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Walking the Theodosian Walls

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The Theodosian Walls stood impregnable for nearly 1,000 years Christmas passed largely unnoticed while I was in Istanbul. Traditional holidays don’t have the same glow when living far from friends and family. Instead, they’re a reminder of what we give up to live a life abroad.  I tend to spend December 25th walking. I don’t plan to; it just works out that way. On my last Christmas in Malta...

The Best Books I Read in 2021

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Best Books 2021 Do you have a book addiction? I’m here to make it worse. Another year has come and gone. Berlin’s still huddling beneath a pandemic sky, and I spent much of the past twelve months reading and dreaming dreams of freedom. I started a podcast this year, too. It’s called Personal Landscapes: Conversations on Books About Place, and given the topic, it’s added even more to my reading...

Dervla Murphy: Reflections on a lifetime of travel

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Dervla Murphy (Photo from ) Dervla Murphy has been described as a ‘travel legend’ and ‘the first lady of Irish cycling’. For five decades she’s travelled the world mostly alone, and mostly on foot.  Her first book, Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle, was published in 1965 and over 20 other titles followed on places as wide ranging as Peru, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Africa, India...

Jerry Kobalenko: Searching for ghosts on Ellesmere Island (Episode #4)

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Jerry Kobaleko (Photo found at RMOToday.com) Jerry Kobalenko is one of Canada’s most experienced High Arctic travelers. He’s the author of The Horizontal Everest, and Arctic Eden. His writing and photography have appeared in National Geographic, Conde Nast Traveler, Canadian Geographic and Time.  He’s also the editor of ExplorersWeb. He was awarded the Polar Medal in 2018 by Canada’s...

Hands up everyone who does this

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It’s been brought to my attention that I might be somewhat strange. Surely I’m not the only one who rotates their bookmarks? It’s not as though I collect bookmarks. I’m not a member of the International Friends of Bookmarks, either (yes, that’s a real thing). I don’t care what I mark my books with when I travel: an old envelope, the stub of a boarding pass, abandoned receipts. I’m unapologetic...

What do you think of the ‘deep state’?

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A friend asked me this week, “What do you think of the ‘deep state’? The short answer is, “I try not to.” Mostly because it has no meaningful impact on my life. ‘Deep state’ is the idea that some sort of shadow government made up of rich, powerful actors wields power, either within or behind the legitimately elected government. The Bilderberg Group, the Illuminati, the Freemasons, the CIA and the...

Words That Piss Me Off: The Sequel

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I never would have guessed when I sat down to write Words That Piss Me Off in March 2010 that I was creating a smash hit. Many of the words and phrases which sparked that furious rant were irritating proliferations of business English that made their way into daily use. Don’t get me wrong, they still piss me off. But more recent offences to the English language have their origins in an even more...

Planet of the Humans

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Let’s talk about Planet of the Humans, the controversial new documentary produced by Michael Moore. I figure we might as well talk about something, since travel’s off the cards for the foreseeable future. Rather than vanish into sedentary obscurity, I decided to use the blog to write about whatever crosses my desk: current reading, current events, the distant past, or the afterglow of an...

Death on a Dinner Plate

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Three days into this journey, I began to grow seriously concerned about the structural integrity of my waistband. And the day after that, I resigned myself to a bleak future of dieting, possibly culminating in liposuction. And all this from letting my wife plan the trip. You see, travel in Japan is all about food. Where you or I might plan a trip around historical sites, or art collections, or...

My Dad Died 10 Years Ago Today

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I still remember the moment I knew — really knew — that my dad was dying. I was in a cheap hotel in Bangkok, lying there awake trying to sleep. I’d received an email that day which said my dad had been ill, and they were sending him for some tests. One of the last lines read, “You should probably come home.” There was nothing in the message to cause any more alarm than that. But when night came...

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.

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