The Traveler's Journal  
Travel Articles by David Bear
Versions of these articles and columns have appeared in newspapers around the county. Please enjoy them for your own use, but if you want to reproduce or publish them in any form, please let us know first by emailing us

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PIN down ways to remember codes


Like many people these days, I am overwhelmed by the proliferation of passwords and secret codes that have accumulated in my life. The very safeguards designed to protect my security often prevent me from accessing my own accounts.
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The roots of Christmas and routes of St. Nick


Though Christmas can be a highly ritualized and spiritual experience for believers, the holiday has transcended religious boundaries and become an occasion for the giving and receiving of gifts, even in cultures not entirely motivated by consumerism.
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South African floral kingdom surrounds eco-resort


Botanically speaking, the magnificent mountains, verdant valleys and sweeping coastal plains of Africa's southwestern tip are a world apart.
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From rappelling to sea kayaking, Cape crusaders seek adventure


Standing with my back to a sheer, 400-foot cliff overlooking the South Atlantic, I took a step backward over the edge.
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Traveling alone can be rite of passage for teens


The airlines require all children 14 and under who are traveling alone to be registered as unaccompanied minors and pay an extra fee, which allows for supervision en route by airline personnel. However, once they reach their 15th birthday, they are considered young adults and free to travel on their own.
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Mayflower voyagers weathered rough trip


On Sept. 16, 1620,a badly overloaded 180-ton vessel slipped out of Plymouth Harbor, England, for a 2,700-mile voyage across the stormy Atlantic.

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Travel to Europe just got much harder


This weekend's termination of US Airways' direct service from Pittsburgh to London is a real setback for local travelers.
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When bad tours happen to good people


Gene Keidan is one of the lucky ones. At least she got to finish the trip she'd planned, even if she had to pay 25 percent more.
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The travel of sport


Although they're not normally thought of as frequent business travelers, the players and staffs of sports teams spend a lot of their season traveling around the country to take care of business.
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Some big benefits of small ships


In virtually all popular cruising areas, a range of smaller ships offer an alternative experience to the mass appeal of the megaliners.
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Making foreign connections


Electrical power is neither generated nor delivered the same way everywhere around the world.
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A long day's journey


Whatever the outcome of ongoing negotiations with US Airways on the future of its hub operations at Pittsburgh International, it is clear that our airport's primary carrier has already decided to erase the International from its nameplate
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Planning a honey of a honeymoon


Although the origins of the word "honeymoon" are not entirely clear, it's generally associated with the notion that the first month of marriage is always the sweetest.
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How US Airways' boxed meals stack up


As of July 1, coach class passengers on US Airways domestic flights of 700 miles or farther should be able again to get decent food in-flight -- if they're willing to pay for it.
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Stop and smell the roses and read the historical markers


Generally a combination of local color and all-but-forgotten facts, roadside markers are usually historical, often trivial, sometimes gossipy and occasionally involving rhymes and riddles.
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Where bourbon was bred


The name might be French, but bourbon is distinctly a spirit of America. More than 90 percent of it is produced in four counties in central Kentucky, but not the one named Bourbon.
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Guilty until proven innocent?


Each journey through an airport these days can be an adventure in unpredictability.
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Buckeye State bicentennial bashes


The Buckeye State is celebrating its bicentennial. Dozens of local observations will be held this summer, but five "signature" events are expected to attract tens of thousands of visitors.
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Let's not dismiss Image Gap study


Significant disparities exist between the prevailing perceptions people elsewhere have of the Pittsburgh area (smoky steel city and industrial rust belt) and its current realities.
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WHO adds Toronto to SARS no-go list


City officials livid over SARS warning; tourism industry getting clobbered
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Reflections on a foreign adventure


To go or not to go.
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A humbling experience in the 'capital of golf'


With more than 100 holes of superb golf tucked among its 10,000 acres of sand dunes, salt marshes and high-end housing, Kiawah, the low-lying barrier island situated 21 miles southeast of Charleston, S.C., must rank as the "capital of golf."
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Don't let fear keep you at home


To travel or not to travel: That is the question.
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A decade of living dangerously


Robert Young Pelton vacations where wise men fear to tread. But that doesn't make him a fool, just a traveler with highly developed sense of adventure, a taste for dangerous places and fascination with perilous people.
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Grappling with our image gap


Southwestern Pennsylvanians: Who are we, and what makes us special? Asking these questions is easy. Answering them with any degree of confidence or consensus is exceedingly difficult.

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