Andrew McCarthy (not taking a taxi) in Canoa Quabrada, Brazil. Photo courtesy of Andrew McCarthy
We (ahem, me) all fell for Andrew McCarthy onscreen in ’80s classics such as Pretty in Pink and St. Elmo’s Fire, as he often played the sensitive, pensive and soulful guy. These days, in reading Andrew’s travel memoir, The Longest Way Home: One Man’s Quest for the Courage to Settle Down, it isn’t hard to see him again as that same thoughtful and conflicted drifter.
Living a life in Hollywood’s shadow hasn’t made Andrew any less relatable as the characters he often played onscreen in his younger years. He is just like us: vulnerable, fearful at times, and looking to escape to a place, at least for a moment or two, where “no one knows who you are or where you are.” He’s the guy you could find yourself sitting across from on a train and talking with for hours about travel.
I did get to talk to Andrew about travel, maybe not on a train, but on the phone while he was at home briefly in New York. Find out how Andrew changed his label of “Brat Pack” actor and “‘80s heartthrob” to New York Times best-selling travel author and National Geographic Traveler editor-at-large. Plus, learn what his travel fears are … and why he hates travel stories that involve taxis.
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we’ve rounded up some romance-inspiring travel ideas. Get your heart pumping on an adrenaline-filled adventure or gaze into your valentine’s eyes at a fireside table for 2 this weekend.
“Chocolate Trio” at The Spiced Pear; Photo by OpenTable
Haven’t made a reservation yet for Valentine’s Day dinner? Better get on that — it’s only a week away! Need ideas of where to go? OpenTable released their 2014 Most Romantic Restaurants in America, as voted by OpenTable diners.
Whether you’re looking to rekindle the flames with a fireside meal or prefer to woo your S.O. over sake and sushi, these restaurants are sure to inspire a little romance. This year’s list of winning restaurants with swoon-worthy dishes and come-hither ambiance spans more than 32 states and is based on more than 5 million restaurant reviews. It must be the dreamy coastal views, because California, Florida and Hawaii boast the most romantic restaurants. And the cuisine that’s this year’s favorite for flirting over? Fondue.
Photography by Getty Images
Happy Birthday to the King of Reggae! Today would have been Bob Marley’s 69th birthday. “In this bright future you can’t forget your past…” nor such a legendary musician’s past either. So what better way to celebrate the Reggae star than with a visit to his colorful country of Jamaica, mon! Bob Marley fans from across the world make the pilgrimage to the beautiful island nation to see where the music legend lived and where his iconic sound took root.
Photography by Elizabeth Fraser
Where can you find the rare and exotic coffee that Dangerous Grounds’ host Todd Carmichael travels the world to find? At the coffee sourcer’s La Colombe cafés – in Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, Seoul and the most recently opened Washington, DC, location. To the happiness of coffee lovers in our nation’s capital, a La Colombe outpost opened this weekend in the revitalized Shaw neighborhood. We couldn’t be more excited for our coffee hunter to open a new café – especially one so close to Travel Channel headquarters, too.
Sundance Film Festival
It’s a big year for Sundance Film Festival as it celebrates its 30th birthday in Park City, UT, this week. For the last 3 decades, the next big moviemakers, critics, celebrities and film buffs have attended this annual event every January to be wowed by the best of independent films from all over the world.
The largest independent film festival in the US, Sundance was launched in 1978 with the help of Robert Redford’s company, Sterling Van Wagenen. Over the last 30 years, Redford has played an integral part in building the festival’s momentum and his mark is seen all over town, from his famed Sundance Resort, 5,000 acres on the slopes of Mount Timpanogos in Utah’s Wasatch Range to Zoom, his cozy restaurant located on Park City’s Main Street.
With temperatures dropping, don’t let winter doldrums set in. Bundle up and embrace the cold (albeit the bone-chilling, artic-blasting cold of recent days) with some of our favorite things to do in winter.
1. Sleep in an ice hotel.
If you aren’t afraid of a little cold or a bed made out of ice, spend an unforgettable night in an ice hotel. Chill out in a luxury igloo full of hard-carved ice sculptures and cozy fur hides to keep you warm at night.
2. Toast with a decadent drink.
The ideal cure for a winter chill? A cocktail to warm you up. Toast to shorter days with these 10 cold-weather cocktails, from a traditional hot toddy to an innovative dry-ice-infused concoction.
3. Take an icy plunge.
What better way to plunge into 2014 than with an icy dip! There are still New Year dips taking place throughout January, or head to Finland where ice swimming is a popular custom all winter long.
“Travel more.” It’s certainly at the top of our resolutions for the new year (and every year, for that matter). Here are 7 more resolutions to make the most out of your travels in 2014.
Slow down your travel.
Savor the fleeting moments when you’re not at your desk buried under work or stuck in rush-hour traffic. Revel in the experience, whether that means lingering at a 4-hour meal or a tossing out the museum list for a long walk with no target destination. It’s easy to pack your schedule on a trip, afraid that you’ll miss something, but you won’t be able to fully appreciate a different culture unless you take the time to experience its nuisances.
Don’t let a “dangerous” label deter you.
Of course, we aren’t advising traipsing around a war-torn country without taking any precautions, but rather suggesting that there are places that are inherently dangerous— whether they’re crime-ridden or full of wild and hungry animals – that shouldn’t be avoided because of fear alone. Be safe, but don’t cross off visiting some of the world’s best places — like Brazil, Nicaragua, and Colombia — altogether just because their reputation is a little dicey.
Where is everyone dreaming of getting hitched and starting their happily-ever-after? Today Google released their year-in-review Zeitgeist list for 2013, which included the top searched destination wedding locations and honeymoon destinations for 2013.
It’s clear from Google’s data that couples are definitely dreaming of beach “I do’s,” in places such as Jamaica, Bahamas and Bermuda. While Hawaii has always been a desired destination wedding, we like seeing that the less-developed Kauai island is getting more love in 2013. We do wonder though, how many brides and grooms book these destination weddings or are they just dreaming of them?
Dreaming of a tropical getaway, but don’t know where to go? Want to bask on beautiful beaches, but don’t want to cross several times zones to get there? Puerto Rico, just a quick 2-½ hour flight from Miami, is as close as it gets to an island paradise. Temperatures year-round hover between a perfect 75 to 85 degrees. If that doesn’t convince you, here are 5 more reasons to visit Puerto Rico.
1. No Passport Required
Forgot to renew your passport? Don’t worry; you can still take a trip to Puerto Rico. While this exotic isle may seem like a world away with its rich Spanish culture and exotic beaches, it’s still part of the US making it a no-passport-required vacation. One less thing to (forget to) pack.
2. Glow-in-the-Dark Sea Creatures
Don’t let the name Mosquito Bay scare you – it is not the world’s most mosquito-infested bay. Also known as Bioluminescent Bay, this lagoon in Vieques is home to tiny glowing creatures that light up the bay at night in trails of blue phosphorescence. Rent a kayak on a moonless night for the best viewing of this amazing glow-in-the-dark phenomenon.