Virtuoso Traveler 2018 June Why I Travel: Marc and Karla Greenwald

Why I Travel: Marc and Karla Greenwald

Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu.
Photo by Marc Greenwald
It wasn’t until he was nearing his retirement as a critical care physician in 2014 that Marc Greenwald got serious about travel. That’s when he reached out to Virtuoso. He explains, “I called and said, ‘Can you please help a couple of brand-new travelers find an expert on Australia and New Zealand?’” Next thing he knew, the doctor, 72, and his wife, Karla, 71, were planning a four-week Australian adventure from their home in Cape Cod with Kansas-based advisor Michael King. Their journeys haven’t stopped since.
Visiting a Cambodian school.
Visiting a Cambodian school.
Photo by Marc Greenwald

I want to keep learning; that’s why I travel.

To see beautiful places, new ways of life, different traditions. It changes you.

Here we were, people who never really went anywhere.

We land in Australia and New Zealand for a month; what a relief that Michael had everything coordinated. The private guides he arranged were all locals, all friendly, and all knowledgeable about the best restaurants – the best of everything. The highlight was sitting down with an Aboriginal artist and learning to paint in the traditional style. Unforgettable.

First step is, we talk about where we want to go. 

In the last few years, Michael has sent us to Africa and on a Mekong River cruise in Cambodia. Both of those trips were with Lindblad Expeditions.
A shot from Londolozi in South Africa.
A shot from Londolozi in South Africa.
Photo by Marc Greenwald

In the beginning,

we’d lug two huge checked bags, two of the biggest carry-ons, a camera bag, and anything else we could bring. Now we’ve got it down: Our two new Briggs & Riley carry-ons fit everything we need for a month.

Travel gives you instant perspective.

You go to Cambodia and meet people in rural areas living on next to nothing, and yet they’re still happy, kind, and welcoming. Back home, we get upset if the latest iPhone doesn’t do exactly what we ask.

Who can pick just one hotel?

From an incredible bed-and-breakfast on the shores of Lake Taupo, New Zealand, to the extraordinary Peninsula and Mandarin Oriental hotels in Hong Kong, Michael knows what’s great in each destination and gets us fantastic deals.

Photography is my hobby,

so I still carry a DSLR camera. My Canon EOS 5D Mark IV excels at wildlife photography. But I have the coolest compact camera for Hawaii-type vacation shots: The Light L16 has 16 lenses that combine more than ten images into one amazing high-res photograph.

On safari two years ago in South Africa,

we watched a pride of lions take down a Cape buffalo. Nature is awesome.

Keys to staying healthy while traveling:

Watch what you eat. Keep your hands clean. Sleep when the locals sleep to adjust your body’s clock. And if you’re heading to Cuzco in the Andes, you might want to take altitude pills.

Where Next?

In July, we’re traveling with Michael and his family. We’ll cruise with Lindblad around the glaciers of the Alaska coast, with his kids and our kids – and probably more than a few whales. Then China in 2019.

Marc and Karla Greenwald exploring Australia’s Red Centre.
Marc and Karla Greenwald exploring Australia’s Red Centre.
Photo by Marc Greenwald

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