Traveler's Tales, Adventure, Ideas & Resources, and musings from The Traveler... The adventure awaits...
December 2005 * 12/30/05

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Our One Earth - Stock Image - I don't know who took this picture, but it certainly wasn't me.


























An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.

-Bill Vaughn
American industry author, mentor and subject-matter expert














Hazy Meadow in Yosemite Valley - Photo by Tom Schueneman  
A Path Less Followed: Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii - Photo by Tom Schueneman
April Flowers in Paris - Photo by Tom Schueneman  


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Happy New Year from The Traveler!

Should old acquaintance be forgot?

Absolutely Not!

Remember just five years ago, when so many of us thought the world as we knew it might come to an end because all the computers of the world would turn against us upon the click of midnight on the year 2000?

It's hard to believe that five years have gone by already since then. It now seems a little quaint - the idea of the world coming to an end because of a computer clock. A lot has happened since then.

As the image at left suggests, we are all travelers here on our blue planet; hurling through the cosmos toward an uncertain and unknowable future.

Time marches on, and we humans are trapped inside the inescapable procession. We mark time to help us make sense of it, but perhaps right now is all there really is.

So The Traveler will remain the cautious optimist and make claim to the hope that has existed in this world as long as humans have trudged the march of time.

Our hope for you is a happy, safe, and peaceful new year. May we see you right here next year at this same time -

Wrapping up our feature articles for the year, our intrepid explorers celebrate Christmas in China, take a winter safari in the dead of Lapland Winter, take on Rome in a holiday "Cathedral crawl", and walk through 130 million years of natural history in the world's oldest rainforest. Just another day here at The Traveler, and, thanks to our worldwide network of writers, a great way to ring out 2005 and greet 2006.

Our Travel Writing Pick-of-the-Month is actually eleven picks in one. We review all our past Picks-of-the-Month.

Last but not least, we've got the latest in travel resources, ideas, and bargains to start a new year of travel and adventure off right.


Feature Articles

Christmas in China
East and West combine for a unique Yuletide celebration.

Lapland Winter: What the Finnish Army Taught Me
A winter safari sure to include some great stories of Finnish army life. Make sure to bring extra socks.

Roman Cathedral Crawl
The holidays are the perfect time of year to visit the many Cathedrals of Rome. The only thing you'll run out of on your Cathedral crawl is time.

Malaysia's Taman Negara - A Walk on the Wild Side
The true walk on the wild side includes the worlds oldest rain forest.

Travel Writing Pick-Of-The-Month

It is our tradition here at The Traveler to set aside December for review of our Travel Writing Picks-of-the-Month for the preceding year.

Did you have a favorite this year, or perhaps you've got a suggestion for a Pick-of-the-Month for 2006? Let us know!

In the meantime, you can browse our picks all the way back to 2002 at our Travel Writing Pick-of-the-Month archive page.

Look for more great travel writing picks in 2006!

Travel Ideas, Resources, and Bargains

All Your Travel Needs In One Place -
Find a flight, rental car, winter vacation, weekend getaway, or the adventure of a lifetime! You'll find everything you need from airline tickets to vacation packages to travel insurance, foreign currency exchange, and passport processing. It's all at!

The Best Travel Ideas from Sherman's Travel
Every week you'll find the best deals and top travel ideas from the Sherman's Travel free newsletter. Go ahead and sign up, we won't mind!
Top Travel Ideas! - Air/Hotel/Packages

Deals on Travel for the New Year
Fly round-trip to Montego Bay and Nassau for as low as $188 round-trip. Fancy some culture for the new year? Round-trip fares to Paris start at just $484. Don't let this year be the same ol' auld lang syne. Sale ends January 10th. International New Year's Deals on United

Pan Pacific's Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalow Introduces 2006 Room Packages
Pan Pacific’s Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows has just introduced the resort’s specialty room packages for 2006. Rates are valid from January 4 to December 19, 2006, unless otherwise noted. Restrictions and black out dates apply throughout the year. Get all the details at

Sacred Earth Eco-travel Adventures
Sacred Earth offers eco-travel adventures in Central and South
America, Peru, Ecuador, Galapagos, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, and more. Find out all about these earth-friendly adventures at the Sacred Earth website.

What's New at

Have you seen our latest blog entry? Check it out here! We've got new stories posted on our website, make sure to check them out! Look at past web features articles (not shown here in The Traveler) out our monthly feature article index page.

We're always adding new resources and features for your travel and adventure. Make sure to check out the latest by visiting our Home Page

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Have a comment or suggestion about a great travel destination, or a particular good (or bad) travel experience? Let us know! Email us your tip or comment and we may include it in a future issue of The Traveler!


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