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July 31, 2009

An Extraordinary Family Embarks on a Year-Long, Round-the-World Adventure

Today Condé Nast Traveler subscriber Sue Sandford and her four children set off on a 365-day journey around the world. Check out this video of the family visiting me and Conde Nast Traveler's editor-in-chief, Klara Glowczewska, in our Times Square headquarters on July 20, 2009.

by Wendy Perrin

Today's the start of the trip of a lifetime for single mom Sue Sandford of Dallas, Texas, and her four children. They're about to spend a year traveling through Russia, Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Italy, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia, Dubai, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, Bali, Japan, Korea, China, Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Chile, Peru, and Ecuador -- at minimum -- and will be touching back down in Dallas on July 31, 2010.

Sue's calling the trip "World School."  That's because it's not a vacation: It's an education.  Sue feels, as many of us traveling moms and dads do, that there's no better education--or incubator of global citizenship--than travel.  Sue and her kids will be spending much of their time in each country visiting schools, befriending the local children, and getting their hands dirty helping with community projects.

But along with the grit they'll get a taste of grandeur.  Sue has peppered the trip with unique, special-access experiences taken from our Dream List, published annually in Conde Nast Traveler's December issue.  Each child--McKenna, 14; Becca, 13; Josh, 10; and Emma, 8--has chosen a Dream List activity that she or he gets to do. Emma, for instance, will get a ballet lesson from a Bolshoi ballerina, and Josh will get to climb around inside Vietnam's Cu Chi Tunnels with a Vietnam War vet. We know that these experiences will be spectacular because Sue has booked the entire journey through Jim Berkeley of Destinations & Adventures International, whom she found on my annual list of Top Travel Specialists and who has contributed a number of insider-access experiences to our Dream List. (He gets his clients inside one of the most exquisite tombs in Luxor, Egypt, for instance--Nefertari's Tomb--even though it's closed to the public. You can bet Sue and her family are looking forward to that too.)

As Sue mentions in the video, I visited her in her home in Dallas back in May, and she and the kids came to New York to stay with me and my family a couple of weeks ago. I'll be in close touch with them throughout the next year in order to bring you periodic updates from their journey here on The Perrin Post. For daily updates, check out Sue's site over at OurWorldSchool.com.

Prices and other information were accurate at press time, but are subject to change. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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