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RTW #7: Lounges, Retreats & Business Class Seats

Mauritius: Lions, Beaches & Peaks…Oh my!

Posted by on Jan 30, 2012 | 2 comments

Mauritius: Lions, Beaches & Peaks…Oh my!

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I arrived on the island of Mauritius fairly exhausted after a 36-hour travel day involving 4 flights from Malta and a 6-hour layover (turned tourist outing) on neighboring Reunion – more on that in the next post.

After realizing a few days earlier that my hotel in Mauritius, Le Meridien Ile Maurice, was a staggering 40+ miles from the airport on the opposite end of the island, I figured I’d better go ahead and reserve a car for my two day stay. I was thinking of getting one for the next day anyway so I could get out and explore the island but the looming $100 cab fare from the airport made that decision a no-brainer.

It turned out to be the right decision because Mauritius is a large island that is much more easily discovered with your own wheels.

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5 Reasons Why Malta is Marvelous in the Off-Season

Posted by on Jan 25, 2012 | 2 comments

5 Reasons Why Malta is Marvelous in the Off-Season

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It’s inevitable that in the course of my annual January round-the-world trips, I will sometimes be visiting a destination in its off-season. This is especially true since I always try to include at least one European stop on the itinerary (I mean, you can’t just skip over an entire continent…it’s simply not practical).

After learning my lesson the hard way with an ill-advised stop in Berlin on Round-the-World #1, I have since become much smarter with my choice of January European destinations. I’ve tried Croatia, Turkey, Cyprus, Spain, Portugal and the Amalfi Coast and, for the most part found them to be delightful – with mild weather and without the hordes of summer tourists.

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The Mystery of Easter Island

Posted by on Jan 20, 2012 | 2 comments

The Mystery of Easter Island

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It’s one of the most remote islands on earth. A startling 2,200 miles west of the nearest continent and 1,290 miles east of the nearest populated island. The United Nations has proclaimed Easter Island the most isolated inhabited island in the world.

It’s also one of the world’s greatest mysteries and an undisputed archaeological treasure. Easter Island is home to more than 20,000 archaeological sites. But despite intensive study of these sites, the question still remains: What caused the dramatic rise and fall of this ancient Polynesian culture?

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Photo of the Day – The Unglamorous Side of RTW Travel

Posted by on Jan 11, 2012 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – The Unglamorous Side of RTW Travel

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Well, let’s just say RTW #7 is off to a rocky start! Yes, RTW travel is not always as glamorous as it might seem. Today was one of those “Murphy’s Law” travel days and it’s only thanks to a few minor miracles and the complete inefficiency of LAN Airlines (actually working in my favor for once) that I am writing this to you now from my hotel on Easter Island, at last.

It all started out fine enough with a perfect Delta flight into Lima last night that arrived right on time at 11:00pm. But as soon as I stepped off the plane into the chaos that was the Lima airport, I knew something was amiss.

Of course, South American airports can sometimes be a little less civilized than those in the U.S. or Europe, but this was another level. As the Delta passengers entered the gate area on the way to customs, I was thankful we were separated by a glass partition from the agitated throngs waiting to board our plane.

It was apparent that some of these people had been in the airport for a while. They had the look. I noticed as I made my way to the transit area that the monitors showed a number of flights canceled for the night (including the last one to Santiago). I wondered why since the weather seemed fine and we didn’t have any delays on arrival but didn’t give it much thought.

Since my flight wasn’t until 8am I figured it couldn’t possibly affect me.

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7th Annual Round the World Trip – Ready, Set, Go!

Posted by on Jan 10, 2012 | 2 comments

7th Annual Round the World Trip – Ready, Set, Go!

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After months of planning, the day is finally here!

This afternoon, I’ll depart for my 7th Annual Round the World trip! As I’ve said before, 30 days is more a guideline than a rule and this year’s trip will top the calendar scale at 45 days (thanks, primarily, to award seat availability in and out of the U.S. – but who am I to complain?).

It will also be my most ambitious itinerary yet with 19 stops in 16 countries (increasing my current country count from 105 to 115). Like previous trips, most of the stops are new to me but there are a few favorites that I never miss when “in the neighborhood” (like Paris, Bangkok & Auckland).

Two of this year’s stops are hard to reach destinations that have been on my wish list for years – Easter Island and the Maldives. Thanks to some creative flight routings, this is the year I will finally get there!

I’m also happy to report that one of my very good friends, Susan, will be joining me for two weeks in the middle of the trip (meeting me in Paris and flying home from Hong Kong).

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RTW #7 – The 2012 Round the World Itinerary

Posted by on Dec 27, 2011 | 0 comments

RTW #7 – The 2012 Round the World Itinerary

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As the end of the year draws near, I have finally nailed down the itinerary for my 7th Annual Round-the-World trip!  As I’ve said before, 30 days is more a guideline than a rule and this year’s trip will top the calendar scale at 45 days (thanks, primarily, to award seat availability in and out of the U.S. – but who am I to complain?). It will also be my most ambitious round the world itinerary yet with 19 stops in 16 countries (increasing my current country count from 105 to 115). Like previous trips, most of the stops are new to me but there are a few favorites that I never miss when “in the neighborhood” (like Paris, Bangkok & Auckland). Two of this year’s stops are hard to reach destinations that have been on my wish list for years (Easter Island and Maldives) and thanks to creative flight routings, this is the year I will finally get there!  Without further adieu…here’s the complete itinerary:

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