Travelers' Intercom

 A woman in traditional Ladakhi dress. Photo by Esther Perica.

On the “Mountains and Monasteries of Northern India” tour with ElderTreks (Toronto, ON, Canada; in No. Am., 800/741-7956, in June 2017, our group was in the union territory of Ladakh when we ran across this lovely woman and her family, who were in traditional Ladakhi dress and on their way to a wedding. They had stopped their car by the side of the road so the women could put on their jewelry before continuing to the town of Leh. — ESTHER PERICA

An ancient painting in the Tombs of Deir el-Medina. Many artisans who worked on tombs in the Valley of the Kings lived in the village of Deir el-Medina. Photo by Norman Dailey

In March 2021, after being cooped up for 12 months and knowing our vaccination regimen would be completed the beginning of April, my wife, Susan, and I were ready to spread our wings and take flight. The question was “Where?”

Our first step was to contact a good friend, Jim O’Brien, owner of Native Eye Travel (Brantham, Suffolk, England; phone +44 1473 328546,, who has worked with us in the past, but many of his scheduled small-group tours...


In October 2019, I booked back-to-back, 8-day tours in Italy with the British company Travelsphere (Unit P, Welland Industrial Estate, Valley Way, Market Harborough, Leicestershire, LE16 7PS, U.K.; phone +44 1858 415 128,

Scheduled for September 2020, the first trip was to the island of Elba (from where my maternal grandparents emigrated to America in 1907), and the second trip included the Cinque Terre on Italy’s northwestern coast.

In July 2020...


This story began just before the coronavirus pandemic was recognized and travel was shut down, and it ended in April 2021.

The morning of Feb. 7, 2020, my wife and I were about to leave for the airport in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — eventually to arrive in Luang Prabang, Laos, via Toronto, Seoul and Bangkok, for a tour with Wild Frontiers (Sparks, NV; 844/540-2714, — when we learned that our Air Canada flight from Pittsburgh to Toronto, Canada, was...

Standing behind the children is Sane, founder of ADCS, along with boxes of biscuits.

In October 2001, we visited West Africa, including Mali. We had a rich experience, spending days in Timbuktu and taking a camel ride into the Sahel at night to meet the “blue men” of the desert.

While in Timbuktu, we met a boy named Sane Haidara, who told us he thought he was around 11 years old. He spoke more than acceptable English and said he wanted to become a tour guide. We didn’t need a guide, and he wouldn’t accept any money, but he wanted a friend whom...

A wall painted with graffiti on a street in Coquimbo, Chile (March 2020). Photos by Betsy Lewis

My husband, Paul, and I embarked the M/S Marina in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Feb. 24, 2020, for the “Mystical Fjords” itinerary of Oceania Cruises (855/335-2588, The cruise was scheduled to end in Lima, Peru, on March 15, 2020.

A sense of unease hung over our trip, and not only because of COVID-19 fears. Civil unrest had ignited throughout Chile a few months earlier, in October, triggered by a CLP30 peso (4%) increase in metro fares in Santiago...

African elephants. Photos by George Anderson

We returned from our seventh trip to Africa, and our fourth photo safari, in March 2020. This primer is intended to give Africa newbies encouragement and provide some tips for photo safaris.

Our experiences have been in Southern Africa — including the Republic of South Africa (Kruger and Mapungubwe national parks), Zimbabwe (Matobo National Park), Botswana (Mashatu Game Reserve) and Namibia (Etosha National Park and Okonjima Nature Reserve) — and in East Africa, including...


Years ago, I visited Ávila, Spain, which has a beautiful, well-preserved wall surrounding the entire city. Before I left my hotel in Madrid, I took a screen shot of the bus schedule going there and returning. I also calculated the time I needed to allow for getting back to Madrid an hour or two before sunset.

For finding the points of interest I wanted to visit, I relied on the wonderful app, available for free from app stores. On the app, I bookmarked the places I wanted to...