Thursday, March 22, 2018

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Dramatic place names are attractive to travellers, especially to those looking for status and the prestige of saying “I visited ____ on my last trip”. And there is no shortage. Just a quick Google reveals such places as Heavens Door (UK), Hell (Cayman Islands), Hell (Michigan), Hell (Norway), Hell (Texas), Hell for Sertain (Kentucky) Hells Gate (New York), Hellhole Canyon (California) and of course there is Intercourse (Pennsylvania), Crotch Lake (Ontario) and Blow Me Down (Newfoundland). But I actually did spend some time in Hell’s Valley in Japan, locally known as Jigokudani. This is the... Read More

The oft-repeated expression when it comes to Adventure Travel is "Take nothing but photographs…leave nothing but footprints”. Whether the journey is to Kitimat or Kathmandu, Montreal or Machu Picchu, Truro or Tibet, there is so much more you can get out of travel.It is a truism that in general, in life, you get ‘out’ what you put ‘in’. The eco-sustainable-nature-tourism mantra about taking nothing and leaving nothing sounds so deliciously motherhoody, and as a primer for litterbugs, exotic souvenir seekers, and people who like to bring their inconsiderate attitude toward nature with them... Read More

With the recent news of the political landscape in Myanmar changing, albeit slowly, and Aung San Suu Kyi winning a voice in Parliament, I think back to my travels in Myanmar in 1993. This was in my Nike-inspired-‘Just-do-it’ years when, if no one could travel with me, I just went off on my own adventure. In this case, I flew from Bangkok to Yangon, spent two days exploring the city, then flew north to Pagan to see the ruined temples and Mt. Popa, and then flew to Mandalay. While I would not hesitate to revisit Yangon and Pagan, it was the day in Mandalay that impressed me the most.The early... Read More

At the 2011 Japan Travel Mart held in Yokohama, we had the opportunity to sample a variety of evening activities that were impressive, tasty, fascinating, educational, energetic, and just plain fun!The first night was an introduction to Yokohama where we could sign up for either an evening of food and hands-on creativity at the Cup of Noodle factory, or take the Izakaya bar cruising option. I happen to love Izakaya culture which involves traditional small, usually family-owned bars, that serve tasty snacks or meals, along with one’s beverage of choice: beer, sake or shochu.Nogeh Street is the... Read More

Sometimes travel agent Fam trips are so cruel. You dash around from place to place and oftentimes from hotel to hotel. The idea is to get an overview of the destination—enough information for you to speak intelligently and knowledgably with your clients—but often not really enough time to appreciate, experience, relate, and really embrace a destination. In a sense it’s a teaser. Here is a taste and if you want more, come back and visit us.

And so began our 85 minute odyssey in Huanchaco. We were on one of the post event Fams associated with ASTA’s International Destination Expo... Read More

You’ve heard of uptown, downtown, shanty town and funky town? Now meet Poison Ivy town! Well, it’s not really called that, but in translation that is an approximation of what the famous Guatemalan town of Chichicastenango means. “Tenango” means “place of” and “Chichicas” refers to a local plant with similar properties to poison ivy. Once you brush up against it, you are itching all day. While we were itching to see the famous Sunday market, we were spared a brush with the town’s namesake.Chichicastenago is located about 3 hours northwest of Guatemala City. June is the rainy season and true... Read More

A recent health scare on a Chicago airport tarmac last month has heighten awareness about a daily occurrence that typically goes by unnoticed and ignored: the spread of infectious disease by airline travelers.

Last month, a female passenger who had just returned from a visit to Africa had broken out in hives and the condition had gotten progressively worse since leaving the nation of Ghana. By the time the regional jet had arrived at Midway airport, the local airport fire department had surrounded the plane and the Centers for Disease Control had been notified of the possible contagion... Read More

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