The new “Phileas Fogg Award"

By Armond Noble
This item appears on page 77 of the May 2010 issue.

Have you been to England, France, Italy, Egypt, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and (for our many non-US readers) the USA? Then you have followed in the footsteps of Phileas Fogg, the intrepid traveler from the Jules Verne novel “Around the World in 80 Days.” And, thus, you qualify for the International Travel News “Phileas Fogg Award.”

We must charge $7 for the award, which is printed with your name. When you factor in the postage, the large envelope holding the 81⁄2"x11" certificate, the cardboard protector, the certificate itself on nice paper, the time of the person entering your name, two signers authenticating it and the effort to place your name in the next issue of ITN announcing your accomplishment, I think we come out about 15¢ ahead.

Oddly, in the movie “Around the World in 80 Days,” starring David Niven, Fogg stopped in Spain, but he did not stop there in the BOOK, upon which we base the award. This book was fiction, but true history buffs are often very disappointed when movie makers twist or make up stuff in films depicting (supposedly) actual events.

Nostalgia time! Do you remember the great Bob Newhart TV show in which he was the psychologist Bob Hartley? He had many diplomas on the wall. Well, there are a great many ITN subscribers who have gathered up quite a few of our wall hangings. Maybe we should call our 100 Nations A ward a “Doctorate of Travel.” Note: our award counts only truly sovereign nations, not states, possessions, rocks and reefs as others do.

As a special ITN treat, reserved only for those who are kind enough to venture to this space each month, PRIZES! But first the conditions...

You must give your last name and ZIP code. Other than that, all we want to know is where you traveled to in the year 2009. Even if you didn’t travel, you are still eligible. Just write, “Didn’t travel.”

How to enter — you may send an e-mail to or, for non-computer folks, write to In 2009, c/o ITN, 2116 28th St., Sacramento, CA 95818. The game closes 60 days after we receive the first entry.

This might be an appropriate place to mention to any e-mail entrant that your address will go no further. Names of ITN subscribers go no further, either. And we have been offered big dollars for same. The friends’ names you send in to receive sample copies are never sold or exchanged.

Speaking of our free sample copies, some of you are sitting on your hands and haven’ t yet done the good deed. It’s more important than ever.

A few (three) ITN subscribers contacted us recently about an advertisement appearing in a couple of issues that they felt was trying to masquerade as an article. We felt, since it had a totally different typeface and layout and contained the company logo, that it would be overly obvious that it was indeed an advertisement and not an article. However, here the reader rules supreme. We asked the advertiser to modify the appearance of future ads.

Alas, the advertiser declined to do so even a tweak. So we are out beaucoup bucks. So, please, send in the names and addresses of your traveling friends that we may send each a free sample copy. Hopefully, some of them will subscribe. (Unlike with a gift card, we do not mention you.)

What will the recipients’ reactions be? Possibly like that of Natalie Reciputi of Minneapolis, MN, who wrote us to say, “What a great magazine!”