Who is the Top Ten Traveler?
“I’m a 37-year-old guy named Moshe Huberman. Originally from Israel, I’ve lived in New York City for the last four-and-a-half years and have been happily married to my wonderful husband for almost five. He is the best partner I could have ever asked for in everything we do, including traveling. We have a beautiful seven-year-old mixed-Labrador Retriever, and we live a vegan lifestyle together.”
When did you begin traveling?
“The first time I got on a plane was at the age of ten with my parents. We were on our way to Paris, France. We landed late at night, and everything was closed — even in the airport! The streets were incredibly dark and far too quiet, so my first impression was a bit traumatic. The next morning, when we woke up to our first day in Paris, however, I felt astounded and extremely charmed by everything. I still remember it so vividly. I learned the metro lines by heart after one day and I led all the conversations in English (not my native language). To boot, I even learned a few words in French from the people at the hotel’s front desk. I developed traveler skills at a wonderfully young age.
After that, I traveled a few more times in Europe and in the US with my family. When I finished my service in the IDF at the age of 21, I packed my bag and flew to Australia, then New Zealand, for three months. That trip was my first big trip as an independent traveler.”
What started your travel bug?
“I guess it was the first trip to Paris with my parents. Ever since I was a young kid I was a big fan of the world’s countries and cultures. I memorized the world’s capitals and flags. Plus, I read all the volumes of the Geographical Encyclopedia. My older siblings’ Atlas was my favorite book. I always felt excited to watch the Olympics’ opening ceremony just for the Parade of Nations. I had, and still have, the world’s map on my bedroom wall.
So, the moment I could leave my country for the first time to start seeing and experiencing the things I had only been reading about, was mind-blowing. From there, I just had to see more.”
Why do you like traveling?
“I always felt fascinated by diversity. I grew up in Israel. It’s a small country, but it has an amazing mixture of cultures. The Jews in Israel came from all over the world, bringing their unique traditions, stories, and foods. Even my family’s roots are from both Syria and Poland, which I always liked to explore with my grandparents — where did they come from? What was their childhood like? Etc. For me, traveling is the ability to take this exploration one step further and get to know the diversity of the entire world. I want to know and see how other people live, what their history is, what language they speak, what religion they practice, and, of course, what food they eat.”
Why are you The Top Ten Traveler?
“After I graduated from university and started my first real job, I realized that I could not travel three to four months out of a year anymore. My trips now must align with the vacation days I receive and with my work responsibilities. It changed my perception: more short trips in a year, rather than one exceptionally long. Now, when taking shorter trips, your time is limited. You need to know well in advance what you want to see and do. This is where the top ten come in. Ten is a magical number; if there are not ten things to see or do in a place, it’s not worth going. If there are more, I really tried to focus on the top ten things I could not miss.
When I started The Top Ten Traveler, I did it for two main reasons. First, to share my experiences and to re-experience them through writing. Secondly, to give people an easy summary of the main ten things to see and do in each destination. I think listing the top ten things is easier to read, easier to remember, and easier to execute when you travel.”
What is the best trip you have taken in the last five years and why?
“I would say my trip to Playa del Carmen and Cancun, Mexico. On one hand, it was the first trip in which I have learned how to relax on the beach for a few hours without becoming bored. On the other hand, we traveled and learned about the interesting history of the Mayan culture in sites like Chichen Itza and the ruins of Tulum. Plus, the Mexican food was amazing. It was the perfect combination of exploration, relaxation, shopping, and partying.”
If you had one place to recommend to someone who has never traveled before what would it be?
“That is an easy one: Argentina. It is an amazing country for travelers (but not for living, unfortunately). It is huge and has everything to offer from glaciers to deserts, from mountains to beaches, from awesome cities to a beautiful countryside. The people are some of the nicest and warmest in the world. It is one of the safest countries in South America (though you always need to keep your eyes open when you travel, all over the world) and it is relatively cheap, so you can get more with your foreign currency. Therefore, for a first-time traveler, this is the ideal place.”
Which place do you want to visit the most but haven’t had the chance yet?
“There are so many places in the world that I want to visit, each for its own unique reasons. However, if I need to choose only one, it would be Syria. Although not the country you would think about for traveling, I feel really intrigued to see where my family came from. More than that, I follow other people who traveled in Syria and they always fall in love with this country. The food is said to be one of the best in the world (which I grew up on, so I can definitely relate to that). They also have many historical and archaeological sites, like Palmyra, which dates back to over 3,000 years ago, and the old city of Aleppo, which has now been partially destroyed after the war.”
You live in New York City — Is this by choice or for work?
“My workplace relocated me from Israel to New York City at the end of 2015. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live abroad, so we jumped on it. After all, exploration is at the heart of the Top Ten Traveler. I didn’t know how the move would affect my husband and I as a young couple, but after experiencing the New York City way of life, we liked it and decided to stay. New York City is amazing and it never ceases to surprise me. I still don’t think I know all of its hidden gems.”
What would you recommend to do if someone only had a day to visit New York City?
“Explore the city by foot. The streets and avenues of the city are amazing and different. Fifth avenue is nothing like Ninth avenue and is nothing like the streets of Soho, Financial District, or other neighborhoods. So strolling between them, you can catch all the important landmarks of the city while also enjoying the unique charm of each area or neighborhood. I once had a 12-hour layover in the city on my way from Israel to Argentina. To kill some time, I walked from Central Park to Battery Park, just to see the statue of Liberty. It was so much fun, and on the second flight, I slept like a baby. For a lunch or dinner break, I’d recommend trying one of my favorite vegan restaurants in the city, as described in my Top 10 Vegan Restaurants in New York City post.”
What would you recommend a frequent traveler to do in New York City?
“Many people come to New York City to watch a show on Broadway. I have watched a few and I really love the theater, but there are crazier and more special theatrical experiences than Broadway. One that comes to mind is Sleep No More. It’s an interactive show performed in a five-story building designed to look like an old hotel. You can follow the actors and move from one scene to another whenever you want. Two tips: come in your sneakers and walk alone.”
by Moshe Huberman
Visit Moshe’s website, The Top Ten Traveler, to find the top ten best sites to visit on your next travel destination!
30 thoughts on “New York City’s Top Ten Traveler”
Great piece, I wholeheartedly agree with your thinking.
Thank you Edmond!
Unbelievably, I’ve yet to visit Paris. However, I think my interest in travel stems from a pre-teen holiday in the south of France with my family. I now write about my travels for a living.
Dear brother, wishing you get to Japan before the age of fifty that it will realize my dream
It’s in my plans, I am really looking forward to that! hopefully before I turn fifty … LOL
Moshe, this piece really resonated with me as we’re both great lovers of travel. I look forward to reading about your future adventures. Congrats on your excellent article.
You are so kind! Thank you very much Matthew!
You’re welcome, Moshe. Love reading your writing. You’ve got a new fan.
Thanks Matthew! You’re the best!
Out childhood experiences have a high impact on us as adults, even on our life as travelers – and many times we probably don’t even realize it 🙂
They definitely give you a taste for it!
It was really inspiring to read this post! I was bitten by the travel bug, too but by age 20 rather than at age 10. I relate a lot to his sentiments and also love to travel.
Thank you Nkem ! I Invite you to read more on my website 🙂
There are some amazing insights here. I think it’s interesting the way his perception of travel shifted when he wasn’t able to take super long trips. It’s kind of like learning to savor that special thing. It’s more special when you can only have so much of it.
Combining traveling with daily commitments is not easy, but I am really trying not to let that stop me from exploring the world. There’s still so much to see, and once Covid is behind us, I can start planning again 🙂
I really enjoyed reading this interview. Hope we will all be able to travel again and enjoy your website’s tips!
Thank you Moti 🙂 I hope so too!
This is a great article. I hope after this pandemic i can travel here in New York. I heard a lot of beautiful things here. Thank you sharing.
Thank you Chei! I hope so too. Stay safe and prepare yourself for that time
I love your criteria for being a top 10 traveler! Hopefully soon we will all be able to fully travel again.
Thank you Marie 🙂 Stay safe!
I can see why Paris would make you feel like you want to travel more! What an amazing lifestyle you have.
Thank you Ivana! I actually can’t wait to go back to France, and get to know more places in this country!
Wow what an interesting story I’m not quite the traveler only travel little bit.
Thanks Steven! It’s not about the quantity, it’s about the quality. Do whatever feels good and have fun!
I used to love to travel so much and thought nothing but bad health would ever be able to change my mind (if it came, knock on wood it wouldn’t). BUT now I am so hesitant. I honestly do not want to get Covid-19. It makes me very careful but with my line of work I know it’s still a huge possibility.
You are right, not it’s time to stay home and travel local. If you have to travel for work, just take all the safety measurements you can and I hope everything will be fine.
What a great interview transcript! It’s so fun to learn about other travelers too!
Thank you so much Emma!
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