Mail Call May 2018

- May 1, 2018

Q&A WITH ANGELIQUE PLATAS, ASSOCIATE EDITOR
With our May issue of Global Traveler being our 200th, it feels like reason to celebrate. Traveling for the sake of celebration has become one of my new favorite reasons to get away, especially since my girlfriends and I went away for a long weekend in Boston to celebrate my best friend’s bachelorette party.

Getting away for a change of scenery and some sightseeing is always a welcome opportunity, but the added celebratory aspect had me thinking: What occasion calls for a commemorative trip? Where would you like to travel for your next big life milestone?

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FEBRUARY Q&A WITH PATRICIA VANIKIOTIS
In the February 2018 issue, associate editor Patricia Vanikiotis talked about her New Year’s Eve tradition with friends on the Oregon coast. Her trip inspired the question: Do you find yourself returning over and over to a favorite destination, perhaps a family vacation spot or personal retreat? What was the original draw to the place, and what continues to call you back?

As creatures of habit, our family tends to revisit the same beaches in the summer. The comfort in familiarity makes the trip easier to plan and coordinate, but for the first time in years we are actually attempting a new destination this year for a family reunion to the Outer Banks in North Carolina.
Laurelee Wilson, via email

My sister and I try to go somewhere new together every year. Whether traveling abroad or domestic, a quick weekend or two weeks, we try to check off our bucket lists one destination at a time. Although we have a few favorite spots and always plan to revisit, our list seems too long to slow down for repeats just yet.
Rebecca Banks, via email

CONVENIENT AIRPORTS
In the March 20 issue of eFlyer USA we discussed what constitutes a convenient airport and listed the convenient airports in the United States. We mentioned Boston Logan International and its close proximity to downtown, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and its easy access to the National Mall, and San Diego International Airport’s less-than-three-mile distance from the popular Gaslamp Quarter and Convention Center.

A reader wrote in with a few more suggestions for travelers looking for convenience and easy access to downtown locales.

Louisville International Airport (SDF) Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) Baltimore–Washington International Airport (BWI)

All are very convenient to their downtown areas.
Tom Leach, via email

PROTEST TOURISM PHENOMENA
In our March 27 eFlyer USA, we discussed the growing trend of protest-inspired travel and the influx of tourism to Washington, D.C. Tourism seems to be growing with protests and peaceful group movements including International Women’s Day 2018 and, most recently, March For Our Lives.

While I unintentionally witnessed protests traveling abroad in Italy and at home, post-election 2016 in New York City, I never intentionally traveled to the site of a protest. However, I do see the appeal. The energy surrounding a protest is palpable and truly one to remember, especially for a cause you believe in.
Carla Dowell, via email

A TRAVEL WARNING
In our November 2017 issue of Global Traveler, our team of frequent travelers discussed our favorite travel memories, vacation tips, business travel advice and everything in between. One GT staff member advised travelers to keep personal belongings and important documents in just one or two places to easily keep track of everything.

My profession is on the broadcast/cable side of the business where I’ve been lucky to earn United’s 2 Million Miler and Lifetime Platinum status with Marriott, among several other similar “flavors” in loyalty programs. Despite such experience, in taking a year off almost two decades ago, I was the victim of a pickpocket at Central Station in Copenhagen. At the time, half the platforms were undergoing remodeling, making for increased crowds on the ones functioning. Also at the time, before the amazing Øresundsbron was built connecting Denmark with Sweden, only one or two trains went directly onto ferries for the trip across to Sweden without switching trains, taking a short ferry ride in between. That made it a crowded train and one filled with tourists.

I knew within seconds I was missing my wallet, which had been in a front pocket, and from the train the conductor let me use his phone. I called and canceled the few credit cards and a bank ATM card. Replacements were sent within days and, in leaving Denmark, I used up every krone in paying for my hotel stay. But my luck was my Eurail ticket was in one jacket pocket (buttoned), my passport in another, with the lifted wallet in my trousers. Had everything been in one place my situation would be far less positive to recall.

In a funny-how-things-work-out way, the police report I filed at my next stop, Göteborg, Sweden — I needed to pick up a car rental later in England, having then documented my driver’s license from a photocopy I carried in my luggage and certified by the police — came in handy years later, in 2010, when I moved for three years to Munich. I was coming from San Francisco, but Germany did not offer reciprocal driver’s licenses to people from a few U.S. states, California and Florida among them. I had, however, lived in many other states, all of which had reciprocal licenses; it was just my bad timing to come from California.

First I got an identification card from Colorado, where I had lived three times previously and now live again — not a driver’s license itself, though it did have my former license number on it. However, that Göteborg Police report showed that same Colorado number and, short-story-long, the German authorities accepted it and I got my driver’s license (good for my lifetime, in fact). Had I not filed the report 12 years earlier, the classes and lessons one has to take for a German license would have probably taken longer than my three-year stay.

But while that becomes an interesting ironic postscript to the pickpocketing incident, I wanted to share the main part of that story in the hope you’ll never encounter anything remotely like losing anything of value while traveling — but if you were to, perhaps your loss would be minimized.

Love the magazine (and emails), and I’ll spare you stories about crime from my next residency after Germany: São Paulo, Brazil, another three years, and not the place most people imagine, though like everywhere, it has much to offer the cautious tourist and traveler.
Jim Seifert, via email

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