World Traveler Shares His Favorite Places

TRAVEL TIME

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Let us imagine that your Uncle Clem, who you haven't seen in 23 years, dies and leaves you $10 million. If you're like the folks who are lucky enough to find themselves suddenly wealthy, you just might begin to think of what you are going to do with some of it.

Of course, you'll pay down your credit cards, pay off the car and house, probably quit your tired job and perhaps think about seeing some of the world.

My first recommendation would be to book a round-the-world cruise. You would live well in your spacious suite for three or more months while you are waited on hand and foot. Caution: don't gain too much weight on the gourmet food. It's bad for your health.

A round-the-world cruise usually begins early January. There are five or six ships making these voyages each year. Some head west out of New York and others will sail east for the circumnavigation of the globe.

These cruises usually offer 30 or more stops for sightseeing. And, some even stay in some of the ports of call up to four and five days to permit passengers to venture inland to marvelous, unforgettable sights. When you return home you can then decide where you would like to revisit and spend more time.

I have been fortunate enough to visit more than 100 countries. Some of the places I recommend not missing (remember, you have inherited $10 million) would include the wonders of ancient Egypt. You'll want to do this in the winter when it's cooler and you can walk through the antiquities and ponder the greatness of these former civilizations.

A cruise down the Nile is the best way to visit Luxor and the Valley of the Kings.

Other great sights are the temples of Angkor Wat and Angkor Tom in northern Cambodia. These finely crafted edifices are filled with carvings on the walls depicting the civilization of the Khmers in the 14th century.

Then, there is great art, scenery, food and music to be found in the northern Mediterranean area of Italy and Greece. I'll never tire of the towns and cities with so much to offer as well as the riches of the countryside. Another must.

My experience in East Africa has left me with many fond memories. You don't go here to hunt anymore, but you can still "hunt" with a camera.

You drive off the road in rugged vans with partially open roofs to find wildlife. Once, I saw more than a half-million animals grazing on the high plains in the Masi Mara. Unforgettable! Or, perhaps you might take a balloon ride around Mt. Kilimanjaro -- the tallest mountain in Africa. The game parks are exciting and stays at the camps can be fun.

The islands in the South Pacific are some of the most beautiful tropical sights you will find anywhere. I like the Society Islands of Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora. Here you can stay in rooms built over the water with glass bottoms so you can view the fish swimming beneath you. Strange at first, but wondrous.

New Zealand has more recently come into prominence and rightfully so. It sits to itself -- 1,000 miles east of Australia and north of Antarctica. The North and South Islands hold many interesting sights with nice people to meet and talk with.

The Bay of Islands is relaxing on the North Island and don't miss the Southern Alps with Mt. Cook, and a sail through Milford Sound on the South Island. You'll never forget it.

I will always recommend visiting the southern portion of Argentina. You can fly into San Carlos de Bariloche, which is reminiscent of Switzerland and located in the Argentinian Lake District. Winter sports abound here as well as summer fishing in the lakes of both Argentina and Chile. It is reminiscent of the Canadian Rockies. And, while you're this far south, take a passenger ship through the Strait of Magellan.

This is almost at the tip of South America.

It looks much like the Inland Passage of Alaska but with even more glaciers flowing into the sea from jagged tall mountains. You'll probably even see penguins along the shoreline.

Closer to home is the grandeur of the Canadian Rockies. There are tourist trains that will take you through this part of Canada scheduling the best scenery in the daytime. The train stops at night. You won't miss any of what some call God's Country.

We can't forget the wonder in our own backyard -- the Grand Canyon. Here, you'll want to stay at El Tovar Lodge situated on the South Rim.

It is 100 years old, marvelously re-furbished and serves well-prepared food in the dining room.

I'm sure I have forgotten places that stand out. I'm thinking now of Kyoto in Japan, Bangkok, Thailand and so many more. Enjoy your travels.

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