Jim’s Journal

Vintage Cars in Havana, Cuba/iStock
Vintage Cars in Havana, Cuba/iStock

If you are seeking a Caribbean vacation with a serious dose of culture, then Cuba makes for a great getaway. And it’s never been more accessible, thanks to regularly scheduled flights from the U.S., which are expected to begin in the fall. My trip was amazing. For now, it’s still... Read More

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Jim's Journal: Ireland
Flickr/Phalinn Ooi

It is hard to believe, but despite taking numerous trips to the UK and Europe, I had never been to Ireland — and that needed to change. This New Year’s, rather than head to a sunny destination, where hotel prices and airfare were exorbitant, I decided to book an... Read More

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Vienna Austria Parliament

I traveled to Vienna this year to attend the Life Ball, the largest fundraiser for AIDS research in the world. The event is televised on Austrian TV and is notable for the procession of elaborately costumed partygoers walking the red carpet to the ornate City Hall. This year’s event... Read More

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Four Seasons Gresham Palace

I have been to Budapest several times and, on each visit, I adore staying at the Four Seasons Gresham Palace. In the off-season (winter, or shoulder season in fall or early spring), rates are quite reasonable relative to other 5-star properties in Paris, London, or New York City. (Think... Read More


Lots of American travelers make their way to Germany, and, in fact, it’s recently edged out France as our third most visited European destination, after the U.K. and Italy. The most popular German destinations include Berlin and Munich, but two delightful smaller cities to see Regensburg and Bamberg, both... Read More

Protaras, Cyprus/iStock

I like traveling to resort destinations that aren’t filled with Americans. It isn’t that I dislike American tourists. I just find it so much more interesting to meet people from other cultures — something I couldn’t do back home in the States. Cyprus, not a typical destination for Americans... Read More

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Adventure in Iceland

After spending five days in Iceland, I can’t understand what took me so long to visit. The country is a mere five-hour flight from New York (like flying to California) but it’s a world away in terms of the scale of its nature adventures. Iceland is truly an outdoor... Read More

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Limassol Cyprus Escape

When I began planning my trip to Cyprus, I didn’t have a good understanding of the island; few friends had been and I hadn’t read any travel stories about the destination. Naturally, some asked why I was going; well, I knew Cyprus was a popular vacation spot for Europeans... Read More

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Cartagena City Guide

Upon arrival in Cartagena, you’re immediately struck by the Caribbean feel of the city. The pastel colored low-rise buildings, high humidity, and infectious salsa music reminds you that this coastal enclave is very much part of the Caribbean. The old town of Cartagena, a walled city, is charming and... Read More

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Bogota, Colombia

The first thing I noticed when I arrived in Bogotá was how new, clean and organized its international airport is (I wish JFK were as pleasant). Around the capital city there are new buildings going up alongside gleaming office and apartment towers. Colombia is showing off a new face... Read More

Vista Grill

When I travel to a new destination, I always like to ask for advice and tips from my well-traveled friends who might have been to that place and probe for any suggestions before I get on the plane. And then, upon landing, I try to check those recommendations with... Read More

Garza Blanca Puerto Vallarta

I had never been to Puerto Vallarta, so I was very excited about the prospect of visiting over the New Year’s holiday. Coming from New York, it is, obviously, a longer trip than heading to the east coast of Mexico. However, it is worth the extra few hours of... Read More

St. Petersburg

Coming to St. Petersburg is a special treat for me since I was last here as a student 25 years ago, before the fall of communism. I wanted to return to see just how much the city had changed. Back then, the average person waited in line for several... Read More

Revolution Museum

It’s been 25 years since I was in Moscow, when I was a student of the Russian language. I wanted to return to see all the changes since the end of Communism. To start off with some context, nothing is better than a visit to The State Central Museum... Read More

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Grand Hotel Stockholm

I arrived in Stockholm for what would be the start of a seven-week journey through Europe. I figured I would start up north and make my way to warmer climates in the days ahead. Stockholm in summer is terrific because the days are long and the way the sun... Read More