Ukraine Has Not Yet Perished

As a traveler, my heart is broken as the war in Ukraine rages on. I had to move the dates for my Baltic Capitols and St Petersburg trip three times because of the pandemic. I wasn’t so sure their Covid recovery rate would allow the trip to go this year, but Putin did what CovidContinue reading “Ukraine Has Not Yet Perished”

Reflecting on Volcanoes, Pomegranates, and Moorish Heads in Sicily

During my recent trip with Overseas Adventure Travel called Sicily: Ancient Landscapes and Timeless Traditions, I came away with many great learning experiences. But three of them which were unexpected were seeing and experiencing such a magnificent volcano, the cultural influence of pomegranates and pinecones, and the story behind the all-pervasive Moorish Heads. Mt EtnaContinue reading “Reflecting on Volcanoes, Pomegranates, and Moorish Heads in Sicily”

Learning and Discovery in Sicily’s Last Arab Casbah

One of the most intriguing parts of the Sicily trip I rook with Overseas Adventure Travel called Sicily: Ancient Landscapes and Timeless Traditions, was the time we spent in the old Tunisian Casbah in the fishing port of Mazara del Vallo on the West coast of Sicily. Our day wandering the Casbah and enjoying theContinue reading “Learning and Discovery in Sicily’s Last Arab Casbah”

Learning in Italy about the Sweetness of Doing Nothing

In Italy there is the concept of dolce far niente – the sweetness of doing nothing. The Italians claim to be masters at it. I enjoyed some of it on my own during rainy days in Matera in Southern Italy and other times in Sicily. I much prefer the Italian description rather than the AmericanContinue reading “Learning in Italy about the Sweetness of Doing Nothing”

Olive Oil Production in Southern Italy and Pure Italian Joy

I learned a lot when I was in the Puglia region of Southern Italy as part of the Overseas Adventure Travel trip Sicily: Ancient Landscapes and Timeless Traditions. The pre-trip to the main Sicily trip is in the “heel” of Italy, and includes exploring the ancient city of Matera, and the more modern city ofContinue reading “Olive Oil Production in Southern Italy and Pure Italian Joy”

Visiting Sicily’s World War Two Landing Museum

On the Overseas Adventure Travel trip Sicily: Ancient Landscapes and Timeless Traditions, one real highlight for me was visiting the World War Two Landing Museum. This museum documents the invasion of Sicily by allied troops in 1943, an event that was a turning point for Sicily in the war and marked the beginning of theContinue reading “Visiting Sicily’s World War Two Landing Museum”

Exploring Sicily and Traveling thru Time

Time travel. That is what Sicily was with Overseas Adventure Travel, on their trip Sicily: Ancient Landscapes and Timeless Traditions. For me, it had been exactly two years of no international travel due to the pandemic, so this added to my sense of time. In Italy it would have felt like traveling back in timeContinue reading “Exploring Sicily and Traveling thru Time”

Traveling to Observe Burial Rites and Graveyard Customs

I have come to learn throughout my travels that tourists are interested in graveyards. This would surely not be my first point of entry in any country, but I have visited them. One time in Aruba on an island tour, we strolled around the graveyard and I had a premonition about my father’s impending death,Continue reading “Traveling to Observe Burial Rites and Graveyard Customs”

Visit Ljubljana, Slovenia and Take a Music Walking Tour

If planning a trip to any of the Eastern European capitals that were once part of the former Yugoslavia, one must-see city is Ljubljana, Slovenia. It is charming beyond belief, everyone speaks beautiful English, and it sits at the crossroads of more cultural influences than most people are aware of. Besides the influence of theContinue reading “Visit Ljubljana, Slovenia and Take a Music Walking Tour”

Visit Liverpool and See the Original Beatles Drum Kit

Planning a trip to Liverpool can be fun, especially if you are a Beatles  fan, where Liverpool now brings in over two billion a year as the capital of Beatles tourism. Most people make the trip as part of a longer trip to Europe in general or the United Kingdom in particular. The Liverpool portion of thisContinue reading “Visit Liverpool and See the Original Beatles Drum Kit”

Exploring Turkey and the Cats of Ephesus

Turkey has many magical wonders to visit, many fascinating sights to behold. One of the most mysterious however, is when visiting the ruins at Ephesus. One thing that will astonish visitors in addition the biblical history and the astounding library on the premises, are the cats! So many cats at Ephesus! What is the story behind allContinue reading “Exploring Turkey and the Cats of Ephesus”

Visit the Adriatic in the Autumn and Winter to see Stunning Colors and Sights

For travelers who do not get to experience autumn colors in the fall or holiday markets in the winter, one great way to do this is to visit the former Yugoslavia in Central Europe in October or November. The beauty of Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Slovenia is breathtaking in the fall, and the winter ChristmasContinue reading “Visit the Adriatic in the Autumn and Winter to see Stunning Colors and Sights”

Visit Bosnia and see Vestiges of the Bosnian War

Bosnia and Herzegovina, or just Bosnia for short, is a fascinating tourist destination, newly emerging as a country to visit after years of war. Signs of the war from the 1990’s are everywhere, with bullet holes remaining in many of the buildings in Bosnia’s largest city of Sarajevo, as well as other cities where the war tookContinue reading “Visit Bosnia and see Vestiges of the Bosnian War”

Visit Iceland in the Fall and Enjoy Northern Lights and John Lennon Peace Tower

Iceland in the fall has some great things to see that cannot be seen in the summer, all having to do with lights. To two that you want to take in are the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) and the John Lennon Peace Tower. I was on the Overseas Adventure Travel trip, Untamed Iceland, in October 2016. In addition to seeingContinue reading “Visit Iceland in the Fall and Enjoy Northern Lights and John Lennon Peace Tower”

Travel the World Against the Evil Eye

There are cultures on every continent that have amulets of good luck as part of their cultures. Pick a county and you will find a way to avoid bad luck as part of the country’s customs and history. But one country where I saw this literally everywhere and in the most colorful of ways was Turkey,Continue reading “Travel the World Against the Evil Eye”

Rethinking Genocide in Turkey as a Traveler

gen·o·cide /ˈjenəˌsīd/ the deliberate killing of a large number of people from a particular nation or ethnic group with the aim of destroying that nation or group “a campaign of genocide” Definitions form Oxford Languages I was heartened to hear President Biden declare that nearly a century after the systematic killing of the Armenians inContinue reading “Rethinking Genocide in Turkey as a Traveler”

Explore New Ways to Travel with Farm stays and Home stays

International travelers are being exposed to a new concept in accommodations around the world: farm stays and homestays. Put simply, this is like Air B n B with an extra twist, since the family actually engages with their guests and gets to know them, even arranging activities for them in some cases. Farm stays areContinue reading “Explore New Ways to Travel with Farm stays and Home stays”

Explore Illustrious Istria

For travelers with a true wanderlust, Istria and the Istrian Peninsula can be a revelation. It can be explored from both Croatia as well as Slovenia, and both sides of Istria are unique. It also has a beautiful Adriatic coastline in Trieste, which is a very industrial Italian city, and one where locals from theContinue reading “Explore Illustrious Istria”

Explore Iceland: High winds and empty spaces

Iceland is a vast amount of small land. That is right.  Vast in its smallness, a land of contradictions. A land where people live in harmony, but not necessarily near any neighbors. It is rich in the soil from the volcanoes, yet also rich in empty and barren land. There are dark and murky watersContinue reading “Explore Iceland: High winds and empty spaces”

Enjoy Three of Europe’s Most Beautiful Destinations

Dubrovnik’s Adriatic Coast Dubrovnik, Croatia has a coastline along the Adriatic which is part of the Mediterranean. It is part of the former Yugoslavia, but there are many vestiges of a Venetian influence, when Venice was not part of Italy. And geographically it’s just across the Adriatic from Italy. So it is no surprise that thisContinue reading “Enjoy Three of Europe’s Most Beautiful Destinations”

Enjoy the Beauty of Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik, Croatia is possibly one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Its dramatic and rugged coastline that juts out into the Adriatic will surprise the unprepared traveler with a jaw-dropping reaction at the first sight of its magnificent beauty. Many tours only stay one or two days to give tourists a chance to glimpseContinue reading “Enjoy the Beauty of Dubrovnik”

Enjoy Pomegranate Seed Oil From Turkey

Turkey is known for many things and many kinds of wonderful foods that are typical of the Middle East and Balkan countries. They have baklava, various types of kabobs, and many wonderful teas and coffees. But a first time traveler there will be surprised to learn about a secret that is a pure joy onContinue reading “Enjoy Pomegranate Seed Oil From Turkey”

Do personal and cultural interactions make a difference in travel? Yeah, yeah, yeah….

I was on a back to back trip with Overseas AdventureTravel  in October and November 2015 for nearly six weeks. This included about two weeks of solo travel as well as the organized tour. The two trips I took are among the most popular OAT offers in the area.  They were Turkey’s Magical Hideaways, with eight daysContinue reading “Do personal and cultural interactions make a difference in travel? Yeah, yeah, yeah….”

The Smart Traveler: Look for Europe Border Changes

With the rise of so much terrorism worldwide, and no way to stop it any time soon, the European Union is considering bringing back passport controlled borders. Depending on the tourist’s country of origin, in some cases, that might also include a needing visa. In some cases, it might just mean a photo ID. The Syrian refugeeContinue reading “The Smart Traveler: Look for Europe Border Changes”

Learning about the Indomitable Spirit of the Icelandic People

They say if you want to make God laugh tell him your plans. On the Overseas Adventure Travel trip, Untamed Iceland, we were not only on the road less traveled, but true to the OAT travel philosophy, we met locals who truly embodied the spirit of the harsh and unforgiving nature of the country. But they did so withContinue reading “Learning about the Indomitable Spirit of the Icelandic People”

Adventures of a Passionate Solo Traveler

They say if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. That has certainly been true during some of my travels, either independently or with a group, but always traveling solo. I’ve had a number of unplanned adventures during my travels which certainly added to the experience. Some were a bit scary, but allContinue reading “Adventures of a Passionate Solo Traveler”

Exploring the Many Faces of Istanbul

I explored Istanbul with Overseas Adventure Travel on their tour Turkey’s Magical Hideaways, and some on my own after the tour of Turkey and the Mediterranean concluded. I found the Istanbul portion of the tour to be a great orientation with a focus on historical and religious sites, but certainly not all that Istanbul hasContinue reading “Exploring the Many Faces of Istanbul”