No matter where in the world I travel, the very best thing I've ever found or discovered would be the people.
Each destination offers a unique experience that I cherish, but the people I've met and the stories they have shared are tucked in my memory forever.
Having an inside look in the Richmond, Virginia, archives and seeing George Washington's signature along with other national treasures provided a huge impact. However, the story behind the caretaker of these treasures made just as much of an impression on me.
Rafting down the Arkansas River when at class 4 stage was exhiliariting and thrilling. But learning about the law student who was our guide and had only been rafting 2 weeks was even more exciting--and that was over 20 years ago.
Recently, in the Appenzel area of Switzerland, all of the people we met and tales of how they carry on family traditions for generations provided story upon story.
Traveling around southwestern Nova Scotia, each little town provided its own personality and the people and stories made it come to life.
Having just returned from Sirha and Bocuse d'Or in Lyon, where I witnessed 24 talented chefs compete, and more chefs in other catergories, the common denomitator was their passion. Those attending, displaying, and competing all shared this passion. Why and how they got to Lyon to attend were all wonderful and fascinating stories.
For me, no matter the continent or trip, it is the people and their sense of life that provide my best moments and memories.
Maralyn D. Hill, President
International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA)