The ruins of the beautiful Sans-Souci Palace.

Does the thought of Haiti conjure up images of poverty, famine and earthquakes? Well, think again, because that’s only a part of the picture. A vibrant nation with colorful traditions, delicious food and friendly people, Haiti is waiting to be discovered.

An introduction

When my two travel companions, who are voracious country counters, and I sailed my yacht, Serendipity, from Guadeloupe to Hispaniola, stopping briefly on Aves Island, our thoughts immediately turned to...

An enormous stainless-steel statue of Genghis Khan – Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

The first time my wife, Arlene, and I saw Russia was on a 2-day stop in St. Petersburg on a Baltic cruise. A cruise might not be the best way to get deep insight into a country, as each stop permits one to have only what amounts to a cup of coffee in a particular place, but St. Petersburg was so full of culture and history that it whetted our appetites, making us want to return. And so we did, on a 2016 land trip with Overseas Adventure Travel that visited the Baltic States (Lithuania,...

The bronze Great Buddha at Kotoku-in Temple in Kamakura was one of many stops worth a picture on a week-long tour of Japan. Photo by David Tykol

I was standing at the top of a staircase leading to the 364-year-old mausoleum of Japan’s third Tokugawa Shogun. Surrounded by 70-foot-tall Japanese cedars, this forest setting in Nikkō was quiet, sunny and cool, and I was trying to figure out how they used to light the 6-foot-tall metal and stone lanterns standing like sentries along the walkways.

Only a couple of days later I was in Osaka, worming my way through throngs of people in what seemed like a mile-long indoor mall...

“The Horns,” part of the Torres del Paine Massif.

I had the good fortune in October-November 2017 to join an expedition to Patagonia conducted by Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic. Our trip began in Santiago, Chile, and I spent one day there before the tour started in order to get acclimated after flying in from San Francisco, California.

There were 75 of us on the first portion of the trip, which consisted of two days in Santiago and three days in inland Patagonia. The group would then join an additional 20 passengers when we...

Lioness seen during our stay at Kwara Camp.

After several months of planning my trip to Botswana, exchanging emails with Roger Turski of Safari Lifestyles (Maun, Botswana; phone +267 7606 1186, www.safarilifestyles.com), with excitement and anticipation, the day had finally arrived. Roger is enthusiastic about introducing travelers to his adopted country (he’s from England), and he also is an avid photographer. 

Botswana had been on my agenda for 20 years, and now it was finally coming true! 

The journey...

A view of Bergen and its harbor.

In mid-2017, my wife, Linda, and I set out on a cruise around Norway and Scotland on an oceangoing ship called the Viking Sky. This 2-week cruise from Viking, “Into the Midnight Sun,” departed from Bergen, Norway, and ended at Greenwich, England.

There were so many unforgettable events on this trip that it seemed right to describe the journey in the A-to-Z format I have used in previous travel summaries. The text is not in chronological order, but, rather, in alphabetical...

Remarkable Rocks at Flinders Chase National Park.

In all my travels, I had never been to Australia, but it was all my husband, Steve, and I needed to gain ITN’s “7 Continents” award.

Australia is almost as large as the continental United States, so planning our 3-week trip (Sept. 18-Oct. 9, 2017) required hard choices about what to include and what to leave for another time. 

After studying several travel books, I decided on these five areas: Sydney, the Atherton Tablelands, the Great Barrier Reef, the...

The impressive Western Wall and the Temple Mount, two of the world’s most important religious sites.

My wife, Kerry Hutchinson, and I spent 10 days in Israel, the West Bank and Jordan in late September-early October 2017, undaunted by the news of terrorist attacks and recent conflict. We felt very safe during our trip, even in the West Bank. One key prudent step, as is the case anywhere in the world, is to avoid protesting crowds if you happen upon them. However, we saw none while we were there. 

As with most of my trips, my planning utilized Lonely Planet country guides,...