Perceptive Travel Back Issues

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.

December 2017

Isn't it Iranic - Richard Bangs
From Argo to the "Axis of Evil," from Rosewater to Holocaust denial, Iran has been a model for the term "bad PR." On the inside, however, the original world power doles out an extra helping of hospitality.

San Judas de Tadeo: Mexico's Defender of Lost Causes - Lydia Carey
The name Judas is synonymous with "traitor," but the second Judas disciple in the Son of God's entourage has his own devoted following among the downtrodden, especially on his dedicated celebration day in Mexico City.

The Mysteries of Life in the Amazon Jungle - Debi Goodwin
An Amazon Basin jungle lodge excursion tacked onto an Ecuador trip as an afterthought turns out to offer a visceral encounter with wildlife in its competitive, natural order form.

Rock, Paper, Cod - Amy Rosen
When the cod got fished out, the human population declined too on the coast of Newfoundland. Fogo Island's residents stayed put and bucked the trend.

Travel Book Reviews - Susan Griffith
A memoir about discovering hotels with character in Europe, a magazine editor's hikes on Britain's "small hills," and a trip around the world with an envelope of cash for giving.

November 2017

In North Korea — a Journey Behind the Fiction - Rory MacLean and Nick Danziger
A writer and photographer enter the strange parallel universe known as North Korea together and try to get into the heads of the people living there.

A Divided History on the Walls of Belfast - Tom Coote
It has been decades since the Protestants and Catholics of Northern Ireland spilled blood on the streets of Belfast every month, but the staunch divisions loom strong on the city's buildings.

The Most Porous Border - Tim Brookes
Traveling between the countries of Pakistan and Afghanistan is as simple as passing a sign—much easier than delivering vaccines for polio.

My Very Bad Italian Day - David Lee Drotar
Plans to explore Sicily freely and with no schedule go down the tubes when the rental car decides not to cooperate—soon after it is robbed.

Travel Book Reviews - William Caverlee
An eclipse-chasing scientist details a lifetime of eclipse-chasing and two anthologies highlight talented women writing about the world and about Paris.

October 2017

Bullfighting Buddhists or Backwards Bumpkins in Peru - Kirsten Koza
In a land where the Catholic conquistadors conquered and subjugated the native Incas, a small band of Peruvian neo-Nazis have found a way to blame all their troubles on the Jews.

The Kingpin of the Golden Triangle - James Michael Dorsey
Sometimes spirits must linger where their corporeal bodies spent their time on earth, unable to leave until coming to terms with past deeds.

Hula is Life: The Legacy of Hawaii - Michele Bigley
An accomplished dancer who has mastered many forms struggles to get in the groove of hula, the story telling moves from the distant Pacific islands.

Crossing the Creases of Wild Kyrgyzstan - Tim Leffel
Going off the grid in the mountainous country of Kyrgyzstan means saying goodbye to creature comforts, connectivity, and humans to find unspoiled nature in its primal form.

Travel Book Reviews - Susan Griffith
We check out two weighty tomes that do not shy away from traveling to the saddest and darkest places in the world, plus a third account of embracing danger in remote and intimidating landscapes.

September 2017

Their Northernmost Life in Arctic Norway - David Nikel
Busloads of tourists rush to Norway's North Cape for a photo opportunity but are back on their cruise ships within the blink of an eye. David Nikel slowed down and met some of the colorful characters—human and animal—that call this remote corner of Scandinavia their home.

Surfing the Rainforest in Queensland - Michael Buckley
Under the spell of the enchanted Daintree Rainforest, where ancient trees and deadly fruits rule in northern Queensland, Australia.

Biking Across Borders in the Balkans - Tim Leffel
Cycling through three formerly war-torn Balkan countries over six days means beautiful scenery pockmarked by sad reminders of the past.

Taking the Carolina Hometown Tour - Lydia Carey
A writer's journey into a family's and a country's past in the mill towns of North Carolina.

Travel Book Reviews - William Caverlee
An eclipse-chasing scientist details a lifetime of eclipse-chasing and two anthologies highlight talented women writing about the world and about Paris.

August 2017

Walkabout Love in China - Dustin Grinnell
A writer taps his savings, quits his office job, and stars a year-long walkabout by backpacking through China. A trip in search of solitude, however, turns into one of found companionship.

Get Me to a Nunnery in Rome - Susan Van Allen
With images of flowing habits and flying nuns in her childhood memories, a visitor to Rome decides to cross the Italian curse barrier and stay in a convent.

Orangutan Warfare in Borneo - Marco Ferrarese, pictures by Kit Yeng Chan
When you walk into Sabah's most pristine rainforest, you better make sure that the king of the jungle is fine with that.

Moonshine With a Monkey on the Mekong in Laos - James Michael Dorsey
Going to the source of where "snake whiskey" is made and bottled in the jungle, a traveler gets pulled into a drinking contest with a primate.

Travel Book Reviews - Susan Griffith
Two weighty tomes that do not shy away from traveling to the saddest and darkest places in the world, and a third account of embracing danger in remote and intimidating landscapes.

July 2017

The Mud Sucker Curse of Transylvania - Kirsten Koza
A gypsy curse seems to follow a traveler over 12 years of adventure travel in Romania.

Mexico City's Island Life: Enchanting and Endangered - Lydia Carey
Mexico City was built atop a series of lakes and canals and the waterways that are left may be the key to its survival in the future—and a key source of quality food.

Hugging the Knees of the Himalayas on a Nepal Tea House Trek - Tim Leffel
A five-day tease of a trek in the Annapurna region of Nepal turns out to be a tough act of stamina that delivers a panoramic payoff.

The Concrete Corpses of Cyprus - 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.

Travel Book Reviews - William Caverlee
A picture book of street art, a Shakespeare troupe's performance in every country on the planet, and a book on two photographers that kicked off photojournalism in the 1930s in Europe.

June 2017

Compassionate Education Versus Dark Tourism at an Oregon Mental Hospital - 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.

Tropical Paradise Under Construction in Borneo - Marco Ferrarese, photos by Kit Yeng Chan
Piggybacking on a development project's research trip, a travel writer discovers that in northern Borneo there's still quite a lot to do to keep paradise from falling out of grace.

It's Not Venice, It's Me - Mara Gorman
On her third visit to Venice over three periods of her life, a traveler starts to see the life and color with her children now taking her original place.

Inside A Refugee Camp in Bulgaria - Judith Fein, photos by Paul Ross
Wanting to get a closer look at the refugees her guide hates so much, a visitor to Bulgaria tours the immigrant neighborhood and camp.

Travel Book Reviews - Susan Griffith
Accounts of roaming the world alone, a solo backpacking trip around South America, and tales from an older wiser writer who captures beautifully the pleasures of roaming around Britain on foot.

May 2017

Gawking at Glaciers in Wild Alaska - Tim Leffel
It almost feels civilized in the Alaskan capital of Anchorage, but just off the train heading south is a wilderness land where icebergs float on lakes and glaciers are still on the move.

Into a Lost World: El Triunfo, Chiapas - Nick Rider
An itch to fill an unknown space on the map leads via a long mountain trek to a cloud forest fastness of amazing riches in the wildest part of Mexico.

Hiding the Cannoli in Sicily - Kirsten Koza
That time when a well-hung travel companion shared a room on a biking trip in Sicily... during a honeymoon.

She Called me Bindaas - Melissa Adams
When an American writer meets an Indian doctor in a photography workshop, the focus shifts from the annual Pushkar Camel Festival to love and marriage through an Indian lens.

Travel Book Reviews - William Caverlee
Three thoroughly researched and well-written wandering books on tidal patterns, obscure historical travelers, and diverse U.S. national parks.

April 2017

A Short Trek in Bhutan's Wild East - Michael Buckley
Where the yaks and the yetis roam—and where Brokpa nomads weave their legends

A Hermit's Prayer on Salvation Mountain - James Michael Dorsey
The Result of a solitary man's quest to build a holy mountain in the California desert lives on as a pilgrimage site in the blinding sun.

Recapturing My Religious Satirical Soul in Lutherland, Germany - Becky Garrison
A religious skeptic who can't resist Christian satire visits Germany during celebrations of the anniversary of Martin Luther's reformation movement.

Into the Depths of the Sahara in Algeria - J. Jaye Gold
Venturing into the vast Sahara Desert where it's sand in every direction, takes quiet unplugging to the extreme.

Travel Book Reviews - Susan Griffith
A very funny Englishman (called Moore) and a very serious American (called Moor) both achieve epic challenges. The first cycling from northern Finland to the Black Sea, the second hiking the Appalachian Trail and beyond. Plus a witty yet serious essayist who ponders the in-built disappointments of travel.

March 2017

A Place to Not Think in Central Serbia - Jonathan Arlan
When a long Balkan trip hits a lull, a chance conversation sends the author to a monastery deeper in the hills of Serbia.

Sanguine on the Water in Saguenay - Tim Leffel
Exploring the Lac Saint Jean area of Canada by human-powered watercraft leads to feelings of child-less bliss for the adventurous.

The Eyeless Blessing of Sangha Tenzin - Marco Ferrarese
In the Indian Himalayas, a chance encounter with a devout Buddhist unveils an elaborated 500-year-old death ritual.

The Guilt Cafe in Vietnam - Kirsten Koza
A traveler tries to reconcile the lingering effects of the past war in Vietnam with the locals' knack to make a buck from the suffering.

Travel Book Reviews - Tim Leffel
Good advice on slow travel with meaning, maps that tell you what the locals really think of their city, and a living abroad memoir in a French region of magic and memorable food.

February 2017

Finding My German Roots in Fredericksburg, Texas - Teresa Bergen
A presumed Irish writer with late-found German heritage looks at the struggles of early immigrants who came to Texas in the 1800s.

Schooled as a Mahout on the Mekong - James Michael Dorsey
As the Asian elephants transition from captivity to a more leisurely life, a traveler wishing to bond with the big beasts checks in at a trainer school in Laos.

From Making the Best to Making a Home in Costa da Caparica - Kerry Hudson
A couple escapes expensive post-Brexit London and finds a newfound sense of bliss on the wrong side of the river in Lisbon..

World Music Reviews - Tim Leffel
An intricate mash-up from the Rio Grande to all points south, a solid collection of jazz from Brazil, and a uniquely American band mixing vaudeville, rock, and marching bands.

Travel Book Reviews - Susan Griffith
An unlikely solo survival in the snake-infested jungles of Bolivia contrasts with the hushed and hallowed halls of museums around the world, plus a supremely inconsequential tale by a comic invention who inaccurately calls himself a nomad.

January 2017

Following the Faded Signs in Baja California - Lydia Carey
Traversing the whole Baja Peninsula on its single Route 1 highway, a couple doubting the "wild frontier" stories gets led astray by dubious signs pointing to sketchy roads of sand.

On a Blowout Budget in Boracay - Tim Leffel
A writer who was less than impressed with the Philippines in his backpacker youth visits Boracay as a tourist and finds a whole other dimension.

Our Most Popular Stories From Perceptive Travel
Our most popular stories in Perceptive Travel from the past decade (that don't have sex in the title).

World Music Reviews - Graham Reid
An intricate weave of world music from a one-time classical singer, klezmer music for all seasons, and beguilingly strange pop music from a master of orchestral music and soundtracks.

Travel Book Reviews - William Caverlee
A novelist's observations on a whirlwind tour of Latin America, Travelers' Tales annual "best of" anthology, and a guide to free activities and entertainment around the world.

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