Author

Ryan Murdock

Author of Vagabond Dreams: Road Wisdom from Central America. Host of Personal Landscapes podcast. Editor-at-Large (Europe) for Canada's Outpost magazine. Columnist at The Shift. Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

The 3 Strangest Drinks I’ve Encountered On The Road

T

In keeping with yesterday’s entry on the Anthropology of Drink, I’d like to share with you the Top 3 strangest “local” drinks I’ve consumed on my travels. It’s a rogue list of tipples sure to turn even the most determined of stomachs — although I remain convinced that a few of them truly are an acquired taste…   1) Airag (Mongolia) – At the top...

The Anthropology of Drink

T

I’m a firm believer that a nation’s drink is shaped by its landscape and climate, and that its drink in turn shapes its culture. According to my theory, the world can be neatly divided into several distinct zones of booze…   The UK and Ireland are home to warming whiskeys, dark heavy ales and stouts. Just the thing for when the perpetual damp soaks through your bones: a sip...

Vehicle-Dependent Expedition Guide

V

Ten years after its original release — and at least eight years since second-hand copies began fetching astronomical prices on eBay — the bible of overlanding is available once more. It’s no longer an underground secret of expedition professionals, because independent travel should be accessible to anyone. Whether you’re planning a weekend excursion close to home or a major crossing...

Vagabond Dreams Outtakes # 6 — Everything But Peace

V

  Vagabond Dreams Outtakes are “deleted scenes” from my book. Think of them as a “Special Features” disc of outtakes and curios. This incident took place in Guatemala… On Saturday nights musicians played in the Park. The mournful brassy wail of their trumpets was the soul of Latin America expressed as a dirge. It reverberated with an ache that struck my soul...

A Postcard from the Taklamakan Desert

A

Endless dunes shimmered beneath a heat haze. We wound around them at a plodding camel’s pace, roped together in a caravan that evoked images of Silk Road trading expeditions. Sand blew up and swirled into my eyes; it crunched between my teeth and coated my lips. I pulled my broad hat down low and tied a bandanna across my mouth and nose. Beneath a long sleeved white shirt my arms were...

Island Siren Song

I

The Landscape: Stony Adriatic islands scattered along the length of Croatia’s coast. Coarse green shrubs and olive trees whose thin leaves flash silver undersides to the breeze. Translucent blue: a breath would cloud that water of glass. Light has a clarity there that is like no place else, and it provokes a clarity of thought. Priorities and needs slip so easily into place. You realize the...

Vagabond Dreams Outtakes # 5 — Time’s Sunbaked Cycle

V

Vagabond Dreams Outtakes are “deleted scenes” from my book. Think of them as a “Special Features” disc of outtakes and curios. This incident took place in Guatemala… Antigua in the highlands. Mayan Indian women and children strolled through the Parque Central dressed in brightly patterned traditional embroidery. Round baskets, balanced on their heads, were...

A Postcard from The Spanish Main

A

The trade wind blows moist on the Caribbean side of Panama, stirring the palms of the tiny coastal fishing village of Portobelo, but it isn’t enough to put more than a ripple on the plate glass sea. It’s difficult to believe this quiet settlement was once the port of entry and exit for all of Spanish South America. Portobelo was the terminus of the Las Cruces Trail, stopping point of...

A Faded Image Where The Land Lies Wild

A

Sunlight slants through verdant jungle and illuminates a simple white painted tomb on a hillside overlooking the Nam Khan River. Someone has hacked back the growth to open a view of the smooth brown waters, but vines are encroaching yet again. A square brass plaque, tarnished by constant moisture, reads simply “Henri Mouhot 1826-1861”. Mouhot is credited with “re...

The Air-Conditioned Nightmare

T

Though Henry Miller’s book on Greece, The Colossus of Maroussi, is generally regarded as his greatest achievement, he also wrote a second travel book which should be regarded as a definite classic of the genre. The Air-Conditioned Nightmare chronicles Miller’s return to America in 1939, hot on the heels of the Greek trip referred to above, and from what he believed would be an open...

Ryan Murdock

Author of Vagabond Dreams: Road Wisdom from Central America. Host of Personal Landscapes podcast. Editor-at-Large (Europe) for Canada's Outpost magazine. Columnist at The Shift. Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

NEWSLETTER

Sign up for my entertaining email newsletter


Get in Touch

Donate

Support the Personal Landscapes podcast with a donation

Recent Posts

Archives

WP AutoTerms Legal Pages