Ever swoon over a travel book before? Get ready to get giddy. 1,000 Places to See Before You Die—the world’s bestselling travel book of all time (first published in 2003; with more than 3.5-million copies in print) by globetrotting journalist Patricia Schultz—has now been extravagantly reimagined in a dazzling new deluxe edition. And what a treasure pleasure it is.
The hefty (five-pounds!), luxuriously oversize, hardcover coffee-table tour de force, to be published (October 29, 2019) by Artisan Books, is visually riveting. More than 1,000 gorgeous color photographs are designed on 544 pages. Schultz’s engaging words weave together a tapestry of descriptions, pinpointing destinations and diversions in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, the USA, Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Bahamas and Bermuda. The book’s clean, organized structure encourages readers to readily immerse themselves and steer toward whatever directions intrigue most. Read it from front to back, eyeing every possibility. Or deep dive into favorite countries. Or embrace a thematic route, choosing among indexed categories: adventure travel; art, architecture, design; beaches, islands, seacoasts; castles, palaces; cities, towns; festivals; historic sites; mountains, landscapes; music, dance, theater; natural wonders; pyramids, ruins, lost cities; railways, roadways, bridges; sacred places; sports, games; street fairs, markets; waterfalls, rivers, waterways; wildlife, zoos, aquariums; and wineries, breweries, distilleries.
There are surprises galore, fresh finds, plenty of “aha” discoveries. This book will be a popular holiday gift choice for both intrepid adventurers and armchair travelers—and nearly every vacationer in between.
Here are fun highlights of my recent interview with Schultz. Also enjoy a peek at five top getaways (below), excerpted from the expanded luxury edition. (Tourism website links for Schultz’s featured destinations are my additions.)
What inspired this sumptuous new edition?
“I’ve wanted to do it since forever. Who doesn’t believe that a picture is worth a thousand words? And in this moment of insta-everything, the wonders of the world—from the iconic to the unsung—captured in big lush photos is irresistible. If you’re not a traveler at heart before picking up this book, you will be by the time you page through it.”
Why is travel an amazing eye-opener and the best education?
“Whether we are aware of it or not, we always arrive in an unfamiliar place with preconceived notions of what to expect and I, for one, am almost always surprised. How can you know unless you go? What I’ve anticipated—about a place or festival or restaurant or park—is usually half as interesting or as exciting as the real thing.”
How has your journey as an author most surprised you?
“That over the course of the 16 years since the first book was published, there is always a new wave of people discovering, buying, being inspired by the book. There is always a new university graduating class planning a gap year or a new wave of boomers who are retiring with the dream of travel. And I’ve always been touched by the number of people who love the idea of travel, who share my passion and enjoy the book and find inspiration in the book to add to their Wish List or plan their next adventure. If you don’t believe in the importance and value of travel, I’m not sure we can be friends.”
Five Top Getaways
Greenland For many adventure travelers, sparsely populated Greenland is the ultimate frontier. About 85 percent of the island is covered in ice and adrenaline-spiking activities abound, from sea kayaking (“kayak” is from the Greenlandic word qajaq) and rock-climbing to musk ox safaris and biplane flights over mountain-size icebergs. For prime exploring, head west to Ilulissat (“icebergs” in the local Inuit) and Disko Bay to take a tour boat past massive blue-streaked icebergs floating in the fjord. Take a boat from Nuuk, Greenland’s tiny capital, to look for minke and humpback whales. Visit Northeast Greenland National Park for a chance to see the elusive and endangered polar bears.
Botswana, Zambia, Namibia and Zimbabwe In a corner of Africa where four countries come together, 4,200-square-mile Chobe National Park is best known for its incredible birds and huge elephant population. Sunset boat rides along the Chobe River float past yawning hippos, storks and flocks of waterfowl, and the floodplains are full of grazing buffalo and big game. Take a boat tour of the park from Kasane on the Zambezi Queen, for a few hours or a few days.
Cappadocia, Anatolia, Turkey Countless centuries of wind and water have sculpted this surrealistic landscape from the soft volcanic terrain: minarets, cones and pinnacles in shades of pink and russet brown. Early Christians arrived in the 4th century, sculpting domed churches with vaulted ceilings, columns and pews from the rock. The honeycombed landscape is still home to cave dwellers today. Tour the open-air museum in Göreme to view caves covered with rich Byzantine frescoes. Float over the area’s moonscape in a hot-air balloon from April through October, when visibility is best. Explore the subterranean towns in the village of Kaymakli, about 12 miles from Göreme.
Bora Bora, the Society Islands, French Polynesia The world’s most beautiful island. Bora-Bora and its dramatic tombstone-shaped Mount Otemanu have mesmerized visitors ever since Captain James Cook saw the island and its famous landmark more than 200 years ago. James Michener called this “the South Pacific at its unforgettable best.” Snorkel inshore to see trumpet fish, angelfish and parrot fish, as well as the rarer Pinocchio and Napoleon fish. Submerge yourself amid dozens of five-foot blackfin lagoon sharks, which are hand-fed by local divers. Take a four-wheel-drive vehicle up into the mountains for cliffside views over the lagoon.
Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park in Arizona and Utah, USA The West written in stone. Monument Valley is a vast barren plain punctuated by towering red rock formations. A spectacularly scenic—and rough—17-mile dirt road runs from the visitor center past mesas and starkly eroded buttes. But if visitors want to wander off the road, they must be accompanied by a Navajo guide. Visit Window Rock’s Navajo Nation Museum. Drive one of the most eye-catching stretches of the Painted Desert from Window Rock to Tuba City. Attend Tuba City’s Western Navajo Fair in October for music, dancing and a parade. Stop at the Hopi Cultural Center, a museum, motel and restaurant serving traditional fare in the heart of Second Mesa.
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