In the spirit of top-selling Journeys of a Lifetime series and National Geographic Traveler's acclaimed "Places of a Lifetime," this lavish, evocative travel gift book spans the globe to offer introductions to the world's most transformative places, from Thailand's Chiang Mai to Australia's Uluru monolith to California's Channel Islands.
Chosen by National Geographic's family of globe-trotting contributors, the lavish World's Best Travel Experiences offers in-depth site descriptions; dozens of fun, themed "Best of the World" lists; locator maps; illuminating sidebars, several by travel and literary luminaries; and hundreds of dazzling, oversized, full-color images to bring to life 500 awe-inspiring locations in a wide variety of categoriesfrom entire countries to mountaintop villages to pristine lakes to ancient wonders. This broad, general interest travel title will appeal to active travelers looking for the next great trip as well as to the many readers who simply love dreaming of visiting far-flung, idyllic destinations, and for those who love to be "in the know" of the next travel trend.
Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Keith Bellows has launched 30 magazines, television, and radio properties and has lectured around the world. He is editor-in-chief of National Geographic Traveler and project leader of Learning2Go, an innovative program he developed to bring children and parents together around travel as a learning tool. A graduate of Gordonstoun School in Scotland and Dartmouth College, Bellows has appeared regularly on The Today Show and Good Morning America.
The best place in the world? It’s a big, brash, bold question. And the answer is easy—there are lots of them. For me, it’s the crowded and chaotic suq in Marrakech, and that remote beach on the tiny atoll of Fakarava in the South Pacific. The rocky Burren in the rural west of Ireland, with the late day sun lingering over the Aran Islands, is the best place in the world. And so is my own backyard—New York City’s Central Park.
What my best have in common is the ability to excite, to arouse big passions that allow—that demand—bold declarations: This is the best. My best is different from yours. Mine is different today than it was last year, and I bet it will be different next year. It’s as subjective as a sunset, but we all know the feeling when a place, or a moment, takes our breath away and fills us with that feeling of connection, or that sense of discovery, or rediscovery; feelings of being lost, and then found—these are the experiences I search out while on the road.
Flipping the pages of this book I can’t help but feel that excitement, that hope and sense of renewal. It makes me want to say, Yes—yes to possibility and adventure. Yes to places I’ve been, and to those I’m yearning to see—the pyramids of Egypt, the Galápagos, Petra, Nepal.
The best is a movable feast—the sweeping vistas of Patagonia to the back alleys of Barcelona; Costa Rica’s wild Osa Peninsula to the canals of Venice; Vancouver’s glass- and mountain- filled skyline to the gardens of Versailles. And the best is in the details—where to learn acupuncture in Beijing, or kayak the Cook Islands, or track down the best macarons in Paris. They’re all here. From the Amazon to Zanzibar, the world’s best have been assembled.
With some of the premier voices in writing—Mark Twain and Goethe, Paul Theroux and Jan Morris, Bill Bryson and Gore Vidal—and tapping into the finest of the National Geographic Society’s legendary photography, the World’s Best Travel Experiences are at your fingertips.
--Andrew McCarthy, National Geographic Traveler magazine Editor at Large