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The Open Window Exchange


Serving up travel sketches that bypass the big picture

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The Open Window Exchange


Serving up travel sketches that bypass the big picture

The Open Window Exchange is a collaborative project that showcases real travel stories through beautiful photography, video, and writing. Focused on the people, food, and authentic culture rather than the postcard view of a place, these sketches give a window's glimpse into a different part of the world.

We are currently accepting submissions from any travelers that share our passion for the unique moments that come from experiencing other cultures.

 

Featured Stories

Blog
Blog
Etched

Recent Stories

 
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We're Taking a Break


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We're Taking a Break


 

Hello there!

You may have noticed that it's been a little quiet on our front over here. You deserve to know why. After about a year of hard work featuring more amazing content than we every expected, Steph and I decided to put The Open Window Exchange on hold. Between our jobs, personal lives, and working on the website, our spare time was getting increasingly rare. We both have a ton of ideas and projects that we want to pursue.

 
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Caste Systems, Contradictions, and a Promise


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Caste Systems, Contradictions, and a Promise


BY CARRIE SANDSTROM

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LOCATION: INDIA

On a warm January night under an Indian sky, a sari-clad woman asked me to make a promise. As the mosquitos swarmed around us, Jane — a leader at a boarding school for girls of every grade who...

 

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The Open Window Exchange Turns One!


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The Open Window Exchange Turns One!


BY STEPH BARNHART

LOCATION: ALMOST TO SANTORINI, GREECE

One full year ago, The Open Window Exchange was conceptualized in Bodrum, Turkey. It's so crazy to us to reflect on what 365 days of tending to this journal has brought us: new artist friends, more than 150 pieces of original content, and a desire to explore that's...

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In The Pub


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In The Pub


BY KAREN BESONEN

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LOCATION: LONDON, ENGLAND

In London, I learned, pubs for the British are the equivalent of coffee shops for Americans. Each has its own personality and the doors are open for anyone that wants to relax and socialize. I wanted to go where the average Brit would go. Museums are great for history, but pubs are where I went to...

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Explosion at Akrotiri


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Explosion at Akrotiri


BY BRIANNA VORCE

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LOCATION: SANTORINI, GREECE

While spending time on the Greek Island of Santorini, Brianna Vorce was inspired to write of the demise of the ancient settlement of Akrotiri.

Someone will remember us I say, even in another time...

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Passports and Peanut Butter


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Passports and Peanut Butter


 

By Zach Davis

Passport - Check
Boarding Ticket - Check
Camera - Check
Peanut Butter - Check

There are certain things that come with me whenever I travel.

 
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Falling For Palma


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Falling For Palma


BY ELIZABETH FLOOD

LOCATION: MALLORCA, SPAIN

Six-months into our family adventure, I find Mallorca shy, hard to know. On the days I can, I wander.  Most days, I collect pictures and stories like a child stashing shells in a beach pail. I bicycle along the sea. I talk to stray cats sunning on ancient city walls, sneak up on pigeons, lose myself down quiet cobblestone streets...

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Our Couch


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Our Couch


BY YELENA ALTMAN

LOCATION: SEA OF GALILEE, ISRAEL

In the summer of 2008, I traveled to Israel to explore my heritage and learn about my religion. I’m a city girl; I prefer hotels to hostels and I like impeccably made beds and the chocolates that are left on them for me even more so. But, I’m also adventurous. I grabbed a blanket, my bikini, a pack of cigarettes, and my phone charger. I am ready! Right?

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Climb On


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Climb On


BY RANDI KAY OLSEN

LOCATION: CASTLE VALLEY, UNITED STATES

After hours of scrambling up a gravel ridge that rolled with red rock sand and crumbling boulders, I stood exhausted and in awe at the base for a 400-foot Windgate Sandstone tower. I creaked my head back to see the top slightly swaying with the wind

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Without Much In West Virginia


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Without Much In West Virginia


BY KIRSTEN HOABY

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LOCATION: DURBIN, WEST VIRGINIA, USA

I am no stranger to travel problems. I’ve waited in airports for upwards of ten hours at a time, sprinted to catch flights, missed flights, and lost luggage. But the problems my group experienced in West Virginia were of a very different breed. I like to say we faced “interesting challenges” because that’s what they were and we emerged better because of them. Here’s our story.

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The Train to Machu Picchu


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The Train to Machu Picchu


BY ZACH DAVIS

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LOCATION: CUSCO, PERU

We silently look at each other, all thinking the same thing. Do we take the train to Machu Picchu without having a way back?

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Is It Really Rough and Lonely?


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Is It Really Rough and Lonely?


BY KATI HEDDEN

LOCATION: Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

After paying for an expensive ticket, should I go into micro-managing control mode and plan the whole trip for both of us based on my up-to-date guide books? Or, should I take a blind leap of faith...

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Read More


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Read More


The fun doesn't stop here!

Head over to the blog to read more.