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The World | COLUMN ONE

Bizarre Trip of a Lifetime

A small, seasoned group of American travelers gets a peek inside North Korea. Once there, they must make a moral choice.

November 11, 2005|Bruce Wallace | Times Staff Writer

Of course the world of elite travel is not without its snobbery, its own hierarchy of achievement. Those who call themselves "adventure travelers" -- a separate breed from this North Korea crew -- prefer trips offering a greater physical challenge. Flying in an Ilyushin does not count. For an adventure traveler, it's not a trip unless it involves sweat, scratches and the possibility of rare diseases.

Anderson says a true adventure traveler would dismiss him as a "plastic explorer," because he reaches his destinations by credit card instead of his wits.

He makes no apologies.

"I like first-class travel and I like adventure travel," Anderson said. "It would be nice to take three months to float across the ocean and then climb to the top of the mountain to meet with the headhunters, but I want to explore the world. And there are so many places to go."

Meanwhile, Anderson encourages people he has met on his trips to visit him at his Napa Valley home, one of the most beautiful places he's ever seen, he said.

"I tell everyone to visit, they're all welcome," he said. "As long as they know I probably won't be in town."

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