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,...

The nearly symmetrical cone of Japan’s Mt. Fuji towers over the clouds.

My international wanderlust had its inception during my Army days in Saigon in the late 1960s. I got a taste of Penang and Hong Kong while on leave, and travel within Asia has captivated my attention ever since.

The plan

In mid-October 2018, I flew nonstop on Japan Airlines (codeshare with American Airlines) from New York to Tokyo for a 14-day cruise from Yokohama to Shanghai. Another nonstop flight, this time with China Eastern Airlines (codeshare with Delta), brought me back...

Cape Town’s harbor, with Table Mountain in the background.

Sometimes, when you dream of a trip for a long time and begin planning far in advance, you wonder if everything will live up to your expectations. In our case, our adventure to Southern Africa (May 20-June 11, 2018) was almost everything we wanted it to be, and we returned home excited about having taken one of our best trips ever.

Making plans

I began planning this trip about a year and a half in advance. As part of my research, I looked at articles on the International Travel...

Each night we would dock at some wharf and stay there during the night. The boats would “raft up,” and we had to walk through several boats to get to ours.

Last month, I recounted the 9-day trip my wife, Betty, and I took to Slovenia and Croatia. This month, I’ll concentrate on the 7-day trip down and up the Dalmatian Coast, from Split to Dubrovnik and back to Split, that we took immediately after.

When our excellent trip to Slovenia came to an end, our guide, Sanjin, dropped us off in Split. It was there that we boarded a fairly small (by cruise-ship standards), 32-passenger boat for a trip booked with Adventure Life (Missoula, MT...

Iris, with our guide, on Pitch Lake, Trinidad.

Rain, heat and humidity were constant companions for my wife, Iris, and me on our May 2018 trip to Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, French Guiana, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Wilderness Explorers (phone 202/630-7698 from the US, wilderness-explorers.com) in Georgetown, Guyana, organized the Trinidad, Suriname and French Guiana portion of our trip, and Voyages Lumière (phone +00 509 3607 1321, voyageslumiere.com) of Port-au-Prince organized visits to Haiti and the Dominican...

View of Dunnottar Castle, outside Stonehaven.

My husband, Steve, and I have Felix Mendelssohn to thank for our June 2018 trip to the Scottish islands. Steve is an amateur musician and had yearned to visit Fingal’s Cave since hearing the German composer’s “The Hebrides” overture.

This interesting geological oddity is not easy to visit, requiring a ferry ride from mainland Scotland to the Isle of Mull, then a boat excursion to the uninhabited island of Staffa. To make it even more challenging, the trip is...

A view of Mt. Erciyes and the ski resort.

It was dawn when the soulful call to prayer woke me up, lifting me from my bed, the ethereal quality of the cries wafting into my window like the scent of a freshly baked cartoon pie. Suddenly, a train clattered by underneath my window, breaking the spell.

I was waking up in Istanbul, near the old city walls of Constantinople. Despite the fact that I had just gotten back to sleep after waking up at 3:30, suffering from the dreaded effects of jet lag — having recently arrived...

Our friend Brenda sitting on a pier on one of the many lakes we visited.

I sat and watched as my wife, Betty, sat there talking to our friends from Canada. Her cane, now a constant companion, was by her side, and I thought about how far she had come from paralysis from the waist down only a year before, with a jumbled mind and a shattered view of the future, to sitting at a table in probably the cleanest city in the world, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Our June 2018 travels consisted of two back-to-back trips. The first was concentrated in Slovenia, with a short...