Cy’s Suitcase: March 2016 Edition

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A Message from Shellie

One of the great things about travel is that you find out how many good, kind people there are.

– Edith Wharton

shellie_marchI have traveled to a lot of different countries. I have seen scenery that looks like postcards. I have eaten some very interesting food – some delicious, some not so much. I have swum in some of the most beautiful waters on Earth. I have stepped out of my comfort zone and ziplined in Costa Rica and crawled through narrow dark tunnels in Turkey. Despite all that I have experienced, it is the people I meet who have changed me the most. It is often  in the countries that have the least that the people are the nicest. They aren’t caught up with the latest fashions, the greatest technology, or who said what to whom. And with each person I meet in some of the poorest countries, you know what I hear each time? “Please come back and visit us.” I love that. There are so many reasons I love to travel, but discovering how many kind people are out there restores my faith in the world.

I was recently fortunate to travel to Cuba and Egypt. The people in both places were so hospitable. I am not sure what I was expecting, but not that. In Egypt, everyone was so excited to see us. There hasn’t been any tourism since the Arab Spring over four years ago. The locals were ecstatic to see a tour bus! I felt completely safe the whole time I was there. I urge you to visit each destination. You won’t regret it.

I am currently putting together our trips for 2017. Be checking our website at for many exciting places for you to visit. And meet some of the kindest people in the world.

Safe travels,

Shellie Andersen ’88, Director of Alumni Travel
Iowa State University Alumni Association

Oceania wins top ratings

marinaMany of you have traveled with us on an Oceania cruise. For those of you who haven’t, you may want to give it a try, especially after they ranked high in an award program through

Two of the large sized ships, the Marina and Riviera, placed 4th and 6th, respectively, as overall winners. Other categories in which Oceania received awards were cabins, dining, embarkation, fitness, public rooms, service, and value.

Travel tips

1) Patience is important. Don’t sweat the stuff you can’t control, like flight delays and cancellations. That is a perk of traveling with us; we help you make those annoyances much easier to deal with by having the tour operator on your side!

2) Stash extra cash. Just in case you lose your card or your wallet gets stolen, stash some extra money (maybe $200) somewhere in case of an emergency.

3) Meet local people. Start conversations with local people. Amazingly, basic English is spoken all over the world — so it’s easier to communicate than you might think. I love talking to the locals to find out how they live. It makes the trip so much richer for me.

4) Pack a scarf. This simple piece of cotton is one of the most useful travel accessories with many different practical applications. It is great to cover you up in the cold airplane or to use as sun protection.

5) Take lots of photos. You may only see these places and meet these people once in your lifetime. Remember them forever with plenty of photos. Don’t worry about looking like a tourist. Are you traveling to look cool? No one cares. Great photos are the ultimate souvenir.

6) Take good notes. My memory is horrible. I often think I am going to remember everything about a trip, but a year later, I don’t remember many of the details. I regret not writing down the people I met, the food I ate, or what I felt in the new experience.

7) Don’t be afraid. The world is not nearly as dangerous as the media makes it out to be. When you travel with the Traveling Cyclones, your guides are locals and will know when a situation is sketchy. Do you know you are more likely to be hit by falling furniture than to die from a terrorist attack? A CIA agent at a travel conference told me that.

About Zika…
Check out some tips from ISU’s Thielen Student Health Center about protecting against Zika virus when you’re traveling this spring.

Interested in alumni travel? Contact Shellie:
(515) 294-9310
(877) 478-2586 (toll-free)


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