Sunday, January 4, 2015

Best in Show

executive summary by darmansjah

TRUE TO FORM, our annual ‘Best of the World’ selection which ranged from Bagan, Myanmar, to Thessaloniki, Greece, got people talking. “I am so proud to see Ecuador’s beautiful capital, Quito, where I was born, in your magazine,” wrote Sadira Delgado Laiben, now of Arlington, Texas. The Daily Freeman, a Kingston, N.Y., newspaper, applauded our inclusion of the Hudson Valley-aka the ‘girl next door’ who is often overlooked, as the paper’s editors described its region: “We do love this well-considered shout-out from National Geograhic Traveler, including the hip prose positing that ‘not even Rip Van Winkle could sleep through the cultural clarion of today’s Hudson.

Valley. (‘No wonder we keep walking up at 3:30 a.m., Ma. It’s notthe train, it’s the damn cultural clarion, again.’)”

Other feedback took a more serious tack. “I was disappointed in your selections of Uganda and Grenada,” wrote Lawrence Denger of Woodland Hills, Calif. “In both countries there were documented cases of harassment and attacks on gay travelers in 2012. In the case of East Africa, there are better choices like Tanzania and Kennya, which I have found less hostile; for the Caribbean, try Barbados or the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaqao).”

From the editors: our missions as a traveler magazine is to showcase the world and its beauty. We also believe travel can be an effective way to expose problems, facilitate cultural exchange and conversation, and encourage change.

You’ve got spirit

Christoper Elliot’s criticism of Spirit Airlines attracted kudos. “Thank you for having the intestinal fortitude to say what you did,” wrote Peter Volny of Fountain Hills, Ariz. “sadly, Spirit is not alone. Seemingly, the airline industry has achieved its unstated objective to be the customer-unfriendliest of all.”

Mi Casa, Su Casa A feature about Casablanca, Morocco, recalled warm memories for Wayne Diehl of Spartanburg, S.C.

“My wife (then a nurse) and I (a pilot) met while stationed at the Air Force base – now Mohammed V International Airport – near Casa from 1958 to 1959. We were married by the pasha of Berrechid (a suburb) and lived in a French-designed apartment building on Boulevard Hassan II. We bought the material for my wife’s wedding gown in a chic French shop in Casa. We returned to the city on our 35th anniversary and found our old building. The ice cream shop, Oliver’s, was still on the ground floor. Casa remains a special place for us, from the food to the medina and the shops.”

The Year in Wanderlust

Where in the world would you most love to travel in 2013? We asked that question across our community-in print, on our Intelligent Travel blog, and via Twitter and Facebook. Your responses got us reaching for our passports: “I’m starting now to plan for the World cup in Brazil. I’ll attend some games in Recife and Natal and from those cities visit Fernando de Noronha, an archipelago off the coast.” Ana Maria Caballero McGuire | Needham, Mass.

“As a child I called Indiana Jones my hero, and more than anything I want to see Petra, Jordan.” Brandi Bennett Bentonville, Ark.

Madagascar is high on my list-for the chocolate.” Doreen Pendgracs Matlock, Manitoba.

“I’ve always wanted to go to Tusheti National Park in the Caucasus Mountains in Georgia-what a dramatic Landscape.” Danielle Megyeri Campbell, Calif.

“This year I’m planning trips closer to  home-South Dakota and the Outer Banks in North Carolina. There are so many beautiful things to see in America.” Lisa smith Midland,Mich

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