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Travel, they say, broadens the mind. Reading about travel can be just as good as the real thing for exposing us to new places and experiences. Knowing that our readers are ever ready to sample the unknown, even if only vicariously, we have brought together in this week's issue a selection of the latest, most exciting ways to expand horizons. Our special report on tourism offers a selection of cutting-edge travel tips from chic destinations companies offering the promise of space treks, to the sort of extreme holidays that only the most daredevil traveler might attempt. And before planning an upcoming vacation, read about how the Internet is revolutionizing the travel industry.

To bring together these exciting possibilities we called on the specialist skills of editor Susan Hornik. This is the third Travel Special that she has edited for Time Europe, but her talents are many. As a former senior editor for news at Time Inc.'s People magazine, Hornik managed coverage for the 1996 presidential campaign and led investigations on sexual harassment in the military, child abuse in the U.S. and racial profiling by the police. She has worked as lifestyle editor of the Boston Phoenix, assistant editor of the Smithsonian magazine and executive editor of Common Cause magazine in Washington. Hornik has also lived and worked in Vienna, Warsaw, Beijing, Honolulu and Hong Kong. She currently resides in London.

Hornik began her peripatetic lifestyle when she and her best friend in high school saved up their money from working summers to visit Europe the year they graduated. "I've been traveling pretty much ever since," she says. Though she relishes taking the Eurostar for weekend breaks in Paris, Hornik does not confine her travels to the bustle and noise of big cities. "If I had my choice of places to return to every year," she says, "I would head for the Big Island of Hawaii. Horseback riding in Waipio Valley is a taste of paradise." One travel experience, though, was less than idyllic. "My most extreme trip was going overland from Tibet to Nepal," she recalls, "but it was a lot dicier getting to Lhasa in the first place. The cloud cover was so thick that after dipping into the clouds a few times, the pilot had to admit he couldn't find it. So we had to fly back to Chengdu, wait a few hours and try again."

As they dip into the articles in this special issue that are the results of Hornik's editorial endeavors, we trust our readers will also have the pleasures of armchair travel.
, Editor, TIME Atlantic