The New York Times Travel Show Entices With Its Flavors, Dances & Energy

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This January was the first time I’ve attended the New York Times Travel Show at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City. Every part of the world was represented including Antarctica and Papua New Guinea, from resort travel and high end cruises to adventure backpacking, hanging out with gorillas, leopards or giraffes in Africa and polar bears in Canada and Alaska.

Barbados and St. Maarten had electronic energy – I can’t wait to get to this part of the world.

The Asia Stage. I do need to get back to India. It has been a long time.

The South American stage.

Then there’s Indonesia. Over the weekend, Indonesian dancers performed the Nandak Ganjen Dance, a dance from Jakarta, strongly influenced by Chinese culture, a new creation originating from Gambang Kromong folk art. The dance depicts lively young girls celebrating their journey to adulthood, expressing happiness and freedom of a woman in the making. The Merak Dance is a female dance as well, and inspired by the beautiful movements of a peacock.

The Baris Mapatra Yudha Dance is one of the most important ritual dances in Bali (above) and it derives its name from the word “bebarisan” which literally means a line or file of formation. It refers to the ancient Balinese soldiers who were used by rajaraja, the Balinese kings to protect their kingdom in times of disturbance.

Aside from its ritualistic function, the baris is also known as the warrior drill dance. The ritualistic function of this dance is to show physical maturity and it is performed by two to sixty dancers. This dance was re-choreographed by Prof. DR. I Made Bandem.

Their representation was top-notch. Thanks for the treats and for making me feel like home.

Then, a cookbook on Malaysia drew me over to the Malaysian booth: Flavors of Malaysia. Although I haven’t seen the book yet or tried any of the recipes (hope to soon), there are more than 150 authentic, easy-to-follow recipes with a 16-page color insert. Not only does it include a step-by-step guide to yummy Malaysian cuisine, but it covers Malaysian history and its culinary origins.

Flavors of Malaysia celebrates the best of the Malaysian table so to speak, from sizzling satays, flavorful stir-fries, fragrant rice and noodle dishes, aromatic curries and spicy condiments, that for anyone who has been there will recall with eager tummies.

Below, I learned more about the expeditions in Alaska and that they too have polar bears they’d like me to see.

I am dying to get back to Botswana. Africa holds a special place in my soul.

The marketing and PR girls that represent Fiji. I can’t say enough positive glowing things about Fijians and my time there. I would return in a heartbeat.

Mexico was intoxicating. From tequila and mezcal, to dancing, they enticed with me with so many reasons to go that a return visit is moving higher on my list. After all, there’s so much of the country I’ve yet to see.

Ahhh Greece. While I spent a chunk of time there many moons ago, there are so many islands left to explore. As for the Greek Tourism Board representation, they were such charmers. I so want to explore Crete and Santorini with my Canon 7D, islands I didn’t make it to on my four trips to Greece to-date. I love this country. And oh yes, the food.

Thailand was so creative – they were making floral arrangements out of carrots, and fruit like cantelope. Astonishing!

Taiwan too, wasn’t short on color and vitality.


While nearly every country entices with me with some flavor, story, exotic dish or cultural experience, high on my list in the coming months includes countries I seem to keep dreaming about: Argentina, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Taiwan, Cambodia, Antarctica, Trinidad & Tobago, the Philippines, St. Maarten, Barbados, Vietnam, Japan, Iceland, Norway and Spain. And places, I want to go back to sooner than later include South Africa, Bali, Greece and Italy.

(that is unless I get sidetracked by some offer or another to a place I haven’t been to, have little knowledge about or simply turns my head – being spontaneous is part of being a traveler and if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t have  hung out with polar bears in Churchill last year, which had not been on my “hot” list).

For more on our events, check out our Events and Festivals section. And, oh by the way, the Los Angeles Travel Show is coming up in May. All photos by Renee Blodgett except for Asia and South American stage two shots which were taken from the Travel Show’s website. Apologies for the not so sharp photos but I left my Canon 7D at my hotel so all shots were taken on my iPhone.