Perceptive Travel Back Issues

September 2016

Unreached Realities in Guatemalan Mangroves - Luke Maguire Armstrong
While appearing in a side role in a reality nature TV show that's far from natural, a singing travel writer reflects on what we leave out of our stories.

The Mountain Men Who Don't Exist in Kyrgyzstan - Kirsten Koza
Visiting a mountain lake that doesn't appear on their map of Kyrgyzstan, a group of campers encounters a group of threatening men with mysterious origins.

Don't Attempt to Cuddle a Cassowary - Michael Buckley
The fine art of spotting this charismatic bird—without provoking its more fearsome side...

World Music Reviews - Graham Reid
A meltdown of world music and jazz out of London, a different view of a Cuban music by a close cousin in America, reggae and dub out of South Florida, and a collection of really, really nice songs from all over the place.

Travel Book Reviews - William Caverlee
A fresh travelogue of an expat family on the move, a recreation of a former journey in a different time, and a collection of insightful stories from the Americas.

August 2016

Crossing the Mole Barrier in Oaxaca - Darrin DuFord
Under an Iron Chef competitor's tutelage, our author aims to separate truth from tall tale in the story of Oaxacan mole.

A Flow with No Beginning in Switzerland - Gillian Kendall
A 50-something traveler returns to the place where she thinks she found God three decades ago to see if the Swiss Alps still have the same effect.

Uzupis: In Search of a State - Tom Coote
Surrounded by Lithuania's capital city, Vilnius, the Independent Republic Of Uzupis remains a sanctuary for arty libertarian intellectuals and their Jewish heritage.

World Music Reviews - Graham Reid
Argentina by New York, a foreign take on Brazil, Louisiana blues, and South India by two siblings raised in the USA.

Travel Book Reviews - Susan Griffith
Autobiography in combination with travel is the theme this month, from the true story of a young teacher in Argentina who rescued a dying penguin, to personal journeys of healing. One is in the chilly sub-arctic climes of the 60th parallel and the other following British rivers to their sources.

July 2016

Yellowstone by Air in the Freezing Winter - Garrett Fisher
Flying over a closed Yellowstone Park in the dead of winter, the pilot of a 1940s plane with no heat balances a high level of danger with the joy of seeing nature's untouched splendor.

The Naked Truth in Marrakech - Zora O'Neill
An overawed traveler gets to the heart of a culture by taking off her clothes.

Seeing the Great Barrier Reef Before It Dies - Michael Buckley
The world's largest and most famous barrier reef is under threat from multiple angles, nearly all of them man-made. A diving writer checks out the damage from different vantage points from below and above.

World Music Reviews - Graham Reid
A Spanish artist unites women of the world, the Congo and Portugal find common ground, America goes to Havana, and two types of West are bridged.

Travel Book Reviews - William Caverlee
A comprehensive U.S. national parks rundown, the joys of travel anticipation and exploration, and a novel with a detailed window into India.

June 2016

Nomadic Voices in the Kingdom of Jordan - David Lee Drotar
Touring the greatest hits of Jordan has gotten more complicated as the bedouins evolve and refugees stream in from Syria.

Breaking Bread in Kanas - James Michael Dorsey
In far Northwestern China, where a shark fin outline on a map punches Russia in the belly and divides Kazakhstan from Mongolia, invisible spirits and deities prowl the land.

Diving Into Art in the Land of NASCAR - Tim Leffel
In the region where stock car racing went pro and you can still drive autos on the beach, a vibrant community of artists balances out the aesthetic scales.

World Music Reviews - Laurence Mitchell
Retro African guitar rock Caribbean roots music, Cuban Country, and an atmospheric analog journey with Mop Mop.

Travel Book Reviews - Susan Griffith
Exploring trains as a place where social microcosms can be enjoyed, an invitation not to take flying for granted, and a potentially inspirational journal.

May 2016

Reliving an Abandoned Town on the Patagonian Coast - Madelaine Triebe
At the end of a dirt road far away from any civilization, a couple slowly revives a settlement in Argentina that has been sitting empty for more than half a century.

Celebrating the Food of Portugal - Thomas Swick
Through a major food festival for locals and then a self-guided one in Lisbon, a visitor eats his way through the best of Portuguese food and wine.

Complicated Crime and Punishment in Colombia - Tom Coote
Crime is way down in Colombia since the Pablo Escobar coke cartel days, but there's still an uneasy relationship with the police and an uncomfortable reverence for the slain kingpin.

World Music Reviews - Graham Reid
Uplifting and thoughtful music from Haiti by way of Canada, a vibrant history lesson from Mauritius, Russian reflections, and more global village Afrobeat given a late twist of originality.

Travel Book Reviews - William Caverlee
An anthology on city squares, another with fiction writers telling true stories, and a Silk Road travelogue.

April 2016

Deep Red Threat in Malaysia - Marco Ferrarese
For some, exploding New Year firecrackers in a remote Chinese-Malaysian village helps evoke the forgotten stories of Communist guerrilla resistance.

Locked Out of Canada - Gillian Kendall
When a newly arrived passenger gets left behind the pack at the Vancouver airport, Canadian hospitality disappears behind a series of cold, locked doors.

A Rumi of Her Own in Sayulita - Anna Elkins
While staying in a Mexican villa named for a love poem, a solo woman traveler rediscovers her voice.

World Music Reviews - Laurence Mitchell
Fela Kuti's first band, 12-piece Ethiopian fusion, a refugee from Saharan purgatory, plus America meets Cameroon.

Travel Book Reviews - Susan Griffith
Three American writers chronicle their experiences. Two are happily expatriated to Britain and France, the third is traveling the world meditating on the nature of love, friendship and our relationship to the environment.

March 2016

Jumping Into Matrimony in Ethiopia - James Michael Dorsey
A bizarre wedding ceremony in an isolated valley in northern Africa is shocking, but would our rituals and attractions evoke an equivalent response in them?

The Truffle Hunt in Umbria - Susan Van Allen
In the Italian village of Gubbio, a visitor follows a stranger into the dark forest seeking treasure.

Hanging Out with Homer Simpson in Florida - Tim Leffel
A dad who has been watching The Simpsons half his life revels in a celebration of all things Springfield.

World Music Reviews - Graham Reid
The spirit of a beleaguered Mali channeled into affecting songs, ancient Armenian music brought into the light, sub-continent music which reaches from the dance-floor to the deities, and Jewish music at the intersection of tradition and Downtown New York.

Travel Book Reviews - William Caverlee
Looking back on a pivitol post-Peace-Corps journey, Paul Theroux tours the rural Deep South in depth, and Lonely Planet attempts the ultimate wine travel book.

February 2016

No Country for Honest Men - Marco Ferrarese
In Tajikistan, an unmarried couple learns quickly that a small lie can go a long way in keeping gender balance-and sanity-on the road.

Unlocking Argentina's History - Debi Goodwin
The Recoleta Cemetery is both glorious and sad, where some of the dead are honored and some are forgotten behind long-neglected locks.

On the Old Berlin Wall, a Kiss is not Just a Kiss - James Dorsey
A painting of a man-on-man smooch in Berlin may not be controversial now, but this one went up in 1979 and is between two world leaders.

World Music Reviews - Laurence Mitchell
Voodoo music from Haiti, a Sidestepper return to Colombia, new desert blues with a twist, and some throwback reggae from Bristol.

Travel Book Reviews - Susan Griffith
One author gets to know a tiny Scottish island in intimate detail, while another travels throughout the British Isles in search of literary associations. Then a young woman recovering from mental illness casts caution to the wind and travels to Europe with a man just met on a dating site with next to no (physical) baggage.

January 2016

Common Ground in the Kasbah - James Michael Dorsey
An attempt to buy a funny political souvenir in the medina of Marrakesh results in a heap of cross-cultural animosity.

Beyond the Fear of "Other" in China - Anna Elkins
A woman who has lived in far-flung places around the world faces up to her biggest travel fear: visiting China alone.

Disconnected in a Landscape of Sand and Salt - Tim Leffel
Crossing the great Salar de Uyuni salt flat of Bolivia and traversing the high desert overland, a blogger disconnects from the always-on media stream and submits to the deep quiet.

World Music Reviews - Graham Reid
Simple yet deeply moving music from Turkey, Asian allusions and more from Texas, music from along the Silk Road, and traditional songs from the Caucasus.

Travel Book Reviews - William Caverlee
A comprehensive guide to the Pacific Ocean, a man lost on that ocean for more than a year, and a rough family vacation in graphic novel form.

December 2015

Uncovering Greece, Underwater and Underground - David Lee Drotar
The convoluted history of Greece gets another layer of complications when touring the islands amidst a refugee crisis on top of a financial crisis.

An Explosive End to Winter in Valencia, Spain - Debi Goodwin
A traveler weary of cold weather finds herself caught up in Valencia's Las Fallas, a boisterous street festival that ends the gloomy months with a bang.

A Man and His Dragons in Southern Thailand - Tim Leffel
On a Thailand tour that’s supposed to highlight pristine, unpopulated islands, the highlight turns out to be a man-made attraction created by a driven artist who turns roots into mythical creatures.

World Music Reviews - Laurence Mitchell
Sufi mysticism set to music, two sides of Nueva Latina music, and a folk-leaning string quintent.

Travel Book Reviews - Susan Griffith
The exhilaration and trauma of uprooting your family to a tropical paradise, a long-distance coastal walk in England conveyed through the language of a poet, and a bizarre insight into the subculture of "non-sexual social nudism."

November 2015

Dueling Smiles in Muzzled Myanmar - Bruce Northam
There are various ways to interpret rumors, opinions, and truths about a country. You can tune into the media, listen to firsthand accounts from travelers, or simply walk across the landscape and ask questions. The Myanmar encountered on a traveler’s fourth date in 25 years is finally ready to express itself without fear of consequence. Toll the Buddhist bells.

Riding the Bamboo Train in Cambodia - James Michael Dorsey
With colonial era tracks being the only route through the jungle, enterprising locals in Cambodia have turned scraps of metal and rubber into a major transportation system in otherwise cut-off areas.

Savoring Craft Cannabis in Portland - Becky Garrison
As one of the USA’s most liberal (and fun) cities follows artisanal food, coffee, and beer with a legalization of pot, a curious writer dives into its various forms and venues.

World Music Reviews - Graham Reid
New songs from Spain with deep roots, a Pacific journey in sound, thought-provoking folk with Appalachian influences and African voices in harmony.

Travel Book Reviews - William Caverlee
A career of traveling through war zones, a collection of Don George's own travel writing works, and another big globe-covering Big Trip thick book from Lonely Planet.

October 2015

Fekkin' Savage: Learning to Drum in Doolin, County Clare - Gillian Kendall
A visitor to Ireland tries to call up her Celtic roots to overcome a lack of musical ability in learning a strange drumming style.

Celestial Quebec - David Lee Drotar
A visitor flies and sees the supernatural come to life in the forest and looks to the sky over the Eastern Townships…then enters it.

Celebrating 50 Years, Singapore Dreams of an Even Brighter Future - Michael Shapiro
Summing up Singapore with easy generalizations is impossible. Above and below the surface, this is a place absorbing the new and respecting the past—but on its own terms.

World Music Reviews - Laurence Mitchell
Multiple hybrids of east and west, north and south create a Pangea of world music that knows no borders.

Travel Book Reviews - Susan Griffith
Two unhurried journeys, one through the hinterland of the American West and the other along the south coast of England, by writers with a knack for engaging with all kinds of local people; and a spirited attempt to retrace the steps of forgotten women explorers from the 18th and 19th centuries.

September 2015

Hiking in Teddy Roosevelt's Footsteps in Yosemite - Chris Epting
In a turning point for nature preservation and national parks in the USA, President Teddy Roosevelt goes camping with John Muir in the grandeur of the American West.

The Sahara Dialogues - James Michael Dorsey
Crossing 100 miles of desert with a draped Tuareg companion, an explorer finds peace in the swirling sand and unquestioning acceptance.

Tourism as a Force for Change in the Sierra Gorda Biosphere - Tim Leffel
In an area of Mexico that takes the word "biodiversity" to a new level, tourists contribute to turning around the mindset and income streams of an entire region.

World Music Reviews - Graham Reid
More but different blues from the deserts of Mali, Bengali traditional music given a contemporary twist, blues reinvented from two distant sources and India goes to the Sahara.

Travel Book Reviews - William Caverlee
Reviews of Coastlines: The Story of Our Shore, Irish Miscellany: Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Ireland, and How To Survive Anything: A Visual Guide to Laughing in the Face of Adversity.

August 2015

August issue - Award-winning Travel Stories

July 2015

Trail Magic on the Way of Saint James - Beebe Bahrami
Walking the Camino in Spain means stepping into synchronicity, strange coincidences, and other forms of magic.

An American Novelist in King Richard III's Court - Karla Tipton
Given enough time, a king who was reviled and villainized in his time can end up being the center of a proud celebration.

Calling Ancestors Through the Butterflies in Guatemala - Tim Leffel
A skeptic of most things religious or otherwordly becomes the centerpiece of a shaman’s ceremony in the last Mayan capital of Central America.

World Music Reviews - Graham Reid
Exciting rock'n'soul from West Africa to the world, more but different again from the Democratic Republic of Congo and an overlooked collection of Palestinian music.

Travel Book Reviews - William Caverlee
Discovering Vietnam through its food, around the world on a tandem bike with strangers, and a collection of fine travel writing that includes plenty of authors from Perceptive Travel.

June 2015

Cataluyna or Bust by the Back Roads - Amy Rosen
A directionally challenged travel writer finds her way to each lunch and dinner table on a bike itinerary through Spain…with some travel companions who are just the opposite.

China, Beyond the Bright Lights - Graham Reid
In the rural western provinces of China, few foreigners visit the wealth of natural beauty, while the government does its best to replace the past with more homogenous modern "progress."

A Lion’s Pride and the Will of the Tribe in Kenya - Luke Maguire Armstrong
On an African safari in Kenya, a thirst for adventure as the sun goes down needs to take a back seat for the sake of group harmony.

World Music Reviews - Laurence Mitchell
Lebanese electronica, the king of Zimbabwe protest music, pan-Latin fusion, and...Finnish tango!

Travel Book Reviews - Susan Griffith
An ingenious project to track down secret and indeterminate places around the planet, a mid-life crisis that sees a woman transplanting herself from Sydney to Prague, and a blow-by-blow chronicle of a 4000-mile cycling trip around the perimeter of Britain.

May 2015

Stranded on the Back Roads of Tibetan Sichuan - Marco Ferrarese
Getting stuck on a flooded road after a landslide on the flanks of Chinese Tibet can serve as a good reminder of the yin and yang of human nature.

A Quick trip to Hell in Ethiopia - James Michael Dorsey
In a land where one security guard per person is a requirement, a hike to the summit of a live volcano adds an extra layer of danger.

Eye to Eye with Whales and Whale Sharks in Boundless Baja - Tim Leffel
Where a cacti-studded desert with sun-scorched mountains meets the sea, a wealth of life is just under the surface.

World Music Reviews - Graham Reid
A masterclass in kora playing from a more ancient time, obscurities from Latin America, and the diverse music of Iraq presented with fresh energy.

Travel Book Reviews - William Caverlee
Delving into an unsolved disappearance, terrible times in Asia, and an upbeat collection of travel aphorisms.

April 2015

Unmarked History in New York City - Chris Epting
A West Coast writer known for uncovering hidden historic sites takes on New York City, where every block seems to have a secret past.

The Trip to Bolivia that I Never Took and Never Came Back from - Luke Maguire Armstrong
Looking back on a failed excursion to Bolivia from San Pedro de Atacama while studying abroad in Chile, a budding traveler finds the spark that changes his whole life going forward.

Can Tiny Planes Save the African Beasts? - Richard Bangs
A group of explorers hops across the wildlife-filled desert areas of Namibia and Angola on a scouting expedition that will start a new era in wild animal counting.

World Music Reviews - Laurence Mitchell
Reinterpreted old Americana, Balkan clarinets, good Brazilian vibes, and African grooves from a half century ago via Nigeria and Ghana.

Travel Book Reviews - Susan Griffith
Books by two completely different explorers: one who sets off to walk the entire 4,250-mile length of the River Nile through six countries, the other an unconventional thrill-seeker interested in the hidden world of everyday urban landscapes. Plus a book that will entice and inform you about the possibilities of living elsewhere on an attractively modest budget.

March 2015

Watching the World Series in Cambodia and Korea - Michael Shapiro
A writer who has derided travelers for being too attached to home finds himself in a quandary when his favorite sports team enters the championship.

Chernobyl: Mutate and Survive - Tom Coote
Nearly thirty years after the nuclear power plant disaster at Chernobyl, both tourism and wildlife are thriving within the exclusion zone.

Biking Through the Bounty of Oregon - Tim Leffel
Seeing the Willamette Valley, Mount Hood, and Portland at cycling speed, there's a feeling that almost all the Earth's best riches are pouring forth from this one patch of land.

World Music Reviews - Graham Reid
The impressive debut by a new generation from Mali addresses its plight, a brass but not brassy band from Boston, sublime spiritual music from the past, and passable pop from Kenya's back pages.

Travel Book Reviews - William Caverlee
A classic tale goes big for Hollywood, another anthology of travel stories edited by Don George, and a memoir of the "Two Italies" that has two meanings.

February 2015

A Cowboy at the End of the World - Shelley Seale
Riding horses behind a silent pathfinder into a wide open adventure in Patagonia, Chile

The Sultanate of Heavy Rock in Malaysia - Marco Ferrarese
Befriending the organizer of a well-hidden underground rock club in Penang, a curious traveler understands that sometimes globalization can be a good thing.

Enduring Burmese Tea - James Michael Dorsey
After a long hike in the mountains of Myanmar, a game of charades and commerce results in a sublime scene recorded forever.

World Music Reviews - Laurence Mitchell
Contemplative Sikh music, Cuba meets Jamaica, and dub from Down Under.

Travel Book Reviews - Susan Griffith
Plenty of discomfort to be enjoyed vicariously, from a collection of gripping tales of peril from around the world, to a grueling 3000-mile walk through China, and finally a more banal campervan trip in Europe.

January 2015

A Quest for the Sacred Maya Book - Mary Jo McConahay
Shunning the famous Sunday market favored by pickpockets in Guatemala's famed pre-Columbian trading city, a writer joins a search for a locked-up and hidden replica of "the Maya bible."

End to End, the Roundabout Route - Tony Robinson-Smith
Biking Britain on scenic back roads means fierce hills and funny old folk.

Stories, not Superlatives: - Strange Tales From the Perceptive Travel Blog
Too many travel blogs are either glorified diaries seemingly meant to stoke the writers' egos or top-x listicles to court social media shares and clicks. Since 2007, the Perceptive Travel bloggers have been turning over rocks in offbeat places to bring you tales from the road that you haven't seen a hundred times already. Here are some notable ones from the past year.

World Music Reviews - Graham Reid
A master percussionist goes solo, metalhead guitarist turns it down and gets worldly, Afrobeat revisited again, and a quiet journey through a noisy city.

Travel Book Reviews - William Caverlee
Three new books from authors who have graced the pages of Perceptive Travel: an old-school adventurer, a man who straddles both fiction and non-fiction taking on Berlin, and the Signspotting series author presenting a "best of" edition.

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