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Belém — Touching Portugal’s Globe Spanning Past

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I recently spent a couple of Lisbon days exploring one of the cities most interesting suburbs. This is probably the best section of the city in which to get in touch with Portugal’s glorious past. It was from Belém that the explorer Vasco da Gama set out to India by sea in 1497. When he returned the following year with a boatload of valuable spices — having circumnavigated Africa for the first...

Bringing Dreams to Physical Reality — The Magic of Print

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I got a sneak peak inside a crucial part of the publishing industry last week when I was given the opportunity to tour Lowe-Martin’s Ottawa St. Laurent facility — where Outpost and other fine magazines are printed. These guys work some serious magic when it comes to transforming the stories I write from ether into substance, putting them directly into the hands of my readers. Thanks very much to...

Exploring Old Haunts

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My visit to Canada is drawing to a close. I spent the past weekend exploring old haunts with my friend Rob Wilson, partner in crime from many teenage exploits and camping expeditions. The weekend got off to a great start when we drove out to his old farmhouse on Buckwheat Road, behind Spencerville, and set out into the woods with camera and tripod to find one of our old campsites. After stepping...

A Dose of Blue Truth

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Every once in a while a book comes along that shakes up your perspective, and provides deep insights into your past and present. This is one of those books. Blue Truth by David Deida showed up out of nowhere, at a time when I’d been struggling with a sense of stagnancy in my craft, and with the path I’ve chosen through life. It shone a fresh light on past experiences, deep hurts and...

Is There Any Hope for the Next Generation?

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Know what shocked me the most about my trip home last Christmas? It wasn’t the snow or the miserable cold, or the strange local accent I thought I’d forgotten. It was the fact that my friends kids sit inside all day and play video games or watch TV. All of their activities are organized for them. And they frequently complain of being bored. I don’t think it’s any fault of theirs, necessarily...

My First Magazine Assignment

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I still remember when I got the call to do my first magazine assignment. It was in the spring of 2005. I’d just sold my first big feature to Outpost, about an expedition by camel into the sandy wastes of the Taklamakan Desert. As fate would have it, that desert piece was rejected the first time around. But Outpost changed editors about a year later, and someone found my story in the slush pile...

Book Signing Update and Pics

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I promised to give you an update on the signing I did at Leeds County Books this past week… Despite a blizzard that smothered the region in several inches of snow, the turnout was excellent. It was supposed to be 2 hours long but I was there for a full 3 hours, with a nonstop stream of people lined up to the door the entire time. According to the guy at the bookstore, the average number of...

Tasting Rum in Barbados

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I was in Barbados for work a couple weeks ago. We had meetings of course, but most of the time we sat on the terrance of our rented villa, with laptops open next to a windswept view of the sea. I didn’t have much opportunity to check out the island. But I did make time to taste some rum. It could be said that rum is Barbados’s legacy to the world. Barbados saw some of the earliest development of...

15 Fall Indulgences For Travellers

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It still feels like summer on my island—30C and sunny every day, with no sign of letting up. But it’s autumn back in North America. My favourite time of year. Fall is nostalgia distilled into the tangible caress of cool air tinted with the smell of decaying leaves. The comforting pressure of jeans against your skin. A light jacket with many pockets. And a slice of delicately spiced pumpkin pie...

My Head is Reeling With the Motion

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Vagabond Dreams: Road Wisdom from Central America

I’ve got several new updates for you from Murdland. This is such exciting stuff my poor head is reeling with it. Voice from Another Room: …it’s probably just the gin… Nevermind smart guy! Anyway, yeah, I’d like to tell you about a few of the things I’ve been up to. And this is probably the best place to spill it all at once. So shake up the classic cocktail of your choice… Feed...

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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