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What is Road Wisdom?

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  Road Wisdom represents a way of travel, a way of seeing the world. Road Wisdom is an absence of preconceived agendas, short of going deeper. Road Wisdom is the collection of lessons imparted by the all-knowing road, if only you loose your grip long enough to get out of your own way and simply follow wherever it might lead you. Road Wisdom has no time for the mundane, the 9 to 5, or the...

The Truth About Being a Travel Writer

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If you follow my News page, you’ll have heard that my latest feature article was just published in the current issue of Outpost magazine (July/August 2009). You can find it on newsstands for the next month and a half, or if you’re not in Canada or near an international magazine store you can read it right now on the Articles page of my website. It’s always nice to see a piece...

Quiet for a Tuesday

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You’re alone in the middle of Algeria. Your entire library of irreplaceable and out of print topographical maps has been confiscated by the military, and they suspect you of being a spy. It’s all just a bizarre misunderstanding of course, but they’re talking about deporting you. If they do, you’ll probably never get another visa to the country. This may be your one and...

Vagabond Dreams Outtakes # 11—Taking the Path of Experience

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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…   I had finally come to grips with my task. I pondered the question of how to turn living into something more than just existing. Time is our worst enemy. Youth seldom considers time; it seems so endless. But youth is characterized by...

A Postcard from Where?

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A Postcard from Celeryhenge Deep in the forests of a rainy northern isle, far beyond the cities and the moss-choked walls, lies one of our most enduring mysteries: the world’s largest primitive megavegetal site. Who or what piled these stalks in such deliberate patterns, and why? Was it an observatory to track the movements of the bowels? Was it an ancient site of worship? Was it just a...

Advice for When Travel Gets Hot and Sticky

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Enormous trees with wide buttressed roots propped up the canopy: giants draped with vines, mosses and epiphytes which hung in tangled green confusion. All the way down to the impenetrable jungle floor, life grew upon life in one symbiotic Gordian Knot. The forest floor absorbed our footfalls: mine and two Embera hunters from a tiny village deep in Panama’s Darién Gap. The jungle crouched...

In Europe

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In Europe: Travels Through the Twentieth Century In 1999, as the 20th century came to a close, beloved Dutch journalist Geert Mak crisscrossed Europe to retrace the history of its last hundred years and to take the pulse of the great European experiment on the cusp of a new century. Along the way he spoke to the survivors of some of the most significant events of our times, allowing them to tell...

Vagabond Dreams Outtakes 10—Zack Speaks

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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… From The Philosophy of Zachary Peoples: Page 12: “I dunno, man. Philosophy’s interestin’, but I think that what you believe has to come from inside yourself, ya know? No one can teach you how to examine and make sense of...

Volumes Have Secrets

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No matter where I am in the world, I feel immediately at home in a library. Oriented in space by the catalog system and the temple-like, almost ritual regularity of checkout desk, reference section, fiction and nonfiction. I also feel oriented in Time — through the mathematical chronology of the history section, and in terms of the linear development of human thought through the eras of...

A Postcard from Alexandria

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To me, a library has always been a sacred place. I went there as a child in search of silence and reflection, just as others seek the dim solace of a church. I went there to find answers to my questions, just as others might seek a priest in times of distress. Sometimes I went there simply for the atmosphere — the smell of the books, the soft tread of shoes on worn green carpet, the weight of the...

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