• Image about the-gifted-traveler---americanway

Thrill Seeker
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This adrenaline junkie goes gaga over adventure. Bungee jumping, riverrafting, skydiving -- you name it, the thrill seeker has tried it andhas at least one scar.
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Anthology: Set the World Afire(Capitol/ EMI, $23) Adventurous types need a little musical amping upbefore they attempt their next climb, leap, or fall. With this 35-trackMegadeth anthology, they’ll be good to go.

National Geographic Society Exploration Experience: The Heroic Exploits of the World’s Greatest Explorers(National Geographic Books, $50) There’s serious inspiration insidethis book, which is packed with maps, photos, and a CD-ROM detailingbig adventures, including late explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton’s trip toAntarctica.

Near Death in the Mountains: True Stories of Disaster and Survival (Vintage, $15) Mind you, it’s called Near Death in the Mountains,not Death in the Mountains, so you won’t feel completely guilty whenyou give it. You may think of the collection as a cautionary tale, butyour giftee will be too enthralled in the story to notice.

Off-the-Beaten-Pather
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Thistraveler prefers atypical locales, ones the travel agent doesn’t evenknow about, and is likely to start stories with, “Once, when I was in aremote forest in Fiji …”
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The Encyclopedia of Earth: A Complete Visual Guide (Universityof California Press, $40) Help your friend or loved one uncover newdesirable destinations for his next trip. This coffee-table-worthyreference guide covers everything from the history of our planet to thecreatures that inhabit it.

Putumayo World Music CDs (Putumayo,$15) Putumayo’s inspiring collections of music from across the globeare the perfect traveling companion for any jet-setter, no matter thedestination. Recent releases include Acoustic Arabia, Café Cubano, and Asian Lounge.

Doctor Who: The Complete Fourth Series (BBC Video/ Warner Home Video, $100) Until travel by spaceship becomes more affordable for the common man, Doctor Who will have to do for out-of-this-world adventures.

Foodie
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The cuisine-craving traveler prefers to eat his way around the world and islikely to pack Tupperware in his suitcase for keeping leftovers.
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The French Chef with Julia Child (WGBHBoston Video, $40) The original TV chef is still the best. You canrelive the 1962 show that started it all with this 18-episodecollector’s DVD.

American Cheeses: The Best Regional, Artisan, and Farmhouse Cheeses, Who Makes Them, and Where to Find Them (Simon& Schuster, $25) Now, finally, the cheese-obsessed person in yourlife will have a guide for future cheese-seeking missions. It pairsperfectly with The Ecco Guide to the Best Wines of Italy: The Ultimate Resource for Finding, Buying, Drinking, and Enjoying Italy’s Best Wines (Ecco, $14).

Cooking Mama WorldKitchen for Nintendo Wii (Majesco Entertainment, $50) We know plenty ofat-home cooks who have admitted to stepping away from the stove to playCooking Mama on their kids’ Wii. Let your loved ones cook a world of virtual food (while ordering take-out) with this follow-up title.

Time Traveler
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This person prefers historic destinations where he can peek into the pastand probably has a lengthy list prepared just in case there’s aspontaneous game of “whom would you invite to dinner?”
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History Civil War: Secret Missionsfor Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 (Activision, $50) If there are no CivilWar reenactments nearby for your favorite history lover to partake in,the video-game version might be the perfect substitute. Bonus: No itchycostumes required.

State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America (Ecco,$30) History looms large in this riveting collection of essays on eachof the 50 states. And even if a specific state wouldn’t normallyfascinate, the writer who took it on probably will. This book mighteven inspire a trip.

The Johnny Cash Christmas Specials 1976–1979 (Shout!Factory, $50) These four DVDs of Johnny Cash specials includeappearances by Kris Kristofferson, Rita Coolidge, and Steve Martin. Thecollection is the best reason -- and the best way -- to revisit the’70s.

Shutterbug
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This traveler spends more time looking through a camera lens than not and likely has a Flickr Pro account.
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Rick Sammon’s Exploring the Light: Making the Very Best In-Camera Exposures(W.W. Norton & Company, $30) The kindest course of correction foryour friend’s overexposed shots is a gift-wrapped copy of professionalphotographer Rick Sammon’s beautiful book of global imagery.

The BBC Natural History Collection Featuring Planet Earth(BBC Video/ Warner Home Video, $200) Seventeen discs, 33 hours offootage, a world of places to go. Buy this for your beloved and you’llbe anxious to see in person the sights captured here in stunning highdefinition -- if you can peel yourself from the TV, that is.

Gods, Kings & Demons(Deutsche Grammophon, $17) Give the gift of some dramatic music --here, René Pape sings opera arias -- to accompany your favorite amateurphotographer’s newest trip slideshow coming soon online or to a livingroom near you.

Culture Seeker
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Only the finest things in life fulfill this worldly traveler, who probably has season tickets to the symphony.
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Art and Love in Renaissance Italy (YaleUniversity Press, $65) This beautiful book, released in conjunctionwith a same-named exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NewYork, includes works from Giulio Romano, Lorenzo Lotto, and Titian. Toreally round out this gift, throw in plane tickets to see the works inperson. (www.metmuseum.org; open through February 16, 2009)

TheIntellectual Devotional -- Modern Culture: Revive Your Mind, CompleteYour Education, and Converse Confidently with the Culturati (RodalePublishing, $24) Give the culture vulture in your life an easy (andfun) way to fill in some of the gaps in his knowledge. For each day ofthe year to come, there’s a one-page quick lesson in everything fromthe Three Stooges to Maya Angelou.

Jazz Icons: Series 3 box set (Naxos, $120) These eight DVDs are loaded with crazy-good jazzconcerts. Sonny Rollins, Nina Simone, Bill Evans -- yeah, they’re allhere.

Sports Nut
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Whether he’s watching or playing, this traveler will go to great lengths forhis favorite games and have a fight song as his cell-phone ringtone.
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NCAA Basketball 09 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PS2 (EA Sports, $60) College bands,Dick Vitale, Brad Nessler, the 1972 UCLA Bruins -- this game has themall.

Sports Night: The Complete Series 10th Anniversary Edition (Shout!Factory, $70) We still miss this cult-hit show, and your favoritesports fan does too. This anniversary collection has interviews withthe cool cast, including Felicity Huffman (now of Desperate Housewives) and Peter Krause (of Dirty Sexy Money).

Men with Balls: The Professional Athlete’s Handbook (Little,Brown and Company, $17) No matter his grand illusions, your pal isn’tyoung enough, or talented enough, to play with the big leaguers. Now hecan console himself by laughing at them, thanks to this politicallyincorrect satire of the life of a pro athlete.

Greenie
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This responsible voyager seeks nature-friendly alternatives for travel andlikely purchases carbon offsets to minimize the effect of his trips.
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Greasy Rider: Two Dudes, One Fry-Oil- Powered Car, and a Cross-Country Search for a Greener Future (AlgonquinBooks, $16) It’s easier to read about collecting restaurant grease fromdumpsters to fuel your car than it is to do it. This book will giveeven the greenest commuter a good giggle as he opts for a Prius instead.

Disappearing Destinations: 37 Places in Peril and What Can Be Done to Help Save Them (Vintage,$16) This guide to endangered areas isn’t just about the seeing,sighing, and saying goodbye. It’s about taking action. We like that.Your giftee will too.

Up the Yangtze (Zeitgeist Films, $30) It won’t be the cheeriest holiday gift, but this documentary about the ways man manipulates nature will be the most discussed.