Houseboats on Dal Lake.

Some opportunities present themselves once in a lifetime. When the invitation arrived for me to visit my dear friend Hilal, whom I met years ago in Delhi, and his family in Srinagar, India, in November 2019, without blinking an eye, I jumped at the opportunity. 

Often referred to as “paradise on Earth,” Srinagar is the largest city of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, nestled below the snowcapped Himalayas in northwest India. A main attraction there is the...

An idyllic, peaceful scene — palm-tree shade, white sand and the turquoise ocean.

Our granddaughter and her family serve as missionaries in Ethiopia, a very long way away. Their internet is unreliable and communication is spotty. Letters and packages mailed to them take weeks, months or never reach them at all. So we came up with a plan for the whole family to spend two weeks together.

The Beach House (Casurina Rd., Mayunga; email the owner, Rory Keegan, at rory_keegan@yahoo.com or visit www.airbnb.com/rooms/14374825), located near the little village of Malindi on...

View of the Grand Harbour of Valletta, Malta, as seen from the battlement.

My husband, Phil, and I are proud 30-plus-year ITN subscribers and ITN Quarto Mondo award recipients, having now been to well over one quarter of the world’s nations. While traveling, our primary interests are ancient cultures, architecture, art and religions, and we used to plan all our own trips, including arranging our own transportation.

Due to our advancing age, however, we’ve become fans of cruising as a means of accessing destinations of special interest to us. We...

Whooper swans in Lake Kussharo.

Winter is the best time to see some of Japan’s iconic wildlife, including red-crowned cranes, Blakiston’s fish owls and sea eagles in the northernmost island of Hokkaido, and snow monkeys, south of Tokyo, on the island of Honshu. In March 2019, an opportunity to see this wildlife for ourselves came when my wife, Norma, and I signed up for a 7-day tour, “Winter Birding and Bird Photography in Japan,” with Gunnar Engblom, guide and owner of Kolibri Expeditions (Lima,...

The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.

Like you, I love to travel (though I’m still a bit of a novice by some ITN readers’ standards, having visited only six continents and 60-plus countries). I’ve always viewed travel as a combination of entertainment and education, but my trip to Israel in November 2018 far exceeded my expectations and has had two lasting impacts that I didn’t expect.

The tour

My tour, “The Holy Land: Past, Present, and Future,” was offered by National...

The Fenella, one of the Isle of Man’s vintage steam trains, runs between Castletown and Douglas.

A few years ago, while we were exploring the British Channel Islands together, our friend Mary said, “Let’s go to the Isle of Man next!” “Why?” we asked. “It’s just Manx cats and motorcycle races, right?” But Mary said there was a lot more.

In 2019, the time had come, so we called Mary and off we went!

The Isle of Man (IOM), located in the Irish Sea midway between Ireland and England, is not large — only about 33 by 13 miles...

Feeding one of the last two remaining northern white rhinos.

Even before leaving for a Southern Africa safari in September 2019, my two friends, Cynthia and Jim Lyon, and I had already booked a trip to East Africa for September 2020. All three of us love to travel, and nothing nourishes our souls more than a wildlife trip. Who knew that a global pandemic would ground us for most of 2020?

As spring wound into summer, our hopes of traveling to Kenya were quickly dimming, but we still fanned a little flame of optimism. In early July 2020, it was...

The formal gardens of Borromeo Palace overlook the lakeshore near Stresa.

Guidebooks gush about the legendary beauty of northern Italy’s Lago Maggiore.

The Michelin Green Guide’s editors award the lake three stars — worth a journey — and call it “the most famous of the Italian lakes... at times both majestic and wild.”

Especially beguiling, the guidebook continues, are the three Borromean Islands, Bella, Madre and Pescatori, which lie, locked in the lake’s blue embrace, just offshore from the Belle Époque...