Welcome to Perceptive Travel online magazine, where we bring you some of the most interesting and unusual traveling stories from around the globe each month, all from published book authors.

Since nearly every intelligent human around the globe is sheltering in place right now, few people are reading about traveling the globe. Fortunately, many of our stories are of the armchair variety anyway: quirky places you'll never get to and crazy adventures you'll probably never take. So this month, instead of publishing new material at the worst possible time, we're dipping into the archives for a "You Weren't Going to Go There Anyway" issue.

Often our authors are bringing us strange stories from places almost nobody has visited, sometimes places nobody has even heard of. So this month we've collected five of them here for you to read for the pleasure of seeing a bizarre place through their eyes, with no need to get on a plane.

When the Soviet Union annexed countries and territories then later pulled back like a receding tide, a few spots got stuck in limbo. Crack open a bottle of vodka and let's head to Abkhazia

There are some self-declared "countries" of the world that are mere specks on a map. In the case of Uzupis, it's more like an independent neighborhood in the capital city of Lithuania.

Some places you don't want to go. Others you're not allowed to go. For most people, North Korea is both. Come along for some interesting tales from the residents as Rory MacLean heads inside the world's largest cult of personality.

Serbia is not high on the list of many travelers, with even the long-term backpackers bypassing it. Jonathan Arlan takes it a step further and holes up in a remote rural Serbian monastery that required three buses and a seven-mile hike to reach.

Last, we head to the ends of the Earth, to a windswept spot by the ocean in Argentina, an abandoned military base where intrepid visitors can spend the night, in Patagonia.

See them all here.

Some Free Gear in Your Future

We normally give away something cool for travelers and adventurers each month to one of our readers. Congrats to last month's champ Mary W. from Florida. She has three bottles with a built-in filtration system from Epic Water Bottles coming her way. An Escape glass water bottle that's 24 ounces (700ml), the Nalgene OG that's 32 ounces, and the Mini which is 17 ounces (500 ml).

This month we're taking a break from the giveaways while our gear partners do their best to ship out orders with a limited staff keeping a safe distance. Many of them are struggling to keep the lights on and keep people working, so we'll wait until June to rev back up again. (If you want to support domestic jobs, see this post on clothing and gear companies manufacturing in the USA and Canada.

Get on the list so you'll have a shot at the next six months of luggage, clothing, or shoes we'll be shipping to lucky readers who are on the insiders list. Join our e-mail update community. Then watch for the entry instructions near the beginning of each month. You can also follow us on Facebook and pay close attention to our feed for instructions. More than 120 readers have won something great since we launched, some twice!

Looking for some more good armchair travel reading while you dream about future trips? Dive into the Perceptive Travel story archives, where you can find everything that has appeared here since our debut nearly a decade and a half ago. In between new online magazine issues, check out the award-winning Perceptive Travel Blog for shorter takes on the weird and wonderful around the world.

Stay safe!

- Tim Leffel, Editor

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