Welcome to Perceptive Travel online magazine, home to the best travel stories from wandering book authors.

Speaking of book authors, we send our congratulations to contributor Zora O'Neill. Her book All Strangers Are Kin was awarded a Gold prize from the Society of American Travel Writers. See her Perceptive Travel story on Morocco here.

This month, we have an collection of travel tales from multiple continents that you will certainly never find in the likes of Amex-owned Travel + Leisure. We seem to be the only ones crazy enough to put articles about two pariah nations and a tour based on sectarian fighting location on our home page for a month. But hey, if you wanted to read advertorial about cruise ships and spas, you wouldn't be here would you?

In that spirit, we're leading off with North Korea, a place hardly anyone wamts to visit—even if they're allowed to go. We're happy to have Rory MacLean back to share what he found when meeting with locals, with some great photos from Nick Danziger.

After that we might as well head to Afghanistan, right? Tim Brookes wrote about the wild and lawless area between there and Pakistan once before and he's back with a description of "The Most Porous Border."

When Tom Coote headed to Northern Ireland he could have headed into the countryside to check the natural sites off his list, but instead he dug deep into a "Troubles Tour" of Belfast, seeing the history and the remaining temsions through the murals on both sides of the lines.

It would be nice to take a carefree drive in Sicily after all that, but for David Lee Drotar it was not to be. A day of sightseeing was going to start off badly and just get worse.

William Caverlee reviews three new travel books, on a cross-country USA biking journey, living in Paris, and visiting movie filming locations.

Our Latest Gear Giveaway

clothing arts cubed waterproof jacket

We give away something cool for travelers each month. Reader Alice-Anne of Toronto had her name come up this past month to score a premium Tilley travel hat.

This month another lucky reader will score amd it's a high-value prize. We are giving away a new Cubed Waterproof Jacket with lots of pickpoclet-proof travel protection from Clothing Arts. There's not a women's version, but if the winner's a female she'll get an equivalent value gift certificate for other Clothing Arts Apparel .

How do you enter? Simple, just be a part of our monthly e-mail issue update community and watch for the entry instructions near the beginning of each month. If you're too late for this month, in the meantime you can follow us on Facebook and pay close attention to our feed. The odds are so good that some readers have gotten gratis gear two times.

Looking for a travel story that appeared in a previous issue? Dive into the Perceptive Travel Archives, where you can find everything that has appeared here since our debut more than a decade ago. In between new online magazine issues, check out the award-winning Perceptive Travel Blog

Let's take a trip!

- Tim Leffel, Editor

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