When the holidays come rushing in, the travel bug bites and gnaws on our imaginations. The usual options for travelers at this time generally revolve around two choices: the Siren’s call of the rolling waves on white sand beaches for those who prefer the heat and the temptation of fresh powder for the adrenaline-pumping, winter sports enthusiasts. If you want a break from the usual vacation spots, here are some wonderfully weird but ultimately exciting activities and travel destinations:

Heat Seekers


Image by Tormod Sandtorv | flickr

If you prefer warm places, you might enjoy traveling to hell and back. Located in Turkmenistan, the 60-meter wide and 20-meter deep Darvaza Gas Crater, also known as Hell’s Door, attracts tourists from all over the world. You won’t find devils carrying their tridents around the crater, though, because this attraction was accidentally made by Soviet geologists back in 1971. They discovered that this cavern was rich in natural gas, and to prevent the poisonous gas from escaping, they decided to light up the crater until the gas burned out – the crater hasn’t stopped burning since.

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The holiday season is almost synonymous with vacation season, so if you’re itching to travel this fall or winter but still cannot decide where to go, try following some of these literal big heads and you might just have the best vacation experience ever:

The Great Sphinx of Giza

sphinx

The mysterious Sphinx calls the country of Egypt home and beckons you to journey through the ruins of an ancient civilization that produced architectural brilliance like the great pyramids. This mystical being is definitely guarding a treasure trove of history that begs to be explored.

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Fall is such a lovely season – leaves change colors from deep greens to intense reds and yellows, the weather gets a bit nippier, and the sun starts to set earlier in the day. With all this natural beauty at your fingertips, it’s the perfect time to be inspired by the fall landscape and redecorate your home.

Since fall is the time for festive meals and harvest celebrations, we’ve put together a list of refreshing centerpiece ideas you can be sure no one else has. Sweet, simple and always stylish, these pieces will have your friends asking you where they can get one, too!

thanksgiving fall centerpiece hurricane lantern with orange pillar candles

Live it up with lanterns!

Hurricane lanterns have a particularly strong seasonal feel, especially since the wind tends to get stronger at this time of year. To make one into an intriguing centerpiece, take an O-shaped piece of floral foam, decorate it with autumn leaves, and place the hurricane lantern in the middle. Try surrounding the lantern with dried reeds, sticks, acorns, or pine cones for even more splashes of color! This is an easy centerpiece that looks great on the dinner table.

Pumpkin power!

Pumpkins are great not just for Halloween; they also make refreshing centerpieces. Hollow out a pumpkin and insert a florist’s foam block where you can stick stems of flowers. You can paint the pumpkin in autumn colors for a more subdued look, or , use glittery paint for a bit of glamorous shimmer. Perfect flowers for this kind of centerpiece include sunflowers, carnations, or Asiatic lilies. This centerpiece adds a welcome splash of color to otherwise lackluster tables.

Acorn autumn!

For a fresh take on a candle holder, take a tall, clear glass jar and fill it with acorns two-thirds of the way up. The acorns provide a sturdy base in which you can insert brightly colored taper candles for a simple, chic effect. Wrap some tweed or jute rope midway around the jar for the finishing touch. You can also use pine cones in different colors if you can’t find acorns. It’s a rustic centerpiece that can stand on its own, and the candles make it great for cozy nights at home. It can also be used year-round; just replace the acorns with whatever is in season.

Fruit fiesta!

Take a small box and fill it with seasonal fruits. The more beat-up the box, the better – you can also take a newer one and stain it to give it some character. Dark-toned fruits make this centerpiece more interesting, so if you can, use blackcurrants, prunes, plums, and figs for a deep purple theme. You can also fill small wooden buckets with chrysanthemums and purple dahlias to go with the fruit crate.

Autumn-themed centerpieces are easy to make and are even easier on the eye. Try these suggestions and bring the autumn outdoors into your home!