Latest stories

It Ain’t Nothing But The Hound, Dawg

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Only those with little money and infinite patience would consider crossing the continent by bus, but it can be an unforgettable experience, one that’s inaccessible to the short distance traveler. A barrier is breached when you go beyond that one-day travel gap. Your time sense shifts, the days become cyclical, and the only constant is movement. Like a rocket or a submarine, the bus carries...

The Valley

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Show kindness to your friends by not eating them, the sign said. But what the fuck else is there to eat? I shake my head as the soft flesh of a newly cooked baby dissolves on my tongue. They don’t know what they’re missing. My larder is an assemblage of appendages. The valley made me into an aunt-eater. The valley night pulses malevolence. It’s a Galt’s Gulch of assassins...

Painkiller

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Every journey needs a soundtrack. The music of The Church has always formed the backdrop of mine. The band’s singer, Steve Kilbey, an accomplished lyricist, poet, blogger and painter, has also been one of my most significant writing influences. Allow me to introduce you to Kilbey’s recent solo album: Painkiller.   I’ve made it a habit — well, call it a ritual — that each...

Vagabond Dreams Outtakes #1 — Avarice Disturbs My Immediacy

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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 the highlands of Guatemala… Within days I had become a regular in the Parque Central and the vendors left me alone. But on the day of my arrival I was constantly assailed. Most went away after two or three polite...

A Postcard from Mongolia

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    Camped in a valley of rolling green hills that look manicured like a golf course, patched with pine forest. The only sounds are the wind as it sighs through the trees, the grunt of grazing horses, and the baa-ing of a flock of sheep. The slow scratch of my pen on paper drowns them all out. The white gers of herdsmen dot the hillside across the valley. Next to one, a pale blue...

Riding Through the Highlands in a Chairman Mao Cap

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A motorcycle represents freedom: the freedom of the open road, the freedom of speed, the freedom to go. Bikers are cowboys reinvented. They aren’t content to go the way of the package tourist. They see things for themselves and they form their own judgments. It’s an attitude as much as a mode of travel. Few people stop to consider the advantages of motorcycle travel in foreign...

Something to Believe In

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I believe travel has the power to transform lives. I believe travel literature can build global bridges on a human level, and can inspire individuals to go beyond themselves. I believe travel literature is literature. I believe in the freedom of the individual. I believe that mastery of the body and mind can lead to mastery of life — but you must be prepared to go beyond. I believe that we are...

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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