"Setting out on the voyage to Ithaca you must pray that the way be long, full of adventures and experiences."
- Constantine Peter Cavafy "Ithaca"
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©2008 W. Ruth Kozak


Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world, with skillful carvings adorning every block in the place. However, my most memorable moments spent in Siem Reap did not happen in Angkor Wat but in the sights that surround it.
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At first sight, it looks as one of provinces of India. Same clothing, Indian faces, smell of curry... Yet each of them contains something unique, and one soon realizes it is a different country. Welcome to Nepal! Having landed on Nepalese soil, we understood we were in a very different world.
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It was a bright spring morning as my walking partner and I took our first footsteps along the path of Hadrian's Wall. It’s an 84-mile trail across the north of England. It also passes through some of England’s most notable archaeological sites, dotted across rolling hills and at times, wild, rugged countryside.
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Within six hours of boarding the massive freighter that would carry me and four other passengers – along with 5,500 containers – from Vancouver to Hong Kong, I knew I’d made the right choice of travel plans. Standing on the dimly lit navigation deck, I had a brief, blissful moment when the licensed pilot, just coming aboard, mistook me for the captain.
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Thunder, then lightning flashed above the forest. Light rain fell, then more. My group, all passengers from my ship that had docked at Sochi, had quickly scampered ahead at the first crack of thunder. Somehow, suddenly it had happened…I was on my own, on increasingly slippery granite, limestone steps, roots and uneven chunks of clay.
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I arrived in Gibraltar aboard the Crown Princess Grand-class cruise ship. It was returning from Corsica back to Britain. Gibraltar, a U.K. overseas territory on the south coast of Spain, was the final stop on the way back. On a sunny morning in May, I disembarked from the ship along the Western Arm in northern Gibraltar. The Rock rises some 426 meters above the sea. It's almost a small mountain!
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Everyone deserves a break from the monotonous lifestyle and I am no exception to it. With having said that, there is an exception in my definition of 'a break'. I want my break to be full of adventures; no sitting back at home, no chit chat with long lost friends, all I want is thrill. And this hunger for thrill took me to Jim Corbett National Park.
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The monastery, founded in the 17th century, is among some 25 on Majuli Island, a long stretch of land in the broad Brahmaputra River in India's remote northeastern state of Assam. Our visit is one of the memorable shore excursions that my wife Annie and I enjoy during a 10-day small-ship cruise along a mighty stream that discharges more water than the Mississippi.
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