Perceptive Travel Back Issues - 2011

Bhutan travel

December 2011

Pondering Happiness in Bhutan - Laurie Gough
Can a country using happiness as a guiding principle really deliver—despite the intrusions from the outside world?

An Unexpected World Record Holder in Rio - Bruce Northam
While the tourists check out the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, a "poorist" heads up to the favelas and finds "de most loved dog in de world."

Life in the Past Tense: Chile's Atacama Desert - Shelley Seale
Visiting the driest place on Earth, a writer is captivated by the alien landscape but longs to look deeper into the lives and traditions of the hardy people who inhabit it.

World Music Reviews - Laurence Mitchell
Music from the historic crossroads of Europe and Asia, funky Belgians, and music from a Yiddish witch drama.

Travel Book Reviews - Susan Griffith
An academic combines travel and history in Paris, followed by some light relief from a backpacker in Central America.


November 2011

Swimming with Spotty Monsters in the Philippines - Michael Buckley
After building up an image of the world's largest fish in his mind for decades, a traveler heads below the water surface for whale shark encounters in Donsol, the Philippines

Goldi-lox and the Three Bears in Western Canada - David Lee Drotar
When humans go bear watching where the salmon are swimming in British Colombia, Canada, what do the animals think?

Down a Stream in Iran and Up a Creek in Spain - Beebe Bahrami
As a walking traveler wanders on foot through rural Spain, she takes solace in advice from a grandfather who served as a prisoner of war.

World Music Reviews - Tim Leffel
Bjork's latest attempt to try our patience, a 20-piece band one step from the football field, and a retro collection of Cuban ballroom music.

Travel Book Reviews - William Caverlee
Following a lost container of rubber duckies, a solo hike along America's Continental Divide, and a heady literary tale of surfing around the world.

Canada travel

October 2011

Long Range Traverse in Newfoundland - Tony Robinson-Smith
Parks Canada wasn't kidding with their obligatory survival testing and warnings of obstacles that "make walking in a straight line difficult." The Long Traverse is not a casual nature walk.

Surviving Loco in Guatemala - Luke Armstrong
There are plenty of things to fear in Guatemala, including a depressingly high crime rate. But a raccoon with a thirst for human blood is usually not at the top of the hostel guest's list. One writer lives to tell the tale—and puts out a bounty.

104 Percent Humidity in Bangladesh - Tim Brookes
In a country defined by water—whether monsoons, floods, or capsized ferries—rain seems to seep from the air itself. Will cars eventually become obsolete?

World Music Reviews - Graham Reid
Sophisticated folk-pop from Cameroon by way of Paris, trippy desert blues from Niger, cosmic pop and psychedelic sounds from Seoul in the 70s . . . and a Frenchman has some gap years.

Travel Book Reviews - Tim Leffel
The seedy side of historic Europe, the depressing backwaters of Eastern Europe, and meandering observations of travels through multiple continents.

Colombia travel

September 2011

The Track Less Traveled: Far North Queensland, Australia - Graham Reid
It's not hard to find stretches of wilderness in Australia, but venturing past where the road ends can also lead to a watering hole with adult beverages, a two-day drive from the closest traffic light.

Tranquilandia Transformed in Colombia - Richard McColl
A notorious region of Colombia that once served as both a jungle prison camp and center of coke production now makes for a great adventure destination, well off the beaten path.

Voices & Choices When a Human Flies - Lisa TE Sonne
At hang gliding school, the biggest barrier to flying through the air on man-made wings can be the resistance from the voices inside your head.

World Music Reviews - Laurence Mitchell
A collaboration between A-list international drummers, Ethiopian tradition meets jazz, electronic Latino music from around the map, and the third meeting between Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara.

Travel Book Reviews - Susan Griffith
Drinking Arak Off an Ayatollah's Beard, a look back at traveling advice for women from 1889, and a British comedian's amateurish travelogue.

Alaska travel

August 2011

Nome and the Speed of Sound Through Materials - Edward Readicker-Henderson
Exploring the northern finger of Alaska, where mammoths roamed when the continents were one. Now changes are coming again as the musk oxen move to higher ground.

Paddling the Islands of Palau - Michael Buckley
Lathered up with sunscreen, five people wave goodbye to the support boat and paddle into the Ulong Island chain on kayaks. They become castaways for a day—in the wake of Captain Henry Wilson.

The Great Divide of China - Megan Eaves
Teaching English in East Asia can be a bizarre experience for many reasons, but a teacher finds that China's unheated classrooms expose the gap between rich and poor, East and West in a raw fashion.

World Music Reviews - Graham Reid
A collaboration between well-known Indian fusionists, an offspring of Fela Kuti, a reflective album from an African singer in his 70s, and a look back at a star from Columbia.

Travel Book Reviews - William Caverlee
Books on crossing Africa, exploring the Deep South of the USA, and confronting the two sides of modern-day Iran.

Las Pozas travel

July 2011

Notes from a Revolution in Egypt - Jessica Lee
As the revolution unfolds in Egypt, a guidebook writer normally based in Cairo observes it from an emptied-out beach resort zone before she can return to see the aftermath firsthand.

Out of Smyrna - Gloria DeVidas Kirchheimer
The author's ancestral homeland in present-day Turkey turns out to be startlingly familiar and shockingly alien at the same time.

The Dreams of Man in Stone and Concrete - Tim Leffel
Exploring abandoned structures built by men with big dreams—and the money to fulfill them—is a common pursuit in Mexico. Some of those dreams, however, blur the line between the real and the surreal.

World Music Reviews - Laurence Mitchell
More desert blues from Algeria, Palestinian funk, and two collections of Balkan brass and beats.

Travel Book Reviews - William Caverlee
Colin Thubron's new Tibet book, a long journey by container ship, and a 19,000-mile trip to hit all the lower 48 U.S. states.

Death Valley travel

June 2011

The Covert Casanova Tour - Tony Perrottet
With the world's greatest lover in history as his guide, the author of The Sinner's Grand Tour sets out to do Venice right.

My Life and Times With the CN Tower - Amy Rosen
From a childhood memory to moving around her native city, the image of Toronto's CN Tower stays etched in the mind—and in view.

Into the Valley of Life - Chris Epting
Venturing into a valley with a badass name for a father-son camping trip, Dad wonders if it's time to change the misleading moniker of America's largest national park.

World Music Reviews - Tim Leffel
The long-awaited new album from Karsh Kale, funk from 1970s Iran, and a hodgepodge of styles and languages from France's Watcha Clan.

Alaska travel

May 2011

I Was a Thai Travel Trinket - Darrin DuFord
Mindful of Bangkok's tiered employment, one traveler to Thailand receives an unwitting lesson in the the city's hospitality.

Hidden Falls in Alaska - Rachel Dickinson
Among hidden waterfalls and hidden coves on the mountainous coast of Alaska, a woman takes a break from a soft adventure cruise to witness man's battle to restore nature from a tiny plot of flat land.

Welcome to Iran - Roger Housden
In an excerpt from the book Saved by Beauty, an author looks at the draw and visual poetry of Iran, beyond the headlines, the current rulers, and the infamous legal system.

World Music Reviews - Graham Reid
Rajasthani music that never takes a breather, two bands of gypsies head to Turkey, and a new Garifuna collaborator brings in heavyweights from Africa.

Travel Book Reviews - William Caverlee
Reviews of Paris Was Ours: Thirty-two Writers Reflect on the City of Light; Molotov's Magic Lantern: Travels in Russian History; and India Calling: An Intimate Portrait of a Nation's Remaking.

Hawaii travel

April 2011

Passing up Paradise in Colombia - Luke Armstrong
Trying out the communal village fishing life on a sleepy beach in Colombia, a wandering writer contemplates settling into the simple life permanently.

Waikiki Love and Hate on Oahu Island - Gillian Kendall
Searching for "Green Hawaii" on an island she keeps returning to, a woman of two nations finds a lot to love;mdash;and hate;mdash;about Oahu.

Finding Old Ireland Alive in Place, Words, and Song - Michael Shapiro
Attending the Immrama travel literature festival in southern Ireland, an author catches up with the interview he missed long ago and rubs shoulders with writers and local characters in a corner of the country that's beaten back "progress."

World Music Reviews - Tim Leffel
A great Bossa Nova compilation from Putumayo, a half-brilliant album from Nortec Collective, and lounge music from a Latin percussionist/high priest/martial artist named "GoGo.

Travel Book Reviews - Susan Griffith
Wildwood by Roger Deakin, Along the Enchanted Way by William Blacker, and Tequila Oil: Getting Lost in Mexico by Hugh Thomson

Panama travel

March 2011

Loco Bill, the Expat Killer - Richard Arghiris
In a land of opportunity for society's outcasts—Bocas del Toro—someone could get easily get away with murder...or five of them. On the bloody trail of Panama's first serial killer.

Scars of the Wild - Stephen Markley
On a research vessel studying the post-oil-spill effects on aquatic life in the Gulf of Mexico, a journalist goes whale-spotting and ponders the state of our oceans.

India in Fiji - Tom Koppel
Traveling through different regions of the South Pacific islands of Fiji, a visitor finds food, traditions, and temples from a country far away.

World Music Reviews - Laurence Mitchell
A Banco de Gaia retrospective, retro Balkan music by distant adorers, dark Norwegian song poems, and Egyptian music fit for dancing to the sounds of revolution.

Travel Book Reviews - Gillian Kendall
Four women, three books, and many stories on the "magic of travel."

Tibet travel

February 2011

Humble in the Jungle: Exploring Guyana's Rainforest - Laurie Gough
Delving into one of the world's last remote places where few humans tread, Laurie Gough goes critter-spotting while hoping most of them stay out of her bed.

Israel is in my Passport, but is it in Me? - Emily Matchar
Taking advantage of a free trip to Israel, a casual American Jew encounters pressure, pleasure, and the conundrum of marrying outside the tribe.

Nomads' Land - Michael Buckley
Persistence pays off in the search for a nomad horse-racing festival in Tibet.

World Music Reviews - Tim Leffel
A rollicking live album that bows to Fela Kuti, Spanglish Cuban-American rock, and Mali meets Havana.

Travel Book Reviews - William Caverlee
A Nepal tapestry from Jeff Greenwald, Lonely Planet's book of Natural Wonders, and an account of a 16,000-mile sailing journey.

New York travel

January 2011

Divine Bhutan and the Well-hung Lama - Beth Whitman
The Bhutanese lama known as the Divine Madman transformed the countryside into a land bursting with phallic symbols and a rather loose interpretation of marriage.

Really Wild Wildlife in New York City - Ayun Halliday
Urban jungle? That big monkey atop the Empire State Building is but the tip of the iceberg. Guidebook author Ayun Halliday overcomes an utter lack of zoological training to gamely lead us on a safari unlike no other...

High-speed Kills on the Open Plains: Falconry in Wyoming - Rachel Dickinson
In the open expanses of Wyoming, the author of Falconer on the Edge watches the great swooping hunters in action, falcon versus grouse in the great American West.

World Music Reviews - Tim Leffel
We go all-Latino this time, featuring the newest release from Shakira, the stupendous thumping party music of fellow Colombians Systema Solar, and a round-up of mix CDs you can find at your typical Mexican street market.

Travel Book Reviews
Three books that visit neglected peoples and places, encompassing a post-Soviet poisoned Aral Sea, the cataracts of the Congo River and a crime-ridden outer suburb of London. Three authors take wildly different approaches to giving a voice to marginalized groups and individuals.

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