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Getting in to North Korea

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This is the first in a multi-part blog on North Korea… Many readers have asked about my time in North Korea. Why did I go? How did I get in? What was I thinking? I’ll start at the beginning. It was August 2001, a month before 9/11 changed the world forever. I was living and working in Tokyo. Summer vacation was coming up, and I planned to visit a friend in Indonesia. The problem is...

A Postcard from the Taklamakan (2)

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    Desert travel blurs all time sense. I don’t know if it’s the hypnotic motion of the camel or the endless monotony of the scenery. The mind works on two levels simultaneously. The automatic level is watching the route, choosing a path, adjusting for balance. The other level is flowing along rivers of memory, through labyrinths of thought, reliving past events and acting...

A Postcard from the Taklamakan Desert

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    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...

Ryan Murdock

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

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