlands, it’s often three or four. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/greece-tours/" target="_blank">Greek</a> people plant a kiss on both cheeks followed by a hug and pat on the back.<br> <br>“Instead of kissing each other, now we say the French word kiss, bises or bisous aloud to each other from a distance.”<br> <br><b>Hand-kissing</b><br><img alt="Middle East two women greet hand kiss doorway" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Q0Fn&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001y8F4" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>Traced back to an ancient Islamic script, the hand kiss is part of the salam greeting performed to elders or superiors in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/turkey-tours/" target="_blank">Turkey</a> and Malaysia.<br> <br>“In Turkey, we have replaced this with an ancient greeting called eyvallah, which is where we stand apart, place our hand over our heart and slightly bow to the other person.”<br> <br><b>Handshake</b><br><img alt="UK England British handshake woman in red dress formal greeting" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Q0Fn&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001y8F9" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/england/" target="_blank">England</a>, Germany and <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/china/" target="_blank">China</a> are the main hand-shaking nations. This requires a brief, firm grip of the palm of the other persons hand (too limp = sign of weakness, and too tight = aggressive). Tradition states you should always use your right hand (even if you are left handed).<br> <br>“Something nicknamed the ‘Wuhan shake’ is China’s fun solution to hand shaking, which quickly caught on across the world. Basically, two people tap the insoles of their shoes together. Now, presidents across the world have been filmed doing it!”<br> <br>“The elbow tap (usually used by surgeons) has become a way of saying hello and goodbye in the UK, where we don’t have to touch hands.”<br> <br> <br><b>Abrazo</b><br><img alt="Spain Spanish women embrace in abrazo hug at rail station" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Q0Fn&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001y8FE" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>The word abrazo is Spanish for embrace and it’s used to describe a familiar greeting in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/colombia-tours/" target="_blank">Colombia</a>, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/argentina-tours/" target="_blank">Argentina</a>, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/chile-tours/" target="_blank">Chile</a> and <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/peru-tours/" target="_blank">Peru</a>. It usually begins with a handshake, pulled into a hug, followed by a kiss on one cheek.<br> <br>“It has been so hard not being able to hug one another, but we have been creative with safe alternatives. Did you see the news article about the Argentine retirement home, where they made a plastic curtain so that families could hug each other?”<br> <br><b>Hongi / Honi / Kunik</b><br><img alt="New Zealand traditional Maori nose kiss greeting " src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Q0Fn&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001y8FJ" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>Māori tribes in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/new-zealand-tours/" target="_blank">New Zealand</a> use the hongi, where two people press their noses and foreheads together. It’s a powerful greeting, symbolizing sharing the breath of life. For Polynesians, the honi is the same nose-to-nose greeting, with a deep breath in to exchange spiritual power. In Alaska, Inuit tribes have a similar expression named the kunik. In the United Arab Emirates, the same nose kiss greeting symbolizes friendship.<br> <br>“Even before the WHO had declared the pandemic in March, Māori groups had announced we should all avoid the hongi. So, kiwis have taken to a greeting where we lift our chin and eyebrows instead.”<br> <br> <br>Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky: &quot;Every hand that we don’t shake must become a phone call that we place. Every embrace that we avoid must become a verbal expression of warmth and concern. Every inch and every foot that we physically place between ourselves and another must become a thought as to how we might be of help to that other, should the need arise.&quot;<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/dates/" target="_blank"><img alt="See all departure dates luxury tours" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Q0Fn&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001z1PR" style="height: 177px; width: 500px;"></img></a>

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