Tag

vagabond

Burmese Days

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  Of all the places I traveled in Southeast Asia, I liked Burma the best. It was by far the most traditional country in the region. It was free of Thailand’s 7-11’s, paved roads and fast food. Free of Vietnam’s scams. And it lacked that uncomfortable undercurrent of violence and broken psyches that seemed to blight Cambodia. Burmese people were quiet and kind. Old men in the...

Cruising Through the Bu

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    I’m just back from a couple weeks in LA, hanging with some of my magazine friends. Cruising through Malibu, walks on Santa Monica beach, shopping in Beverly Hills, and lunch on Sunset Blvd. Ahh, LA, you’ve got it all: a warm breeze, a coastline kissed by waves, fast cars and beautiful girls, and vast stretches of desert just over the next hill. That’s a place I could spend a...

Show Your Faces If You Dare

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Clive J. from the UK asked: What do you know as a result of travel the rest of us don’t? I think the most important lessons are things we forget in the day to day, not things we don’t know. When you’re cut off out there on the road, the everyday frivolity of life at home – office politics, the rat race, “noble” ambitions, catching every episode of some stupid...

History In Your Glass

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I received a lot of emails about my previous blog installment on the Pan American Clipper and the golden age of air travel. Many of you would have liked a taste of that bygone age — so I’m going to give you one. A little bit of history, right here in your glass… A lot of drinking goes on in the air these days, but it’s become nothing more than a way to knock yourself out...

Headed West on the China Clipper…

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I read a fascinating book last week called Pan American Clippers: The Golden Age of Flying Boats by James Trautman. It’s about a forgotten age of air travel, when men were men, adventure was waiting around every corner, and the world was a much larger place. It was the decade before World War 2, the early days of aviation. Air travel was still a luxury within reach of a select few. Crowds...

Baybee Don’t Fence Me In!

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I read an excellent book about Mongolia a couple weeks ago by Jasper Becker, called “Mongolia: Travels in the Untamed Land.” Becker was a Western journalist based in Beijing, and one of the first to cross the border from China when Mongolian communism fell apart in 1991. The book covers many aspects of Mongolia, from obscure bits of history to the observations of other earlier...

Beneath the Sun and Stars

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I’m just back from a short job in Glynco, GA, followed by a few days of filming in Florida. It was a steamy week of early morning / late afternoon shoots and midday business meetings on the beach. We were scorched by the sands, gouged by the shells, plagued by mosquitos and swarmed by biting ants. And that was just the first day… But I’ve returned to my desk and I’m ready...

Memory Breeds Paper Dreams

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Jenny from Sydney, Australia asked: How did you become interested in writing? I wonder sometimes what came first, the stories or the intention to write them? I think, in a sense, I’ve always lived posthumously. Even when I really got myself into trouble as a kid, part of me knew that the incident I was caught up in would make a great story and that I had to go through with it. I was always...

Ask Me No Questions, I’ll Tell You No Lies

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  I’ve come up with a new interactive feature that I hope you’ll enjoy. Are you itching to find out about the exotic world of travel writing, desperate for hot hints on destinations and money saving travel tips, or just bored and looking for a monkey to prod with a stick? Well now’s your chance… I call it “Reader’s Questions.” Okay, yeah, that’s...

Mean and Lowly Things

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A lone mud-spattered researcher in torn khaki pants and sweat-stained sleeveless t-shirt kneels in the dirt in front of a makeshift shelter, carefully injecting formalin into a toad to halt the onset of decay. Tiny sweat bees cloud around her head, crawling into her nose and ears and getting into the corners of her eyes. She’s so concentrated on her work that she barely notices them...

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. Writer at The Shift. Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

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