Happy New Year of Travels for 2018!

Happy New Year of Travels for 2018!

Instead of “New Year, New Me” ……   how about “New Year, New Explorations” as the 2018 mantra?  Either way, in the spirit of sage advice to “visit somewhere new every year”, below is a review of top recommended places to visit in 2018 by travel media publications.

Appearing in five out of the ten travel publications surveyed, New Orleans – Louisiana, tops the list for the most frequently featured destination for 2018.  Perhaps it due to anticipated festivities surrounding it 300th anniversary this year.  Los Cabos (Mexico), Malta*, Mauritius, San Antonio-Texas, and South Korea**, came in second, each making these list four times.

Destinations in neighboring Canada and Mexico and the often popular Western European countries of Italy, France, Spain, and the UK, are still frequently mentioned. However destinations such as Georgia (the country, not the state), Chile, Fiji, Jordan, Malta, Mauritius, and South Korea have shown significant rise in popularity in 2018 from travel publications editors compared to last year.   With Pyeongchang hosting the Winter Olympics this year, it’s no surprise that South Korea and its destinations were listed in high frequency, including Gangwon Province and Seoraksan National Park.  With its vast landmass and diverse subcultures, an honorable mention must be made to China and India, which often has multiple destinations within its countries placed on these travel lists.

Abu Dhabi (UAE) was the 2nd most frequently featured international city in 2018. Honorable mentions go to Chandigarh (India),  Dublin (Ireland), Dundee (Scotland), Faroe Islands (Denmark), Luang Prabang (Laos), Quito (Ecuador), and Tallinn (Estonia),  each having been listed twice this year. None of these cities were featured last year in any of the 10 travel publications covered, so kudos to them!

For travelers motivated to visit traditionally popular destinations such as Italy, an array of places in the country such as Ischia, Basilicata, Emilia-Romagna, Florence, Matera, Sudtirol, Aeolian Islands, and Salina Island, are recommended.  For travelers motivated to visit off the beaten track destinations, adventures to Djibouti and Tasmania will undoubtedly elicit quizzical expressions from friends and colleagues who are less geographically savvy.

Whether your inclination is to discover some place new or revisit a favorite locale, inspiration is bound to be found in publications below or at travel shows taking place across the U.S. in the coming weeks.    So grab a cup of tea, start planning, and if inspired….book your next adventure and start traveling. The world awaits your visit.

Travel Media Publications



Conde Nast Traveler



Lonely Planet




National Geographic Travel

New York Times

Travel & Leisure

U.S. News

Consumer Travel Shows

San Diego Travel & Adventure Show                     Jan 13-14            San Diego, CA
Washington D.C. Travel & Adventure Show         Jan 20-21            Washington, DC
NY Times Travel Show                                              Jan 26-28            New York City, NY
Boston Global Travel Show                                      Feb  9-11             Boston, MA
Chicago Travel & Adventure Show                         Feb 10-11           Chicago, IL
San Francisco Travel & Adventure Show              Feb 17–18          San Francisco, CA
Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show                  Feb 24–25          Los Angeles, CA


*Note: In addition to being listed four times as a country, the Maltese city of Valleta is also listed.
**Note: In addition to being listed four times as a country, South Korea’s destinations of Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province, and Seoraksan National are also listed individually.


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Tour De Staten Island

Sunday, April 23rd, Tour De Staten Island, was one of the season’s first biking/cycling events in the NYC & surrounding area. It’s a great way to get in some exercise while enjoying some local sightseeing.  There’s a real sense of community among bike/cycle enthusiast so anyone is welcomed to join whether they are a beginner or expert.


With sunny weather in the upper 50s, the day started with a relaxing Staten Island Ferry ride from the ferry terminal in downtown Manhattan to St. George ferry terminal in Staten Island.  [Note to readers: The South Ferry stop on the #1 train is the closest to the terminal in Manhattan, but sometimes the trains on weekend doesn’t stop there so it’s best to have an alternative route to get to the ferry terminal such as exiting from the Wall Street station stop on the 2/3 train then bike a few blocks to the ferry terminal]


Start time for cyclist riding 50 miles was 8 a.m., 35 miles was 9 a.m. Luckily the event organizers were flexible, allowing late comers to still ride after the second wave have already departed.  For people needing minor bike repairs or air in their tires, the start off point had people or apparatuses to tend to people’s bikes.


The terrain in S.I. was hilly so it presented a challenge to cyclist, but it was also extremely scenic with many waterfront vistas to enjoy and McMansions to drool over.  The route passed by or near many of S.I. sites such as Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Staten Island Zoo, Fresh Kills Park,  Historic Richmond Town, and Alice Austen House. Rest stops had volunteers who served peanut butter filled pretzels, apple, bananas, and water to physically restore and encourage cyclist towards the finish line.    Riding along Midland Beach promenade was my favorite part of the route as it paralleled the ocean front and really gave a sense of being away from the concrete jungle.


Just when you think you can’t ride any further, the end of the tour comes to a close. Complimentary beer awaited cyclist at the finish line as well as an overall sense of accomplishment.  We made it!  To celebrate the event and cyclists’ achievements, there was a street festival in front of Flagship Brewery Co, where a DJ was spinning tracks, vendors were either selling food/beverage or goods/services, and masseuses were giving out much needed massages.


May is designated National Bike Month.  And the Grand Puba of biking events, Five Boro Bike Tour, is next Sunday, May 7th.  Welcome signs and street closure notices are displayed all over the city preparing locals and visitors for the event and generating buzz.   Registration have long closed (usually it’s filled up by the end of January) for the Five Boro, but there are plenty more upcoming biking/cycling events in or near the NYC area as this season continues to gear up. If you know of any other events, feel free to drop me a line so I can update the list below.    In the meantime, Happy Biking!

Date Event Website
Sunday, May 7, 2017 5 Boro Bike Tour http://www.bike.nyc/events/td-five-boro-bike-tour/
Saturday, June 24, 2017 Epic Greenway http://www.brooklyngreenway.org/event/the-epic-ride/
Sunday, June 25, 2017 Discover Hudson Valley Ride http://www.bike.nyc/events/discover-hudson-valley-ride/
Sunday, July 30, 2017 Harlem Valley Ride http://www.harlemvalleyrailride.com/
Saturday, August 2017 Summer Streets http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/summerstreets/html/home/home.shtml
Sunday, September 10, 2017 NYC Century http://biketours.transalt.org/nyccentury
Saturday, September 16, 2017 Escape NY https://nycc.org/eny
Sunday, September 24, 2017 Twin Lights Ride http://www.bike.nyc/events/twin-lights-ride/
Sunday, October 22, 2017 Bike the Boro – Bronx http://www.ilovethebronx.com/index.php/happenings/tour-de-bronx
Sunday, October 22, 2017 Bike MS NYC http://main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR/Bike/NYNBikeEvents?pg=entry&fr_id=29055

For information on bike/cycling clubs or related organizations in NYC:
*Five Boro Bike Club:  http://www.5bbc.org/
*New York Cycle Club: https://nycc.org/
*Transportation Alternatives:  https://www.transalt.org/
*Bike NY; http://www.bike.nyc/

For more information on Staten Island Tourism: http://www.visitstatenisland.com/



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Happy New Year of Travels for 2017!

365 new days to travel, discover, and learn about the world.

Wanderlusters have a plethora of sources to gather ideas on which destinations and experiences to add to their bucket list. One such resource is travel media online and print publications such as Travel & Leisure, NY Times, and Frommer’s, who publish their annual list of places to visit or travel.

The most frequently mentioned destinations for 2017 include Hamburg, Germany; Bermuda, Finland, and Madagascar, each having been listed at least four times across the ten publications surveyed. Honorable mentions go to Paris, Capetown, Washington, D.C., Rwanda, and Canada, who is celebrating its 150 birthday this year.

One media publication that has deviated from the standard list format is AFAR magazine, who for the first time have dedicated an entire issue to its annual “where to go” series and categorized them into various themes.  It’s also the first year that it recommended such a robust number of destinations…100!

Perhaps it’s a coincidence, but as international tourism volume increases each year, the destinations featured in these annual lists are becoming more and more diversified. In addition to mainstream cities like Miami and London, lesser known locales such as Danakil Depression in Ethiopia, Via Dinarica in the Western Balkans, Jebel Akhdar in Oman….and South Bronx of NYC (!!!) have appeared on this year’s lists.

Below are several publications to peruse this coming weekend.  So grab a cup of tea, start planning, and if inspired….book your next adventure and start traveling. The world awaits your visit.



Conde Nast Traveler



Lonely Planet

National Geographic Travel

New York Times

Travel & Leisure

U.S. News




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Harlem Renaissance and Gospel Music Tour

This gallery contains 8 photos.

Over the past few years, NYC & Company, New York City’s marketing and tourism promotion agency, has been encouraging locals to explore his/her back yard with its See Your City campaign. One company that offers neighborhood tours is Free Tours … Continue reading

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A Modern Journey through China’s Ancient Silk Road

This gallery contains 30 photos.

Some parts of the world you make a conscious effort to visit and others have to wait until fate delivers you there.” – Tony Hawks The above quote perfectly defines my trip to Northwest China. How little I knew back … Continue reading

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New Year, New Travels!

Happy New Year 2013!

The holidays are over and most of us are heading back to the first full week of work on Monday. Instead of letting the post-holiday blues and grey winter weather get you in a funk, this is a perfect time to start thinking and planning about where to travel in the New Year. What better way to do this then to attend the annual NY Times Travel Show, which will take place in January 18th -20th.    In addition, the New York Times put out their annual Places to Visit article which gives many ideas on where to travel in 2013.    See below for more information on this mega travel extravaganza and list of travel ideas.  http://www.nyttravelshow.com/

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Do Americans Need More Holidays?

What is with America’s fascination with work? Is the cause due to money, feelings of self-worth, status, ego? I can’t tell you how many times my friends exasperate how BUSY they are as if it’s a badge of honor to … Continue reading

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