It takes more than volcanic eruptions to ground Hawaii's travelers. Where else on the planet must we travel thousands of miles just to reach the next land mass? Long-haul travel is part of living in the 50th state. So where are they heading? We asked several of our freelance contributers to the Advertiser's Travel section for their travel plans in 2010.
— Chris Oliver
BONNIE FRIEDMAN: AUTHOR/ART LOVER
I love Maui and feel lucky to live here but, in truth, I'm a city girl, so when I travel, I always go to cities. I love the energy and excitement, especially big cities and I always come back recharged.
So, I try to get to New York City at least once a year. What's left of my small family is there and we are getting closer as we get older — a good thing. I also have a group of old friends who try to get together when I'm there. And I like to keep up on both the restaurant and art scenes.
With that in mind I'll definitely be going to MoMA — specifically for the current exhibitions, "Five Themes" by William Kentridge, and "Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century." (www.MoMA.org.)
I'm also going to the Whitney Biennial, the Museum of Arts & Design, and the New Museum on the Lower East Side for "Skin Fruit: Selections from the Dakis Joannou Collection." (www.NewMuseum.org.)
What else? Well, pizza from Di Fara's — in my opinion, the best pizza in NYC. Bialy at my auntie's breakfast table, and chocolate. My cousin Michael Rogak now owns and operates the family chocolate business — JoMart Chocolates — which just celebrated its 64th anniversary in April.
HOW TO DO IT: I have the best travel agent — Kathy Takushi at Travel Network — for flights: www.travelnetworkmaui.com. I LOVE doing my own hotel and restaurant research. I also ask friends or friends of friends for recommendations. Round-trip fares from Honolulu to New York in June start at $700.
GUY SIBILLA: WRITER/ADVENTURER
I am planning to visit another one of the U.S. State Department's "least favored" nations: Algeria. I have been to Africa three times, and North Africa has been a fascination of mine ever since I read Paul Bowle's "The Sheltering Sky" and saw the stunning Bertolucci film of the same name, filmed partially in Algeria. I was later seduced by the Italian classic cinema verite "La Battaglia di Algeri (The Battle of Algiers)," which recounted the devastating struggle for independence from France by the Algerian people and the unnecessary waste and violence suffered by both nations.
My last journey was into the deserts of Jordan and Syria in search of the lifestyle of the Bedouin. I would love to have the opportunity to travel with and photograph the North African Berber culture and the nomadic Tuareg tribes.
Otherwise, I find long, silent weeks in the desert are rejuvenating for the soul. I can assure you that you will never sleep better than under the open African desert night sky, watching falling stars until your eyes close, heavy with sleep.
Aside from Italy, where I lived on and off for several years, I do not generally revisit destinations. The world is so diverse and the need to know our neighbors across the planet is so desperate, that I have little desire to repeat the paths I've already walked.
HOW TO GET THERE: Fly domestic airlines via Los Angeles to Frankfurt to Algiers; the cost is around $2,100. www.algeria.com.
KAUI PHILPOTTS: WRITER/CO-AUTHOR OF "HAWAII, A SENSE OF PLACE"
This year, going to Tahiti for us is a low-impact trip: one of our kids is married to a Tahitian and lives in Mo'orea. Plus it's the same time zone, and Hawaiian airlines flies direct. Also it's French, so life is a little different there.
Travel has become so physically uncomfortable, and this year we're hoping for a stress-free summer vacation, just with the family. To date there will be about 15 of us getting together. Being south of the equator, Tahiti's weather in July is wonderfully cool. Also we'll be there for La Fete du Juillet (Bastille Day, July 14, a French tradition) when Tahitians really celebrate. It's fun.
HOW TO DO IT: Hawaiian Airlines flies nonstop to Pape'ete, Tahiti. A round-trip fare in July starts at $1,180; www.hawaiianairlines.com, 800-367-5320. (www.tahiti-tourisme.com) Pleasant Holidays offers vacation packages to Tahiti starting at $1,500 including airfare; www.pleasantholidays.com, 800-742-9244.
JILL TRIGG-SMITH: VOLUNTEER
Visiting two daughters resident in the U.K. prompted me to wonder how to best validate the long air travel from Hawaii. Previous experience volunteering in South Africa was so profoundly special; I chose to do something similar with this summer trip.
In Tamale, Northern Ghana, my daughter Romy and I will teach female orphans and try to give confidence to help them integrate into the government school system. Romy will do educational research and coach soccer, and I will teach sewing and needlework to older girls to help them pursue a career.
Thanks to Romy, we have a lot of donations heading to the orphanage in Ghana. The University of Hawaii soccer program and Leahi Soccer club are donating soccer goods for the girls. Punahou school is donating simple first readers. I am taking threads and various sewing supplies, pencils, pens, erasers, etc. ...
HOW TO DO IT: Using mileage for our airfares to Ghana was a considerable saving! The cost to Volunteering Solutions is $795, which includes application fee, insurance, home stay and two meals a day for 3› weeks. Cost also includes being met at Accra airport and a 12-hour bus journey to northern Ghana.
In Maltiti we anticipate a rustic and quite simple abode — a mattress on the ground in a mud/grass hut. The satisfaction of spending a month doing something worthwhile is for me more enjoyable than being a tourist. www.volunteeringsolutions.com, www.maltiti.org.
PAUL HUGHES: PHOTOGRAPHER
Winters in Hawaii, summers on the Oregon coast; life is good! Each of the 48 states I have traveled offers its own attractions, but Hawaii and Oregon are my favorites; I've shared each year between these two for the past 10 years.
Oregon's coast (more than 360 miles) is indeed spectacular: deep blue Pacific Ocean splashes rugged rock formations; gray whales spout offshore; barks of sea lions echo from shore caves; beaches stretch for miles unobstructed by high-rises or billboards; lighthouses perch on sheer cliffs; marinas offer fishing, oyster and crabbing boats; elk and deer peer from evergreen forests; geese, ducks and seagulls fly overhead; and vivid orange sunsets end the day.
HOW TO GET THERE: Flights from Honolulu to Portland, Ore., in July start at $600. A two-hour drive gets you to renowned Pacific Coast Highway 101, which wends Oregon's scenic coast from Washington state to California. Lodging ranges from world-class resorts, lighthouse/hotel, beach house rentals, to camping, all so close to the ocean that you listen to a symphony of waves throughout the night. Fresh seafood is bountiful and Oregon's wines and micro-brews are ono. www.oregoncoastlodging.com, www.traveloregon.com.
PETER ROSEGG: CYCLIST/GASTRONOME/WRITER
When this is in print, Deena and I will be in Holland for a cycling trip, then on to Belgium followed by a few days in Paris. We've been planning this trip for a year, since our cycling trip along the Danube last year. Our plan is to cycle in the Netherlands and around Brugge in Belgium because it is flat AND beautiful. We saw the tulips in bloom around Amsterdam and Haarlem, went from there to Leiden, next day to Delft (pottery) then to Gouda (cheese) Schoonhoven (silver) and we are now in Utrecht. Good food, good beer and wonderful people. We've been here for Queen's Day, which is Mardi Gras crossed with St. Patty's Day.
HOW TO GET THERE: We used mileage award miles, and arranged a self-guided bike trip with the help of Tulip Cycling. Deena Dray, amateur travel agent extraordinaire, did all the planning with advice from Chowhound, www.chowhound.com, Fodors, www.fodors.com, and Facebook friends.
A round-trip Internet fare from Honolulu to Amsterdam costs $1,600. Tulip cycling offers build-your-own and short break tours. A four-day package with bicycle/equipment rental, GPS, maps, accommodations and luggage transfers on route starts at $700 per person, www.tulipcycling.com.
MONICA QUOCK CHAN: WRITER/MOM/TRAVELER
We are heading to Alaska, with three generations of our ohana. Hawaii's beautiful island scenery and weather are a blessing, but sometimes it's niceto get away even from paradise.Since ourkeiki were born in Hawaii, it will beexciting for them to see the glaciers, tundra and maybe even spot some wildlife.
This is a brand-new experience, although I'vevisited many of the 50 states.
HOW TO DO IT: Our Princess cruise will sail from Vancouver, B.C., to Whittier, Alaska, with stops at Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay National Park, and College Fjord. www.princess.com.
Alaska Airlines flies non-stop from Honolulu to Anchorage ($950 round-tripduring peak season); Princess cruises between Vancouver and Whittier begin around $750. The best months to visit are May to September (unless you're a polar bear). www.travelalaska.com.
JOEL BERLINER: TRAVEL WRITER/BON VIVANT
This year we plan on visiting Chateau de Bagnols in France, a beautifully restored 13th-century castle and luxury resort in the Beaujolais hill country outside of Lyon, frequently referred to as the finest chateau hotel in the world.
It is a stunning resort, with spectacular suites within the castle and a fabulous Michelin-starred restaurant, Salles des Gardes. It also allows us to spend several days in Lyon, the culinary capital of France, sampling some of France's finest restaurants and exploring the old city.
It was one of the places we went to on our honeymoon 15 years ago, has always left us breathless with the memory, and we have always wanted to return.
HOW TO GET THERE: Round-trip fares from Honolulu to Paris start at $1,700. Bagnols is around 18 miles from Lyon, which is a five-hour drive from Paris, but you can fly into Lyon or take the train from Paris to Lyon. Chateau de Bagnols rooms are expensive, starting at $900 per night, but Chateau de Bagnols is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. www.chateaudebagnols.co.uk.
CHICK ALSOP: WRITER/TREKKER/VOLUNTEER
The mystical writer Paul Brunton wrote this about the Himalayas: "The Gods who made this land must have been beauty-drunk."
I have always been drawn to the cool, rarified world of the mountains; in August I will travel to the Himalayan region of northwest India where I will again volunteer teach in a Buddhist monastery.
Although the teaching was hard work and challenging, my 2009 volunteer experience was extremely rewarding. My students were adult nuns who were eager to learn and a joy to associate with. What they taught me about happiness, harmony, a simple uncluttered life and the value of service to others was priceless. I am anxious to see them again.
HOW TO GET THERE: Anyone interested in volunteering in this part of the world should peruse www.jamyangfoundation.org. Volunteers fly into Delhi $1,600 round-trip, and then travel north by private jeep or public transport.
NANCY PEACOCK: ART LOVER/TRAVELER
This fall I'll be going to the Hudson River Valley on an art museums/historic houses tour organized by the Honolulu Academy of Arts. A highlight will be Dia: Beacon, a museum for art from 1960 to the present, which opened in 2003 on the banks of the Hudson River, and occupies an old Nabisco box-printing facility in Beacon, New York. It's exciting to see what can be done with old factory buildings. Another highlight promises to be the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, MoCA, also dedicated to new art, in North Adams, Mass.
I've traveled with this group of art lovers before, most recently to museums in the Midwest; there will be about 20 of us on the tour.
HOW TO GET THERE: Round-trip fares from Honolulu to New York in September start at $900. Treasures of the Hudson River Valley & Berkshires is a 10-day tour organized through the Honolulu Academy of Arts. $2,700 per person, excluding airfare. www.honoluluacademy.org, www.massmoca.org, www.diabeacon.org