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Episodes for December 2008

The Traveler’s Journal

December 2008








November 30

Riding rickshaws around the world

Lonely Planet Publications founder Tony Wheeler produced “Chasing Rickshaws” a magnificent photo-filled portrait of the world's most appealing way of getting from here to there.  FMI –


December 1

Passing time Palenque

A thousand years ago, the steamy jungles and volcanic mountains at the base of the Yucatán Peninsula were the heart of the Mayan civilization.  FMI -


December 2.

Tips on traveling together

Kipling observed that whoever travels fastest travels alone, but speed is not always the only consideration and a good traveling companion offers many benefits.


December 3.

Tips on traveling alone

Traveling solo can have distinct advantages, in addition to having the opportunity to do only what you want to do.


December 4.

Cut the cost of solo travel.

“Price based on double occupancy” is a phrase that is painfully familiar to anyone who travels alone.  No doubt about it, solo journeys can be expensive.


December 7.

Going to extremes in the USA

Here's a quick list to sharpen your geographic awareness.  Name the most southern, northern, eastern, and western states in the US.





December 8

Going gonzo over Gozo

This tiny Mediterranean island coastal is often called the Ireland of Malta.  It's a Brigadoon realm of quiet hilltop villages, stone-lined lanes, and sun washed seascapes.  FMI –


December 9

The worst seats in the air

With the tight configuration economy class actions, all planes these days on all planes these days, getting a seat from hell can be a miserable experience, especially on a long flight.


December 10.

Off-road on Hawaii's Big Island

At 4000 square miles, the Big Island of Hawaii is a Connecticut sized micro-continent with slices of 12 of the earth's 14 different climatic regions.  FMI


December 11.

Ski lines online

Current information about skiing has never been more accessible.  There is a blizzard of data about ski areas and snow conditions around the world all available right click of a mouse. FMI -,,,,,



December 14.

Where whale watching is best

All creatures great and small, none are more magnificent than the great whales.  Here's where you can go to watch them up close and personal.


December 15.

A fragrant fragment of France

Today is a celebration of independence in the Comoros, a nation of three small islands situated in the Indian Ocean between the coast of Africa and Madagascar.


December 16.

Keeping in touch at sea

Once people took ocean cruises to get away from it all, but in today's Type-A age of telecommunications, some cruise passengers seem to crave constant contact even more than the midnight buffets.


December 17.

First flight day

103 years ago today at precisely 10 a.m. in Kitty Hawk North Carolina, mankind first slipped gravity's bounds.


December 18.

Airport idle time activities

No doubt about it, long layovers can be miserable, but some airports are now providing more interesting diversions for passengers who are temporarily stranded in transit.


December 21.

Airline charter flights

Charter flights still offer a combination of advantages that can make them an attractive alternative for lower-cost travel.


December 22.

Talking travel online

Computer savvy travelers can tap into newsgroups to swap stories, seek specific answers, and share advice about destinations around the world.


December 23.

Shark fishing in New Zealand

If you appreciate the thrill of big game fishing, mark Waitangi on your map. Author Zane Grey was not the first to collect the anglers Eldorado.


December 24.

Travel under the Christmas tree

According to a recent survey, the gift that tops most people's gift wish list is still a pre-paid vacation someplace special.


December 25.

Bone fishing on Christmas Island

A 140 square mile sand spit in the middle of the Pacific Ocean 1200 miles straight south of Hawaii happens to harbor the world's largest coral atoll.


December 28.

Camera film and airport x-ray security

Metal detectors and x-ray security devices at airports have had a positive impact on airborne terrorism.  Unfortunately, they can also have a negative impact on camera film.


December 29.

Doing laps in Lapland

These are dark days in Hammerfest Norway, situated as close as anyone can drive to the North Pole. Winter’s long night here last for 67 days.


December 30.

A Little Snoring in England

Many English-speaking countries have odd names for some of their cities and towns, but none can hold a candle to merry old England.


December 31.

On Margarita Island

This huge island just off Venezuela’s northeast coast could pass for paradise.  Its beaches are long and sandy, its waters warm climate, its climate perennially sunny.  FMI -


January 1.

Another New Years day

This is the first day of the first month of the 2000 and ninth year of the Gregorian calendar.  January first is also the world’s most widely celebrated holiday.




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