Hands-On Learning

What in the world was John Wayne’s trick? He rounded up hundreds of well-behaved cattle, effortlessly. Secretly I have always dreamed of being a cowgirl, watching Western movies and trying on cowboy hats when no one was looking. But now, I can’t even manage to drive four shaggy calves into a makeshift corral. “Team penning” is the name of the game, and the competition is a highlight for most guests staying at the Drowsy Water Ranch in Granby, Colorado.

However, my two fellow “buckaroos” and I exchange desperate glances. One of these stubborn beasts actually decides to lie down, looking at us with googly eyes. What do we know of the psyche of a dozing teenaged cow? We have no illusions that we are merely wannabe cowboys, horsing around and out for a good time. If only someone had told the cows.

if I had only known then, what managing editor Janna Graber found out at the Home Ranch, a working Colorado guest ranch in Clark (Home on the Range: Colorado’s Home Ranch). There is a difference between riding and communicating with your horse, she learns. Follow her while she explores aspen-covered hills in the green Elk River Valley on horseback — an excellent read for rookie wranglers.

Another hands-on story in this issue of Go World Travel comes from Susan Miles. She will take you right into Mrs. Osawa’s kitchen (Kyoto Cooking: In Mrs. Osawa’s Kitchen), thanks to the Women’s Association of Kyoto, which organizes personal and group classes in an array of Japanese arts and crafts, right in the instructors’ own homes.

Be forewarned. While reading Fairy-Tale Reality: Aitutaki, Cook Islands, by Jane Cassie, you may want to pinch yourself, as her dreamy tale of swaying coconut palms, saucer-size angelfish and sugar-white beaches sound almost too fabulous to be true.

Lisette Palazzi will guide us to the Straits of Bonifacio (Bonifacio: Corsica’s Gibraltar), the windswept waterway that separates the southernmost tip of Corsica, France, from the coast of Italy’s Sardinia, where the waters dazzle the eye with a kaleidoscope of colors — royal, sapphire, cobalt and turquoise.

For us at Go World Travel, covering the world also means looking at less paradisiacal, more edgy and off-the-beaten-track places, as well. Terah Shelton offers her thoughtful musings on Piran (Mediterranean Siren: Piran, Slovenia), a once-popular travel destination on the Adriatic, strongly reemerging after the War of Independence with Yugoslavia.

Gettysburg, the most famous little town in Pennsylvania, is largely known for being the site of one of the bloodiest battles in United States’ history, yet it has much more to offer, as Cynthia Kryder shows us, in Gettysburg Getaway: Beyond the Battlefield.

The travel community seems divided over the question of whether or not to visit Myanmar. Marc Oppizio carefully wages the pros and cons in Myanmar: Lost in Time.

Drug cartels, mass-kidnappings and guerillas still plague Colombia. The country has a mixed reputation as Paul Wainwright points out in Cartagena: Colombia’s Caribbean Gem. However, security has improved remarkably in areas like Cartagena de Indias, and the World Heritage site is well worth the journey.

As for my “wrangler team in training” and the bullheaded calves, well, a seasoned stockman observing the scene with a wide grin finally takes pity on us city slickers. You need to make noise, he advises and yells: “Yep, yep!” And the lazy beasts actually start moving, and end up in their pen. I forget now how long it took us to round them up. We surely came in last. What counts though, is that we did it. We did not just dream of being a cowboy for a week — we did it!

We cover almost a dozen destinations around the globe in this issue of Go World Travel. We hope our stories may inspire you not just to dream about faraway or nearby places, but to actually pack your bags and go.

Happy travels!

Heike Schmidt

Senior Editor


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Janna Graber

Janna Graber is an award-winning American travel journalist and current editor of Go World Travel Magazine. Since moving to Austria at age 19 for college, she's been in love with world travel, and has covered destinations around the globe for more than 55 newspapers, magazines and websites. She's the author of three travel anthology books, including "A Pink Suitecase: 22 Tales of Women's Travel".
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