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Leon Hochman's travel room, with a world map, his <b><i>ITN</i></b> Travel Awards and souvenirs of his travels.

Dear Globetrotter:

Welcome to the 549th issue of your monthly worldwide travel magazine, the original travelers’ forum.

I’ve been meaning to share with you the achievement of one of your fellow ITN subscribers, (Samuel) Leon Hochman of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He proudly informed us he had earned his ITN “Been There, Done That! All Sovereign Nations Award,” then sent us a photo of all of his ITN Travel Awards on display.

I asked Leon to write a few words to go with the photo, and here’s what he sent...

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In Vevey, Switzerland, Charlie Chaplin’s statue is a stone’s throw from a 26-foot-tall fork installed in Lake Geneva by the Alimentarium, a food-themed museum. Photo: ©irisphoto18/123rf.com

Dear Globetrotter:

Welcome to the 550th issue of your monthly worldwide travel magazine, with articles and letters supplied by its world-traveling subscribers. In this issue, read how they have been managing lately!

Meanwhile, I’ll fill you in on some of the latest news.

In the ITN Travel Brief “Vaccine Passport for France”(Oct. ’21, pg. 30) , it was reported that France was offering a digital COVID-19 vaccine certificate to American and Canadian travelers who were planning to visit that country. Allowing entry into the country as well as...

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To explore both the country and the barn, think of the cheese course as a tour of France. Photo by Rick Steves

Because I come from a backpacker travel heritage, where a good picnic is the answer to a prayer, it’s taken me decades to recognize the value of a fine meal. Now I can enthusiastically embrace a long, drawn-out dinner splurge as a wonderful investment of both time and money. Nowhere is this truer than in France.

My friend and coauthor Steve Smith and I head to a fine restaurant in Amboise, in the midst of France’s château-rich Loire Valley. Some Americans are intimidated when they go to a fine French restaurant, but they needn...

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The port of Corricella on the island of Procida, a 40-minute hydrofoil ride from Naples, Italy.

Dear Globetrotter:

Welcome to the 539th issue of your monthly worldwide travel magazine. Due to the shutdown of the travel industry because of the pandemic, last month’s issue had to be published online only, but, with a few more tour operators advertising this month — a hopeful sign — this issue is being printed and mailed as usual (and posted on our website, www.intltravelnews.com, of course).

To reiterate a couple of my announcements that some of you may have missed in the January issue, we are not running our annual “Where Were You Last Year?...

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The Madame Berthe’s mouse lemur is found only in central-west Madagascar.

Dear Globetrotter:

Welcome to the 538th issue of your monthly worldwide travel magazine.

Normally, it is in our January issue that I ask ITN subscribers to each send us a list of the countries they visited in the previous year, but, for obvious reasons, I will not be asking “Where Were You in 2020?”

Since COVID-19 has squelched the travel plans of virtually everyone for the last nine months, there’s no point in trying to gather data about where travelers went or how often they traveled, particularly to compare results to the previous year’s....

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Carvings on the Whare Runanga, a Maori meeting house built in 1940 at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds in New Zealand. Photo: ©Rafael Ben-Ari/123rf.com

Dear Globetrotter:

Welcome to the 527th issue of your monthly foreign-travel magazine. 

Your neighbors aren’t interested in the photos from your latest trip? Well, you’ll find an eager audience here, so send in a few (with captions). Or write up a couple highlights of your journey. ITN subscribers will appreciate it. These are your travel kin.

David E. Johnson, Jr., of Lawrenceville, New Jersey, wrote, “Thanks for the wonderful information you provide to help us travelers. It is a great service. I always know exactly what I will be reading the...

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One of many red-rock formations found in the Tupiza canyon area of Bolivia.

Dear Globetrotter: 

Welcome to the 548th issue of your monthly worldwide travel magazine. You won’t find another publication like it!

The original travelers’ forum, ITN is largely reader-written, and subscribers are free to give their candid appraisals of tours, cruises, destinations, etc. With the exception of one page, introduced during the current pandemic-induced travel shutdown, ITN only covers destinations outside of the US.

While our subscribers keep each other informed about their latest finds, experiences and observations, not to mention...

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A rustic sauna in a workaday Helsinki neighbor- hood. Photo by Rick Steves

As we’ve had to postpone our travels because of the pandemic, I believe an occasional dose of travel dreaming can be good medicine. Here’s one of my favorite European memories from Finland — a reminder of the fun that awaits us at the other end of this crisis.

I’m in Helsinki, surveying the city from its fanciest rooftop restaurant. The setting sun glints off the cruise ships in the harbor as fish merchants take down their stalls in the market. But a fleshier scene on the rooftop below me steals my attention.

It...

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