callen60

Best travel tip:
"He who would travel happily must travel light." —Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Nothing makes a bad day worse than struggling to cart your possessions around. And nothing makes a great day better than waltzing off immediately when an opportunity pops up, unencumbered by stuff. Please remind me of this before my next trip.
Favorite travel quote:
"I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list."
—Susan Sontag
Favorite souvenir:
I stole an idea from my sister-in-law, and (almost) always pick up a scenic magnet from each destination. Our refrigerator is quickly filling, and the mosaic of beautiful sites keeps every journey a part of everyday life. And it also makes the next dental visit easier to bear when the appointment slip is tucked under the Grand Canyon.

Cantin2

Why I write for IgoUgo:
Since we’ve always been avid travelers, we were often great resource people for friends and family. I originally started writing reviews of timeshare exchanges that we had vacationed at for RCI. IgoUgo has broadened the base that I can now share with others. But to me, the most rewarding result is that I have become more observant when traveling, paying more attention to smaller details, and now I organize my pictures to tell a story. Re-reading my reviews at a later date allows me to recapture the enthusiasm that I have while vacationing. These journals and reviews remind me of the food that we enjoyed, the port that was so exciting, the hassle of taking too much luggage to Europe, the ambiance of skiing in Italy, etc., etc. It’s amazing how quickly the details fade. It gives me joy to hear that others are enjoying my journals—hopefully, these brief glimpses will encourage them to travel, answer some of their questions, give them a preview of their destination, and make planning their trip easier.
If money were no object, I’d go to:
My dream would be to own a residence aboard The World cruise ship. I would forever be waking in a different port—always during prime season and during the most festive of times. Should the urge strike to linger longer, I could explore for a few days and rejoin The World at its next port. Join me on my fantasy tour at www.aboardtheworld.com.
Favorite souvenir:
The fondest souvenirs that I cherish from my travels are the images etched in my mind, a few of which are: swimming for the first time in the clear-blue and warm Caribbean Sea...exhilarating; sunset on the beach at Caneel Bay overlooking the lights of St. Thomas...heavenly; watching fireworks at midnight on Bastille Day at the very crowded port of La Rochelle...exciting; being surrounded by a frightened herd of elephants while in an open jeep in Masai Mara...frightening; the first glimpse of Shanghai with all its lights and skyscrapers...energizing; entering the tombs of the pharaohs in the Valley of the Kings and Queens...eerie; approaching Istanbul at dusk on the deck of a cruise ship—the silhouettes of the minarets, the sounds of prayer, the color of the sky...inspirational. These memories will linger long after my traveling days are over.

hagnel2

Why I write for IgoUgo:
I have always liked to write and at the age of 16 began a daily journal. Contributing to IgoUgo gives me the opportunity to share my favorite travel experiences with others and hopefully assist in educating would-be travelers on the areas visited. I believe travel can contribute to world peace and understanding. The perpetual, unending excitement for me is meeting people from all walks of life and cultures and then sharing my experiences through my journals.
Favorite travel quote:
"If an ass goes a-traveling, he'll not come home a horse."
—Thomas Fuller
If money were no object, I’d go to:
All the places I've not yet been to and all the places I have been to and want to revisit. I have not been to India or Israel and so would like to watch the sun set over the Taj Mahal, walk the routes of holy men in Jerusalem, attend a tea ceremony in Japan. It would be a journey of new wonders and old joys: a peat fire in Ireland, sunsets in Australia, and fabulous food in France.

melissabowman

Why I write for IgoUgo:
I love the idea of real people giving their opinion and advice on places, not people that get paid to represent a certain picture. I like being able to give people an honest look at places I have been and in turn I enjoy the help from other people. I always do IgoUgo research on the place I am about to go; I look for things to avoid and also things that other people liked or enjoyed.
Worst travel mishap:
This past summer, my husband, my 3-year-old son, and I flew to Los Angeles, and there was a series of unfortunate events that took place. The airline was not at all helpful or understanding, and we were given three seats that were separated. None of the staff would help me or listen to me. Of course, upset and shaken, I was not going to let my son sit on a packed plane by himself! Once I got on the plane I was able to talk to a nice flight attendant who told me to take him to my seat with me.
If money were no object, I’d go to:
The South Pacific and New Zealand: all those little islands around there.

MilwVon

Why I write for IgoUgo:
Writing and photographing my travels allows me to give back to others with the desire that a community may exist. When I first came over to IgoUgo from the former RCI (Resorts Condominium International) Community, I used the site primarily to share photos from my timeshare vacations. Once an integrated member on IgoUgo, I realized the vast amount of resources here when planning travel to unfamiliar places. Now I view sharing my writing and photos as a way to give back, to expand the community.
Favorite travel memory:
There is no single favorite but those that I would consider as faves all include creating the opportunity for someone else to have a first-time experience. In the mid-1980s it was taking my sister and her young son on a business trip with me to see Niagara Falls...a few years back it was helping to make my mother-in-law's dream to see castles in England and Scotland come true...and just this past year taking my friend and her son with me to see the aurora borealis in Fairbanks, AK.
Why I believe travel is so important:
To be enriched by experiencing life as an active participant rather than just an observer of circumstances around us.

notso62

Worst travel mishap:
One of the most vivid memories from my childhood is being lost in Colonial Williamsburg when I was three years old. I remember asking a historically-dressed bookmaker if she had seen my Mommy. Several panicked-looking colonial people gathered around, but I perceived them as "scary strangers" and proceeded to run away—causing quite the ruckus in my wake. I finally ran back into the view of my mom, who didn't even realize I was missing since my dad was supposed to be watching me. I later learned his "watchfulness" would be blamed for the entire incident. There is a part of me that still thinks I would've been left in Williamsburg to be raised by historical figures if my dad had been a single parent. Thank goodness my care was typically left to my less-aloof mother.
If money were no object, I'd go to:
The moon! It's a shame that Russia is ending the space-tourist program before I had a chance to accumulate the $20 million necessary to hitch a ride up there.
Favorite souvenir:
My favorite souvenirs have all been eaten! On my last trip to Holland I found a fantastic candy shop in Eindhoven with all sorts of quirky candy. They had every imaginable gummy animal and marshmallow product on this earth. I purchased two marshmallow creations; one was in the form of a maniacal rabbit head, the other looked like a full-sized cake that was stuck together with icing and decorated with gummy candy. Once back home stateside, I had trouble justifying eating these marshmallows since they were so unique and I wanted to save them forever. I finally broke down and devoured them after I snapped a picture. The picture still lives on in my "Business trip to Eindhoven" journal.

onesundaymorning

Why I write for IgoUgo:
Writing for me has become a way to relive my travels. The journals also become a more personal and honest way to review a destination, which I have always thought was more helpful than generic descriptions found in travel books. Besides, everyone I know is so tired of my travel stories that I had to turn to IgoUgo to tell my tales.
Favorite travel memory:
Meeting the inspirational women who work with the RIDE program in rural India. Their struggles, stories, and amazing ability to overcome hardship have inspired me every day. There are no words to express how deeply they touched me and changed my views on how passion and perseverance can overcome the most impossible roadblock.
If money were no object, I’d go to:
I would do a second round on Semester at Sea, a floating university that sails around the world. My first trip was the most amazing 3½ months of my life, but if I got to do it a second time I would do it the right way (without the classes).

Red Mezz

Favorite travel memory:
It’s very difficult to choose just one favorite travel memory—though they almost always involve a quiet beach or a forgotten pathway. I love to find something that wasn't in the guidebooks, or a spot that it seems only the locals know about. But there is one that stands out rather nicely: sitting alone on a ferry from Maui to Lanai in Hawaii. It was just me and my bag and my camera and the insanely blue water and the islands opening up on the horizon around me. I was 19 at the time, and I was so at peace with the world in that moment that it just made me realize that travel and photography was something I wanted to devote my life to.
Worst travel mishap:
On the coast of Spain on a late December day, myself and my husband were hoofing up a local trail along the rocky coast in a rush to catch an incredible Mediterranean sunset. It was my fault, in many ways, as I was determined to catch the light before it slid beneath the sea. But we didn't notice the unsavory character who followed us to the top of the ridge and were then faced with a rather large knife and a demand for all of our stuff. It was the most frightening moment of my travels, but also ended as well as it could have done—and was a cheap lesson learned. I lost two cameras, but had the help of a lot of friendly locals and a very good local policeman. We managed to enjoy the rest of our stay and even had the added benefit of a very pleasant local finding some of our things that had been tossed in the woods and mailing them to us. We got back our journals and postcards, and so we left feeling pretty happy about the whole trip.
Why I believe travel is so important:
I do believe it is very important, as everyone needs to have a varied experience of the world to have a good opinion of where you are. Even if the knowledge you obtain is only that you love it better at home, it's something important to know. The more you get to experience of the world, the richer I feel it makes your life at home, and the easier it is to be open-minded to those around you—a very important trait to have.

travellingdave

Why I write for IgoUgo:
If there is even one person who can benefit from any of my writings on IgoUgo, I've done my job. It's important for me to inform my fellow travelers about my travel experiences, so that they are prepared before heading out. I've been to literally hundreds upon hundreds of hotels and restaurants during my past five years of uninterrupted travel, and I'm eager to share as much of that wealth of information as I can with the masses. That, and, of course, the rewards available via GO Points make this a much more enjoyable, user-friendly experience than other travel-review websites!
Why I believe travel is so important:
Travel is the perfect vehicle for understanding the world around you. The best way to learn about something is to experience it hands-on, not by reading a book, hearing about it from a friend, or daydreaming about it. Getting that backpack strapped on and heading out into the Great Unknown, experiencing its sights and sounds, meeting its people, and learning from its cultures—there is nothing more exhilarating or personally fulfilling to me. It's not just a diversion—it's a lifestyle. A lifelong lesson of learning about the world and its beauty, one country at a time. As St. Augustine wrote, "The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” How sad of a life that would be, to never experience this amazing planet and all of its wonders. It's not all paradise and sunshine to me—it's about working hard, roughing it when I have to, and doing whatever I need to do to maximize my exposure to the mysterious world that lays beyond my hometown. Learning from the world around me, and returning the favor, allowing visitors to learn from me—that's life in a nutshell, right there. Nothing can be more fulfilling than that.
Favorite souvenir:
I usually avoid the standard tourist souvenir stock that is peddled every which way—I know most of those items end up in the attic after a couple of years. Many of them have no meaning (most, even)—they're spur-of-the-moment bad decisions (stuffed killer-whale keychain from SeaWorld ring any bells?!). A couple of years ago, while visiting the floating islands of the Uros people in southern Peru, I skirted the souvenir stands, trying to politely decline every vendor that greeted me. For those who have been to Peru, you'll know how often vendors try to peddle their wares on the street to potential buyers. After a short boat ride, we arrived on the first reed island, greeted by a horde of smiling Peruvians. The children of the community ran up to each of us, placing a Peruvian necklace around our necks and thanking us for our visit. No money was asked for, which is rare in Peru. I realized how giving these floating people were, how generous they were giving me a lovely necklace, and how genuine they were in their sincere expression of thanking us for visiting.