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Transitions Abroad Magazine July/August 2007 Vol. XXXI, NO.1

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Get the information and inspiration you need to explore the world. Transitions Abroad’s annual roundup of the best travel resources covers


Back Door Travel by Rick Steves
Savvy Senior Travelers
Skills and Tips for Making the Most of Your Vacation to Europe

The Intentional Traveler by Michael McCarthy
Journeys with Purpose
Travel Companies are Giving Back to Make a Difference

International Career Adviser by Jean-Marc Hachey (magazine only)
A Look at the North American Identity in the International Workplace

The Independent Traveler by Rob Sangster
It’s Going to Cost How Much
Tips for Drafting A Reliable Budget

Local Encounters by Michele Peterson
Home-Based Cooking Classes
Slap on an Apron and Explore the World

Independent Travel Worldwide

Sicily Rising: In the New Sicily Old Images No Longer Apply Jann Huizenga
Obara: Discover a Gem of Japanese Culture, and Learn the Art of Papermaking Sarah Clapp
China’s Traditional Hutongs Silene De La Paz
Hiking in South Korea Julie Nariman
New Brunswick: Smiling Faces and Unlocked Doors Welcome Visitors Carla Waldemar
Balestrand, Norway: Where the Wild and Mild Blend Richard Zahra
Island Hopping in Sweden and Using Sweden’s Inland Railway Hannah Adcock
Off-Season England Marianne Morkve
Spain’s Enchanting Osona Amy Thiltges
Biking Through Mexico Kara Shane Colley
Ancient Mayan Rebirth Rituals: Experience a Sweatlodge in Dos Palmas, Mexico Irene Butler
Learning Adventures for Teens Ann Beman
Solo Female Travel in the South Pacific Erin Beneteau
Tips for Women Traveling to India Beth Whitman
Family Adventures in Belize’s Rainforest Daniel Gabriel
A Mother and Son Combine Spanish with Weaving in Guatemala Robin Malinosky-Rummell
Senior Travel from Turkey to Crete’s Ancient Ruins of Knosses Yvonne Pearson
Senior Travel Among the Berbers of Morocco Sarah Massey
Disability Travel in the United Arab Emirates Shonda McLaughlin
Blind Students Hike to Machu Picchu David Shurna


Information Exchange

A Mis-Guide to Anywhere
World Music
Calendar of Arts, Culture, and Events
Off the Radar Travel Adventures
Book Reviews

Abroad at Home
Traditional and Modern Accordion Music Sydney Hutchinson

Travel to Eat
Cooking in Paris Victoria Cooksey

Travel Tips
Life on a Barge Roger Meyer
The Couchsurfing Project Kelly Amabile
The Hostel Advantage Sheila Stone

Activist Responsible Traveler
South America Calling Christina Fahrney

Ask the Expat
The Visa Challenge Volker Poelzl

First Person
Teaching English Abroad Mary Ann Davis

Language Vacations
Study Spanish in Córdoba Volker Poelzl

On Becoming a Solo Traveler Crystal Lund

In Memoriam

There are many stories we could share about Transitions Abroad’s founder Dr. Clay A. Hubbs, who passed away on March 29, but instead we decided to reprint a few articles that speak to his views on travel. It was challenging to pare down our selection, for Clay wrote on a diverse range of subjects from the impact of communications technology on the study abroad field, to volunteering in Ethiopia, to cooking in Tuscany. Clay’s son, Gregory Hubbs, has archived these and other articles.

In this issue’s tribute to Clay, we also included a personal interview that Rolf Potts, author of Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to Long-Term Travel, conducted with him in September 2006. I was struck by Clay’s thoughts on how travel and travelers at large have changed. “Travel websites and books today reflect the cowardice and lack of curiosity of so many would-be travelers,” he said. “It seems that now folks like to read about risk-taking travel but they don’t want to do it. They want to find out everything before they go instead of discovering for themselves. They want to travel independently but with the reassurances of a package tour.”

In contrast, Clay wrote of his early travels with his wife Joanna: “If we had followed the advice of guidebooks we would never have taken [our] first trip [tootling off across North Africa and the Middle East in a used VW van, following the path of Alexander the Great]. We took some risks; that’s what made it exciting. But we trusted and listened to the local people, and because we did we were never in serious danger.”

It was non-mainstream travelers for whom Clay started Transitions Abroad. He knew there were others like him and Joanna yearning to explore the world for the sake of experiential education. Although there are now a growing number of travel companies and organizations that offer exemplary trips, in this issue we celebrate the type of independent-minded travel that Clay and Joanna pursued — the type of travel that as Flaubert wrote, “makes one modest…you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”

These days we could all use a healthy dose of humility — not least withstanding America’s political leaders. As we face an uncertain future, it’s even more important to recognize, as Clay did in founding Transitions Abroad, that travelers have a special role to play in fostering peace and understanding on a person-to-person level. On page 64 we read about a recently retired senior, Sarah Massey, who traveled among the Berbers of Morocco to learn about Islam and the Muslim way of life; on page 70 blind and sighted high school students work together to climb to Machu Picchu; and on page 72 disability traveler Shonda McLaughlin talks about her experience traveling to the United Arab Emirates to assess the attitudes of people with disabilities there.

These intercultural experiences remind us of our common humanity in spite of significant differences, which although at times may seem insurmountable are less so when we meet and learn to respect “the other.” When United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, visited the U.N. World Tourism Organization in June he touted tourism as a leading way for the least developed countries to increase their participation in the global economy. He also highlighted U.N.W.T.O.’s work on developing and implementing strategies to face the world’s changing climate conditions and to take preventive actions for tourism’s future effects.

Clay felt hopeful about travel as a force for good in the world, and he was heartened to see more and more travelers embracing this concept. You only need to read his articles to see why he believed that all who travel to learn “[w]ill come home changed by their experiences. If not, without the ‘transitions’ or changes that real travel produces, they may as well have stayed home.”

Sherry Schwarz

Transitions Abroad Magazine

Publisher and Editor
Sherry Schwarz
Founding Editor and Publisher
Dr. Clay A. Hubbs
Web Content Editor
Gregory Hubbs
Jeffrey Boyce
Advertising Manager
Kate McGrail
Office Manager
Patricia Bolognani
Editorial Assistant
Erica Schlaikjer

Contributing Editors
Susan Griffith (Work Abroad )
William Nolting (International Education and Work)
Jean-Marc Hachey (International Careers )
Volker Poelzl (Living Abroad)
Rick Steves (Budget Travel)
Rob Sangster (Independent Travel)
Tim Leffel (The Resourceful Traveler )
Zahara Heckscher (Volunteering Abroad)
Edward Trimnell (Language Immersion)
Deborah McLaren (Responsible Travel )
Ron Mader (Ecotourism and Latin America)
Karl Haigler and Rae Nelson (Gap Year)
Cynthia Harriman (Family Travel)
Bill Mohan (Teen Travel)
J. Mara DelliPriscoli (Lifelong Learning)
Michele Scheib (Disability Travel)

On The Cover
World directions sign post.
Photo ©

Photo by Ryan Fox

Ryan Fox’s photographs are represented by and Lonely Planet Images. His online portfolio is available at

Mission Statement
Founded in 1977 by Clayton Allen Hubbs, Transitions Abroad is the only publication dedicated to work, study, living, volunteering, and immersion travel abroad. Its purpose is the dissemination of practical information leading to a greater understanding of other cultures through direct participation in the daily life of the host community.

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