FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

GT Celebrates 175 Issues

by Kimberly Inlander

Oct 1, 2016

When the first issue of Global Traveler debuted in February 2004, it was hard to imagine what was in store for the publication 25, 50 or 75 issues later, much less 175 issues post-debut. But today, 175 is a reality celebrated with this issue.

Over the past 175 issues and almost 13 years, Global Traveler has come a long way. And we continue to change — with a complete redesign of our print publication debuting in 2017.

We’ve also made strides on the digital end — globaltravelerusa.com launches a completely new look this month, and trazeetravel.com continues to grow, as do all our e-newsletters.

What’s next? Where will you be when we publish our 350th issue? We hope you enjoy the ride with us as we continue to deliver all the information you need to travel in style!


This month, we thought it would be fun to let our readers learn more about the faces and personalities behind the magazine.

TRACEY CULLEN, art director
Favorite GT memory: When I interviewed for my position (almost nine years ago), I sat in a small room with my future bosses. Instead of grilling me, they spent most of their time telling me all about this great publication they created from the ground up. They had so much pride in this company, this magazine, their baby. I just knew I had to be a part of Global Traveler.
Funniest memory from a GT business trip: I went to a spa in order to write an article for GT. When my massage was done, I went to retrieve my robe, but it was nowhere to be found. I had to wrap myself in the sheet from the massage table and go into the hall to flag down the massage therapist, who was embarrassed she forgot my robe in the warmer.
Most memorable hotel stay/specific amenity: I love entering my guestroom at The Peninsula Beverly Hills and seeing my initials embroidered on the pillowcase. Such a small touch, but it always makes me smile.
Favorite place you’ve visited on business: Ireland
Little-known fact about yourself: I own a boat and a vacation home on a lake, but I can’t swim.
Favorite destination in the world: Aruba
Bucket-list destination or experience: I would love to see sloths in Costa Rica or sea lions on the Galápagos Islands.
Where will you travel next? Someplace tropical this winter, possibly the Dominican Republic
Craziest food you’ve eaten: Fried alligator
Final thoughts on GT: I think everyone who works at GT has great pride in this company. We all work hard to help GT grow and maintain the superior quality we are known for.

RICHARD EVANS, senior vice president
Favorite GT memory: Champagne lunches in the early days
Funniest memory from a GT business trip: A high-speed taxi ride from Cologne Airport to Düsseldorf Airport after missing getting off the ICE train at Düsseldorf. The train’s PA system was not effective and the station announcement was in German, so we only understood what was happening as the train pulled out for Cologne. Once we got to the Cologne Airport, we grabbed a taxi and screamed “Düsseldorf Flughaven, schnell!” We made our flight! The cabbie got a nice tip.
Most memorable hotel stay/specific amenity: The Goring in London is like being in the private London home of a peer.
Favorite place you’ve visited on business: London
How do you spend your time on board? Reading, catching up on movies and some work
Little-known fact about yourself: I like Good & Plenty candy.
First job: Mowing a neighbor’s lawn
Favorite destination in the world: Paris
Bucket-list destination or experience: Cape Town
Where will you travel next? Chicago, a favorite destination in the United States
Craziest adventure activity you’ve done: It’s not crazy, but it was a phenomenal experience, and that was a horseback-riding safari in the Masai Mara in Kenya. It was a lifetime adventure trip.
Final thoughts on GT: I’ve been with GT from the beginning, and I am constantly amazed at how we have grown as a magazine and added new products and employees.

OLIVIA FALCIONE, sales and marketing manager
Favorite GT memory: During our time in California for our 2016 Leisure Lifestyle Awards, we had the opportunity to dine at the exclusive Club 33 in Disneyland. (Thanks to a generous Globility Board member!)
Funniest memory from a GT business trip: Our luggage did not arrive after a non-stop flight from Philadelphia (PHL) to Miami (MIA). GT’s editor in chief, Kimberly Krol, and I had to shop for business attire at a local Target the morning of a day filled with business meetings. Although stressful at the time, we laugh about it now.
Most memorable hotel stay/specific amenity: The Setai Miami/personalized toiletries at The Fairmont Dallas Favorite place you’ve visited on business: Dubai
How do you spend your time on board? For business, writing emails or creating proposals
Little-known fact about yourself: In November I became a mom for the first time.
First job: Party motivator/dancer for bar and bat mitzvahs
Favorite destination in the world: Italy
Bucket-list destination or experience: South Africa
Where will you travel next? Mexico
Craziest adventure activity you’ve done: Sledding down the Swiss Alps — I did a front flip over the sled and almost off the mountain.

Favorite GT memory: Our five-year anniversary party at the Renaissance Hotel overlooking Times Square — it was a wonderful time and certainly something to celebrate.
Funniest memory from a GT business trip: There are so many, but a trip to Abu Dhabi with GT Advisory Board member Wayne Tallman was special — all top-end with golf and great times.
Most memorable hotel stay/specific amenity: When the Taj in Delhi replaced my nearly empty tube of toothpaste with the same brand and left me a kind note.
Favorite place you’ve visited on business: Cairo, Egypt, during a conference. A bunch of us got up around 4 a.m. and rode horses at the pyramids. I negotiated the price so low they almost rejected us all.
How do you spend your time on board? Writing my articles, reading and responding to emails, watching movies and sleeping on long flights
Little-known fact about yourself: I am an open book.
First job: I drove a Jack & Jill ice cream truck in South Philadelphia, which is full of one-way streets. Make sure you give the right change, or else!
Favorite destination in the world: Egypt and South Africa
Bucket-list destination or experience: Nairobi and a safari in Kenya
Where will you travel next? Madeira
Craziest food you’ve eaten: I had some memorable dishes in South Korea on Jeju Island.
Final thoughts on GT: Like our readers, the team at GT is persistent and goal-focused; this is what has resulted in much of our success.

JANICE HECHT, senior editor
How do you spend your time on board? I catch up on reading fiction and watching movies.
Little-known fact about yourself: I have been legally blind since age 19, and that summer I left college for two years to travel, including backpacking through Europe.
First job: My first real job was managing the wallpaper department of a local family-owned paint and wallpaper store.
Favorite destination in the world: The Loire Valley in France, for the châteaux, wine and sunflower fields; St.-Martin for the French-Caribbean food, friendly people and tranquil beaches.
Bucket-list destination or experience: Two journeys: Take a river cruise and travel cross-country by train.
Final thoughts on GT: As senior editor, every day I get to “travel” to new destinations and learn about the world’s people, cultures, trends, history and geography through the contributions of our amazing writers. And I love that the magazine is always a work in progress. It’s exciting to be part of a creative team of people who are dedicated to making the magazine the best it can be — and have fun in the process.

RAFIE IANNELLO, account director, Pacific Rim
Favorite GT memory: Singing karaoke and playing the piano in Taipei with the China Airlines team — Ganbei!
Funniest memory from a GT business trip: While in Korea this summer, a cab driver asked me to take a selfie on his phone. He thought I was an American model or celebrity and it was an honor for me to be in his cab. I politely declined the selfie.
Most memorable hotel stay/specific amenity: The St. Regis Singapore’s butler service
Favorite place you’ve visited on business: Singapore
How do you spend your time on board? Sleeping, watching movies, reading and planning out my future goals and to-do lists
First job: Hostess at a restaurant
Favorite destination in the world: Hawai’i
Bucket-list destination or experience: The Maldives
Where will you travel next? Aspen
Craziest adventure activity you’ve done: Waterfall rappelling in Costa Rica

AKHIL KALEPU, digital coordinator
First job: CVS Pharmacy
Favorite place you’ve visited on business: Los Angeles
Most memorable hotel stay/ specific amenity: Andaz West Hollywood painted the windows with lyrics from “Light My Fire” by my favorite band, The Doors.
Favorite destination in the world: Mumbai
Bucket-list destination or experience: Tour of East Asia

KIMBERLY KROL, editor in chief
Favorite GT memory: I have so many, as I’ve been lucky enough to travel the globe, but my top three would be hiking the sand dunes of the Liwa Desert at sunrise in Abu Dhabi; witnessing the bull runs in Pamplona; and floating in the Dead Sea while reading an issue of GT, of course!
Funniest memory from a GT business trip: Olivia Falcione and I got stuck with the last rental car available and drove around Dallas in a bright yellow Mustang.
Most memorable hotel stay/specific amenity: Entering my huge suite at The Peninsula New York to find cupcakes decorated with the GT cover
Favorite place you’ve visited on business: Israel
How do you spend your time on board? Working, catching up on movies and shows
First job: I was a counter girl at a bakery in high school, going to work at 6 a.m. on the weekends.
Favorite destination in the world: London, Spain or Israel
Bucket-list destination or experience: An African safari
Craziest food you’ve eaten: I sought out durian in Singapore because I couldn’t believe anything could taste as bad as that smelled, but I found out it could.

JENNA PAYESKO, advertising and editorial coordinator
First job: Global Traveler!
Favorite destination in the world: Oranjestad, Aruba
Bucket-list destination or experience: To travel to Thailand and ride the elephants — cliché, I know
Craziest food you’ve eaten or adventure activity you’ve done: Rattlesnake soup in Sedona, Ariz., after riding the Diamondback Gulch Pink Jeep Tour
Little-known fact about yourself: I received my black belt in taekwondo at age 9.

ANGELIQUE PLATAS, digital coordinator and account executive
Favorite GT memory: On my first trip with the company, for the Leisure Lifestyle Awards in California, a Globility Board member treated the team to dinner at Club 33. The members-only club in Disneyland is an experience I will never forget and one I would never have had without being a part of GT.
Favorite destination in the world: My favorite destination so far is Venice, Italy, with Positano a close second.
Bucket-list destination or experience: Currently on the top of my bucket list are going on safari in Africa; staying at Giraffe Manor in Nairobi, Kenya; and taking a castle tour in Romania.
Where will you travel next? I hope I will get the chance to visit Spain, Ireland and Scotland on my next few trips abroad. Stateside, I would love to get to Zion National Park in Utah.

HOLLY RIDDLE, assistant editor
How do you spend your time on board? I always ensure I have plenty of pre-downloaded content available in case of a poor WiFi connection on board. I like to spend my time zoning out with whatever Amazon Prime show I happen to be into at the time before it’s back to the hustle and bustle below.
First job: In high school I had a seasonal gig answering phones at a local radio station. I consider that my first real job, as it was the first paycheck I earned outside of working at my parents’ shop and deli.
Bucket-list destination or experience: Zipline in the Costa Rican rainforest, go polar bear watching in Alaska and see the early Viking settlements in Greenland, just to name a few.
Craziest food you’ve eaten or adventure activity you’ve done: While in Peru I enjoyed a tasty alpaca burger and climbed the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, not an easy task for someone with an extreme fear of heights.

KATIE SKRZEK, vice president/digital director
Favorite GT memory: Attending my first GT Tested Reader Survey awards gala; it was also my first time at The Peninsula Beverly Hills. Between the excitement of the awards, the festive holiday decorations at the property and meeting some cast members from The Office, it was a memorable experience.
Funniest memory from a GT business trip: The female GT staff running into Courtney Love in the women’s restroom at The Palm in Beverly Hills — then later asking a waiter to take our picture with her
Most memorable hotel stay/amenity: Spending my honeymoon in an overwater bungalow at the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
Favorite place you’ve visited on business: My first trip at GT was to Iceland. I was so blown away by the unique beauty of the country. It’s still my favorite place I’ve ever traveled.
How do you spend your time on board? Depending on the length of the flight, a combination of reading, working, catching up on movies and sleeping
Craziest food you’ve eaten: In Iceland I sampled the infamous fermented shark. While I’m glad I can say I tried it, it’s an experience I wouldn’t repeat.

JEFF SOHINKI, director of sales and marketing
Favorite GT memory: The Leisure Lifestyle Awards in Beverly Hills; I loved meeting so many of our clients in person.
Funniest memory from a GT business trip: Watching Francis X. Gallagher get a pedicure in Manassas at the GT staff retreat
Most memorable hotel stay/specific amenity: The Viceroy L’Ermitage in Los Angeles
Favorite place you’ve visited on business: Helsinki, Finland
How do you spend your time on board? Reading and sleeping on long flights (not always and not well)
Little-known fact about yourself: As a kid, I thought I’d be a veterinarian.
First job: In broadcasting, I was a “human interest” reporter for a TV station in Bangor, Maine.
Bucket-list destination or experience: If not the Cook Islands, some place just like it
Where will you travel next? It’s GT … I wish I knew.
Craziest food you’ve eaten: A chocolate-covered grasshopper, and the chocolate didn’t help.
Final thoughts on GT: Great team, very driven to succeed. They’re the very best kind of co-workers; they’re problem solvers and have transcended their roles to become trusted advisers for our clients.

PATRICIA VANIKIOTIS, associate editor/copy editor
Favorite GT memory: Staff dinner in Los Angeles prior to the 10th GT Tested awards in 2013 with special guest Terry Waite
Most memorable hotel stay/specific amenity: The Langham, Auckland: Everything was top-notch, from the room to the on-site facilities, nightly pillow gifts, location and friendly, outstanding service.
Favorite place you’ve visited on business: Auckland, New Zealand
How do you spend your time on board? Reading or watching movies, enjoying the time to unplug from the phone and computer
Little-known fact about yourself: I summitted Mt. Adams in Washington state as a teenager.
First job: Counter girl at Dairy Queen. I can still execute a perfect soft-serve curl!
Favorite destination in the world: Italy (especially the small hill towns)
Bucket-list destination or experience: Viewing the Northern Lights in Iceland
Where will you travel next? Eastern and Western Caribbean
Craziest food you’ve eaten: Rocky Mountain oysters
Final thoughts on GT: I have truly relished the past eight-plus years working for Global Traveler. The experience expanded my perspective on the world while surrounding me with a close-knit, supportive and extremely bright and engaged work “family.”

JOHN WROBLEWSKI, distribution specialist
First job: My first job was as an usher at Chicago Bears games. As a teenage Bears fan, it really didn’t get much better. My first adult job was as a newspaper ad representative, which is only notable because I met GT publisher Francis X. Gallagher there.
Favorite GT memory: The annual GT awards event with actor Patrick Warburton as the guest of honor. One of my favorites, Warburton spent all evening among us, trading stories and laughs.
Favorite place you’ve visited on business: I’ve been to many great places on business, but I’d have to pick New York as my favorite spot. There’s so much great history, architecture and food. There’s something for everyone. You can be in the middle of Times Square, find a quiet spot in Central Park or anything in between.
Bucket-list destination or experience: Attending a Billy Joel concert at Madison Square Garden
Where will you travel next? My family is going to Las Vegas in the fall — NFL football on Sunday, a couple of shows sometime, Pai Gow in between.
Final thought on GT: It might be cliché, but I truly cherish the friendships and memories I have with my GT colleagues.

BANU YILMAZ, advertising director
Most memorable hotel stay/specific amenity: Four Seasons Lisbon … all I had to do was let the hotel know one of my heels had fallen off. Within 24 hours, it was back to me, fixed.
How do you spend your time on board? Movies or sleep
First job: Working at my uncle’s retail store selling ballet, tap, jazz shoes and dance clothes in Roswell, Ga.
Favorite destination in the world: İstanbul
Bucket-list destination or experience: Bora Bora/skydiving
Where will you travel next? Montréal
Craziest food you’ve eaten: Fried grasshoppers, horse tenderloin, reindeer burger

GT’s valued partners (and friends) share their thoughts on our milestone.

Global Traveler magazine is a valuable source to reach the business and luxury traveler from the United States to overseas destinations. They are true fans of Ethiopian Airlines and destinations beyond those that are common. Ethiopian Airlines supported Global Traveler in the early days and continues to believe in the publication’s value. Congratulations on GT’s 175th issue!
— NIGUSU WORKU, regional director, sales and services USA, Ethiopian Airlines

Congratulations to the GT team! Hard to believe that it has been 12 years since its launch. You have managed to stay relevant in a very competitive industry and continue to bring valuable insight to the readers. It is great to have been there at its inception, and I hope to continue to grow our relationship for the future.
— CHEMA ALVARADO, director of sales, oneworld

Since its inception, Global Traveler has offered readers content that educates, inspires and ignites our passions for travel. We appreciate the recognition and awards the magazine’s readers have given United and MileagePlus over the years, and we look forward to a continued partnership marked by a commitment United and Global Traveler share — to serve our customers with excitement, innovation and passion to be the best.
— TOM O’TOOLE, president, MileagePlus and senior vice president, United Airlines

Fiesta Americana has been a proud partner of Global Traveler for many years, and it is because of this partnership we are able to share our collection of renowned hospitality brands with an exclusive, world-wide audience of executive business and luxury travelers. The informative features, editorial coverage of signature destinations and timely insights are of the utmost value to your readership and our guests. Congratulations, Global Traveler, on your 175th issue.
— RAFAEL LIZARRAGA, vice president, Grupo Posadas

Congratulations to publisher/CEO Francis X. Gallagher and his team on the 175th edition of Global Traveler. Tourism Ireland has been featured, both editorially and through advertising, within the pages of this magazine since its inception. Our presence in the magazine has allowed us to reach a large number of discerning travelers and has prompted many to make the journey to discover the wonders of Ireland. All of us at Tourism Ireland wish you continued success, and we look forward to welcoming many more of your readers.
—ALISON METCALFE, executive vice president, USA & Canada, Tourism Ireland

At J.P. Morgan Chase, we value the readership of Global Traveler and congratulate the staff and management on their monumental 175th. Kimberly Krol, editor in chief, Richard T. Evans, senior vice president, and Francis X. Gallagher, CEO, know and understand the pluses of having our cards. The Chase Marriott Rewards Card and J.P. Morgan Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card offer our travelers valuable points to reward benefits and have been recognized year and year by GT readers. May you have many more 175s!
— VIBHAT X. NAIR, general manager, JP Morgan Chase


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FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

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