• Yasaka Pagoda, Kyoto, Japan

    5 Best Overseas Adventures: Asia & Oceania

    Looking for your next overseas adventure travel destination? <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/asiapacific/" target="_blank">Asia</a> and <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/asiapacific/" target="_blank">Oceania </a>have some must-see locations, and we&#39;ve rounded up our top five! No matter where you choose—whether it be the bamboo forests of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/japan-tours/" target="_blank">Japan</a>, the iconic Taj Mahal in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/india/" target="_blank">India</a>, or <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/new-zealand-tours/" target="_blank">New Zealand&#39;s</a> cinematic beauty—you&#39;re guaranteed to have a trip of a lifetime with Classic Journeys.<br><br><b>TOP 5 TRIPS IN ASIA &amp; OCEANIA:</b><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/japan-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Japan" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ehpy&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015r3w" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/japan-tours/" target="_blank"><b>JAPAN</b></a><br>A revealing look at Japan&#39;s history and modern culture. Explore <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/japan-tours/" target="_blank">Tokyo </a>and learn to make sushi. Take in the beauty of Hakone with views of Mt. Fuji. Visit Kyoto&#39;s temples, partake in the tea ceremony, and experience the art of the geishas at an elegant dinner. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/thailand/" target="_blank"><img alt="Thailand" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ehpy&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015r41" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/thailand/" target="_blank"><b>THAILAND</b></a><br>Stepping far beyond the temple-spired capital, we&#39;ll visit an elephant camp in the foothills of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/thailand/" target="_blank">Chiang Dao</a>, and walk from rice-paddy paths to remote villages where we receive the blessing of saffron-robed Buddhist monks at an early morning alms-giving... glide over rivers in long-tail boats... and are welcomed into one of the country&#39;s finest kitchens. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/indochina-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Vietnam" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ehpy&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015r4B" style="height: 354px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/indochina-tours/" target="_blank"><b>VIETNAM</b></a><br>Between <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/indochina-tours/" target="_blank">Saigon </a>and <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/indochina-tours/" target="_blank">Hanoi</a>, spend a night on a junk in Halong Bay and bike amid Mekong rice paddies. In <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/indochina-tours/" target="_blank">Laos</a>, care for elephants at an elephant sanctuary. Explore Cambodia&#39;s splendid<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/indochina-tours/" target="_blank"> Angkor Wat</a>. And luxuriate at some of Asia&#39;s finest hotels. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/india/" target="_blank"><img alt="India" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ehpy&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015r4G" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/india/" target="_blank"><b>INDIA</b></a><br>An epic journey! Delhi. The <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/india/" target="_blank">Taj Maha</a><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/india/" target="_blank">l</a> at dawn. One-of-a-kind countryside walks that introduce you to villagers and rural life... as well as descendants of royal families, sari-and turban-tying experts, and eminent naturalists. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/new-zealand-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="New Zealand" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ehpy&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015r4L" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/new-zealand-tours/" target="_blank"><b>NEW ZEALAND</b></a><br>Awesome variety from <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/new-zealand-tours/" target="_blank">Auckland </a>to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/new-zealand-tours/" target="_blank">Queenstown</a>! Sail on an America&#39;s Cup yacht and sip wine on lush Waiheke island. Visit a working sheep farm and go jet-boating. All capped by a glacier walk and cruise in the fjords of Doubtful Sound. 

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  • New Zealand Zoom

    Use these New Zealand Zoom travel backgrounds for your next video chat

    Video calling has become an integral part of stay home life, giving all generations all over the globe a way to socialize while social distancing. <br><br>From work conference calls to online gatherings with friends and virtual family dinners, technology like Zoom has become a household name. <br><br>Wouldn’t it be more fun to video call from Hobbiton rather than your own home? Good news—we’ve got something for you!<br><br>We’ve created a set of New Zealand Zoom travel backgrounds, so that you can travel virtually while staying at home.<br><br><img alt="Hobbiton New Zealand Zoom Travel Background" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002FqSC&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001lYFM" style="height: 271px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br>How to change your Zoom background: <br><br>1. Right click on any of the images we’ve created and select “Save As” to save to your desktop.<br><br>2. Once you’ve started the video call (make sure you’re using the most up-to-date version of Zoom), select the small arrow to the right of the “Stop Video” button on the bottom control bar.<br><br>3. Click on “Choose Virtual Background,” select the “+” button, then upload the background image of your choice from your desktop. Un-check the “Mirror Video” button.<br><br>Happy virtual traveling!<br><br><img alt="Zoom Virtual Background New Zealand Overlooking Queenstown by Classic Journeys" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002FqSC&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001lYFR" style="height: 271px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br><img alt="Zoom Virtual Background New Zealand Lake by Classic Journeys" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002FqSC&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001lYFW" style="height: 271px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br><img alt="Zoom Virtual Background by Classic Journeys Sheep Field New Zealand" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002FqSC&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001lYFb" style="height: 271px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br><img alt="Zoom Virtual Background by Classic Journeys New Zealand" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002FqSC&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001lYFl" style="height: 271px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br><img alt="Zoom Virtual Background by Classic Journeys New Zealand" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002FqSC&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001lYFq" style="height: 271px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br><i>More Classic Journeys travel Zoom backgrounds: <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/blog/us-national-parks-zoom-travel-backgrounds/" target="_blank">US National Parks</a>, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/blog/morocco-zoom-travel-backgrounds/" target="_blank">Morocco</a></i>

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  • New Zealand sunset

    Passport to New Zealand: How to keep traveling virtually

    Whether you call it the ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’ as the Maoris, or ‘Godzone’ as the kiwis, there’s no debate that year after year, New Zealand is one of the top 10 places in the world that people aspire to travel.<br><br>And for good reason. With the alternately volcanic and lush green North Island and the rugged, mountainous South Island, New Zealand offers you anything you can want to give your passport a workout.<br><br>For culture, you’ve got a rich Maori heritage, an acclaimed food and wine scene, and a myriad of Lord of the Rings filming locations. For nature, you’ll find craggy coastlines and beautiful beaches, geothermal spas, primeval forests, snowcapped mountains and impressive geysers. Kiwi birds, penguins, whales and seals abound. And the Maori have been here for 800 years and still retain their distinct and fascinating customs, now fused with colonial European and Asian cultures that create a vibrant urban life.<br><br><br><b>Make a Flat White </b><br>Starbucks caused international debate when they declared it an Australian invention, but Kiwis claim Wellington barista Fraser McInnes to be the true father of the Flat White. <br><b><img alt="How to make a New Zealand flat white coffee" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002FqSH&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001lYi9" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></b><br>This delicious type of coffee was born in Café Bodega on Willis Street in the summer of ’89, after a failed attempt to make a cappuccino. McInnes’ creation came out more ‘flat’ than ‘frothy’ and he apologetically served it to his customer, saying “sorry it’s a flat white.” The name stuck.  <br><br>Sharper than a latte and silkier than a cappuccino, the Flat White is one third espresso, two thirds steamed milk. Here’s how to make it:<br><br>Ingredients:<br>Double espresso<br>3oz full fat milk<br><br>Tools: <br>Espresso maker <br>Milk steamer/frother<br>Your favorite coffee cup<br><br>Method:<br>Pre-warm your cup with hot water<br>Add a double shot of espresso<br>Steam milk to about 145 degrees Fahrenheit<br>Tap it on a countertop and swirl around to achieve signature smoothness<br>Slowly pour the milk over the double espresso, tilting the cup<br>Get creative with coffee art, or simply drink! <br><br>Coffee made, take a seat and join our armchair travels as we journey down under to one of the most incredible countries on earth.<br><br><b>Fun Facts </b><br><br>There are more sheep than humans. New Zealand’s first flock arrived in 1773 courtesy of Captain Cook and the national ratio was 6 to one on last count. Flock size has been shrinking considerably since the ‘Peak Sheep’ days of 1982, when the ratio was an incredible 22 to one—increasing population size and decreasing demand for lamb are believed to be the main culprits. <br><br><img alt="Field and flock of sheep" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002FqSH&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001lYiT" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br>Only 5% of New Zealand’s popular are humans. The rest is animals, forming the highest animal:human ratio in the world. This includes the aforementioned sheep, the emblematic kiwi birds and more penguin species than any other country. But not snakes—there are no snakes in New Zealand whatsoever! <br><br>Over 30% of New Zealand is covered in protected areas, including 13 national parks. Classic Journeys favorites from our <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/new-zealand-north-south-island-tours/" target="_blank">North &amp; South island tours</a> include Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (for its skyscraping peaks and spectacularly starlit starry skies), and Mount Aspiring (hiking heaven with a hundred spectacular glaciers.) <br><br><img alt="New Zealand Mount Cook National Park Lake" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002FqSH&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001lYhC" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br>Kiwi is the national bird of New Zealand. While it does have (tiny) wings, it cannot fly. Kiwi feathers are more like fur, and though it has no tail feathers, it does have whiskers, like a cat. And since this is the only bird in the world with nostrils at the end of its beak, its sense of smell is second to none. In honor of the bird, New Zealanders have been called &#39;Kiwis&#39; since they were given the nickname by Australian soldiers in WWI. Pro tip: never leave your shoes or hiking boots outside, as kiwi birds love to eat the laces!<br><br><img alt="Kiwi bird sign in New Zealand" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002FqSH&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001lYsn" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br>Kiwi fruit is not actually from New Zealand. It originates from China and was initially nicknamed the Chinese gooseberry. A returning traveler brought seeds into the country after an expedition to the Far East in 1904. In 1959, because gooseberries weren’t the most popular fruit, produce company Turners and Groves re-christened the fruit. They named it ‘kiwi’ after New Zealand’s national bird which—like the fruit—is round, brown and fuzzy! <br><br><img alt="Kiwi fruit" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002FqSH&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001lYmV" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br>Rotomairewhenua, otherwise known as Blue Lake, is the world’s clearest lake. Found in New Zealand’s Southern Alps, it’s scientifically proven to be nature’s clearest natural body of water, with an astounding visibility of up to 80 meters. Famous for its vivid violet and blue hues, its spring-fed water is considered sacred by the local Māori tribe and human entry is forbidden. <br><br>On September 19, 1893, New Zealand became the first ever country to give women the right to vote in parliamentary elections. <br><br>Thanks to the slender nature of the islands, wherever you are in New Zealand, you are never more than 80 miles (or just over an hour’s drive) from the ocean. <br><br><img alt="New Zealand beach mountain backdrop" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002FqSH&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001lYin" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br>New Zealand has the longest place name in any English-speaking country. Deep breath: Taumatawhakatangihangaoauauotameteaturipukakapikimaungah-oronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu<br><br>There’s an official national wizard! In 1990, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Mike Moor, wrote to the ‘Wizard of Christchurch’ suggesting he become the Wizard of New Zealand. The national Wizard’s duties include protecting the Government, blessing new enterprises, casting out evil spirits and cheering up the population. <br><br><img alt="New Zealand official Wizard" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002FqSH&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001lYmp" style="height: 678px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br><b>Travel through the TV</b><br><br>Undoubtedly the most famous movies to come out of New Zealand are the Lord of The Rings movies, showcasing the nation’s spectacular scenery in over a hundred different locations. Watching all three (you can stream them on Amazon Prime) will take 11.2 hours in total, which is certainly one way to fill your free time during #stayathome! For an extended movie marathon, begin by watching The Hobbit trilogy, which was all filmed in New Zealand and will add another 8.5 hours of viewing time!<br><br><img alt="Hobbiton from the movies Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002FqSH&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001lYjM" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br>Available on Hulu, Mystery TV drama Top of the Lake is set in the fictitious New Zealand mountain town of ‘Laketop’ and was shot on location in Queenstown and Glenorchy.<br><br><b>Travel through reading</b><br><br>For children, whether read in person or through a videocall story time, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Hairy-Maclary-Donaldsons-Dairy-Lynley/dp/1582460590/" target="_blank">Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy</a> is a New Zealand children’s classic. <br> <br><img alt="Read at home during coronavirus lockdown" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002FqSH&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001lYjg" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br>For compelling adult reads, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Bone-People-Novel-Keri-Hulme/dp/0140089225/" target="_blank">The Bone People</a> by Maori Keri Hulme is an award-winning story of a part-Maori, part European artist living in a lonely tower on the New Zealand sea. <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Luminaries-Novel-Man-Booker-Prize/dp/0316074314/" target="_blank">The Luminaries</a> by Eleanor Catton is a Man Booker Prize-winning ghost story, based in New Zealand’s 1866 gold rush. <br><br><b>New Zealand Department of Conservation YouTube<br><br><img alt="Albatross live cam by New Zealand Department of Conservation" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002FqSH&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001lYjb" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></b><br><br>The New Zealand Department of Conservation has an amazing YouTube channel, where videos transport you into the striking surroundings of the nation’s <a href="https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9AD3D947429BEBD6/" target="_blank">Great Walks</a>. They have a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/DeptOfConservation/videos/" target="_blank">Meet the Locals</a> series, which introduces you to native species, natural spaces and the people who protect them. There’s even a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9XNKQY4tQc/" target="_blank">Royal Albatross Cam</a>, which live-streams a Northern Royal Albatross nest at Taiaroa Head on the southeast tip of South Island.<br><br><b>Call friends and family with our Zoom Travel Backgrounds</b><br> <br>Video conferencing tools such as Zoom and FaceTime have become an important part of social distancing life, letting us communicate with colleagues, catchup with friends and check in on family members. <br> <br>To incorporate armchair travel into your video calls, we’ve developed some <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/blog/new-zealand-zoom-travel-backgrounds/" target="_blank">Zoom travel backgrounds of New Zealand</a>!<br><br>Click <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/blog/new-zealand-zoom-travel-backgrounds/" target="_blank">here</a> for instructions and you can soon be speaking to your sister from the Southern Alps or hosting a conference call on the banks of Lake Tekapo…<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/blog/new-zealand-zoom-travel-backgrounds/" target="_blank"><img alt="Zoom Virtual Background by Classic Journeys" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002FqSH&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000001lYlr" style="height: 305px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>More in our <i>Passport To The World</i> series: <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/blog/passport-to-usa-travel-virtually/" target="_blank">USA National Parks</a>, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/blog/passport-to-morocco-travel-virtually/" target="_blank">Morocco</a>, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/blog/passport-to-canada-travel-virtually/" target="_blank">Canada</a></b>

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