Category Archives: Editorials
Even though, for the moment, I am more than happy with the chilly weather in New York City, it won’t be long before I start wanting to escape to the beach again.
My list of favorite beach destinations is getting longer and recently I added another favorite: Anguilla.
Anguilla is a British island in the Caribbean. With a population of a little over 15,000, this is the kind of place where people really know each other, and if you visit enough times, will really get to know you as well. It is friendly and welcoming. During my visit, I had the opportunity to really experience the people, but most importantly, the food.
I did my best to eat as much as I could while in Anguilla (because, you know, research) and discovered some pretty great spots along the way. Because it’s not a very big island, with enough planning you too can eat you way through Anguilla and see why it has become one of the most celebrated culinary destinations in the Caribbean.
This month marks my 5th year as a blogger.
Five years. In blogging life, I suppose, that’s nothing. Especially when you think about how many people have been doing it for decades and decades. For me it feels as if time has flown by, except so much has changed and I along with it.
I think back at my very first post and though it is way longer than most of my posts today, written in the third person, and focused heavily on my adjusting to a new life as a stay-at-home mom, it still has elements felt in my blog today: I felt the desire to share what my neighborhood was like, what it had to offer, and what I loved about. It touched on my unease with the changing face of New York City, the gentrification of the same, and my inability to reconcile with it. And it touched on how out-of-place I felt in my new role when compared to others – though I was still very much trying to embrace it.
During my travels I try to point out to my kids the areas outside of our lovely hotels and comfortable stays that represent the reality of many of the people who live and work in the places we visit – not as something to feel sorry for or stare at, but as something to be aware of and remember when they look at their comfortable life.
Not having a lot at times in my life really helped to give me a good sense of the world and of myself. I enjoy the things I have more. I appreciate every detail that helped to reward our work and offer us the life we have, not just in material things, but in the affection and warmth of our family.
buildOn is a non-profit organization that has worked tirelessly for over 20 years in mobilizing rural villages in some of the poorest countries in the world to build more than 500 schools. To date, buildOn has completed nearly 200 schools in the region, with more than 24,000 children attending buildOn schools in Mali on an annual basis. What I love about this organization is that, although we are focusing on a building project in Mali, buildOn donates a lot of time and effort to our own urban neighborhoods in need of support and help, such as Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, and more.
This past year in travel has been really great in opportunities to explore several Caribbean islands. A Caribbean vacation offers a lot of what we expect, such as sandy beaches and warm ocean waters, but because no two islands are ever the same, interacting with locals and exploring the scenes always leads a new adventures and experiences.
As the weather gets chillier, more of us are daydreaming of getting away and enjoying all the warmth the Caribbean has to offer, making this a peak season for Caribbean travel. But before you start worrying about the costs, you will be excited to know that Starwood Hotels and Resorts has launched its Cyber Monday sale running today through December 6, 2013!
I love photographing people when I travel. I am also very sensitive to doing so, in great part because having grown up in a touristy Caribbean destination for a portion of my life, I know what it is like to have someone aim their camera at you as if you were an animal in the wild.
My friend and photographer Lola Akinmade often discusses the topic of ethics when photographing people in your travels, and I really do hope you will give her a read and take pause before pointing your camera at strangers when on the road.
All the being said, I love the opportunity to photograph someone when I travel. People can be so beautiful and a photo gives a human face to the overall environment and destination. But also, it’s the perfect ice breaker. A wonderful way to sort of just say hello, without it being too weird. What I have started to enjoy even more though, is the moment when I ask them to smile.
It’s actually all my fault – or so my wife Carol Cain, aka Girl Gone Travel likes to say.
I had always told her that she should have a radio talk show or write a book due to her ability to re-frame seemingly insurmountable problems in a way that would make immediate sense to the person whom they concerned – and she’s always been a great storyteller.
Alas, it’s not easy to get a job as a radio talk show host and getting a book deal, well, we all know how easy that can be.
I remember the first time I took a plane ride with my children. It was so awful and so stressful, that we switched to traveling by car – even cross-country.
We were lucky, because though our first family travel experience was not a great one, we never gave up. The ability to juggle and balance and manage it all requires more thought than traveling solo because you have to consider almost everyone in the process, not just your kids, but everyone else around them. It can be hard and it can be discouraging, a reason why many people wouldn’t even think of traveling with their family.
Recently I was invited to check out the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. So confident were their representatives of the fuel efficiency of the vehicle that they encouraged me to travel to any notable Fall foliage destination in the East Coast where I could both enjoy the benefits of the ride as well as the views. And so we did, on a trip to Lake Placid.
Lake Placid, in the Adirondacks, is one of those places in New York state that always show us something new every time we have been there. Visitors tend to flock to the area during the winter for skiing, but there’s always something to do, even in those in between seasons like Fall.
It’s a little rainy and cloudy in NYC today. In some places, rainy and cloudy means having to find shelter and warmth, but for a lot of us it’s another excuse to go outside, get wet, and endure the chill for all the awesome the city offers when covered in gray. If you are in the city and it starts to rain, just put on a hat (umbrellas are so not New York) and take it in.
You might get soaked. But you won’t regret it. It might also be one of the most romantic things you can do in the city.