Credit: Richard Phibbs

Because I’m a highly purposeful traveler—the buttoned-up, all-days-accounted-for, annotated itinerary sort—I must admit that I don’t always fully get it when those around me (husband, son, and daughter included) finally blow the whistle and want to sit still. No doubt this propensity toward rather constant movement is one result of my years of traveling for T+L, where a good number of the places I visit are the very same spots that my friends and acquaintances are heading to for their vacations. Depending on the destination, I try to slot in time between business meetings for museums and galleries, concerts, plays, shopping, and new restaurants—personal interests that happen to fall within the range of T+L’s editorial content. The point is, I don’t want to miss anything.

Purposeful travel is much in evidence in this issue, from the pleasurable obsessiveness of Heather Smith MacIsaac’s quest for Scottish cashmere to the fulfilling opportunities laid out in “15 Life-Changing Trips”; you’ll find individuals and organizations that are making a significant difference in our annual Global Vision Awards, once again chosen by an esteemed panel of judges. Wine and spirits editor Bruce Schoenfeld reports on the homegrown innovations fanning out across the United States, and redefining local food, style, and culture; for more about this country’s attributes that may take you by surprise, we offer the results of another annual event, our America’s Favorite Cities poll. In the mix of the usual contenders, it’s nice once again to see Seattle, Minneapolis, New Orleans, and Austin, Texas, in the winner’s circle.

Some people head for the high seas when they really want to escape from it all. Deputy editor Laura Begley scopes out the latest option in cruising, the super-luxury Seabourn Odyssey—casino, gold-leaf facial, and all—while Mark Orwoll, T+L’s Smart Traveler, debunks five cruising myths in order to help you choose the right ship. For more inspiration, our cover story this month offers 26 stylish Caribbean hotels, from Curaçao to Jamaica, all under $250 a night. To simplify the crowded online world of travel, we point the way to our top 45 websites for airlines, hotels, and more . Whether you’re in Kyoto or passing through London’s Heathrow International, navigating well is key; our handy guides will let you make the most of your stop, no matter how temporary it is.

As to my own travels, I’m not so sure I’ll be able to slow down, but one day I may yet do that book tentatively titled I’m the One in Heels, inspired by my experiences in places where other people go to get away from it all.

Where to Find Me

Twitter: @nnovogro