Perceptive Travel Back Issues

September 2019

Compassionate Education Versus Dark Tourism at an Oregon Mental Hospital by Teresa Bergen
A writer visiting the Oregon State Hospital Museum of Mental Health, the historic building where One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest was filmed, tries to suppress her morbid curiosity.

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

Complicated Crime and Punishment in Colombia by 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.

The Concrete Corpses of Cyprus by Darrin DuFord
Standing in the shadows of Cyprus' youngest ruins triggers both an aversion to political obstinacy and an appreciation of nature's relaxed style of reclaiming human-created structures.

Bring Your Daughter to the Torajan Slaughter in Indonesia by Marco Ferrarese
In the highlands of south Sulawesi, a fake bloodline helps a couple find more gore than they can stomach.

August 2019

Too Cool for Normal in Illinois by Gillian Kendall
Traveling through the heartland of America, a coastal snob loses her mind...and a few preconceptions.

The Last Village in North Borneo by Marco Ferrarese
Sailing on the lesser-trawled eastern fringes of Sabah, a travel writer witnesses how life may change in an incredibly remote place that's slowly opening to tourism.

Milan: My Gray Grand Dame Turns Golden by Susan Van Allen
The alchemy of a good risotto conjured up in a cooking class is the key to transforming a visit to fashion-obsessed Milan.

Magdalena Mexico Whale Watching From a Baja Island Camp by Tim Leffel
Waking up to see gray whales swimming by is magical enough, but watching mamas and babies cavort just a few feet away on the water is an experience unique to the Baja Peninsula.

Travel Book Reviews by Susan Griffith
Two very different books about European train travel that complement one another nicely, plus another view of Europe through the lens of the final two years of World War II.

July 2019

Chillin' with the Geladas in Ethiopia by Claudia Flisi
Where the wild things still are in Ethiopia: visiting Simien National Park in search of a singular kind of monkey.

Lessons in Leadership While Horseback Riding in Iceland by Julia Hubbel
Riding horses in Iceland into the vast countryside can be treacherous even in the best months, so when trouble strikes, there had better be a good travel guide leader in control of the journey.

A Climb To the Mountain of Fire in New Zealand by Debi Goodwin
A traveler hikes the path to the movies' "Mount Doom" in New Zealand and finds the usual overly safe groomed tramping trails don't apply for Nguaruhoe.

The Last Muezzin of Timbuktu by James Michael Dorsey
Insights into the call of prayer and a dying tradition in the mud-caked landscape of Mali.

Travel Book Reviews by William Caverlee
Another book on a long bike ride where the quest trumps all, a photo-heavy guide to wildlife viewing, and strange tales from travels around the globe.

June 2019

Traveling With the Moroccan Chameleon That Didn't Want to Die by Marco Ferrarese
A travel writer helps a quirky North African gris-gris go back to Mothern Nature near Chefchaouen.

The Cradle of Russia: Frozen in the Golden Ring by Antonia Malchik
A writer who occasionally visited her parents' native home of Russia as a child sets off on an independent trip from the capital to the land of her father in the dead of winter.

A Warriors' Welcome in Maikmol, PNG by Tony Robinson-Smith
Trekking the road less traveled in Papua New Guinea brings two Canadians to a village more connected than it first appears.

Booms, Busts, and Rebirths on the Erie Canal by Tim Leffel
Braving wintry weather (in May!) to explore Rochester and Syracuse, a writer digs up info on the great dig itself, a waterway that had a huge impact on the economic rise of the United States.

Travel Book Reviews by Susan Griffith
A fascinating insight into the Russia behind the headlines and a heartening account of moving lock, stock and barrel to Venice.

May 2019

Quiet for Pigeon, Loud for Boar, Shoulder-High for Rabbit by Beebe Bahrami
In which the author discovers the perils, humor, and rewards of walking the Chemin de Saint-Jacques (Way of Saint James) in the French Pyrenees during hunting season.

Touring Arusha with the Flycatchers in Tanzania by Claudia B. Flisi
When a cop tells everyone to get out and the car drives away, having a savvy Tanzanian fixer at your side can salvage the adventure.

Healed by Adventure Travel on the Way to Raja Ampat Julia Hubbel
Can Nature truly heal? One man finds out as he goes on a snorkeling trip through the islands of Indonesia between Ambon and Raja Ampat.

Days of Musical Bliss at the Montreal Jazz Festival by Tim Leffel
The Montreal International Festival of Jazz presents musicians bringing their A-game, impressive sound production, and an atmosphere of civilized festivity.

Travel Book Reviews by William Caverlee
Strange quasi-countries you didn't know existed, the golden age of crazy explorers, and a guide to living in China as an English teacher.

April 2019

A Vintage Roadtrip: Butterflies, Blues and VW Buses by Lydia Carey
A driver relives his happiest childhood memories, a passenger gets to experience the family road trip she never had.

A True Roman Neighborhood by Debi Goodwin
A tourist in Rome seeks a neighborhood where she can see the real life of the city.

Abkhazia: Party Amidst the Ruins Stephen Bland
Finding that Russian tourists will go most anywhere that speaks their language and serves cheap vodka, a writer joins them in the gutted and gut-wrenching former section of Georgia known as Abkhazia.

Retracing the Steps of Lila and Elena in Naples by Michael Shapiro
A walking tour visits the places where two fictional characters come of age in rubble-strewn Naples after World War II.

Travel Book Reviews by Susan Griffith
Diametrically opposed world travels by an elite athlete obsessed with cycling 240 miles a day for 75 days and by an early-retired couple who dawdle along on cruises. Plus a sometimes astute, sometimes droll account of travels along the River Rhine.

March 2019

Dreaming of Djenné by James Michael Dorsey
Standing in the same form it has been since 1907, the grand Djerbinger Mosque dominates Djenné with its eccentric style and glowing sunbaked mud construction.

Not the Usual Tour of HCMC: Medicines, Markets, and Floating Temples by Claudia B. Flisi
A traveler looking for a more authentic part of Saigon, Vietnam, ends up getting lost in the back alleys of a neighborhood where few foreigners tread.

Stormy Seas, Spectacular Skies on Norway's Hurtigruten Cruise by David Nikel
A traveler braves gale-force winds on Norway's famous Hurtigruten coastal voyage in the depths of winter for a set of dazzling rewards.

America's Longest Stretch of History in St. Augustine, Florida by Tim Leffel
After centuries of pirate raids, native skirmishes, a mighty fort, and an ambitious railway stretching to the south, the USA's oldest city now just makes you battle over-indulgence.

Travel Book Reviews by William Caverlee
Great train journeys around the world and two narrative tales of long-term journeys around the globe—with no regrets.

February 2019

Finding Gandhi by Kelsey Timmerman
A search for the Good Person Equation leads to Gandhi's apartment in Mumbai.

Barbershop Postcards—a True Cultural Travel Selfie by Bruce Northam
With a bit of luck, sometimes the mane event is the main event. A writer and tour guide documents his world travels with mirror photos from the barber's chair.

Once in a Lifetime: Visiting Bruegel in Vienna by Michael Shapiro
A chance to see a rare collection of a 16th-century painter's work that never before appeared in one place, a mother and son connect on a spontaneous journey to Austria.

Finding the Secret Beaches of Panama and Costa Rica by Tim Leffel
A lifelong non-cruiser says yes to a small ship adventure journey that skirts the coasts of Panama and Costa Rica, seeking out empty beaches for paddling and snorkeling.

Travel Book Reviews by Susan Griffith
A woman motorbikes solo around Iran, a British comedian explores remote South Asia with a documentary crew, plus a Lonely Planet compendium presents the best ever travel high points of a hundred writers.

January 2019

Days of Celebration in Small-town Umbria by Debi Goodwin
The historic town of Montone in Italy comes alive when a festival brings noise and joy to a normally sleepy community.

Getting Schooled on the Consequences of Cultural Interference by James Michael Dorsey
When trying to improve the long-established tools of a society in Benin in West Africa, a generous-feeling traveler who means well ends up causing havoc.

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.

From Farm to Glass in the Finger Lakes of New York by Tim Leffel
Wine is just the start of the local hooch buffet in Upstate New York, where adventurous alchemists are turning local crops into elixirs for our mugs and goblets.

Travel Book Reviews by William Caverlee
Travels with the great explorers of history, in words and sketches, plus an overview of a sprawling U.S. national park that is also the most popular in the 50 states.

December 2018

The Life of a Backpacker in Asia in the 1970s By Kevin Kelly
A writer and speaker best known as a futurist talks about his early travel years in Asia, when backpacking meant cutting yourself off almost completely from the home you left.

In Greece, Things Happen by David Lee Drotar
Pondering life, death, and what we make of what comes in between while touring Karpathos Island in Greece.

The Kidnapping of Edward the Maasai by Claudia B. Flisi
A scary encounter on a shepherd boy's route alters his future—and that of a few dozen family members.

Hunting Wild Boar in the Brazilian Cowboy Country of Pantanal by Madelaine Triebe
After getting the luxe treatment at a nature lodge on a previous Pantanal visit, meeting the Brazilian boyfriend's farm family is a different story.

Travel Book Reviews by Susan Griffith
Three cracking reads by adventurers who refuse to be cowed by what they read in the media. From Somalia to South Dakota, the West Bank to the Western Sahara, preconceptions unravel as these writers encounter (almost) nothing but friendly assistance.

November 2018

An Unobscured View in Iceland By Glen Retief
A midnight sun on an island near the Arctic Circle finally banishes the author's fear of the dark.

Two Degrees of Separation: An Introvert's Travel Encounters in New Zealand by Cynthia Trenshaw
A confirmed introvert discovers how to find Kiwi friends and hospitality on a six-week solo journey in New Zealand.

The Shape-shifter and the Architect by Tony Robinson-Smith
How to impress the ladies, West Papuan style! Two Canadian travelers witness curious courtship rituals among the showy birds of West Papua.

Kayaking Around Specks in the Ocean in Belize by Tim Leffel
An off-the-grid camping base on Glover's Atoll of Belize offers a way to completely unplug the electronics and watch an underwater show instead.

Travel Book Reviews - by William Caverlee
A delightful compendium of travel facts and wisdom, a collection of travel stories from dicey road trips worldwide, and a miniature coffee table book highlighting important architecture from around the globe.

October 2018

Meeting Reggie By Judith Fein, photos by Paul Ross
A chance encounter with clarinet player in Columbia, South Carolina leads to deep insights about growing up in the segregated south of the Green Book guide era in the USA.

Seeking Enlightenment at the Golden Rock by James Michael Dorsey
Venturing into Burmese Buddhist temples, a writer encounters two ascetic holy hermits who have tuned out the modern world.

Finding Narnia in Czech Bohemia by Tim Leffel
Just two hours north of Prague, the Bohemian Switzerland National Park offers quiet nature hikes and strange rock formations where parts of The Chronicles of Narnia were filmed.

Tasmania's "New" Ancient Walkabout by Bruce Northam
A journey of rediscovery on a new walking route led by the original inhabitants on the shores of Tasmania trades the wounded past for a mended future.

Travel Book Reviews - by Susan Griffith
Three women writers explore destinations that reflect their own states of mind: an expat Bulgarian in the Balkans where borders are blurred, a Briton who examines nature struggling to survive against the odds in her own industrial backyard, and a Californian chasing distraction and solace.

August 2018

Worshiping Mixed Mexico: Rebirth, Resurrection and Sacred Spaces by Lydia Carey
Mexico's religious traditions showcase the country's incredible cultural blending, as well as its dark Colonial past.

Assignation with An Assassination by Wanda Hennig
The excesses of a sublime Polish dinner lull the writer into a state of python-like sedation. Into this ricochets the shrapnel of a South African nightmare.

Searching for Music in Rural Rwanda Story by Ian Brennan, photos by Marilena Delli
A music producer seeks out isolated musicians in the inland African nation of bad memories, but in a country where you are 78.5% less likely to be murdered than Louisiana.

Tanna: The Isle of Curious Cults by Stephen M. Bland
On a once-isolated volcanic island in the South Pacific, the followers of a legendary visitor from the 1930s still wait for his return... and their promised riches.

Travel Book Reviews - by Susan Griffith
A plea to travel slower, a heartwarming true story of a low-caste Indian man journeying across Asia and Europe to marry a Swedish backpacker, and one woman's autobiographical account of facing down her fears as a traveler and a human being.

July 2018

Blowing Through the Lower Florida Keys by Tim Leffel
After Irma came through like an unwelcome guest and trashed the place, Key West has mostly moved on. Further north, the whims of the hurricane winds left damage that man and nature will surely push past as they have over and over again.

Three Walnuts, Three Pomegranates in Morocco by Zora O'Neill
A spontaneous hike in the northern Moroccan mountains yields magic, of a kind.

Wining, Dining, and Cattle Driving in Uruguay by Claudia B. Flisi
The word "gaucho" is not exclusive to one country in South America. In the farmlands of Uruguay, you can stay at a working cattle ranch and ride horses with the men working the herds.

Coconut Mafia Friendship Club by Luke Armstrong
When a foreigner moves down Lake Atitlan to a new village, he finds that switching vendors comes with a sack full of emotional baggage.

Travel Book Reviews - William Caverlee
Lasting postal evidence of vanished countries, a collection of John Muir's writings, and an anthology of gripping stories from a regular contributor to our publication.

June 2018

Moving Beyond the Bullet Holes in Bosnia and Herzegovina by Tim Leffel
A quarter century after the bloody Bosnian conflict ended, splitting up the former Yugoslavia, tensions still simmer just below the surface of the pockmarked buildings in Mostar and Sarajevo.

Finding my Way in a Goan Village by Debi Goodwin
A place to call home in Goa that sounds idyllic in theory can require some adjustment after arriving on site in India.

The Way of the Octopus in Galicia by Beebe Bahrami
Pilgrimage and pulpo take the author on a many-armed adventure into kindness and the unexpected along the sacred landscape and coastline of northwestern Spain

The Dharma Buddies of Auroville by Camille Cusumano
A sanctuary in southern India is perfect ground for old and new spiritual friends from around the world to reunite and flow together like the water.

Travel Book Reviews - Susan Griffith
Some comic riffs on traveling to undesirable destinations with a reluctant partner, a grassroots look at contemporary Iran, and an idealized compendium of sacred places that (allegedly) seep into your soul.

May 2018

A Modern Story from Old Africa - James Michael Dorsey
A Maasai boy about to become a man confronts the task of facing down a snarling lion in order to become a man, following the old tribal ways of the bush in Africa.

Sulfur Clouds and Sacred Sites: A Journey through the Debed Canyon - Stephen M. Bland
Visiting a historic town in Armenia where history was made and two UNESCO World Heritage sites stand, a visitor finds caustic air and a depressed population—except for two fresh-faced missionaries.

And Out Came the Lions (Clubs) in Remote Malaysia - Marco Ferrarese
Piggybacking a Catholic aid expedition to remote aboriginal villages, a travel writer realizes that sometimes, far-flung places and peoples are better off remaining out of help's way.

A Guatemalan Town Rediscovers Its Identity Through Art - Shelley Seale
A town on the shores of Lake Atitlan, Guatemala injects new energy in the community by making its buildings as colorful as its traditional clothing.

Travel Book Reviews - William Caverlee
Around the world with craft beer, a life of birdwatching, and 10 years of award-winning travel writing stories.

April 2018

A Hedgehog Hospital in Italian Wine Country - Claudia Flisi
The lowly and low-slung hedgehogs of Italy face many threats. One vet is single-handedly saving the injured and giving them sanctuary.

The Darker and Wetter Side of Bergen, Norway - David Nikel
Despite the colorful façade of Norway's Bergen, the city's shadowy corners hide many dark stories. So when the clouds roll over Scandinavia's rainiest city, what better theme to explore?

Kayaking the Calusa Blueway in Florida - Tim Leffel
While tens of thousands of motorboats ply the Gulf Coast of Florida waters each day, moving along at a slower pace will reveal a lot more details along the shores.

Trying to Find the Real Dubai - Debi Goodwin
After the garish ultra-luxe hotels and manufactured fun of a custom-built tourist city, then what? A visitor to Dubai tries to see what's below the sheen in this shiny city in the UAE.

Travel Book Reviews - Susan Griffith
Two books that demonstrate that the glorious age of exploration on land, sea, and air is not quite dead and a third that charts the making of a travel writer.

March 2018

Village of The Dolls in Skikoku - Judith Fein
Heeding the advice of "Don't believe everything you read," a traveler who goes to the source finds that the narrative written and repeated about an artist on an island in Japan is far from the truth.

Thailand on Three Wheels—With and Without an Engine - Bruce Northam
On a return trip to Thailand, a writer gets to know the country's iconic three-wheeled modes of passage, rolling with the tuk-tuk and trishaw troops in and near Chiang Mai.

Travels with Tarzan in the Amazon Jungle - James Michael Dorsey
Entering the rainforest along the Amazon River with a local guide, a traveler gets a deeper insight into this mysterious world and its magic with a man of the jungle.

The Road to Shimla: Adventures in Northern India - Candace Dempsey
On a sumptuous tour of the best of northern India, a land of palaces, polo ponies, and pampering recalls the glory days of the British hill stations.

Travel Book Reviews - William Caverlee
Travels to untouched places, a how-to for solo travelers, and a story about journeying to a galaxy far beyond our front door.

February 2018

An Overdose of Adrenaline in the Copper Canyons of Mexico - Tim Leffel
Can a man-made adventure park really scare the bejesus out of "been there, done that" experienced world travelers? When they buckle in and hug a cliff face high above the canyon floor, they find their adrenaline meter turned up to 10.

Sicily, With Cherries on Top - Susan Van Allen
When visiting the rebuilt Baroque Sicilian town of Noto, an Italian sweets fan makes a beeline to where the island's master dessert maker performs magic in Caffe Sicilia.

Bring Your Daughter to the Torajan Slaughter in Indonesia - Marco Ferrarese
In the highlands of south Sulawesi, a fake bloodline helps a couple find more gore than they can stomach.

Learning to Walk Fully in Thailand - Luke Maguire Armstrong
A man dealing with chronic pain travels to a Buddhist temple in Thailand and looks for peace in the monks' life of mindfulness and simplicity.

Travel Book Reviews - Susan Griffith
Paeans to small islands, to Greyhound bus travel, and to not allowing parenthood to stop you in your travel tracks.

January 2018

One in a Billion in India - Jim Johnston
When detailed plans for India's capital go awry, a spontaneous trip to Rajasthan yields unexpected rewards.

Isolation and Empanadas in the Desert of Northern Argentina - Tim Leffel
In the northern Salta Province of Argentina, a dirt road journey into the desert leads to a sparsely populated land of canyons and beehive ovens.

Khmer Mozart in the Jungle - James Michael Dorsey
While touring the less famous Khmer temples of Beng Melea, a musician blinded by violence shows the juxtaposition of music and art in a land that's known two millennia of strife.

Cures for Tuberculosis or Ulcers in the Steaming Waters of Bhutan - Tony Robinson-Smith
A collection of curing hot springs off a footpath in remote Bhutan offer as many questions as answers about the society's social norms.

Travel Book Reviews - William Caverlee
A mad hunt for half the world's birds in one year, a graphic novel about hiking Spain's Camino, and an author's dive into "dark tourism" spots on multiple continents.

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