Transitions Abroad Magazine July/August 2005 Vol. XXIX, NO. 1
In Every issue
The Independent Traveler
The Budget Traveler
Back Door Travel
Websites Gregory Hubbs
Lifelong Learning Mara DelliPriscoli
From the Editor
It’s been a topsy-turvy year. Many people I know feel that the world is slightly off kilter and that we’re backsliding rather than making the progress needed to better the planet. At home, there’s the ever-looming threat of terrorism and dangerously divisive politics. Around the world, there’s the increasing civil war in Iraq and the all-too-real concerns over the nuclear activities of Iran and North Korea—at a time when our president advocates tactical nuclear weapons and nuclear power as a viable alternative energy source.
Travelers, however, can say, “I’ve seen a better way.” One of the first things travelers notice when arriving in the Danish capital by sea is enormous wind turbines spinning offshore. Wind turbines produced about 21 percent of Denmark’s total electrical consumption as of June 2004—and other European countries are moving quickly toward meeting more of their domestic energy needs through renewable means.
Since this issue marks the start of our new volume year, our 29th, I am particularly pleased that it contains such a celebration of the wonder and rewards of travel. It is a welcomed read in these uncertain times, and a reminder of how traveling and living in other countries fosters connections that improve the world person by person.
One noteworthy example is Armenia Nercessian de Oliveira, the co-founder and president of Novica.com. She and her son-in-law saw the possibilities of the Internet to benefit the world’s artisans. With the help of their global network, they’ve created the world’s largest online arts marketplace not only to sell indigenous art, but also to help promote and preserve traditional cultures and skills.
While companies like Novica are few and far between we can all become “citizens of the world,” to quote from this issue’s author Daniel Gabriel (see “Family Adventures, page 42). A child of the road, Gabriel’s early travel experiences “shaped him for life.” And we’ve known many a Transitions Abroad reader—not to mention the magazine’s founder—to say the same. (That’s why he called the magazine “Transitions.”)
We devote much space in this issue to Family Travel (page 40) and Living Abroad (46) because few experiences are more bonding and enriching than immersion in another culture. Family Travel Editor Cynthia Harriman tells how a family relocated to Europe was drawn together by two months in a 2-room apartment with no English-language TV. In Elisa Bernick’s and Tamara Cuthrell’s articles (pages 51 and 53), we see how educational the experience of year-long stays in Mexico and Paris is for their children.
All of these examples emphasize the impact of learning by doing and experiencing. Perhaps this is why the concept of alumni travel is so popular: it gives lifelong students quality educational travel opportunities where content matters most. In our new Lifelong Learning section (Page 68) we include a sampling of college- and university- led travel programs. In the future, we plan to include museum tours and other theme- and subject-focused trips.
Since organized travel is not for everyone, Jeffery Waggoner has come up with inspired advice for do-it-yourselfers to map out their own travel itineraries based on personal interests. Read his article on page 80 and then let your favorite writers, artists, and scientists guide you to off-the-beaten-path destinations.
From young people to seniors to those with disabilities, the information in this issue and on our website, www.TransitionsAbroad.com, will empower you to set forth confidently on transformative adventures. In the year ahead we hope you’ll remember to share what you’ve experienced and learned along the road with others—as long-time Transitions Abroad reader Dan Flynn did when sending us his article “Moving Abroad” (page 50). We are doing our job if Transitions Abroad motivates you, as it did Dan, to “experience first-hand other countries, cultures, and languages.”
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