This travel source book is designed to help readers
decide on the best travel for their needs. The book is
packed with information essential to a successful
vacation experience. There are 33 well-researched lists,
including Gig's selection of the 75 grand tours of the
world, and more than 260 photos that give life to the
destinations. Added attractions include more than 125
familiar and not-so-familiar quotations, plus a personal
Uncover the travel gems of the world with globetrotter
Gig Gwin. Gain insights and enjoy compelling destination
stories from Gig's lifelong journeys around the world.
He draws upon his years of travel, consulting and
speaking in a down-to-earth book that touches on
everything from grand tours of the world to dining with
the locals in faraway places with strange-sounding
Settle into your comfortable chair and probe the world
of travel as you never have before. Various chapters
examine the five reasons people yearn to travel - from
romance to adventure. Delve into special interests that
strike your fancy, from festivals and fairs to
symphonies and sports. Readers can take a travel survey
that may just reshape their thinking about their next
Immerse yourself in tourism through the ages, from the
seven wonders of the ancient world to those of the
modern world. Go back into the history of tourism with
such fine fellows as Herodotus, Caesar Augustus, the
Crusaders and Marco Polo. Continue on to modern times
with tourism in the Age of Discovery and the origins of
the grand tour during the Enlightenment. Learn about the
first travel agent, Thomas Cook, and wander the world
with news commentator Lowell Thomas.
Enjoy travel tips and pre-trip planning that will help
make your next vacation go smoothly, from packing and
common-sense health rules to shopping tips and creative
Gig's list of the 75 grand tours of the world spans the
globe, complemented by comprehensive information on
landmarks and lodging. Take it from someone who's been
there. These are the trips of a lifetime.
World traveler Gig Gwin invites you to join him in this
celebration of the joy of exploration. Hopefully his
love of travel will be contagious.
Gig Gwin's "Travel Dreams Sold Here"
New book chronicles world traveler's exciting
adventures around the globe
by Linda Briggs-Harty
March 18, 2011
Gwin, owner of Gwins Travel in Kirkwood, has traveled to
every country on Earth. He chronicles his adventures in
a new book, "Travel Dreams Sold Here: Crafting an
Extraordinary Vacation," set for release in April.
A unique guide for sure, Graydon "Gig" Gwin's new book
is part how-to and part inspiration, with plenty of
anecdotes and first-hand experiences.
"Travel Dreams" will be available at West County Barnes
& Noble; Gwins Travel, 111 N. Taylor Ave. in
Kirkwood; or online at www.gwins.com/gig.
Gwin's expertise and energy, evident in the book, has
readers cruising down the Rhine River in Germany and
trekking through deserts in Morocco right alongside him.
Sometimes solo, sometimes joined by friends or family
(including wife Terrie and three grown boys), Gwin
literally lives to travel.
Such has been the case for much of his life: as a
youngster when he travelled with his professor dad, two
older sisters and adventurous mother; as a soldier in
Vietnam; as a young man working for TWA; and as an
account executive/product development director for
Employing some 40 people in three locations, Gwins
Travel arranged 44,000 trips last year. Though 9/11
almost did the company in, Gwin hung on and reaped
rewards through know-how and good marketing, he said.
At 65, Gwin is active as ever. Four months ago, he rode
a bike down Pike's Peak (35 miles an hour). Next
February, he'll lead a tour to Botswana, the best area
for viewing African animals.
"Fulfilling my own travel dreams makes it possible for
me to help fellow travelers fulfill theirs," Gwin writes
in the book's introduction.
he covers most every angle of touring in "Travel
Dreams": why we travel, tourism through the ages, travel
tips and pre-trip planning, grand tours, transportation,
lodging, sightseeing, dining, museum-hopping and more.
"As I counseled people over the years, I kept fielding
the same questions," said Gwin. "The book speaks to
He lists five reasons to travel: touring, romancing,
relaxing, adventure seeking and pursuit of special
"The great bonus of touring is the almost permanent
memory bank of travel adventures," he writes. "We travel
the globe to explore times past and modern marvels."
Gwin admits he's romantic, ever waiting to be wowed,
like when he saw the full moon shine down on the Taj
Mahal in India.
He said he agrees that "soft white sand and calm
tropical water are the perfect ingredients for a
His list of dream beaches will lure sand lovers to hot
spots all over the world, like Cape Hatteras and South
Padre in North America, Jamaica and St. Lucia in the
Caribbean, Costa Rica and Punte del Este in
Central/South America, Bermuda in the Atlantic and
Galapagos in the Pacific, to name just a few.
"Boomers want to take active trips," he said.
Therefore, he shares favorite hiking, skiing, bungee
jumping, scenic rafting, snorkeling/diving, golfing,
rodeo-riding and other action sites, along with the best
zoos, botanical gardens and opera houses (his favorite).
Gwin's "Tourism Through the Ages" chapter aims to
educate, he said. Who knew toga-wearing Herodotus
sparked all this wanderlust?
Many travelers are unaware that there's a new list of
the world's seven wonders. Most know about Marco Polo,
the Crusaders and Conquistadors; what about Thomas Cook
and Lowell Thomas, past travel industry promoters?
After highlighting history, Gwin informs about a host
of practical matters: getting passports and visas, trip
insurance, immunizations, foreign currency and more. He
shares tips on packing clothes and jewelry, making a
shopping list and remembering portable electronics.
Health care and personal safety are part of the
picture, as is photo-taking, everyone's interest these
His list of the world's grand tours presents unusual
opportunities, such as hiking up Morro Rock in
California's Sequoia National Park or watching polar
bears swipe at photographers above them on a tundra
perch in Churchill/Hudson Bay, Canada.
More history is in the transportation chapter, where
Gwin reminds readers it all revolves around planes,
trains and automobiles (ships too).
The chapters on lodging and dining are close to Gwin's
heart, he said. Hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts and
luxury inns all can be perfect depending on the trip, he
Staying in an over-the-water bungalow in Bora Bora was
like "opening the gates of paradise," he writes.
A chapter on America's National Parks lists all types
of affordable, natural travel options. Some 58 national
parks and a whopping 337 National Park Service outlets
-- ranging from historic sites to battlefields to scenic
river ways -- foster cultural and ecological awareness.
Gwin's dining chapter offers food for thought -- and
laughter too. A tale about eating yak stew in Morocco
centers on worst fears turned funny and fulfilling.
After highlighting museums, Gwin lists the countries
he's toured - some 300-plus.
There are plenty more exotic locales off the beaten
path, according to Gwin. Spin a bottle on the map and
see where it lands. Adventures await.
Seasoned journalist and explorer Gig
Gwin has traveled around the globe for more than four
decades, from Kilimanjaro to Katmandu, from the largest
continents to the smallest islands, from London and Paris
to Tonga and Tristan da Cunha. He is equally at home in an
elegant resort or a native hut. His stories have covered
virtually all aspects of travel, including adventure,
history, food and such newsworthy topics as the effect of
the 2004 tsunami on tourism in the hardest-hit countries.
Through the years, Gig has developed a
writing style that is clean and compelling, and at times
sprinkled with humor. An avid photographer, Gig looks for
just the right images to bring his stories to life.
His stories have graced the pages of
numerous newspapers and magazines. His account of climbing
Mount Kilimanjaro was the feature story in the travel
section of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Other articles
have described a Molokai mule ride into a leper colony,
sharing sheep stew with Iranian nomads, and being granted
a private audience with the king of Tonga. He is the
travel specialist for the American Express Persona
Magazine, sharing quarterly stories and adventures with
thousands of card holders.
Gig is a sought-after national speaker
and appears frequently on radio and television. In 1999,
he fulfilled a life-long goal and became one of a handful
of people to have visited all 325 countries of the world.