Credit: Richard Marnell

“It’s the jump cuts between unlike places that keep the action interesting” were the words from T+L contributing editor Adam Sachs (“When the Right Trip Goes Wrong”) that kept echoing through my mind as I tried to get my enthusiasm up for a jump cut of my own last Friday morning. Having arrived home in New York at 8 p.m. the previous evening, I was unpacking my suitcase from a week in Central Europe and repacking it for three nights in London, a challenging maneuver that ultimately led me to the chair in my central London hotel room where I am now seated. This month, in an instance of magazine articles mirroring life, our cover feature, “101 Places Every Traveler Should Know,” catapults from the first-century-B.C. monument of Petra, in Jordan, to Louis XIV’s gardens in Versailles, and from a cruise on the Amazon to a drop-by at New Orleans’s Preservation Hall. Endlessly debated in our offices, this travel life list is the result of a prodigious polling effort—beginning in-house with the magazine’s editors and fanning out to our global network of correspondents, contributors, and experts, and expanding beyond to some noted personalities with a lot to say. One thing is certain: the list, in all its glorious eccentricity, will provoke some strong reactions from you, our readers.

Of course, the places we highlight in every issue of T+L are ones we think you should know. This month they range from the Caribbean to Paris, and from Panama to Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. Our cruise editor, Jane Wooldridge, offers her personal account of the attractions of vacations at sea, and our annual Air Travel Report will help you get past the ever-changing hurdles—including security—faster.

No matter the jump cuts along the way, I am a strong advocate for traveling slowly whenever you can. This morning I took advantage of a gap in my meetings schedule and went for a walk along the Thames, heading south toward Westminster Bridge then crossing over and returning on Waterloo Bridge, where a sweet Saudi couple pushing a baby carriage asked me to take a picture of them against a backdrop of the London Eye and Big Ben. As I made my way through Victoria Embankment Gardens toward my hotel, I was thinking not about work, but about flowers, and how much later they bloom in London than in my Connecticut garden. Between sometimes jarringly fast transitions, travel offers delectable opportunities to take a deep breath and bask in where you are.

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Twitter: @TLNancy