Tag Archives: travel

Meet Dr. J, M.L.T.S.’s New Contributing Travel Editor

I’m Dr. J (I actually have a PhD in adult education) — as I’m known to my advice-seeking friends — and I grew up to be one insufferable travel junkie. To date I’ve visited 102 countries, lived in eight — Canada, Nigeria, China, New Zealand, Australia, Morocco, Chile and Argentina — and hold passports in three.

My usual formula is to hunker down in a spot, use it as a base and get to know the locals. This embracing let’s-see-what-happens-next approach led to my becoming a princess in Nigeria, a godmother in China and a full-time writer/editor in Chile.

As I get older, however, my attention span for any one place is atrophying. It could be that I am becoming increasingly eccentric and want to see as many places as possible. Then again, it could be some sort of neurotic disorder. Either way, I really don’t care as the only things I collect is passport stamp after passport stamp. Space is a major consideration for me and I make sure everything I own fits into one suitcase, a carry-on and a diaper bag (more on that in another post). Nothing in storage for this bag-lady.

Returning to the topic of age, I turned 30 in Nigeria, 40 in Ethiopia and 50 in Mali. Although I invited over 500 people to my 50th in Timbuktu, only one showed up. What does that say about my social network?  Wimps!

I’m about to celebrate my 60th birthday at Victoria Falls, Zambia on January 24th, 2013. And, of course, you are all invited. After the sparse attendance at my 50th, the list of attendees has already sky-rocketed to five at this natural-wonder-of-the-world, so you will be in good company.

When I head out to southern Africa at the end of December, my plan is not to spend more than 90 days in a single country. That way, I don’t have to renew my tourist visa. And let’s face it, since I don’t need a trolley when I arrive at the airport, to move on is not a major undertaking. In fact, I require less luggage to live than the average person takes to go on holiday for two weeks.

So stay tuned to this regular blog spot. I promise to regale M.L.T.S. readers with stories of my travels, accounts of interesting people and tips on how to be a traveler, as opposed to a tourist.

Haiti: Two Years After the Earthquake

In January 2010, Haiti was struck by an earthquake. The nation’s capital, Port-au-Prince, was hit hardest. Remonde Polché, who has family in Port-au-Prince, went back this summer for the first time in five years. Here, she shares how things have changed.

This past June I traveled to my parents’ native country, Haiti. It had been my first time there in five years. Coincidentally, a relative’s wedding inspired this, as well as the last trip.

Many things occurred within those five years, most prominently the earthquake of January 2010. I am eternally grateful that the lives of everyone in my family were spared. We are ineffably fortunate, as most of my relatives live in the capital, Port-au-Prince, where the 7.0 magnitude earthquake produced an immense amount of devastation. Continue reading

Dr. J’s Travelogue: Why Do You Want to Travel?

By Jody Hanson, PhD
Contributing Editor — Travel

Why do you want to travel?

So, why do you want to travel?  Curiously, a lot of people don’t bother to ask themselves the question. Instead, they just book a bus trip or take a cruise.

The ones who make me snort are those who say, ‘We’re going to travel when the children are grown’ or ‘When we retire.’  Yeah right, and at a month short of my 60th birthday I think I’ll have twins as I forgot to experience motherhood earlier on in the piece. Then again I also forgot to get married, save any money or develop a comfort zone so there may be a pattern there.

Others come up with descriptors like adventure, cross-cultural experience, self-awareness, challenges and the like.  Pure and noble reasons? Hummm, perhaps, but I detect the scent of tourist denial with a slice of sanctimonious attitude thrown in for good measure. Continue reading