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I learned to love traveling growing up and have never outgrown it. My parents enjoyed traveling and we covered much of the country east of the Mississippi before I was 12 years old. We had been to Canada and drove from Ohio to the Hemisfair in San Antonio where I got my first taste of the "west". For our honeymoon, we added 18 states to the list of 28 states that I had traveled in. I added three more (including Alaska) while I was in the Air Force - leaving only Hawaii. By 1984, I had been in every state at least three times, and in nine of the Canadian Provinces (which hardly qualify as a "foreign country" - except for Quebec). 

Subsequently, I traveled extensively in Mexico and Europe, and made it around the world in 1994. I have visited Australia and New Zealand, India and Nepal, Hong Kong and China, and Egypt and Saudi Arabia, among others. Based upon these experiences, I offer these opinions:

Favorite Country: USA (even adjusting for bias). We bring together diverse and accessible scenic beauty with good facilities (especially roads) and fairly friendly people. Our laws are enforced pretty fairly and predictably, our health standards are high, and we keep things rather tidy. While not "cheap", we offer a good value and high rate of return.

Favorite City: Sydney (with a close second to Vancouver, BC). I'm not a big fan of big cities, but you just have to love Sydney Australia: charming, modern, clean, well organized, friendly, and just gorgeous. Pretty much the same with Vancouver - only it's much easier to get to.

Most Beautiful Country: I'll say Canada, although the US is probably just as beautiful and has greater diversity of beauty (especially when you add Hawaii and Alaska). But I like snow, mountains, and pristine coastlines and Canada has both in abundance and splendor. In Canada, it's easy to enjoy the beauty without so much pressure from people and commerce. Besides, if you don't find Canadians beautiful, you're looking for the wrong things.

Favorite Place: Sikkim (India). There are more than a few "magical" places I've encountered, but none combine the beauty, charm, hospitality, adventure, and spirituality of Sikkim, the small state in northeast India. With awesome mountains (including Kangchenjunga's five peaks above 27,000' and the 3rd highest in the world at 28,169'), raging mountain rivers, and diverse vegetation (sub-tropical to high alpine), Sikkim is a scenic wonder. But its real magic arises from its people: a peaceful, honest, spiritual collection who have set themselves apart from much of what corrupts most. 

File:Gurudongmar pano amit mitra.jpg

Click here to see my list of the Ten Places I recommend.

Click here for my list of top ten travel disappointments.


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"A perfection of means and a confusion of aims seems to be our main problem." (A.E.)