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The 10 Most Interesting Travelers We Met This Year

By AFAR Editors

Dec 28, 2017

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Courtesy of Alysia Kezerian

From a famous rock star to a professional ghost hunter, here are the people who intrigued our readers in 2017.

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Travel is about people. On trips, we try to meet as many locals as we can to get a true feel for a place. But we also love talking to like-minded travelers to get a glimpse into their lives, whether that person is an Italian winemaker or an intrepid world explorer who won’t let her disability dictate where and how she travels. Here are the 10 most interesting people we got to meet this year.

10. Draymond Green Talks Last-Minute Travel, His Travel Must-Have, and His Love for HotelTonight

The Warriors star forward does plenty of traveling during the basketball season. But even when he’s not on the court, Draymond Greene loves spontaneous travel. Here’s how he books his trips last-minute.

9. How to Do Piedmont Like an Italian Winemaker

Michele Chiarlo—the acclaimed winemaker who has witnessed 61 vintages—shares his picks for where to eat, drink, and wander this region and taste Piedmont’s famed white truffles.

8. What to Expect from Blackberry Farm’s Dreamy New Project in the Great Smoky Mountains

7. Vanguard 2017: Abby Falik, Founder of Global Citizen Year

We adore Blackberry Farms—but this new fitness- and wellness-focused property is next-level. Plus, proprietor Mary Celeste Beall tells us how to spend a perfect day there when it opens.

The visionary entrepreneur bridges education and travel for students across the nation. Falik founded Global Citizen Year in 2010 to send high school students to developing countries, including Brazil, Ecuador, India, and Senegal, where they live with host families and apprentice with a wide range of local organizations.

6. Discovering Cheese in One of the Most Unsuspecting Places

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Think cheese and China don’t go together? Meet Beijing’s first artisanal cheesemaker. The fascinating story tells how Liu Yang first came to love cheese, studied the craft of cheesemaking in Corsica, and got China’s capital to love the unfamilar food.

5. What It’s Actually Like to Be a Rock Star on Tour

Drummer Adam Levin of the X Ambassadors dishes on life on the road, from finding early-morning cheeseburgers to his favorite show the band has ever played. Bottom line: It’s not all glamorous.

4. A Wheelchair Won’t Prevent This Young Woman From Traveling the Globe

A spinal cord injury left Alysia Kezerian unable to walk—but it didn’t stop her from exploring the world. She recently traveled to 10 different countries in Europe in eight weeks. Here’s her incredible story.

3. Coolest Travel Jobs: What It’s Like to Be a Professional Ghost Hunter

Ever wonder what it’s like to stake out haunted places? We talked to a paranormal investigator about ghost-hunting fakery, airport-security woes, and his most chilling experience. You’ll want to read this one with the lights on.

2. Vanguard 2017: Pam Codispoti, President of Chase Branded Cards 

1. Advice on Learning a New Language from People Who Speak Up to Sixteen

If you’re a travel junkie who loves the credit card points game, chances are you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Meet the Chase executive that launched the game-changing credit card for a new generation of experience-hungry travelers.

Looking for a 2018 resolution? Add this one to your list. We talked to five polyglots—who speak between six and 16 languages—for their tips for learning a new language. According to these experts, anyone can do it, no matter their age. Simply follow this sage advice down the sweet-talking path to success.

>>Next: The Best Feel-Good Stories of 2017

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