Perceptive Travel Back Issues

October 2021

Experiencing Day of the Dead as an Expat Family in Mexico by Cassie Pearse
Life as an expatriate in Mexico can be daunting, especially with children. In festival times, however, the connections can provide a window into a local culture that's difficult for most foreigners to find.

Chasing Waterfalls in Portugal in All the Wrong Ways by Lydia Carey
A couple keeps courting misfortune while exploring nature in Portugal in the summer, with each simple hiking turning into bad trip disappointment.

A Strange Garden With a Backstory: Ganna Walska's Lotusland by Sherry Shahan
A European singer with questionable talent, one who forewarned the reality TV age by being famous for being famous, created a public garden as flamboyant as her lifestyle.

Ghostly Quiet in Mineral de Pozos in Central Mexico by Tim Leffel
The ghost towns of Mexico are often filled with remnants of the country's colonial past, eerie places filled with crumbling stone buildings that endure through the centuries. A writer tramps through the fallen bricks and cacti in Mineral de Pozos, Guanajuato state.

Travel Book Reviews by William Caverlee
How the railroads built the American West, a guide to key pilgrimages around the world, and seeing Saskatchewan through lonely photographs.

September 2021

Mexico City Mushroom Foraging Lessons by Lydia Carey
On a mushroom hunting expedition in a forest hours from Mexico's capital city, a group tries to choose between deadly and delicious with local experts.

"Progress" in Colorado: A Visit and a Goodbye to a Rapidly Changing Place by Julia Hubbel
A former Colorado resident who escaped to greener pastures pushes through the housing developments and urban sprawl to find a place where nature still rules.

Dodging the Police in Turkmenistan's Marble City by Stephen M. Bland
In the surreal capital city of Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, homages to two dictators define a ghostly atmosphere of white marble, fountains, and endless hero statues lining empty streets.

A Spiritual Light in the Darkness at Angkor Wat by James Michael Dorsey
After observing enigmatic Cambodian nuns weaving through the background of temples, a traveler connects with one by chance in an empty set of ruins in Angkor Wat.

Travel Book Reviews by Susan Griffith
A tour of the Balkans to combat an unacknowledged prejudice, four walking explorations in Europe with topographies as wild and strange as more far-flung places, and an unhelpful handbook to traveling without harming the planet.

August 2021

"Places You Can Go Now" issue

July 2021

Hanging With the Hustlers of the Dominican Republic by Dave Seminara
In the Dominican Republic, tourists are like kings and queens. It is not uncommon to see these sovereigns-for-a-week getting pedicures and massages, tropical drink in hand, on the country's pristine beaches. A vacationing writer joins the fray with his family, being alternately fêted like a caliph and hustled like a rube.

Walking to Jordan: Returning to the Middle East With Fresh Eyes and a Teenaged Son by Sneed B. Collard III
A writer who spent a formative youthful winter in Israel returns with his son, traveling overland to Wadi Rum and Petra.

Lunch from the Surf: Foraging for Seaweed on the California Coast by Sherry Shahan
Harvesting food from the Pacific ocean on an educational tour that involves tasting seaweed, the first lesson is that these wild weeds aren't really plants.

Escaping Bandit Country While Cycling Spain's Southern Coast by Chris Atkin
On a long-distance ride across Spain, a cyclist finds the road less traveled littered with hazards.

Travel Book Reviews by Susan Griffith
A fascinating and unlikely world tour by a self-declared "island-spotter", an adventure anthology by 23 gutsy women, and insightful essays about migration and identity based on a Kenyan author's wide-ranging travels.

June 2021

Exploring the Lau Archipelago in Fiji From a Small Ship by Chantae Reden
A travel writer living in Fiji who has been dreaming of an enchanted island chain that's like an archipelago of legends gets invited to go check them out—if she'll just agree to do it on a cruise ship.

Shifting Gears to Share Van Life Adventures in Maui by Heidi Siefkas
A couple stuck in their new home in the Hawaiian Islands pivots to a new tourism business that comes with unexpected obstacles.

Finding Resilience in the Mountains of Crete by Kayla Kurin
An escape from London and a deteriorating relationship leads to the idyllic village of Anogia in Crete, where the Greek gods have their own disruptive plans.

Mexican Mishaps and Bad Mojo on the Roads of Nayarit by Tim Leffel
In a Pacific Coast land of stunning beaches and resorts with glistening blue swimming pools, a writer runs into trouble every time he hits the Mexican roads in a rental car.

Travel Book Reviews by William Caverless
An annual anthology of great narrative travel writing, stories about glaciers in western Canada, and a pop-up book about historic train journeys.

May 2021

A Tuscan Garden of Earthy Delights in Montepulciano by Claudia Flisi
When an Italian landscape designer turns inward to build a sustainable garden paradise for his wife, it turns into something grand for visitors to Tuscany's wine country.

The Back Door of the Amazon Jungle in Ecuador by Sneed B. Collard III
A birding family heads to the Amazon Basin of Ecuador and encounters a birdwatching paradise...mixed with companies serving the planet's insatiable appetite for oil.

Hazy Memories From a Food Show Filming in Morocco by Leif Pettersen
In an excerpt from the new e-book The First (Failed) Travel Food Show, a writer looks back on a 1990s trip to Morocco as a newly hired cameraman back when travel food shows hadn't yet made it to your living room.

Ten Years to Tequila: On the Agave Trail in Jalisco by Tim Leffel
A decade can go by before a blue agave seedling transforms into a bottle of barrel-aged tequila. A Mexpat writer looks at the process from all angles in the tequila country of Jalisco and the town that bears the product's name.

Travel Book Reviews by Susan Griffith
A diverse collection of stories by travelers who have chosen adventure over fear; a delightfully droll tale of a young writer enjoying a series of bus tours with retirees; and a beautifully designed volume of observations, reflections and maps of islands around the world.

April 2021

Kilimanjaro Then and Now: A Mountain Comes to Terms With a Changing World by Julia Hubbel
A writer looks back on a summit of one of the most popular climbs in the world, with all the problems that popularity brings, and plots a post-pandemic return.

The Unveiling of Mezcal: Visiting Oaxaca's Artisanal Distilleries by Lydia Carey
In the rural areas of Oaxaca state in Mexico, a writer dives into family histories, life on the farm, and artisinal mezcal distilleries that go back generations.

Gold Digging and Vodka Chugging on Lake Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan by Stephen M. Bland
Visiting Kyrgyzstan's main tourist draw area for the first time, one of the world's largest lakes, a traveler finds pantomime and vodka to be the best means of communication.

When We Trusted a Local Stranger to Design Our Morocco Itinerary, the Magic Happened by Tim Leffel
When a just-married couple lands in Morocco with a guidebook and some vague plans, their blind trust in a local they just met leads to richer experiences beyond the main circuit.

Travel Book Reviews by William Caverlee
An information-packed guide to Italy good for setting out on your adventure or dreaming from your armchair, a coffee-table book with incredible surf photos and information for surfing travelers, and instructions on how to create meaningful, slow travel with children.

March 2021

Return to Death Valley by Debi Goodwin
A long-time lover of Death Valley returns to see if the park still has its magic after her life has changed.

Kayaking the Calusa Blueway in Florida by Tim Leffel
While tens of thousands of motorboats ply the Gulf Coast of Florida waters each day, skimming the water at a slower pace reveals a lot more details along the shores.

Mount Whitney or Die by Sherry Shahan
Climbing to the summit of a 4,400-meter peak is never easy, but hiking to the top and back in one day takes a giant leap of faith—or a dose of insanity.

Hiking in Teddy Roosevelt's Footsteps in Yosemite by 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.

How Ted Turner Helped Me Fall in Love With Nature by Judith Fein
A certified city slicker ventures into the American West and discovers a whole other world, one to be admired instead of feared.

February 2021

Traveling Eritrea, In the Ruins of Lost Empires by Sophia Erickson
Squeezed between Ethiopia and Sudan, the African country of Eritrea is small and mysterious. A visitor finds it's also a bit schizophrenic in its history and influences depending on which city you're in.

Hiking Sweden Alone and Lost in Abisko National Park by Madelaine Triebe
After encountering a huge crowd all going in the same direction, a solo traveler back in her birthplace of Sweden takes the wrong path less traveled.

Reminders of Home in a World Away: the Rougher Side of Maui by Heidi Siefkas
The Maui most tourists picture is a land of big waves and beaches, but a transplant finds that the northern interior presents a much more rugged landscape.

A Wealth of Open Spaces at the Ski Resorts in Idaho by Tim Leffel
Enjoying retro ticket prices and throwback facilities, a skier explores the uncrowded ski resorts in Idaho just before "social distancing" becomes a common phrase.

Travel Book Reviews – Susan Griffith
A brilliantly entertaining account both funny and serious of cycling across five continents, an exhaustive (and exhausting) description of an expat summer in Galicia, and a diverting compendium of travel puzzles and quizzes.

January 2021

Flying Spirit With Mr. Skyes by Dave Seminara
Flying on a budget airline during a pandemic can lead to multiple levels of uneasiness...for some anyway.

Redmond O'Hanlon in Borneo and My Adventures with Leeches and Rhinos by Sherry Shahan
A writer wanders into a rough Borneo expedition through a classic travel adventure book and reflects on creature encounters in Kenya and Australia.

A World of Trouble or the Making of an Explorer? by Bruce Northam
A travel writer looks back at his troublemaker early years and finds that childhood adventures, explorations, and mischief are good training for a life of traveling the world.

Traveling Inside the Mind with Ayahuasca by Norm Bour
A nomad who is hindered from traveling the world takes an internal journey instead with a jungle shaman and a potent plant.

Travel Book Reviews – William Caverlee
A travelogue that takes you on a viking adventure, a travel memoir of a Russian family, and a detailed history of forgotten peoples worldwide, helpful reading for anyone planning to visit their former homelands.

December 2020

Crossing my Malaysian Home on Foot by Marco Ferrarese
During a global pandemic, a travel writer realizes the sheer power of digging deeper in his own backyard.

Toujours Provence—One Visit is Not Enough by Beebe Bahrami
Where the great river road of the Rhone transforms Provence travelers into pilgrims.

Visiting Machu Picchu Without the Crowds by Tim Leffel
A writer looks back at his uncrowded visit to the famous Inca citadel in Peru in 2005, an experience that's available again temporarily for those willing to get there soon.

Mosques, Memorials and Marijuana in Quba of Northern Azerbaijan by Stephen M. Bland
The city of Quba in Azerbaijan has a history of holiness and acts of evil, with layered stories behind its walls and underground.

Travel Book Reviews – Susan Griffith
A lost region of Europe stretching from the North Sea to Switzerland, a painful account of making a new life on a Scottish island with only nature for company, and an inspiring selection of adventure ideas for children and their parents.

November 2020

A Lucky Dog Road Trip from Mexico to Maryland by Camille Cusumano
A quest to see a house of memories one last time and give up a dog for adoption turns into an eventful road trip from Monterrey to the mid-Atlantic USA.

Water People of the Mekong by James Michael Dorsey
The Mekong River passes through five countries and hundreds of communities of Southeast Asia, a flowing road of commerce and culture.

Through Rocks and Roses: Traveling in Iran with an Infant by Shivaji Das
A couple travels to Iran on a university teaching assignment, making their first long international trip with their new daughter a doubly confounding experience.

Being Fit for Adventures is Being Fit for Life by Julia Hubbel
Why training for the Big Adventure isn't just about a summit photo.

Travel Book Reviews – William Caverlee
A guide for taking good street art photos, the streets of megacity Tokyo, and a travel guide about boldly going beyond our planet.

October 2020

Six Degrees of Separation at a Saigon Hot Dog Stand by Richard Sterling
An expat writer in Saigon goes in search of nostalgic street food and finds an unlikely link to a past romance.

Finding the Wrong Family in Rural Western Ukraine by Michelle Lawson
In an attempt to get to know the place her late father spent his first 27 years, an English traveler returns to his remote village in rural Ukraine to stay with a distant relative.

Accepting Fate on the GR7 Hiking Trail of Spain by Jeremy Bassetti
Plans for a long-term hike in the Spanish Alpujarras region provides a lesson on the futility of making plans at all in a place that operates on nature's schedule.

Dug-outs Downstream in PNG by Tony Robinson-Smith
Can a hollowed-out tree trunk get you down a crocodile-infested tropical river in Papua New Guinea? Two Canadians find out.

Travel Book Reviews – Susan Griffith
Two road trips on the North American continent and a journey by sail along the coast of the Celtic fringe.

September 2020

For Now, Travels in My Mind by James Michael Dorsey
A life-long adventurer who traveled to some of the world's most remote places pulls from his home of souvenirs while isolating to protect the planet's weakest.

Paddling Home in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota by Heidi Siefkas
Paddling, wandering, and camping can do wonders for the soul when disconnected from Wi-Fi and reconnected with nature—despite the occasional obstacles.

Return to Death Valley by Debi Goodwin
A long-time lover of Death Valley returns to see if the park still has its magic after her life has changed.

Trying Isolated Farm Life on a Uruguay Estancia by Tim Leffel
A writer who abandoned farm country for urban life and travel spends some time off the grid on a cattle and sheep estancia in South America.

Travel Book Reviews – William Caverlee
The work of Japanese artisans, an American's life in Paris, and classic grand American theaters captured before their final curtain.

August 2020

How to Lose Friends and Mortify People While Hiking in Peru by Marco Ferrarese
Trying to impress an old friend, a travel writer decides to take a shortcut during a Lares trek and a mountain hike in the Andes becomes a test of survival.

Calling the Earth to Witness the Truth in Tibet by Patti Lefkos
A writer looks back on her visit to Tibet more than a decade ago, with her guide calmly enduring the Chinese suppression that has only gotten worse in the years since.

Motovun, Croatia: Visions Of Elusive Paradise Before The Pandemic by John Wright
On a grand driving tour of Croatia from end to end, a couple unwittingly gets their last look at paradise for a while.

Crossing the Omo in Ethiopia by James Michael Dorsey
All that was required to get to the Ethiopian village was crossing a river in a dugout canoe. A river full of crocodiles...

Travel Book Reviews – Susan Griffith
A pleasingly quirky exploration of contemporary Britain through the lens of past writers, a collection of road trips to make you drool, and a slight little book of travel quotations destined for the bathroom shelf.

July 2020

Where Wildlife Protection and Human Prospering Work Together in Kenya by Julia Hubbel
A model for conservation practices in Kenya means hope for Africa's great mammals and her people though the unique Ol Pejeta sustainable system.

Sailing From Fredrikstad to Amsterdam, Chasing the Wind by Jodie Bond
A traveler plies the waters of northern Europe on a ship with 26 sails and a 100-foot main mast, the passengers joining the crew on duty in rotating shifts.

Lessons and Losses on Easter Island by Debi Goodwin
Photos and stories going back to her childhood linger with a writer who dreams of seeing the mysterious statues of remote Easter Island. It comes together just before the world shuts down.

A Phone Call From a Statue in Parma, Italy by Claudia Flisi
In a city best known for what goes in the mouths of diners around the world, its famous dead people come to life and tell you their stories.

Travel Book Reviews – William Caverlee
The definitive guide for walking the Camino de Santiago, Instagram in book form, and yet another "best of" round-up from Lonely Planet.

June 2020

Beating a Hasty Retreat from the USA in a Private 737 Airliner by Norm Bour
What happens when everyone is told to "shelter at home," but you are nomad without a home? Maybe you pick a spot and get a jet plane all to yourself.

A Pilgrimage to Meteora by Dave Seminara
Returning to Greece 15 years after a magical visit to Meteora, a now-father with his kids along finds the object of his quest hidden among an explosion of international tourists.

Mining the Past in Southwest Montana by Tim Leffel
From $40 billion in gold to "the richest hill on Earth," a look back at the booms and busts that defined the birth of Montana in the late 1800s—with a few happy endings.

Tensions Beneath the Bling in Chechnya and Ingushetia by Stephen M. Bland
A trip to the North Caucasus Republics of Ingushetia and Chechnya in Russia's Wild East is not for the faint of heart.

Travel Book Reviews – Susan Griffith
A compendium of world maps that relies on clever visuals to reveal startling facts about the world, and another that describes and illustrates 37 places from history and nature that once were and are no longer. Plus a fizzingly original book that treats cycle-touring as a philosophical statement.

May 2020

"You Weren't Going There Anyway" issue

April 2020

"Salute to the Guides" issue

March 2020

Austin's East Side: Art for the Masses by Sherry Shahan
In rapidly growing Austin, Texas, the street art in one corner sparks conversations and cultivates awareness.

Candelaria: When 1,000 Dressed-up Dolls Come to Mexican Mass by Lydia Carey
It can take years of being in Mexico to begin to understand the layers of tradition, mixed theology, and hidden meanings. And what's up with those elaborately dressed-up Baby Jesus dolls?

Disquiet in Lisbon by Beebe Bahrami
Walking through Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa's Lisbon and its many layers, nuances, and doorways.

YOLO, FOMO, and Semper Paratus on Swim Call in the Caribbean by Gillian Kendall
A guest lecturer on a ship only dives once before requiring rescue from the US Coast Guard.

Travel Book Reviews – William Caverlee
A photography collection from wild places, a memoir of a decade of nomadic travel, plus a book on the strange and often bloody religious festivals of Asia.

February 2020

Tracking the Elusive Loggerhead Turtle in Touristy Crete by David Kalish
A visitor to the island of Crete joins a sea turtle protection mission in an area stacked with beach chairs and watersports motors.

Back to the Future in Palermo by Claudia Flisi
A writer returns to Palermo, Sicily and finds a lot has changed for the better the second time around.

Horses, Hooves, and Heat in Today's Evolving Ethiopia by Julia Hubbel
In Ethiopia, the ancient and the modern clash as a surge in tourism produces begging children who grow up to become extortionists.

Celebrating a Quebec City Winter Visit by Going All the Way by Tim Leffel
A writer who has successfully avoided wearing a heavy coat for years embraces winter in Quebec City, sleeping in a sub-freezing room of ice and then venturing out on foot and skis.

Travel Book Reviews by Susan Griffith
A down-to-earth yet inspiring how-to guide about travel writing, an exemplar of the genre visiting places on the edge of civilization, and a sumptuous photographic compendium of the many Silk Roads that linked west and east.

January 2020

Hungarian Lies: Budapest, and the Manipulation of History by Rory MacLean
Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the publication of his UK top ten Stalin's Nose, Rory MacLean has retraced his original journey, backwards, from Moscow to Berlin, asking what became of the optimism of those days. Why have so many now fallen for the populists' lies and spin, dragging democracy to this precarious present moment?

A Horseback Trek in the Andes with the Argentine Men of the Mountains by Madelaine Triebe
Five days of horseback riding in the Andes Mountains with no cleaning up and no set itinerary is a daunting travel test with the gauchos of few words.

Bowling with Giants on Saint Michael's Way in Cornwall by Beebe Bahrami
Trekking in Cornwall, England, on Saint Michael's Way reveals a pilgrimage through prehistory, presence, enchantment, and legend, including rock-throwing giants.

Finding My Ghost of the Future in the Amazon Jungle by Laura Resau
What happens when you come face to face with your possible future self in one of the wildest places on earth?

Travel Book Reviews by William Caverlee
A look at the rugged and wild coasts of Canada in photographs, the latest book about Italy from Frances Mayes, and a guide to voluntourism around the world.

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