Thursday, June 28, 2012


We have just wrapped up the 2012 World to the Wise cultural tour. My wife Becky and I said goodbye to some perhaps travel-weary but no less satisfied people at Heathrow airport, while we prepared to take a few days in the Midlands and Lake District to decompress.

One of the most gratifying moments at each destination was seeing their faces when confronted with the wonders of human achievement. In Rome, for example, as soon as you come out of the metro (what Americans call subway), BAM! the Coliseum towers above you like a toothy-grinned giant. Nothing can prepare you for its imposing presence. In Paris, we took the metro from the right bank headed south; at a certain point, the train that is mostly underground becomes overground, and BAM! the Eiffel Tower looms larger than life over the Seine and the great city it adorns.

One's senses would have to be entirely dulled not to appreciate these wonders; many other things, however -- some more subtle -- awaited discovery and marveling. The gentle hills of Tuscany, home to countless olive groves and vineyards; the reminders from the Renaissance that changed the course of human history; or the awe-inspiring majesty of St. Peter's Basilica or Westminster Abbey drew more gapes and gasps than I could count.

The next few posts on this blog will be musings on this life-changing experience -- an experience which sharpens and cultivates what I like to call marvelability.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

In just three days from this writing, a dozen curious souls will wing their way to an adventure of a lifetime. The 2012 World to the Wise Cultural Tour kicks off on Tuesday, June 5, and you're invited to come along via the photos, blog posts and vlogs we'll be posting. Follow us here on this blog or on Facebook ("like" the World to the Wise page while you're there!) -- and who knows, maybe you'll be among those who join us for the next great adventure.

We'll begin in Rome, the "Eternal City", then train to Pisa. Our Tuscan hosts, the Ammirabbile family, will then pick us up and take us to our home base for the next five days in the village of Montespertoli, a half hour outside Florence. After reveling in the Renaissance and Tuscan cuisine, we'll make a brief stop in the mythical canal city of Venice. An overnight sleeper train will take us from there to Paris, the City of Lights, where we'll take in as much as our senses can handle, followed by a five-day stay in London. We'll include a day trip to Oxford, along with some of the quintessential sights and experiences that British culture has to offer -- Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, cream tea, the Globe Theatre, and a spectacular performance of Les Misérables in the West End theatre district.

We look forward to sharing our impressions and experiences with you! To receive regular updates in your e-mail box, just sign up on this site!