Remembering …

Each night this week as I’ve looked at the twin lights reaching toward the sky, I’ve silently noted my surprise at it already being 14 years. I lived alone in downtown Manhattan then and was drawn to the crowds creating impromptu memorials on street corners or holding group prayers in the parks, just wanting to be in the presence of others. I recently came across a series of photos I took in the days immediately after the disaster. I had forgotten about the flag dancer and wish I had a video. It was still so quiet all around that you could hear the swooshes of the fabric, making its own music.

 Flag Dancer-Union Square-1 Flag Dancer-Union Square-2 Flag Dancer-Union Square-3
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Combine Your Love of Art + Travel

Art Slide Photo-Screen Grab

I’m honored again to have a new piece up on Condé Nast Traveler’s website:

10 Art Festivals Worth Traveling for in 2015

Featured are fairs opening from now through June from Los Angeles to New York, Brussels to Buenos Aires.



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Condé Nast Traveler: Readers’ Choice Awards for Business Travelers

Global Cities CNTMost of my travel writing and editing these days is as a contractor for the travel research company Phocuswright, but every now and then I have an opportunity to pen something for a consumer audience.

The latest includes the four slideshows linked below for Condé Nast Traveler covering the top U.S. and global cities and hotels for business travel — as voted on by the magazine’s readers. Some of the choices were a tad surprising, but it was fun to research the cities and properties, and it made me miss the days when I was on a plane a few times each month heading somewhere, anywhere.

Best International Cities for Business Travelers: Readers’ Choice Awards 2014

Top 10 U.S. Cities for Business Travelers: Readers’ Choice Awards 2014

Best International Hotels for Business Travelers: Readers’ Choice Awards 2014

Top 10 U.S. Hotels for Business Travelers: Readers’ Choice Awards 2014


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Newly Hatched Baby Sea Turtles

Was feeling rather down this week after having returned from nearly three weeks in El Salvador. Then I remember this short video taken on Saturday of a bucket full of baby sea turtles that had hatched that morning. And all was all right with the world again.

Photos below: the little guys in the bucket, one flailing next to a few unhatched eggs, swimming in a small pool before being released into the sea.

We stayed at La Tortuga Verde, in El Cuco, El Salvador. Great place.

Baby Sea Turtles Photo


Baby Sea Turtle Eggs

Baby Sea Turtles - Pool Full


Baby Sea Turtles - Pool

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5 Warm-Weather Escapes and Winter Travel Tips

After a rather long absence from any kind of travel writing — both from here and regular publications — DNAinfo published two articles of mine this week related to getting out of town.

St John - Beach

Paradise in St. John. Photo credit: St. John/US Virgin Islands – Facebook

5 Warm-Weather Getaways from New York City

I hate winter. With a passion. I get cold if the temperature drops below 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and if I never see snow again it will be too soon. Luckily, it’s easy — and affordable — to escape New York’s winter chill. Whether you picture yourself swinging in a hammock on a beach, savoring food and fun in a southern city, or exploring historic ruins, these five destinations will get you started on planning that winter escape.

Tips and Deals for Winter Travel Out of New York City

Whether hitting the slopes or heading to the beach, here are 15 tips for getting out of town this season. Be sure to check out the article’s accompanying slideshow for winter deals and discounts!

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Thanks, Dad, for Nurturing My Travel Habit

A portion of my love for travel is innate. But it wouldn’t have been fully realized without my father. Why? Because he insisted on taking annual family vacations.

If there’s one part of my childhood that I won’t ever complain about, that is it. Today, it’s common for many families to take at least one extended trip, if not more, each year, but that was not the case in the 1960s and 70s.

Not quite 2, and already on my first vacation, to the Deer Forest petting zoo in Coloma, Michigan.

Around 1 year old, and already on my first vacation, to the Deer Forest petting zoo in Coloma, Michigan.

We didn’t have a lot of money, and we didn’t fly to exotic overseas locales, or head to the beaches of Florida, or even own a cabin on a remote lake in a border state we could call home for a few weeks each summer. But my dad made sure that no matter what it cost, we would get away from our rural northern-Illinois abode for a week, sometimes two, and go explore … someplace else.

Continue reading

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Dreaming of D’Yndias

During down periods between trips—especially when those stretches are going to be long—I use my coffee-mug collection as a means to reminisce about past travels. This morning my hand reached out for the D’Yndias mug, procured during a trip to Colombia in June 2006.

Cartagena Colombia - Coffee Mug

Colombia was just beginning to garner a bit of buzz in the U.S. travel market, and the first few of what are now many boutique properties had recently opened in Cartagena, a gorgeous colonial city on the Caribbean coast.

My favorite excursion, though, was to the volcano mud bath, El Totumo. I re-read the article. Sip from my mug. And remember the gray clay and warm sun on my body like it was yesterday.

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Passports With Purpose – Donate Today!

It’s hard to believe, but the annual travel bloggers holiday fundraiser, Passports With Purpose, is nearly over! We have through tomorrow, December 11, to bid on great travel prizes and gear to help raise $100,000, all for a good cause–building five wells in Haiti through

If you’re not familiar with Passports With Purpose, check out my post from last year; in 2011 the group raised $90,000 to build two libraries in Zambia through Room to Read. It’s an excellent event run by super cool, kind, caring travelers. Give today if you can; even $10 helps make a difference!

Here are a few of the prizes at stake this year:

  • 2-night stay at the historic Hotel Monteleone (with a lovely rooftop pool and revolving bar) in New Orleans
  • 3-night stay and dinner for two at any Kimpton Hotel
  • 5-night stay at the luxurious Banyan Tree Mayakoba in the Riviera Maya
  • 7-night stay at the Inspirato Luxury Penthouse in Mexico

and much, much more! Donate today!


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Early Morning, Otres Beach, Cambodia

We arrived in Sihanoukville yesterday just in time for sunset and are staying at the adorable Mushroom Point (the bungalows are built in the shapes of mushrooms), located toward the end of Otres Beach—peaceful, beautiful, relaxing. Here’s a video shot this morning, just after sunrise. A few minutes of zen to start the day.

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Morning on the Sangkae River: Battambang, Cambodia

Morning haze, Sangkae River. Battambang, Cambodia

Traveled from Battambang to Siem Reap via boat yesterday. Beautiful journey. It costs $20, departs at 7 a.m., and this time of year takes about 7 to 8 hours; seems shorter given how enrapturing the scenery is. Will post a slideshow after I’ve had a chance to review and edit the shots, but the one above is a favorite so far.

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