by Julie Skurdenis

I first made the acquaintance of Erik the Red in the fourth grade. I was intrigued by this 10th-century Viking who left the country of his birth (Norway), settled in another (Iceland), then was exiled and resettled in yet a third country (Greenland).

Of course, as nine-year-olds in a far gentler time — or so it seems many years down the line — we were not told that Erik the Red was not the most savory of characters, that he was exiled from Iceland for murder...


(First of two parts)

In February ’04 I spent 10 days in Israel, and five things made unexpected impressions on me.

• First, I spent a couple of days each in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem completely on my own, visiting historical sites and marketplaces without seeing any signs of the problems that fill the newspapers here at home. Security was tight and effective at EL AL Israel Airlines, but that has been the case for many years. On a previous trip about 10 years ago, I saw occasional...


Dear Globetrotter: Welcome to the 349th issue of your monthly overseas travel magazine. With this issue, ITN begins its 30th year of publication.

A few months ago, Donald Bridgman of Lincoln, California, wrote to ITN, “I found this in one of my bags on my return from a trip to Alaska.”

The Transportation Security Administration had opened his luggage and left a notice saying, “TSA screeners have removed any plastic lighters or safety matches discovered in your baggage. For the...


How did the travel insurance industry respond to the Asian tsunami disaster in December 2004 and how did this affect travel insurance coverages for this period and for subsequent travel?

General travel insurance policy coverages

Claims for medical, trip interruption, trip delay and miscellaneous coverages such as baggage loss, etc., are being accepted as a result of tsunami-related losses.

Claims for trip cancellations are generally accepted only if the claim meets...


—The Cruising World is written by Lew Toulmin.

We reclined comfortably, looking up at the thousands of brilliant stars overhead. The ship swayed slightly as she drove forward at 25 knots.

Suddenly the stars shifted dramatically, galaxies appeared and great streaks of color covered the heavens. Harrison Ford whispered in our ear, saying, “And now we will see Earth’s place among the stars.” For these were not the ordinary stars as seen from an ordinary ship, these were the stars...


That cramped feeling you get from sitting in economy class could be a very real ailment.

For the last couple of years, Economy Class Syndrome — known as ECS — has been featured on evening newscasts and in a variety of health journals.

ECS is caused by Deep Vein Thrombosis, or DVT, which affects approximately two million people annually in the U.S. Deep Vein Thrombosis has become a hazard of air travel — especially for those seated in the coach cabin, where there is minimal...


By Julie Skurdenis, second of two parts (jump to part 1)

In January’s ITN, Julie explored remnants of Chinggis Khan’s empire.

Naadam Festival

The Naadam is Mongolia’s biggest holiday of the year. Held on July 11, 12 and 13, on the anniversary of the 1921 revolution when the Mongolians ousted the Chinese, Naadam originated in Chinggis Khan’s time when Mongolian warriors competed in three “manly” sports: wrestling, archery and horse racing. They still compete, although,...


(Part 6 of 6 on Spain)

As the seven of us placed our suitcases in the 8-passenger van being driven by Don Lyon, chief guide and outfitter for Close-Up Expeditions, the weather cleared. Hopefully, this would be a positive sign for great days of photography during our drive from Toledo toward and into the mountains of southern Spain.

For the previous 10 days we had viewed southwestern France, crossed the Pyrénées and explored parts of the Catalonia, Aragón and Old Castile regions...