01/18/2011 | | Travel Writer | Travel

Imagine bathing outdoors on a pitch-dark winter’s afternoon, under the vast expanse of a velvet-black sky punctuated with milky white stars.

01/11/2011 | | Travel Writer | Travel

Aruba: just say it. Those three vowelly syllables have a jewel-like ring, a Latin lilt. The sound rises and falls like a gentle wave on the shore.

01/04/2011 | | Travel Writer | Travel

Where will you travel in 2011? It’s a juicy thought that inspires endless midwinter reverie, and never more so than during a week of waist-high snow drifts and slushy intersections. At times like these, I dream about places where holiday lights coil around palm trees.

12/28/2010 | | Travel Writer | Travel

I was in Barcelona, dropping by a friend’s shared apartment, when it started up. “I’ve been so busy here, I haven’t even had time to go shopping!” I laughed, and was met with this teasing response from my friend’s housemate — a Bulgarian cellist I barely knew. “No shopping? Why, for you, that must be as unthinkable as not building settlements would be for an Israeli!”

12/21/2010 | | Travel Writer | Travel

Wintertime in Florida? Why, that’s so old school. Haven’t you heard that the hottest trend is off-season travel?

Make that the coldest trend. As yesterday’s summer resorts have morphed into year-round weekend destinations, beach towns from Cape Cod to Hilton Head have quietly developed a 12-month-long scene. Increasingly, people are willing to sacrifice an August dip in the ocean for a soulful, solitary beach in February — and a chance to spot wildlife that isn’t toting a keg.

12/14/2010 | | Travel Writer | Travel

Years ago, I found myself studying German at the Berlitz school in Rockefeller Center. My classmates were a fascinating lot: international business people, Austrian Airline workers, diplomats and their significant others, all learning German for love or money.

They were also a well-traveled lot, so one day when the teacher was late, the conversation fell to favorite travel destinations. Would the consensus be Paris, Italy, Hawaii? Not even close: to a one, they all replied, “Cape Town, South Africa.”