Shakespeare said all the world’s a stage. For Steve Litvin, all the world’s a lab. Celebrating his 20th year teaching hospitality and tourism at the College, Litvin has visited 94 countries, all but one with his wife, Allegra, of 50 years. They have also been to all 50 states. 

“Our travels have allowed me to experience other destinations and cultures and observe their issues, strengths and challenges,” says Litvin. “The learning from my explorations often find their way into my lectures, allowing me to keep my lessons current and topical, and it is just a lot of fun!” 

A former CPA and travel agency owner, Litvin is a New Hampshire native who has lived in Boston, Phoenix and Singapore, plus Fort Sill, Oklahoma, when serving in the Army, and Ontario, Canada, as a Fulbright Scholar. He lists his Top 10 favorite travel destinations here – with the caveat that “it isn’t so much the place as it is
our experience at the destination that makes a place special.” 

10. Bora Bora, French Polynesia
The island does tourism really well with its fabulous resorts and their bungalows over the water. We loved it from the minute we arrived at the airport, with its runway located on the coral atoll that surrounds the island and from which you then take a boat to the terminal. There’s not much to do except swim in turquoise lagoons, snorkel with sharks and stare at the abundance of stars every night, but it was a special and romantic place for us to visit. 

9. Bali, Indonesia
It’s a fascinating place with great food and beaches. Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world, but, of the 6,000 islands that are inhabited, Bali is the only one that is Hindu. The way they’ve so fiercely held onto their culture with the Balinese dancers and the firewalkers and the temples is magnificent.  

8. New Zealand
It’s an incredibly beautiful place with really friendly, engaging people. Also, the range of things to do there is just incredible. Of all the places we’ve ever been, I would say the two places that do tourism the best, that understand what it takes to provide an exceptional tourist experience, are New Zealand and Bermuda. 

7. Sedona, Arizona
When we owned our travel agency in Phoenix, Allegra and I had a second home in Sedona. It’s the most beautiful place in the country. The red rocks are stunning, there’s an energy there, the light is beautiful. Everyone should find a way to spend some time in Sedona. 

6. Singapore
I signed a contract to teach there for two years and we stayed for eight. It likes to call itself  “a clean, green city of excellence,” and it is. It’s just a wonderful, wonderful city. We just loved it. The people are great, the food – a blend of Chinese, Indian and Malay – is the best and, most importantly, we made friendships that will last
a lifetime. 

5. Nepal
It belongs on everybody’s list because of the pure beauty combined with the incredibly interesting culture. The vibrancy of the place was overwhelming. And seeing Mount Everest was amazing. 

4. Cuba
Cuba is so vibrant, alive and colorful. But perhaps the most memorable part was going with [retired director of the Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program] Marty Perlmutter’s Jewish studies group and the debates each evening while being served dinner in the private homes that served as restaurants. The Republicans in our group saw a place that was in economic shambles, while the Democrats saw a place with no homelessness and the highest literacy rate in the Western Hemisphere. We never travel with a group: This was different, and it was great fun to spend the week with lively and interesting travel companions who truly helped us to appreciate and try to understand the country. 

3. Taj Mahal, India
When I taught in Singapore, we were friends with a Singaporean Indian family who took us on a tour of India with their three teenage children. My nephew from New
Hampshire was also able to join us as our present following his graduation from the Naval War College. Traveling with friends and family made the trip extra special. The Taj Mahal is a sacred place, a mausoleum constructed to honor the emperor’s favorite wife. But being there, at a burial site, felt joyous, as we realized how fortunate we were to be viewing one of the most beautiful and iconic sites on the planet.   

2. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
When we visited the temple, there were probably 10 people there that day because the Cambodians were still at war with the Khmer Rouge. Today, there are 2.5 million annual visitors. We were escorted by a soldier with an AK-47 and were told to be careful to stay on the walkway because they hadn’t cleared all the landmines. It was eerie but added to the adventure. The temple is the world’s largest religious structure. Its size and splendor are overwhelming. But also in the area are killing fields, with pyramids of human skulls displayed, that make you wonder how people can both create such beauty and be instruments of such horror. It was sobering to experience such extremes of humanity within the same locale. 

1. Machu Picchu, Peru
The 15th-century Incan citadel deserves to be on everyone’s bucket list. The architecture and the history are captivating, but it is the setting, high in the Andes, that is breathtaking. What made it extra special for us was that we were able to stay, as guests of Belmond Hotels, in their 30-room inn right at the gate to the fortress. Belmond’s property is the only lodging in the national park. Staying there provided us the ability to experience Machu Picchu’s solitude in the evening after all others had departed and again the next morning for sunrise, when it is the most beautiful, before others had arrived. It was a special experience.