UVALDE, Texas — On a ranch at the southwestern edge of the Texas Hill Country, a hunting guide spotted her cooling off in the shade: an African reticulated giraffe. Such is the curious state of modern Texas ranching, that a giraffe among the oak and the mesquite is an everyday sort of thing.

Amid the stresses of daily life, it’s easy to lose some of the magic in a romantic relationship, said Claudia Palma, director of romance at Las Ventanas al Paraíso, a Rosewood Resort in Los Cabos, Mexico. A relaxing vacation, she said, is the ideal opportunity for couples to reconnect.

No travel assignment is ever straightforward, but reporting on the place you grew up presents specific challenges. Walking along the bungalow- and tree-lined streets in the Beverly neighborhood of southwest Chicago, where I lived until second grade, a fog of memory followed me as I passed bu…

Go to Ireland, live lavishly but don’t spend a lot. A dream? It doesn’t have to be, said Siobhan Byrne Learat, the founder of Adams & Butler, a Dublin-based company selling luxury Ireland trips. “Ireland, in general, is an affordable destination,” she said. “And with some insider knowled…

If you are planning to spend the last weeks of summer sleeping under the stars, you will not be alone. A new wave of campers is taking to the great outdoors, though you might not find them in A-frame tents. They are in tree houses and Airstreams, king beds and plush robes, prompting campgrou…

In 1932, William Beebe wedged his lanky body into a cramped submersible and became the first scientist to descend into the sea’s inky darkness. A tiny window let him gaze out. Later, he described an unfamiliar world of dancing lights, pale glows and beguiling shimmers.

Early morning is the best time to be awake in Costa Rica. In the soft, bluish light and amid calm, cool breezes, the previous day’s heat and humidity are just a memory.

When the first of her three children neared age 8, and school events and sports increasingly demanded the family’s time, Tracy Krechevsky, 52, a teacher in Wellesley, Massachusetts, decided they needed a plan to make the most of their vacations.

The mountain rises glistening from an encasement of glaciers in the far reaches of the Karakoram. Pyramid-shaped, an austere link to eternity, K2 yields only to Everest in height and is deadlier. Its walls are vertiginous no matter the approach.

Tear yourself away from the picture-postcard Pacific views on Route 1, south of the border between California and Mexico, and you see Valle de Guadalupe undulating to the east, its Mars-like boulders and vast stretches of rose-gold-colored dirt belying the fact that there is some pretty grea…

Romance is a malleable concept. For some, it’s rose petals strewed on the bed. For others, it’s the awe of the great wide open. With that in mind, here are some new and improved hotels and resorts to woo many ages and stages of love, from platonic crushes to wedded commitment.

On a recent afternoon in Medellín, Colombia, a group of 22 out-of-towners gathered to brainstorm and then met up with locals.

COLUMBUS, New Mexico – On March 9, 1916, troops of Gen. Francisco “Pancho” Villa invaded Columbus, New Mexico. It was a disaster for Villa, as his forces suffered many more casualties than the American troops of the 13th Cavalry, commanded by Col. Herbert Jermain Slocum.

Finally, beer may start tasting good at 30,000 feet. Airlines, which usually get a bad rap for bad food and so-so drinks, are starting in earnest to plug the sensory gap.

MEXICO CITY – On bad days, you can smell the stench from a mile away, drifting over a nowhere sprawl of highways and office parks.

FORDLÂNDIA, Brazil – The Amazon jungle already swallowed the Winding Brook Golf Course. Floods ravaged the cemetery, leaving a stockpile of concrete crosses. The 100-bed hospital designed by acclaimed Detroit architect Albert Kahn? Destroyed.

Motion sickness is an inner ear disorder that causes nausea, dizziness and even vomiting. It’s an unpleasant but common occurrence on car, boat and plane trips, says Dr. Jennifer Derebery, a physician at the House Clinic in Los Angeles who specializes in ear disorders.

On a chilly Friday afternoon about a month before the White House was due to receive its next tenant, I paid a visit to the other residence in Washington where several presidents lived during the hotter months of the year.

The first time I visit Santa Fe, New Mexico, I went out for a morning run and the city willed me to fall in love with it. The sunny sky, sweeping views and smell of the pinyon – the natural beauty captured my soul. That was three decades ago. I never stopped going back.

JIAYUGUAN, China – The fortress stands watch in a parched land with snow-encrusted mountains beyond, a lone rook on the chessboard of western China’s Gobi Desert.

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