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Rundown for the Week of March 19, 2004

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This Week: Our Favorite Moments

Here, at The Savvy Traveler, we're a rather tight-knot group and we get excited about, and inspired by, the stories that compose the show each week. So, for the next few weeks, all of the behind-the-scenes production staff will be telling us about their favorite moments on the show.

This week, host Diana Nyad shares her favorites.

"I love hearing from all our contributors and the adventures they bring to us. But, honestly, my favorite duty in my role as host is doing our feature interviews. I get a chance to talk to the foremost travelers of our time. They all have such unique insights about life on this planet. I've chosen excerpts from three of my very favorite interviews: two are writers, one is a nature sound artist -- all three are pulsing with palpable intellect." --Host Diana Nyad

Interview: Isabel Allende

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Like all of her characters, Isabel Allende, the author of novels such as "The House of the Spirits," is a traveler of the world. Isabel was a political exile, forced out of Chile when her uncle was assassinated there in 1973. She quickly laid down roots in varied countries, and her characters have followed suit in readily adapting to new homes. Isabel is now embracing American life in San Francisco. Host Diana Nyad talks with her about the impact of living a vagabond life.

Savvy resource
The interview with Isabel Allende originally aired November 9, 2001

Interview: Salman Rushdie

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Salman Rushdie is one of top novelists working today. After the controversy that followed "The Satanic Verses," Salman has lived in hiding -- meanwhile, missing his favorite pastime: traveling. Host Diana Nyad talks with Salman about travel and the ramifications of the world having evolved into a melting pot of cultures. "I expected to meet a sober intellect and instead found a light-hearted man who loves to laugh and put a bit of whimsy into his observations," says Diana.

Savvy resource
Interview with Salman Rushdie originally aired October 11, 2002

Interview: Kathy Turco

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Kathy Turco is arguably the premiere animal sound recording artist in the world today. She travels with the highest-tech microphones into the Alaskan wilderness to record the sounds that animals make -- sounds we normally don't get to hear, far from civilization. Kathy joins the animals in their world, and just listens. "Kathy Turco is intense in her focus on bringing back the magic of animals' sounds and she says being tuned in to their world is the first step," says Diana.

Savvy resource
Interview with Kathy Turco originally aired July 12, 2002

More staff picks: JJ Yore, Ben Adair, Jim Gates, Kelly Markham

Vacation of the Week: Volunteer Travel

We encourage immersion travel on our show. Instead of just isolating yourself in a foreign culture, get to know the people, their ways, their language and their food. In that immersion spirit, we're focusing on volunteer tourism. There are many working vacations available -- and all offer the extreme variety of going to different areas of the world, for completely different missions.

by Jeff Tyler

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Earthwatch allows you to join scientists in their research of animals and ecosystems. You pay to feed dolphins or count the trees in a rain forest. The researchers get your money and your labor and you are, in return, privy to some exotic wilderness locale. Reporter Jeff Tyler traveled down to the remote marshland of Brazil called the Pantanal and rolled up his shirtsleeves for a study of his own: Jeff wanted to know if Earthwatch really works.

Savvy resources
"Earthwatch" originally aired October 26, 2001
Search for more stories by Jeff Tyler

Working Vacation
by Judith Ritter

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About 16 million people live in Bombay, or Mumbai, as it is now called. About half of them live on the street or in slums. But Mumbai is also a city of some glamour -- it's the home of "Bollywood," the largest film industry in the world. Recently, reporter Judith Ritter brought daughter Devorah, 19, and her friend Yael, 16, to this city of contradictions. The teens knew at the outset that this wasn't going to be a few weeks of leisure -- they were going to work.

Savvy resources
"Working Vacation" originally aired November 9, 2001
Search for more stories by Judith Ritter

Resources to explore your own volunteer vacation
www.globalvolunteers.org : Global Volunteers, offers short-term service opportunities on community development programs in host communities abroad
www.crossculturalsolutions.org/ : Cross-Cultural Solutions, a nonprofit international volunteer organization that operates volunteer programs in Asia and Latin America
www1.travelalberta.com: Scenic road trips
www.oceanic-society.org/index5.html : Oceanic Society, marine research/eco- vacations
www.amigoslink.org : Amigos, a program in South America
magazine.audubon.org: article - "Volunteer Vacations," on the "Audubon Magazine" site
www.transitionsabroad.com : article - "Volunteer Vacations Can Change Your Life," on the Transitions Abroad site

Music with Bob Duskis
Francisco Aguabella and The Outernationalists

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Bob Duskis, the co-founder of Six Degrees Records in San Francisco, has his ear to the ground for the best musical styles happening around the globe. This week, Bob introduces us to music from Francisco Aguabella and The Outernationalists, artists who fuse together different genres of music.

Click here for detailed info. about the music.

Music mentioned
group / album title / label

Francisco Aguabella / "Ochimini" / Ubiquity
Outernationalists / "Ethnomixocology" / Six Degrees Records

Interested in other music you've heard on The Savvy Traveler?
Monthly Top 10 Picks by Savvy Producer Ben Adair
Previous Bob Duskis music segments

Sound Travels
Climax Golden Twins

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This week, "Sound travels" gives us a whirlwind tour through the music of life. OK, that might be a bit lofty, but the different sounds here were on a CD sent to our office in a white envelope with only the words "Climax Golden Twins" embossed on the front. What is it? We can tell you is this: These are sounds from all over the world that are produced and arranged into discreet compositions: cultures are blended and sounds juxtaposed. It's the perfect travel CD, actually.

Savvy resource
More "Sound Travels" segments

Deal of the Week
Bargains by air and by sea

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Our dealmeister Rudy Maxa is on the road in Seattle, and he's calling in with two deals this week -- one by air, the other by sea: American Airlines' special D-Day commemoration fare and last-minute cruise bargains on Norwegian Cruise Line.

This week, American Airlines announced a special fare this summer for Stateside-based travelers wishing to visit France to commemorate the 60th anniversary of D-Day. If you were born before Jan. 1, 1930, you're eligible for this special fare for travel between June 1 and the end of August. From the East Coast, the fare is $504. It's $100 more from the central U.S., and $704 from the West. Taxes and fees will add about $100 more to that figure, but that's still about a $200 savings per ticket compared to usual summer fares.

So far, these special fares are only on American Airlines? Here's the important part: You must book by April 15th.

Rudy was browsing Norwegian Cruise Line's Web site this week and found the cruise line is taking a page from the airlines' playbook and posting all kinds of last-minute specials. Want a couple of examples?

  • A five-day, Pacific coastline cruise of Alaska, starting in LA and ending in Vancouver aboard the Norwegian Sun in late April goes for $349 per person. An ocean-view room is guaranteed.
  • Take an eight-day Hawaiian cruise from Honolulu to Vancouver with stops at two ports in Hawaii for $999, with a balcony stateroom guaranteed. Add $50 for a mini-suite. This is aboard the Norwegian Star, departing May 2nd.

    There lots of these deals, especially for sailings around Europe and the Caribbean.

  • Web resources
    To qualify for the special D-Day fare between France and the U.S., you must have been born before Jan. 1, 1930. Call American at (800) 433-1790 between 5 a.m. and midnight, central time, and use the code "STAARfile 2664AZ."
    For details on last-minute cruise bargains from Norwegian Cruise Lines, go to www.ncl.com and click on "Specials."

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