AS this site, along with the accompanying photo archive, makes clear, travel is one of my great loves. Also, although I am not a professional travel writer, I very much enjoy writing about travel, partly because I do so much of it—I am on the road several months a year—and also because of the challenge of evoking a newly discovered or newly rediscovered city or country. Amongst other things I try to “discover” a new city or country every year.
Thus my newest discovery, and favorite city, wonderful Budapest, whose once down and out, now resurgent District 8 I “dove into” for Blue Wings, the excellent in flight magazine of Finnair, as per the attached recently published feature, and which I look forward to diving back into in the near future. This also dovetails with the recent trend in travel writing towards focusing on specific districts or neighborhoods (which I heartily approve of).
Meantime, I am still in the process of discovering or rediscovering aspects or dimensions of some of my longtime favorite foreign cities, like The Hague, which I have written about for such diverse publications as the Financial Times and The New York Times, as you can see here.
And what do the other places limned here—Riga, Grenoble, Turku, what’s this?—Saratoga Springs?—have in common?
Nothing much. Except that in general these were places that had been generally overlooked by the travel media, and I felt merited the lapidary Sander (write, rewrite, re-rewrite) treatment.
Enjoy! And don’t forget to learn a few words of the native lingo before you venture to these countries. I never cease to wonder how happy the peoples of some of the smaller countries, and even some of the bigger ones, are when they hear you say kiitos! or aitah! or merci! or paldies! or koszonom! after receiving a small courtesy. And even happier when you manage to pronounce them correctly!