An update on awards

By Armond Noble
This item appears on page 81 of the April 2010 issue.

Have you been to ALL of these: France, Italy, Germany, UK, Mexico, Greece, Croatia, Spain, Austria, Thailand, Japan, Turkey, Canada, Chile, Switzerland, Argentina, Egypt, Netherlands, Russia, Australia and China? A total of 21 countries.

If so, you qualify for the ITN GLOBETROTTER Award. It’s a very nice certificate, highly suitable for framing and stirring feelings of envy among your friends.

And how about these additional 22 countries: South Africa, Costa Rica, Portugal, Hungary, Belgium, Brazil, Romania, Vietnam, New Zealand, Czech Republic, Panama, India, Bulgaria, Ireland, Poland, Cambodia, Morocco, Norway, Peru, Honduras, Guatemala and Singapore?

With those countries in your passport, the ITN WORLD TRAVELER Award is yours.

Oh, won’t that turn your friends green?

Now, for those who have notched 40 countries (not necessarily from the list above but any 40 actual sovereign nations), the TRAVEL IS MY FORTE Award is waiting for you.

The next step up is the QUARTO MONDO award. Signifying having visited one-fourth of the world’s nations, a total of 49 (of your choosing) are necessary to qualify.

Of necessity, we have to charge a small fee for each award, to cover the time involved in having the certificate printed with your name, addressing an envelope and adding a cardboard insert to protect the certificate. For the Globetrotter, it’s $6; World Traveler, $6; Travel Is My Forte, $7, and Quarto Mondo, $7.90. That includes postage.

Okay, here comes some ITN fun and games... with PRIZES! You may e-mail your entry to or, for noncomputer folks, write to In 2009, c/o ITN, 2116 28th St., Sacramento, CA 95818. To be eligible for a prize, you must give us your last name and your ZIP code. (One entry per person, please.)

Here’s what we want to know: in the year 2009, where did you travel to? Even if you didn’t travel, you are still eligible. Just say, “Didn’t travel.”

Now for the goodies! The number of prizes will depend on the number of entries received. Five hundred entries mean 500 dollars worth of prizes. A thousand entries, a thousand dollars. The prizes will be subscription extensions, ITN wristwatches, ITN hats and 50-dollar gift certificates for Magellan’s Travel Supplies.

Winners will be selected at random. The contest ends 60 days after the first entry is received. This event is being announced only in this column. You may also, only if you wish, add any comments, criticisms, sugges- tions, etc., regarding the magazine.

A slightly controversial issue — we do get feedback from some readers questioning if ITN staffers should go on “sponsored” trips, as objectivity might suffer. (In any article about such a trip, we always announce the fact that it was complimentary.)

I have pondered the situation. Then, just a few days ago, I saw in Financial Times (a newspaper some have called the best in the world) that a writer was a guest of a named hotel and was a guest of a named airline. Well, if such an esteemed journal as Financial Times thinks it’s okay, that’ s good enough for us.

No visitor to Israel should miss the Yad Vashem Holocaust History Museum in Jerusalem. While I found it almost a tortured experience, it is one that definitely should be taken.

I was talking to a well-traveled woman, just back from visiting a week ago, who found Israel to be a most fascinating country.

Don’ t forget: wretches here who slave away over a hot keyboard on your behalf do want to hear from you. Any thoughts, gripes and complaints — even praise — will be gratefully accepted.