Why I applied to be the @NYTimes #52PlacesToGo #Travel Reporter

I love everything about traveling, except the laundry.

I once trekked through five airports in one day (though my luggage did not) and I still left the last one smiling.

The whoosh of takeoff always gives me a thrill and those thick-paned plane windows yield some of my favorite views — the sunrise’s slow stretch, the busy glow of a thousand city lights, that first glimpse of a place I’ve never been, the familiar runway that leads me home.

Often, my souvenirs are images and the stories they bring to mind — the afternoon I spent chasing rainbows over Iguazo Falls, the time I made a Cuban cigar farmer laugh, the moment I stood in the Garden of the Beatitudes and heard air raid sirens marking Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Last week, my friend Julie sent me a link to a job opening at the New York Times. The temporary position read like a dream — travel to all of the places listed in their “52 Places to Go in 2018” guide and tell the stories you find there. “You should apply,” she wrote.

Tuesday night, on deadline, I sorted through photos I’ve taken and stories I’ve written, hastily narrowed them down to the five the application allowed, wrote the two required essays and clicked submit.

All over the world thousands of other hopeful travelers did the same, so it felt a little like buying a lottery ticket.

Still, a girl can dream.

Wednesday, I pulled in my driveway and saw a notice hanging from my door.

“Holy cow! The New York Times works quickly!” I thought, imagining for just one second, the envelope contained an interview summons.

It turned out to be a notice from the department of public works that my water meter needed to be changed, and I had a good chuckle at my own expense.

I love my family, my hometown, my job and my friends and I won’t be too disappointed if the New York Times doesn’t come to call.

But, I sure would be thrilled if they did.

Cuba 261
I’m not a cigar smoker myself, but I did get a kick out of making this Cuban cigar farmer laugh (and I’m told his products were fantastic).
I get my wanderlust from my mom. This is us at Iguazu Falls, a rainbow wonderland that straddles Brazil and Argentina.
double rainbow double falls
Here’s one of the rainbow pictures I took that afternoon.
Ann and Me in Guatemala
This is me and my friend Ann after we road motorcycles up a volcano in Guatemala. I took this trip with members of my high school class when I was 16-years old, thanks to my excellent Spanish teacher, Mrs. Wisnefski.
Historic floods kept the boats moored on the Seine when my daughters and I visited in 2016, but we walked across that river more than 100 times during our stay in Paris and we had a wonderful time.


We stood right here on the Sea of Galilea shore and listened to the air raid sirens that marked Holocaust Remembrance Day. The Garden of Beatitudes is just to the right in this panoramic photo I shot, which made the moment especially profound. Blessed are the peacemakers.

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