Welcome to the year-end issue of Perceptive Travel online magazine, home to the best travel stories on the web from wandering book authors.

This month we travel to a well-known but not-so-traveled country, while two other stories focus on places few have been to or talked about. As usual, we also bring you the latest notable travel books and world music tunes.

Marco Ferrarese heads to Berestagi, on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, and stumbles upon a strange festival involving spirit possessions and demons. James Dorsey is back with a tale meant for the start of winter: a tour of grim villages in Russia. I take the reins myself for the last feature, taking on some adventure travel challenges in a place in interior Mexico that sees very few foreigners.

Susan Griffith checks out two new books that involve long quests, plus a compendium of youthful travel tales that will really make mothers worry. Laurence Mitchell gives the verdict on a dub Christmas album, a classic Cuban collection, and a few odd but successful mash-ups.


Steripen Freedom purifier

We hand out cool travel gear and other prizes each month to our loyal readers. Congrats to reader Jarred R. of Texas. His holiday season will be brighter thanks to scoring a new 22-inch Wheeled Carry-on Duffel from Granite Gear.

This month we're giving away something I've raved about and recommended often for travelers headed to countries where you can't drink the water: the small USB-rechargeable SteriPEN Freedom water purifier. My family has used this for years in multiple countries to avoid the runs and I have probably kept 1,000 plastic bottles out of the ground and oceans as a result.

If you're already getting our monthly e-mail newsletter, watch your inbox to enter. If not, sign up for the newsletter or if you spend your whole day on social media, follow us on Facebook and watch closely for the contest announcement.

Looking for a travel story that appeared in a previous issue? Dive into the Perceptive Travel back issues where you can find everything that has appeared here since our debut.

For some new material between issues, see the Perceptive Travel Blog.

Happy trails!

- Tim Leffel, Editor

best travel stories In this Issue

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