In this guest post about unforgettable encounters with endangered mountain gorillas in the tiny African nation of Rwanda, contributing writer Robert Waite also provides an update on the status of the gorillas in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic — and sees hope for optimism.
In his next post, Bob will detail the rest of his trip to Rwanda, a nation that endured a devastating genocide in the 1990’s and has now become one of Africa’s success stories.
By Robert Waite
Ruhengeri, Rwanda – As devastating as COVID-19 is to human populations, the consequences could be equally adverse for rhinos, elephants, gorillas and other sub-Saharan wildlife.
With flights suspended, borders closed and organized tours cancelled or indefinitely postponed, the region’s national parks and game reserves are struggling to protect animals that, at the… Continue reading
Among our far-flung correspondents is Jade Chan, who writes for The Star, an English-language newspaper in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Jade was on vacation in New Zealand just days and hours before that country — as well as Malaysia and Australia (where she had to transit) — severely limited travel to combat the coronavirus threat. Getting home was something of a trial — “I was ‘saved by the bell,'” as she puts it — but at least she wasn’t stranded for weeks on a cruise ship.
I’ll let Jade take it from here (note that a somewhat different version of this piece originally appeared in The Star).
By Jade Chan
My family had planned for a holiday in New Zealand more than half a year ago, and departed for the Land of the… Continue reading
Here’s the latest from one of my favorite guest posters, Robert Waite (who I’ve known for longer than I care to admit). Whether or not I agree with Bob on any particular travel issue, I always find his work to be thoughtful, provocative, and always beautifully crafted. In this piece, he had me hooked by the first line: “I miss travel.”
By Robert Waite
I miss travel.
Not the airport part, nor the inevitable logjam whenever I try to motor my way to a client. That’s not travel; that’s self-inflicted torture.
What I am talking about is the anticipation of experiencing new vistas, or the excitement of returning to a special place.
In this age of social distancing, physical travel has all but ceased. Sure, you can watch endless re-runs of Rick… Continue reading
As of late April, 2020, world cruising came to a complete halt, when the MSC Magnifica ended its epic voyage around the world that began way back on January 5, just about four months and a lifetime ago.
At the time, there were relatively few public stirrings about a mysterious virus apparently emanating from Wuhan, China, and passengers were treated to several stops in South America before rounding Cape Horn and heading to the South Pacific.
The rest of the Magnifica‘s voyage didn’t exactly go as planned (though, ironically, free of coronavirus, it was actually one of the safest places to be on the planet).
Rejected by some Pacific islands — the virus by now had struck several other cruise ships, which were all seeking safe havens and, in many cases, being turned away —… Continue reading
Here’s Part 3 of the Travel Like a Pro Summit, with links to the interviews with a variety of travel writers and bloggers. My segment on tips for baby boomer travelers comes up at noon.
See Parts 1 and 2 of the Travel Like a Pro Summit here. If you’ve missed some or just want extra time to view or review the segments, consider buying one of the summit’s All-Access Passes, with details below.
Now here’s your host, Jerry Winans:
Today is the third day of the 3-day Travel Like a Pro Summit! Our presenters have lots of great info to share with you. That’s the goal: Equipping you to travel safely, affordably, and adventurously! Many of us are eager to get back out there, to see the world, but we know it’s best for now to stay home to safeguard our health and… Continue reading
Here’s a way to get some of your travel juices flowing even if you’re confined at home for safety purposes, as I am, and can’t travel for the time being.
It’s the three-day Travel Like a Pr0 Summit, with Jerry Winans as ringmaster and interviews with more than 20 travel writers and bloggers, including yours truly. It’s filled with travel tips that, with good fortune, we’ll all be able to use as the world eventually return to normalcy.
I hope you’ll find it informative and inspirational, in a time when we could all use a little inspiration — keeping in mind the thousands of Americans and those around the world who have lost their lives to COVID-19, many of whom contacted the coronavirus while traveling in infected areas, on cruise ships, and in other settings.
Links to the interviews for days one and two are available today; watch… Continue reading
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
Congratulations to baby boomer reader Anita Walker of Arlington, Texas, for her winning entry in our Win a Pair of Comfortable Shoes for Travel contest that ended February 15.
Anita is taking a cruise in June to the Greek Islands and Italy, then spending some additional time in Rome and Sorrento, Italy, after the cruise.
The contest was sponsored by Therafit Shoe, which produces several series of comfortable, attractive, yet sturdy shoes — employing “technology built for foot pain relief” — that are ideal for traveling baby boomers.
The shoes come with arch support, a deep heel cup… Continue reading
Chinese New Year (also known as Spring Festival), starts on January 25 this year and continues for 15 days.
It’s the most important festival time of the year in China — when millions of Chinese travel to their home villages and cities to be with family or friends for holiday reunions. (We can only hope the coronavirus now threatening China is safely contained and allows for such visits this year.)
This is the Year of the Rat, the first of the 12 rotating Chinese Zodiac signs. The mythological rat is said to have used his cleverness to trick his way to the top of the zodiacal order — and, though more maligned today, is considered a symbol of wealth and fertility in traditional Chinese culture. The rat also symbolizes getting a fresh start.
Chinese New… Continue reading
A comfortable pair of shoes, well broken in, is a necessity when traveling.
There’s nothing worse than discovering that, on the second day of your trip, your first day of walking around an exciting new city or pastoral countryside has left you with painful, blistered feet.
I should know — because, with age, my feet have been doing weird things. I’ve gone from a longtime size 10 shoe to a 10 1/2 and, more recently, to something like a size 10 3/4 or maybe size 10 7/8 — except nobody makes those for the mass market, to my knowledge. So I go with size 11, and sometimes those slip on my heel.
A good travel shoe also has to offer sole support and, preferably, not look too tourist-dorky. For me, that’s been a difficult combo… Continue reading