The Longest Way Home

I read a very good book this week called The Longest Way Home. It reminded me of myself in so many ways. And I wanted to share it with you.

The Longest Way Home

And the Winners Are…

I read something like 100 books a year. All sorts of stuff, from travel literature, history, fiction, classics, philosophy and memoir. And I like to end each year with a quick wrap up of what I liked best.

How to Make Sense of Your Life’s Turning Points

I was searching for insights into this 40’s decade that I’ve somehow slipped into…

I wanted to know more about the challenges ahead. Where I should focus my efforts. And why I now have this sudden very clear sense that the clock is ticking and my time is running out.

A Week of Expedition Skills in the Lake District

It’s been a little while since I posted a new blog. I’ve spent all of 1 week at home in the past 5 weeks, and I’ve got a lot of travels to fill you in on.

Let’s start by talking about the Expedition Skills course I attended last week in England’s Lake District.

The Lantern

We haven’t talked books in a while, but I’ve got a great one for you this week. It’s the best novel I’ve read in recent months.

The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson is set in a mysterious old farmhouse in Provence, France. And that location permeates every page, the way the sun soaks through the olive leaves and lavender fields of the south.

What’s On Your Travel Playlist?

Music is essential for any trip. It entrances us on long journeys by bus or rail, occupying the conscious mind and allowing insight to float up from the depths. You listen to those same songs over and over, and they soak up the landscape, the smells and the very feeling of the place. They colour the way you see it just like different shades of glass colour a sunny day.

The Riverbones

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It’s been a while since I reviewed a recent travel book. This one stood out among the books I read last month.

The Riverbones by Andrew Westoll

Headed West on the China Clipper…

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I read a fascinating book last week called Pan American Clippers: The Golden Age of Flying Boats by James Trautman. It’s about a forgotten age of air travel, when men were men, adventure was waiting around every corner, and the world was a much larger place.

Mean and Lowly Things

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A lone mud-spattered researcher in torn khaki pants and sweat-stained sleeveless t-shirt kneels in the dirt in front of a makeshift shelter, carefully injecting formalin into a toad to halt the onset of decay. Tiny sweat bees cloud around her head, crawling into her nose and ears and getting into the corners of her eyes. She’s so concentrated on her work that she barely notices them. Suddenly, a man from the nearby Pygmy village bursts into camp.

The Saddest Pleasure

saddest.jpgBorn in 1915 to great wealth in Seattle, Moritz Thomsen died miserably poor in the tropics, of cholera, in 1991. He served as a bombardier in WWII, farmed in California, and at age 44 gave it all up to join the recently-formed Peace Corps. His book about that experience, Living Poor, is ranked as one of the best Peace Corps memoirs ever written. When his service was over, he chose to remain. He started a farm with an Ecuadorian friend, but that too ended in defeat. By then Thomsen was 63, and his health was already in decline.