Welcome to the January 2014 issue of online magazine Perceptive Travel, the home of the best travel stories from book authors and the latest notable travel books and world music reviews. We launched in January of 2006 and have never taken a step back to highlight the highlights. So instead of another batch of new material, this month we hope you'll read one of these notable travel tales from the eight years of archives. Batch one is the most popular articles since our launch. Batch two is a selection of a few of the stories that have won "best travel writing" awards over the years. On our birthday, thanks for coming along for the journey!
Sex, Lies, and Desert Dust at Burning Man - Brad Olsen
Maybe there should be an asterisk beside this as an inordinate number of page views came from image searches (look at the title and take a guess). But a fun tale of what its like at this bizarre event.
Tantric Sex for Dilletantes - Rolf Potts
Another that got boosted by searches done by people probably expecting something else, this one from our very first issue got into several best travel writing anthologies.
The Burning of the Devil in Guatemala - Luke Maguire Armstrong
An observation of an annual effigy-burning festival in Antigua, Guatemala that's a fiery spectacle.
Unbalanced in the Sinking City - Tim Leffel
This Mexico City article dived deeper to look at all the crooked sinking buildings in Mexico's soggy capital, as well as the racial divide between historic and modern, dark and light, above ground and under.
Sedona: Is the Whole Town Built on a Hoax - Laurie Gough
In America's leading hippie tourist center for crystals, vortexes, and energy fields, a writer wonders if it's all a giant scam.
The Mysterious Stone Chambers of New England - Brad Olsen
An author who regularly explores strange landscapes and unexplained structures looks into ancient history of the northeast USA.
A Capital Built for Kings and SUVs - Robert Reid
Back when he was a Lonely Planet guidebook writer researching a far-less-open Myanmar, Robert Reid explores the strange newly built capital city of Naypyidaw.
Kauai Footprints: the Dark Side of "Hidden Hawaii" - Michelle Bigley
A Hawaii guidebook author looks at the consequences of encouraging people to get off the beaten path in Kauai.
When in Jordan... - Shari Caudron
Another story from our first year of publication proves to have long-term appeal when a writer confronts her hang-ups about getting a naken scrub-down from a stranger in the Middle East.
The Backpackers' Pilgrimage: Ko Phangan - Joel Carillet
What's it like at the famed full moon parties on popular Ko Phangan in Thailand—and what's the aftermath?
Dancing with the Dead in Benin - James Michael Dorsey
This strange supernatural tale from Africa won a Gold from the Solas Best Travel Writing awards.
Can a Croissant Change Your Life? - Amy Rosen
Amy's Perceptive Travel stories have won several awards, including a Northern Lights one in Canada for this igloo story, but this French one snagged a Gold from the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA).
Side Saddle Girls at a Mexican Rodeo - Tim Leffel
Editor Tim has won more than a dozen writing awards from stories published here (including the D.F. one above and this Bulgaria article, but a piece on female rodeo riders in Mexico snagged a first prize from both NATJA and the Solas Awards.
A Bridge on the Border in Central America - Molly Beer
This story about an expatraiate teacher's look back on her past as her parents visit her in El Salvador appears in the Best Women's Travel Writing book published in 2012.
Let's Spend the Night Together - Chris Epting
This narrative about places where famous rock stars checed out—permanently—won a Gold from the Solas Awards and got into a Best Travel Writing anthology from Travelers' Tales.
There are too many award winners over six years to list every story here. So congrats also to the following and anyone I may have missed: Lisa TE Sonne, Maliha Masood, Edward Readicker-Henderson, Wendy Knight, Marie Javins, Darrin DuFord, Beebe Bahrami, Luke Armstrong, and Gloria Kirchheimer. Plus a shout out to our blog, which won Best Travel Blog in North America from the Society of American Travel Writers this year.
Sign up for the monthly Perceptive Travel newsletter here and not only will you be alerted when a new issue comes out, but you can win books, music, and other prizes as well.
Looking for a story from a past issue? Check out the Perceptive Travel Archives, organized by date and geography (like Mexico and Central America travel stories), or conjured up with a search box.