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What We’re Reading

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How To Survive A Long Distance Relationship,” Twenty-Something Travel
Happy Valentine’s Day! Just in case you’ve found yourself in a long distance relationship (as travelers often do), here are a few very important pointers on making it a successful one, from guest poster Colleen Brynn. —Bryan Kitch

Stunning Communist Architecture—The Brutalism of New Zagreb, Croatia,” Yomadic
In the end, one of Communism’s most long-lasting impacts might be its architecture. These stark photos show the concrete jungle that lies just outside Zagreb’s picturesque downtown. —Davina Baum

How Capital Cities Distort Reality,” The Atlantic Cities
How often is our impression of a place defined by its largest city? The case study here is Azerbaijan (and its capital, Baku, described as “Dubai-lite”) but it’s a great question that applies globally; it could be just as beneficial to hear more about England beyond London or Egypt outside of Cairo. —Jessica Silber

Before the Waves, Hurdles,” The New York Times
I always love hearing about unexpected surf destinations. This week the New York Times ran a great story about Cuba’s underground surf scene and the hardships this small surfing community faces. Despite the lack of surf shops, surf magazines and videos, and surf report websites, locals are still passionate enough to paddle out on plywood boards waxed with melted candles. Now that’s inspiring! —Jen Murphy

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Reincarnation in Exile,” The Believer
A fascinating look into the experience of young rinpoches, or reincarnated Buddhist enlightened beings, who stray from their monasteries and enter mainstream society.  “I was fascinated by discos,” says Kagyur Rinpoche, who leaves the Himalayas to marry a Bollywood star. “Dancing, I found out, wasn’t so difficult. You just shake!” —Ariel Ramchandani

Dar Sketches
After living in Tanzania, I often dreaded trips to chaotic Dar, but still find myself wistfully reviewing Illustrator Sarah Markes’ blog, filled with images of Dar es Salaam, again and again. I like that she captures the built environment of an African city and all of the day-to-day people who inhabit it, rather than relying on typical representations of Africa like big game and safari camps. —Jessica Silber

Car-Free City: China Builds Dense Metropolis from Scratch,” Web Urbanist
As the world becomes increasingly urban, the need for a new approach to urban design takes on greater and greater importance. And, in many ways, looking forward looks a lot like looking back—I couldn’t help but think of a medieval town in Europe when l saw this series of sketches, proposing a high-rise development surrounded by working farms on a walkable scale. —Bryan Kitch

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The Inside Passage,” AFAR
I know, I know—I’m rooting for the home team, but I just read this old AFAR story for the first time. My non-cruising parents did a similar cruise to the one Edward Readicker-Henderson does in this story seemed to love it better than anything in the world. This story made me understand their experience and want to recreate it. Perhaps more importantly, Readicker-Henderson’s experience left me thinking the whole day about what it means to go home. —Ariel Ramchandani

[Video] Art of the Ice Age: The modern mind,” The Economist
A new exhibition at the British Museum is examining the evolution of the modern mind, placing Ice Age sculpture next to 20th-century artwork and discovering fascinating and striking similarities between the sketches of our unknown ancestors and Henri Matisse, Picasso, and others. —Bryan Kitch

Chinese Lunar New Year, 2013,” The Atlantic
All right, so maybe it’s not reading, but this series of photos from Year of the Snake celebrations throughout China is too beautiful to pass up. —Jessica Silber

Photo: Colleen Brynn/Courtesy of Twenty-Something Travel