Armchair Travel

My Around-The-World Flight of Fancy

Armchair Travel

It’s that time of year again:  Time to be thinking about taking a three and a half-week globe-trotting trip aboard a Boeing 757 with my wife and 76 of our “new best friends.” Like to join us?  Read on.

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Flying in High Style: Pan Am

Armchair Travel

Today you can find Pan American World Airways on TV, but, except for an exhibit like the one at San Francisco International, not at any airport anywhere in the world. But as this hour-long documentary “Come Fly with Me” shows, for over sixty years, from October of 1927 until December of 1991, Pan Am flew […]

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Sleeping soundly in the Range of Light

Armchair Travel

Award-winning travel writer David T. Page lives on the side of a volcano.  But that doesn’t mean that he spends all his nights sleeping in a lava bed.  And you won’t either if you use the second edition of his An Explorers Guide: Yosemite & the Southern Sierra Nevada to plan your next trip to the […]

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Climbing Yosemite, Photographically

Armchair Travel

Raising my binoculars to my eyes, I turned my head towards El Capitan, asking myself “Who’s up there today?” I have driven through Yosemite Valley many times since my first visit to Yosemite National Park in 1968, often pulling over to the side of the road to point my camera up at the world’s largest […]

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The Best That Women Can Write

Armchair Travel

(On Saturday, June 25, 2011, at the Book Passage Corte Madera store, the editor and contributors to The Best Women’s Travel Writing 2011 will read from their wonderful book.  Here are my excerpts from this year’s annual anthology published by Traveler’s Tales; read them and you won’t be able to resist buying a copy for […]

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Getting to Timbuktu, Electronically

Armchair Travel

One of the last, “old-tech” reading joys of mine is sitting at the breakfast table perusing the print versions of the Sunday editions of the local newspapers.  As a travel writer, naturally I check out by the stories and the by-lines (who’s getting published this week?) in the Travel sections where I’ve noticed a disturbing […]

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A San Francisco Author’s Success Story

Armchair Travel

I met Canyon Sam at a  “Blogging For Authors” class in the summer of 2009 at the Book Passage bookstore in Corte Madera, California.  She took the class to learn how to promote her first book, Sky Train: Tibetan Women on the Edge of History, which was due out in the fall, the culmination of […]

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When Words Won’t Do The Job

Armchair Travel

Sometimes travel writers are left speechless by the images they see.   Sit back and watch this wordless travelogue: YouTube – Human Planet – Web exclusive series trailer – BBC One

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Think Globally, Give Locally Authored Books

Armchair Travel

As the shopping days left until Christmas dwindle like leaves on storm-blown trees and rain pelting down in the Bay Area dissuades you from going on a wet and wild shopping expedition, don’t despair!  Just finish checking off names on your Christmas gift list while sitting in the comfort of your home and giving the […]

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Armchair Travel: Missing The Bus

Armchair Travel

My mother used to say to me “When they handed out brains, you thought they said trains, and you missed yours!”  While I might debate that point, there is no doubt that the first time around I missed the Bus2Antarctica.

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Armchair Travel: Driving China

Armchair Travel

Peter Hessler’s River Town:  Two Years On The Yangtze chronicled his stint teaching English to Chinese students in Fuling when he was a Peace Corp volunteer.  With Oracle Bones: A Journey Between China’s Past and Present he took a long, hard look at China’s move from its ancient past to its modern, frenetic, Almost-A-Capitalist-Country status.  […]

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Armchair Travel: On The Road With The New Yorker

Armchair Travel

My wife is no longer my only travel companion: The New Yorker joins us for most trips these days. A few years back one of my wife’s book club friends started loaning me back issues of The New Yorker to tote along on vacation.  Finally, last October, I asked my wife to give me a […]

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Armchair Travel: The Anti-Bucket List

Armchair Travel

What do “The Testicle Festival”, “Your Boss’ Bedroom”, “The Wiener’s Circle”, and “Groper’s Night on the Tokyo Subway” all have in common?  They are chapters in Catherine Price’s new book, 101 Places Not To See Before You Die. Seven years ago Patricia Schultz gave us the ultimate travel “bucket list” with 1,000 Places To See […]

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Armchair Travel: City Of Thieves

Armchair Travel

David Benioff’s novel City of Thieves has it all:  The frozen winter landscape of Russia, death, betrayal, friendship, thievery, destruction, evil, and lust.  Lust for women, lust for men, lust for survival, and lust for food. Set during the siege of Leningrad in World Word II, it is the story of two incongruous companions: Young […]

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Blast From Another’s Past: Big-Time Rail Trip

Armchair Travel

Six months ago I recounted my train trips in America in “Riding the Rails Through The Snow To Grandmother’s House (In Chicago).” Two weeks ago I reprised the rail journey from Seattle to Miami Beach and back which I took as a 14-year old. While scanning “tweets” on Twitter yesterday I learned that one of […]

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Armchair Travel: Life on Mars

Armchair Travel

I saw up straight in my chair at the breakfast table when I read in today’s newspaper that President Obama predicts we’ll arrive on Mars within his lifetime. But my dreams of being a Mars astronaut long ago came crashing to earth.

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Armchair Travel: Could You Survive Paradise?

Armchair Travel

Forget it. You aren’t going to this place in the sun: Ujae, Republic of the Marshall Islands. Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Dick Jordan

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Armchair Travel: Sailing Back in Time on a Treasure Hunt

Armchair Travel

Today you can sail aboard a ship that looks like a fat skyscraper floating on its side in the ocean.  Just book a cruise on the newly launched Oasis of The Seas.  (Click here for the recent story about this behemoth of the ocean by San Francisco Chronicle Travel Editor Spud Hilton).  But what if […]

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Time Travel: New York, Before It Was New York

Armchair Travel

Human migration, voyages of exploration, moving from a hunter-gather to an agrarian-civilized lifestyle, and even leisure travel, has changed the face of the planet.  Often what once was now lies beneath layers of asphalt and concrete, or the weight of both low and high-rise buildings. In “Before New York“, National Geographic senior editor Peter Miller […]

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"Extreme Travel": Living on A Razor's Edge

Armchair Travel

For me, living on a razor’s edge when I’m traveling means making sure I can get a close shave in the morning.  For writer Neil Shea and photographer Stephen Alvarez, it meant risking life and limb navigating their way through the maze of spiky stone towers in Madagascar‘s Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park and Reserve.  […]

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Hitting The Books Again

Armchair Travel

Normally, I’m a fairly voracious reader, but this year, I went on an planned “book diet”.  It took me four months to read a single novel.  In the meantime, my waistline expanded and my brain shrank. I didn’t pick up another book for another four months, but I finished that one (Marco Polo Didn’t Go […]

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