Mary Clark, Traveler

Tuesdays at 4:50pm and 5:50pm, during All Things Considered

Writing a travel column for the Paris News has brought together my life experiences and my life outlook. After 29 years of practicing law, I was ready for this change and it's been fun. I didn't want to manufacture the usual travel column with a few hotels, restaurants, and sites thrown in (although I'm told that's what most people want). What I wanted was to personalize cultures with stories. These encounters are not limited to foreign countries. The United States is richly diverse and reflective of the world and is a great source for the column. And, interestingly, I consider Paris, Texas itself a microcosm of the world and some stories will reflect that.

My essays are now being read on my new show and podcast, Mary Clark, Traveler, on 88.9 KETR, public radio for Northeast Texas.

Vendor peddling wares in Antigua, Guatemala
Mary Clark Traveler Blog (http://thetravelinggene.blogspot.com)

Mary Clark's family has a long tradition of volunteerism with the Peace Corps, a service organization which sends Americans abroad to assist with the pressing needs of people around the world.

The Henry Clay Frick Home in Manhattan
Mary Clark Traveler Blog (http://thetravelinggene.blogspot.com)

Mary Clark visits two separate collections displayed at Manhattan Museums, which share a common thread through the American Labor Movement.

Footprint Pool at the 9/11 Memorial in New York City.
Mary Clark Traveler Blog (http://thetravelinggene.blogspot.com)

New York City is home to a moving tribute to those lost in the World Trade Center buildings, at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. Located at the World Trade Center site, the Museum and Memorial was completed in 2014, and commemorates the attacks on on the buildings in 2001.

Easter Sunday in New Orleans, 2009.
Infrogmation of New Orleans/http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:GoodchildrenEasterParade2009StClaudeTrafficBehind.JPG

Louisiana's Big Easy is known for it's Mardi Gras celebrations, but many are unaware that the city is also a hot spot to visit for Easter. Mary Clark recently went back to New Orleans for the first time in 35 years, and enjoyed her time in this unique city.

Ceramic pots representing the many gods of the Santeria religion, on display at the Yoruba Cultural Center in Havana.
Mary Clark Traveler Blog (http://thetravelinggene.blogspot.com)

Santeria, or "devotion to Saints," is a practice still utilized in Cuba. Originating from Cuban slaves' African heritage, it is a blending of Yoruba mythology mixed with Christianity. Orichas (deities) are paired with Catholic Saints to form this meld of beliefs, known as religious syncretism.

Statue of Dr. Martin Luther King at the MLK Center in Dallas, Texas.
Mary Clark Traveler Blog (http://thetravelinggene.blogspot.com)

Fair Park in Dallas is known for The Cotton Bowl and the annual State Fair of Texas, but the historical site is also home to fascinating exhibits and museums.

Taxi drivers waiting outside Hotel Nacional in Havana, Cuba
Mary Clark Traveler Blog (http://thetravelinggene.blogspot.com)

Although times and regimes have changed, the iconic 1950's cars synonymous with Communist Cuba are still prominent.

The view of Mount Rainier is revealed though the clouds
Mary Clark Traveler Blog (http://thetravelinggene.blogspot.com)

People come from near and far to catch a glimpse of the tri-peaks of Washington State's Mount Rainier, a towering formation of rock and ice.

Mary Clark Traveler Blog (http://thetravelinggene.blogspot.com)

When you think of racing, tugboats might be the last thing to come to mind. But each year in Olympia, Washington, the tugs fill the start line at the Annual Harbor Day Festival.

Mary Clark Traveler Blog (http://thetravelinggene.blogspot.com)

From their vibrant, artful downtown area, to nearby Eisenhower State Park, Denison serves as an ideal weekend destination.

After traveling the globe on various different international airlines, Mary has noticed some distinct differences between the providers.

Mary Clark Traveler Blog (http://thetravelinggene.blogspot.com)

Since 1946, film festivals have been held all over the world -  from Cannes to Venice to Toronto to Sundance. Mary Clark's cousin took his Mountain Film Festival on the road to where viewers are most likely to be.

Mary Clark Traveler Blog (http://thetravelinggene.blogspot.com)

At the southern most point of The Americas lies the city of Punta Arenas, the capital city of Chile's southern most region. A meer 900 miles North of Antarctica, it is by most accounts at the edge of the earth.

Mary Clark Traveler Blog (http://thetravelinggene.blogspot.com)

When seeking a nearby destination with activities for the kids and the adults, look no further than Alexandria, Louisiana.

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Far from the glitz and tourist traps, lies a more intimate, up-close and personal means of accommodation - hostels.  Mary Clark and her family roughed it during a trip to Chile, staying in tiny rooms with bunk beds, and sharing space with strangers.

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