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Charlie Gibson loves Africa, days at sea, and his home on the Cape

We caught up with the retired ABC reporter and anchor to talk about all things travel.

Charlie Gibson and family on safari.

Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist Charlie Gibson loves spending time at his home-away-from-home in North Falmouth. The Evanston, Ill., native said he got to know Falmouth by running in its popular annual road race starting in the late 1970s. Years later, in 1991, he and his wife, Arlene (with whom he has two daughters and five grandchildren), bought a home there. The retiree, who also lives in Manhattan, said he enjoys the “very simple, peaceful, and slow-paced” Cape lifestyle. The onetime ABC reporter and anchor will host a Kennedy Library virtual forum called “Political Polling: History and Trends” at 6 p.m. on Oct. 21. Also participating will be Barbara Carvalho, director of the Marist poll; Henry Fernandez, cofounder of the African American Research Collaborative; Jill Lepore, Harvard history professor; and Anthony Salvanto, director of elections and surveys for CBS News. “Polling is at an interesting crossroads,” Gibson maintained. “People are beginning to distrust polls, and if they distrust them, will they be truthful with pollsters?” We caught up with Gibson to talk about all things travel.

Favorite vacation destination?


My wife and I live in New York but are blessed with a home we have owned on Cape Cod for [nearly] 30 years. Every day here is like a vacation. When not on “home” turf, however, we have fallen in love with sub-Saharan Africa and have been on safari four times in three countries in the last six years — and have another trip planned, COVID permitting.

Favorite food or drink while vacationing?

On a temperate day looking out over Buzzards Bay from our deck, my favorite meal is 1½ BLTs with fresh Cape tomatoes and a side order of our incredible view. Other than that, the chefs in safari camps are universally talented and I have loved everything they have made for us.


Where would you like to travel to but haven’t?

Japan and Russia. I have never visited the former other than for work, but plan to soon. And I will not go to the latter as long as the current government is in power.

One item you can’t leave home without when traveling?

Number one, passport. Number two, wife — though she would maintain those are in the wrong order. Number three, Kindle. That invention has changed the entire experience of reading while traveling.

Aisle or window?

Window. Far better for pillow placement and naps. I can sleep pretty much anywhere — and that’s a gift — but window side is easier.

Favorite childhood travel memory?

On a sleeper train with my own bed in a compartment with my dad as we traveled overnight from Washington, D.C., to Kingston, R.I., and a beach vacation with my favorite uncle and aunt.

Guilty pleasure when traveling?

Cruising. My wife and I are frequent cruisers — particularly on the Regent line. I cherish the sea days just sitting on a balcony looking at the water. I feel totally at peace. Cruises aren’t cheap, but the memories are worth every penny. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.

Best travel tip?

Pack a healthy dose of patience. No trip ever goes without some unexpected snafu. There is nothing worse than hearing a fellow traveler whining or complaining. Roll with the punches. Have a good time. Be patient. How lucky we are to be traveling in the first place.