When my wife, Catharine, and I were traveling around Europe for six months in 1974 — back when touring Europe was literally cheaper than staying home — we took a ferry from Naples to the Isle of Capri early one sunny morning and settled into seats on deck.
On the ferry was an English-speaking tout trying to line up customers for Capri tours, approaching all the deck passengers who looked to be tourists and showing off booklets of pictures that highlighted the sights of Capri.
One of his key selling points was a restaurant lunch that featured “spaghetti with clams — or anything you want!”
This would have been forgettable except that his voice carried across the deck and by the time he reached us, we had heard him say “You can have spaghetti with clams… Continue reading
When my family and I lived on City Island, New York, a little island in the Bronx that’s the farthest northeast point in New York City, our next door neighbor — a born and bred City Island resident then in her 60s or 70s — made a startling confession: she had only once in her life ventured into Manhattan, and that was to visit a friend in the hospital there.
If you walked a short distance down the street from the little complex of cottages where we lived, you could enjoy a panoramic view of the Manhattan skyline. I was shocked to learn that that alone had not lured her into New York’s best-known borough — much less the cultural opportunities, the restaurants, and all the sights that people traveled to Manhattan from around… Continue reading
Today’s guest post, by Canadian resident Robert Waite, argues that baby boomers should slow down a bit in pursuing bucket list items and spend more quality time in a destination to absorb the culture and life of the people there.
As Bob told me, his piece is meant to stir debate, and I found myself debating his points within my own mind — which is exactly what a good piece of journalism should provoke.
I’ll share my opinions on this topic in a later post, but for now I’ll yield the floor to Bob:
By Robert Waite
Those of us of a certain age might recall the film “If It’s Tuesday, This Must be Belgium,” a 1969 United Artists release that poked fun at American tourists for their penchant for rushing from European… Continue reading
Sometimes even experienced travelers make simple mistakes that can get a trip off to a very bad start, or even ruin it altogether.
The folks at by Grand European Travel — which specializes in guided vacations and river cruises in Europe and around the world — have developed a helpful infographic that identifies six common travel mistakes that it would be wise to review before setting off on your next foreign trip.
I’m not immune to making some of these mistakes (sometimes it’s easier to dish out advice than follow it).
My rookie mistakes have included not properly insuring my trip, not packing light, and not notifying my banking institutions that they can soon expect to see charges appearing from places like St. Lucia, Hungary, or the Falkland Islands.
I’m pretty anal about… Continue reading
Asking you to relive 2016 may be asking a lot, but here at clarknorton.com we offer sheer escapism!
Well, maybe not quite — but travel can, we hope, help take your mind off other things.
So, in that spirit, we offer up Our Top Ten Blog Posts of 2016 as found on clarknorton.com and voted on, in effect, by your clicks.
Yes, this is purely a popularity contest, with no quality control whatsoever. (Kind of like an election.) And because there was a tie for the tenth spot, there’s a bonus post to check out, should you wish to seek penance for overindulging during the holidays.
Here they are in order, counting down to Number One:
Top Ten or Top Five lists (almost) always… Continue reading
I’m not very good at remembering all the special commemorative days and sometimes obscure holidays that I should.
For example, I forgot National Grandparents Day this year, even though I had written about it last year — and, even worse, it was my first Grandparents Day as an actual grandparent. It was only when a relative wished me a Happy Grandparents Day that the light went on in my head.
The United Nations first declared World Tourism Day in 1980 to highlight the social, economic, cultural and political benefits of tourism, which now accounts for about 10 percent of the global economy — the largest single industry in the world.
Airlines, cruise lines, rail lines, bus lines, rental car agencies…hotels, motels, B&Bs, resorts, inns…restaurants, cafes, street vendors…tour companies, guides, travel agents, guidebook… Continue reading
Being a new grandfather, not an uncommon thing these days for baby boomers, I’ve been particularly interested in the baby-naming habits of new parents: Specifically whether or not they’re naming babies after places they’ve traveled.
My wife Catharine’s and my own travels played a role in naming our son, Grael. The connection is a bit tangential, but here it is: We had played with the idea of naming him ‘Grayle” — after one of my best friends from college — but didn’t care much for that spelling.
Then one day as the birth neared we were driving around Northern California when we came upon a sign for the village of Graeagle, and a light bulb went off simultaneously in both our minds:… Continue reading
I don’t usually use the word “seniors” when I’m referring to baby boomers — “seniors” somehow always seem older than us — but there’s a very insightful piece written by Anita Mendiratta of the CNN Task Force promoting the world’s seniors (those aged 60 and up) as “global tourism’s silver lining.”
Mendiratta praises senior travelers as “one of the most strategically valuable, yet socially undervalued, segments of the global travel population.”
The piece, which was syndicated by e Turbo News, touches a lot of bases that I’ve blogged about over the past 2 1/2 years, and has added a few new wrinkles (if you’ll excuse the expression) as well.
Her key premise is that older travelers should not be forgotten as the tourism industry actively courts millennials and other younger age groups. “To the traveling… Continue reading
In our last post, we posed ten questions that might affect your health and well-being as a traveler. Here are the answers:
1. The direction in which you fly may influence the severity of your jet lag. Other conditions being equal, which direction is most likely to produce bad jet lag?
Answer: B, West to east. When flying west to east, especially across America, you’re more likely to encounter darkness when you arrive, which helps disrupt the body’s “inner clock” (jet lag is caused by disorientation by crossing time zones, which exposure to light seems to ameliorate). Assuming no time zones are crossed, there’s technically no jet lag at all flying north-south or south-north, though you can still feel the ill effects of a long flight.
2. One good way to counter the effects of jet lag is to:
Answer: D… Continue reading
I confess: I’ve dined on KFC in Nairobi, Big Macs in China, and A&W in Kuala Lumpur.
I’ve watched Bob Newhart reruns in Zimbabwe, ordered bacon and eggs in Mumbai, and visited the Holiday Inn in Swaziland.
There are times when seeing a familiar face — even Colonel Sanders — has proved reassuring while traveling in distant lands.
But usually not.
When I go abroad, in fact, I’m almost always drawn to the remote, the exotic, the unfamiliar, the unpredictable. Give me the jungles of the Amazon to the shores of Waikiki, the tea houses of Hong Kong to the salons of London, the ends of the earth to the easily accessible hubs.
When it comes to travel, I’m a hopeless Romantic, spurred by images on old postage stamps and scenes from Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre movies.… Continue reading