Tag

road wisdom

Do you believe in the spirit of place?

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The novelist and island writer Lawrence Durrell believed we are each aligned with certain places. This is where we do our best work because we resonate with the Spirit of Place.  He believed landscape is not a projection of the psyche — an interpretation of your surroundings based on your interior — but a tutelary spirit which guides the growth of personality and art. This isn’t an original...

Take a Walk Through Tokyo With Me

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It’s been quiet here in Road Wisdom land, but it’s the silence of distant places rather than the silence of inactivity that has fallen over my blog… I’ve been on the road these past couple months. Exploring the rugged interior of New Caledonia in the South Pacific. Navigating the hectic city streets of Tokyo, and the quieter corners of northern Honshu. And more recently in...

Castaway on a Hostile Shore

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I’m still drifting through Central American memories, looking at my life 10 short years ago…
The present has rippled and the past intervened. It’s leaking through the walls of this cold northern room, and all those feelings are coming back with it.
This is from Chapter 4 of Vagabond Dreams. It’s about traveling alone, and that first time you set out on the road.
 

Pushing Through My Safe Ideas

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My recent visit to Panama City has left me drifting 10 years in the past… I’d like to share with you a reading of something I wrote at that time. It was my first real trip. I was alone and disoriented, in a place where I didn’t speak the language. I didn’t really know why I was there or what I should do. I only knew I had to go. Those of you who have followed such impulses...

Hot New Interview – Check It Out!

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A bit of shameless self-promotion to share with you… The Australian adventure lifestyle magazine Bare Essentials is running an 8-page interview with me in their November/December 2010 issue: We talked about why landscapes spark inspiration, trip preparation, the spirit of place, and even which books I have on my bookshelf. Eight full pages of your favourite introspective traveling scribe...

Drifting Down to a New Sunrise

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On the flight back, somewhere over the Gulf of Mexico, the feeling changed. I crossed some sort of invisible divide where I re-entered the life of the States: the life of work, obligation, responsibility and long hours. I dropped back into that weight as though it had never been lifted. It almost felt natural. But it’s not. I realized at that moment that Central America is a separate...

My Memory Walks The City

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As a writer and a constant reader of books, I’ve begun to feel increasingly disconnected from other people. I think it comes from spending too much time alone in a room. There’s a glass barrier between myself and the rest of the world. I’m seeing it all at one remove, through the TV screen of my eyes, from several feet back in my head. Maybe it’s a consequence of traveling...

You Can’t Go Back Again

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Panama City, 10 years later. The plaza in the colonial district still looks the same. The tidal flats are still muddy, and they still smell of the sea. Punta Paitilla still juts out across the bay, a glimmering jewel of finance, luxury, and life lived on another plane. The big ships are still there, floating at random anchorages, waiting to transit the Canal. A couple of them even look familiar...

The Riverbones

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It’s been a while since I reviewed a recent travel book. This one stood out among the books I read last month. The Riverbones by Andrew Westoll Andrew Westoll spent a year as a primatologist chasing monkeys through the jungles of the Central Suriname Nature Reserve. He returned five years later as a writer obsessed with finding the secret soul of this poorly understood country. Few...

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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