Chef/instructor Ruth Ruiz cooking in a traditional clay pot.

Chef Ruth Ruiz announced, “This morning we’re going to the market to buy a pig’s head.” 

It was the last day of our Mexican cooking school adventure, and we’d be making a special soup often served at celebrations: pozole con puerco.

My wife, Joy, and I had signed on for an attractively priced, 7-day, 6-night package that included our room, meals and cooking classes at Mesón Sacristía de la Compañía hotel and restaurant in Puebla, Mexico (Feb....

Château de Hattonchâtel, near the WWI trenches south of Verdun.

From May 22 to June 8, 2017, I had the opportunity to check off the No. 1 destination on my bucket list with a fantastic driving trip around France. However, to pull off this trip, I had two requirements: someone who could drive a stick-shift car and a fellow traveler who was fluent in French. 

This all came together when my friend and former pastor, Cheryl Wessel, mentioned that she had been reading WWII literature, wanted to visit France and could drive a stick. My cousin...

Itchan Kala, Uzbekistan, is amazingly beautiful, with unique, resilient and varied styles of architecture.

If I die with any money in the bank, there was one trip I forgot to take. 

In an effort to live up to this mantra, I embarked in April 2017 on an exotic adventure offered by JMG Tibet Tours (Lauderhill, FL; 866/548-4238, www.jmgtibettours.com) along the ancient Silk Road that ran through the now-independent republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan ($6,295 per person, double, for the 28-day tour).

When friends heard of my plans, the...

Greenland landscape.

My love affair with the Arctic and subarctic began years ago when I flew over the great Greenland Ice Sheet when returning from a trip to Europe. Stunned by the sight of an enormous island of ice, I began making at least one trip a year to an Arctic region and have never been disappointed with the scenery, wildlife, indigenous cultures or even the weather.

My latest choice was offered by Adventure Canada (Ontario, Canada; 800/363-7566, adventurecanada.com); “Greenland & Wild...

The royal chess match begins, against the backdrop of Marostica’s Lower Castle. Photos by David Prindle

France is our favorite country, but in 2016, Italy called my husband, David, and me once again, loud and clear. It was an Emirates nonstop flight to Milan priced at $896 for two that shouted the siren song. 

A wonderful surprise

We chose September for our travels because it is our favorite time to visit Europe. The weather is nearly always nice, the crowds are manageable, and the vendange (grape harvest) seals the deal. It turned out that September 2016 held another...

The ruins of the beautiful Sans-Souci Palace.

Does the thought of Haiti conjure up images of poverty, famine and earthquakes? Well, think again, because that’s only a part of the picture. A vibrant nation with colorful traditions, delicious food and friendly people, Haiti is waiting to be discovered.

An introduction

When my two travel companions, who are voracious country counters, and I sailed my yacht, Serendipity, from Guadeloupe to Hispaniola, stopping briefly on Aves Island, our thoughts immediately turned to...

An enormous stainless-steel statue of Genghis Khan – Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

The first time my wife, Arlene, and I saw Russia was on a 2-day stop in St. Petersburg on a Baltic cruise. A cruise might not be the best way to get deep insight into a country, as each stop permits one to have only what amounts to a cup of coffee in a particular place, but St. Petersburg was so full of culture and history that it whetted our appetites, making us want to return. And so we did, on a 2016 land trip with Overseas Adventure Travel that visited the Baltic States (Lithuania,...

The bronze Great Buddha at Kotoku-in Temple in Kamakura was one of many stops worth a picture on a week-long tour of Japan. Photo by David Tykol

I was standing at the top of a staircase leading to the 364-year-old mausoleum of Japan’s third Tokugawa Shogun. Surrounded by 70-foot-tall Japanese cedars, this forest setting in Nikkō was quiet, sunny and cool, and I was trying to figure out how they used to light the 6-foot-tall metal and stone lanterns standing like sentries along the walkways.

Only a couple of days later I was in Osaka, worming my way through throngs of people in what seemed like a mile-long indoor mall...