In writing this column, the author misidentified some facts about Cassie De Pecol after reading about her exploits and failing to confirm with her directly. It was never the purpose of this column to attack Ms. De Pecol nor minimize her considerable efforts, but simply to point out even the most well-traveled among us have destinations and experiences to search out.
We'd like to thank her for reaching out to TravelPulse in order to correct the matter. Both the author and the editorial staff would like to sincerely apologize and encourage our readers to not only check out Cassie's website/blog but also to follow in her footsteps by getting out there and seeing the world for yourselves.
As a travel writer, I’ve become accustomed to fielding the same questions and comments over and over again.
Friends and acquaintances repeatedly ask if I need an assistant or a photographer or if I could sneak them into my luggage. I’m often informed that I have a “dream job," and people are always saying “you’ve been everywhere!”
For the record, I take most of my own photos and my pay barely supports me—let alone any assistants, whom I would otherwise gladly welcome. Traveling around the world is certainly fun and definitely insightful, but, to be honest, it’s fairly certain I’ll never attain my actual “dream job” of quarterbacking the New York Giants to the Super Bowl.
While I’ve traveled far and wide on land and sea, I’ve hardly been “everywhere.” The world is a pretty big place. I’m pretty sure it’s impossible for anyone to have been “everywhere.” Take me—I’ve been to places as disparate as Tahiti, Malta, Peru and Alaska but I’ve never visited Hawaii, Las Vegas, Niagara Falls or Grand Canyon National Park.
In fact I read this past week of a young lady who claims to have traveled to every country in the world. Well, it turns out “American traveler” Cassie De Pecol has visited 196 sovereign countries, meaning she hasn’t traveled to places like Antarctica, not to mention a score of African nations. So, even Ms. De Pecol hasn’t been everywhere.
I mention the topic because this week I’m preparing for my first-ever visit to St. Kitts and Nevis. This particular trip is somewhat remarkable because Nevis should logically be among the places I’ve visited.
For one, I’ve been covered Caribbean destinations almost exclusively for six years now, and even before that I visited numerous Caribbean countries during more than a decade of covering the cruise industry.
Secondly, and more significantly, my maternal grandmother, Mary Josephine Issacs Spencer, was a native of St. Kitts and Nevis, emigrating to the US sometime in the first decade of the 20th century. Although several of her family members (and my ancestors) followed, settling around New Jersey and New York, I’m pretty sure I have relatives somewhere on Nevis. My brother Keith has advised me to “Look for Issacs!” during the trip.
While that will certainly comprise part of my itinerary I’m also looking forward to the stay at Nevis’ Nisbet Plantation Beach Club and a visit to the Museum of Nevis History (including the two-story, Georgian-style birthplace of Alexander Hamilton). I’m also planning to explore Charlestown, one of the Caribbean’s best-preserved colonial districts, which features numerous 18th and 19th century Georgian-style buildings.
Other Nevis attractions include a Jewish cemetery whose earliest tombstone dates back to 1769 and feature inscriptions in English, Hebrew, and Portuguese. The Bath Hotel & Spring House, built in 1778 around five natural spring baths, is another distinctive Nevis experience. The Hotel once hosted international dignitaries traveling Nevis to enjoy the therapeutic, hot springs.
Of course, I’ll also spend some time on one or more of Nevis’ beautiful beaches, which are all public and free of charge.
While preparing for the visit I also remembered St. Kitts has one of the few remaining operational rail tracks in the Caribbean. So, I contacted the Nevis Tourism Authority officials who are coordinating the visit to arrange a journey aboard the railway.
While they readily agreed to arrange a trip on the St. Kitts Scenic Railway they said it would take a few conversations as St. Kitts has its own tourism organization! That’s right, a small Caribbean country of 55,000 residents has two separate tourism agencies, another illustration of how the Caribbean, despite popular perceptions, is actually quite diverse.
It’s also indicative of how wide our world is, and how no matter how many places you’ve been there’s always another destination to visit.
The world is a pretty big place.