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Amy Tara Koch is an author and journalist who has the unique pleasure of traveling the world for her job. She contributes to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Travel + Leisure, Vogue, T Magazine, The Daily Beast, Food & Wine, Conde Nast Traveler and Chicago Tribune.

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We decided to go to Sweden by default. In late September, I still had not planned anything for winter break. A swift online search revealed that all of the predictable spots-skiing in Colorado, Caribbean, Hawaii, Mexico-had been already booked by parents more conscientious than me....

While j’adore Paris, a recent trip there felt triste, the militia -like police presence, endless sirens and parfum of fear sucking the romantic spirit from the city. Plus, I couldn’t shake the anxiety that a terrorist attack was very much in the realm of possibility...