Features

View of the walled city of Ávila from the Mirador Los Cuatro Postes.

My husband, Emmett Lee, and I are avid travel enthusiasts (65 and 70, respectively) who enjoy the planning process as well as the actual travel experience, and we almost always rent a car to travel our own itinerary. We travel about four months per year, and when we aren’t traveling, we’re planning our next trip or the one after.

To celebrate my 70th birthday, we decided on a trip to Spain, spending three weeks on the Costa del Sol and 10 days in and around Madrid in...

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Second-grade students at Mother Miracle School in Rishikesh.

We need volunteers,” declared Shahla Ettefagh, founder and director of Mother Miracle School, which provides education for some of the poorest and most intelligent children in Rishikesh, India. That was all I needed to hear.

For several years I’d been sponsoring a girl, Kalpana, at the school and had always wanted to visit India. I am usually up for the most off-the-beaten-path travel experience possible, and this Rishikesh sojourn would turn out to be an immersion in...

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View of Singapore’s skyline from the National Gallery of Art.

A family visit to the West Coast in June 2018 became the perfect springboard for another Asia adventure of discoveries (and rediscoveries).

From Seattle, Lady Luck gave us a rare opportunity of a free military charter flight (Marvin is retired Air Force) to Yokota Air Base near Tokyo, and from there we connected to another military flight to Singapore, our favorite city in all of Asia.

We love the exotic sites, cultural diversity, food and people of Singapore. No matter how...

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Blue-domed church seen on the way to Ancient Arkesini, on the island of Amorgos.

In the Cyclades, a group of Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, trails are called “blue paths.” With every turn, you can expect a view of the sea. How prescient of our group of 11 walkers to have signed up to explore paths on three of these islands with an organization called The Blue Walk!

Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, The Blue Walk (phone, in the US, 551/258-3955, www.thebluewalk.com) offers small-group walking vacations in Italy, Spain and France as well as the...

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A group of women from the Akha tribe.

“If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food, it’s a plus for everybody. Open your mind, get up off the couch, move.”

Karl Grobl of Jim Cline Photo Tours (San Diego, CA; 858/353-6210, www.jimclinephototours.com) set the stage early with the above quote from the late Anthony...

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A number of recently built foreign-owned vacation cottages line the waterfront.

My wife, Lois, and I first considered visiting Dominica after being seduced by Paul Crask’s “Dominica” Brandt Travel Guide, but events got in the way — specifically, tropical storm Erika (2015) and hurricane Maria (2017), each of which devastated the country.

Nevertheless, Dominica retained its appeal, and in the spring of 2018 we asked ourselves, “Would it be wise to visit a country so recently overwhelmed? Would it be safe or even minimally comfortable...

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View of the beautiful garden at Villa Poggio Torselli near San Casciano Val di Pesa.

I’m not a big planner. Many of my life experiences have been the result of my opening the door each time opportunity knocked.

After earning my college degree, I took a 3-month “temp” position at a publishing office in Sacramento to bridge the gap between graduation and figuring out what it was I was going to do next. Twenty-five years later, I’m still at ITN, my life enriched by the travels I’ve been blessed to have experienced as part of my job.

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GUM is Moscow’s iconic shopping and dining mall, located on Red Square.

If you would be interested in visiting a department store that is unlike any other store you know, then put Moscow’s GUM on your travel bucket list.

You cannot compare GUM with Le Bon Marché in Paris, Harrods in London or Isetan in Tokyo. No, GUM (www.gumrussia.com) is the giant, architecturally dramatic shopping-and-dining mall that frames most of the east side of Moscow’s Red Square.

GUM is unique in that it is basically a complex of three parallel 3-story malls,...

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