Browsing All Posts filed under »World«

Joan Larsen’s Incredible Summer Adventure: Sailing to the Top of the World

August 8, 2018

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By Joan Larsen There are very few untouched wildernesses remaining in our world today.  Even as a quite young child, my dream was to explore the most remote islands I could find on our globe.  The High Canadian Arctic – until lately – remained isolated islands, mostly inaccessible with their nearly year-round ice.  It was […]

Joan Larsen’s Wild Adventures: Finding New Zealand’s Mt. Cook

July 25, 2018

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By Joan Larsen   Can you imagine a country where the only roadblocks you encounter are beautiful sheep blocking the road?  Welcome then to New Zealand — with its two islands holding 3 million wonderful people . . . and 60 million sheep – a proud welcoming committee, actually posing for what looks to be […]

Joan Larsen: Dipping Our Toes into Summer – the Dream that is Canada’s Vancouver Island

July 18, 2018

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by Joan Larsen   “Let the world go away” became our song this spring .  .  .  I am sure we all understand the feeling this year.  When summer arrived, we wanted to be “lost” in an idyllic destination that would feel as far from civilization as it possibly could.  And yet, yet, it could […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Summer Journey to the Far North – Home to the Polar Bear

July 4, 2018

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By Joan Larsen Already, our summer is breaking records for intensive heat in the United States. . . and our meteorologists are proudly stating that there will be more sweltering days and nights to come over the next two months. And so I am suggesting that it is not too late to book a simply beautiful journey by […]

Joan Larsen Travel: Searching for the World’s Most Beautiful Waterfalls

June 20, 2018

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By Joan Larsen Over a lifetime of travel, I have always looked for those hidden wonders of nature – mostly so far off the beaten track that they are not known by most travelers.  Some of the most spectacular hidden treasures have been waterfalls that had to be flown into or hiked into in quite […]

Joan Larsen Presents: To Melt the Heart – First Photos of the Most Loveable Brown Bears Ever Filmed

June 13, 2018

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By Joan Larsen Dedicated to my long-time friends and fellow explorers, Arthur and Mary Clark.  Arthur is a retired Air Force general, an aviator, and a veteran of World War II.  He has traveled extensively, much of it in Alaska, Siberia and the Arctic.     May I introduce you to Maria, the very becomingly […]

Joan Larsen’s Australia at its Best: Climbing New Heights: Finding Sydney

May 9, 2018

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By Joan Larsen   How often do we get an opportunity to climb to the top of a bridge in the first place?  Now, how often do you get to climb a bridge that is the national icon of one of the larger countries in our world?  A bit afraid of heights?  So am I.  […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel Stories: A Toast With Chilean Red Wine

May 2, 2018

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By Joan Larsen Get ready to fall in love with South America’s most wonderful country – CHILE! I feel like I have been carrying a secret for years now, keeping the most beautiful country in South America to myself.  Chile – how can I tell you?  I find it extraordinary – and so I find […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Living With Giraffes – An African Dream

April 25, 2018

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By Joan Larsen I left Africa that first time, believing a journey into its wild places would be a one-time thing.  I was so wrong.  The animals – more than anything else – remained in my heart.  They called me back — in those unlikely moments when we stop,  looking back on life and the […]

Joan Larsen’s Most Unforgettable Countries: Wildly Wonderful Norway

April 11, 2018

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By Joan Larsen Life holds the most unexpected surprises, the forever memories, to those who are open to them.  Isn’t that true?  But, on this day of astonishing splendor that, truly, only a few countries in our world can offer, this journey — to the edge of the world that was Norway —  had been […]

Joan Larsen Discovers a Ghost Island – A Look Back at the Indian Ocean’s Ross Island, Abandoned and Overtaken by Nature

April 4, 2018

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By Joan Larsen My dream in life:  chasing down the most remote islands on this earth.  The small dots on any map are many; my determination has been great.  Getting there has been an adventure.  Once ashore, the fear of getting lost, falling into holes, being chased by creatures far larger than I – well, […]

Joan Larsen’s Glimpses of Paradise: the Amazing Sex Life of the Most Beautiful Birds in the World

March 21, 2018

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By Joan Larsen The love lives of birds really hadn’t been one of my greatest interests in life.   But on our expeditions to my favorite places in the southern hemisphere of our world – like Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, and some pretty unknown islands that abound down there – we were guided down trails […]

Joan Larsen’s Most Breathtaking Places on Earth . . . Chilean Patagonia – The Journey of a Lifetime

March 14, 2018

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By Joan Larsen So much of my life has been spent in the world’s most remote places, and often many of my fellow companions are the crème of the crop of the world’s most famous photographers – the ones vying for those National Geographic covers. They have climbed the highest peaks, photographed underwater, and been […]

Wayne Ranney: The World’s Most Unique Natural Masterpiece – Exploring the Galapagos Islands

February 7, 2018

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By Wayne Ranney Roughly 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, and slam-bang on the equator, lie Darwin’s “Enchanted Isles”, the Galapagos — a place of beauty, of wonder around every corner — and islands that I found to be like nowhere else in this world.  You find yourself face-to-face with more fearless and more […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Don’t Look Down! In Photos — The World’s Scariest Hike

January 17, 2018

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By Joan Larsen Its name – El Caminito del Rey (in English: The King’s Little Pathway) … makes it sounds like it would be a delight for a child. But, in fact, this walkway, built in 1905 and attached to the steep walls of El Chorro gorge in southern Spain’s Malaga province, became – much […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Felines in Residence – the Secret World Beneath Russia’s Hermitage

January 3, 2018

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by Joan Larsen St. Petersburg. . . Russia’s most wonderful city has drawn me back more than once. Home of the world-famous Hermitage Museum — just named the best museum in all of Europe (!) — is praise enough to have art lovers making a bee-line north. But – hidden far beneath the museum — […]

Joan Larsen’s Glimpse of Paradise: Spending Christmas in Antarctica

December 20, 2017

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By Joan Larsen At this season, as another Christmas draws near, we find there are moments when we look back — back at a lifetime of memories of Christmas past . . . many times wishing they could be the simpler times we once had   I speak for all of us, longing – I […]

Joan Larsen Presents: An Island is Born

November 15, 2017

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By Joan Larsen The ocean off Iceland was fairly calm fifty years ago when a fishing boat spotted fire in the distance.  In this empty ocean, it would have to have been another fishing boat burning to cause such color in the skies.  The crew sped toward the scene, only to see a volcano arising […]

Joan Larsen’s Secret Wonders: Get Lost in Iceland

November 8, 2017

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By Joan Larsen So close yet so remote. So magnificent that it beats out all comers on our planet. Until now, it has been my own secret hideaway on this earth – Iceland, the magnificent. For years, Iceland has drawn me back again and again like a magnet.   And once you too have received the […]

Wayne Ranney: A Place that Inspires Superlatives – Cambodia’s Angkor Wat

October 25, 2017

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By Wayne Ranney     It is with the greatest pleasure I once again introduce you to Wayne Ranney — famed geologist – who we once again find as Guest Lecturer on one of National Geographic’s extraordinary Private Journeys this Fall.   This round-the-world one-month journey finds the group uncovering treasures of our world that many of […]

Joan Larsen’s Tales From the Deep: Midnight on the Arctic Ocean

October 18, 2017

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by Joan Larsen This is the northern tip of Iceland at midnight.  Winter there is total darkness for eight months.  In summer the children of Iceland can be seen enjoying the midnight sun until all hours in bright sun – for there is no night.  .  . so why shouldn’t the two of us do the same?  Before us — the fabled […]

“Thank You For Your Service.” What Do You Really Mean By That?

September 18, 2017

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Instead of a thank-you, I’d like something different:  I want you to pay attention, stay informed, and get politically involved.   In recent years, more veterans are letting us know that they find it a little off-putting to be thanked for their service. The exact reasons vary, but I have my own, so count me […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Gorillas in Our Midst

September 13, 2017

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By Joan Larsen   The world is still in semi-darkness when we were awakened at 6am in the almost unknown country of Africa’s Rwanda, settled into vehicles, and off to what can only be described as one of the most magical encounters on our planet. To be honest, I do not believe I slept last […]

Stop With the Plastic Already!! The Plastic Convenience Trash Nation

September 4, 2017

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Or maybe, the Plastic Convenience Trash Planet. Maybe, following last week’s rant about the hazards of plastic clamshell packaging, I have been sensitized to plastic packaging in general.  We have really gotten to the point of the ludicrous.  Somebody, please… make it stop! The other day I discovered that there is such a thing as […]

Joan Larsen’s Most Breathtaking Moments in Travel: Killer Whales Come Up for Air

August 30, 2017

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By Joan Larsen It’s a rare moment to capture: whales taking a breather as they swim under polar ice. ANTARCTICA – In the Ross Sea portion of Antarctica, the American McMurdo base has been clothed in darkness for six months. Those “wintering over” spend that time frozen in by the ice until the spring months of […]

Joan Larsen’s Adventures: Exploring Australia’s Land of the Never-Never

August 23, 2017

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By Joan Larsen Flying by small plane, low over Australia’s Northern Territory, we are present- day Crocodile Dundees, wanting to be one of the first to go exploring a desert world that most travelers will never see. Our delightful, agreeable pilot seemed more than happy to chase down the only large inhabitants in the empty […]

Fun and Disaster with Foreign Languages

August 21, 2017

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I was laughing so hard I could barely breathe. “This book was expensive!” he said.  “I’m sorry,” I replied, “but we just don’t talk like that.” Language-translating machines like Google Translate or Babelfish are handy for small, simple things like finding a bathroom, but they are no replacement for a fluent, bilingual human being.   Just […]

Gypsies, Stereotypes, Offense, and Truth

July 31, 2017

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Back in the days when parents still told their children fairy tales and scary stories at bedtime, the old saw about Gypsies stealing children was a staple (one famous example was Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, in which Esmeralda had been kidnapped by Gypsies as a child).  I had never given the idea […]

Joan Larsen’s Hidden Wonders: The “Must-See” French Gardens of Marqueyssac

July 19, 2017

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by Joan Larsen   The French are good at keeping secrets.   .  . and it has taken me years to discover France’s southwest region of Dordogne with its spectacular panoramas in every direction.  But it is here that one of the most beautiful and romantic gardens of France is located. Sitting high above the Dordogne […]

Joan Larsen’s Secret Places: My Glorious Love Affair in Zermatt

July 12, 2017

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By Joan Larsen An unusual love story – the kind you hope for, dream of – has to have had “beginnings”. My mother’s dreams for her only daughter were not wealth and fame. She was a romantic, believing – showing – that when you had love, combined with a romantic life, that life could be […]

Joan Larsen in Wildest Africa: Climbing the Dune

June 28, 2017

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By Joan Larsen As a child, I whirled the big round globe that graced our living room, with a single finger choosing the countries I would go to when I grew up.  For so many of us, the pictures in National Geographic  fed our dreams… dreams that danced in our heads, refusing to go away.  […]