Browsing Posts in Travel music

Taiwan travel story

(c) Rich J. Matheson

With that title you probably know…it’s time for a new collection of the best travel stories on the web. The July issue of Perceptive Travel is out now and we go wandering in pursuit of some strange angles.

Luke Armstrong is back with another tale from his adopted home of Guatemala, following a naturalist with exploration in his blood who is looking for a rare butterfly first discovered by his great-grandfather.

Guatemala travel story

Steven Crook, author of several books on Taiwan, takes us deep into Blood Rites in a Taiwanese Temple.

Carolyn Heller returns this month, fresh off her award from the Travel Media Association of Canada for a previous story on northern Ontario. This time she looks at isolation of a different kind while encountering a North Korea soldier on the border with China. See One Step Across.

William Caverlee checks out a few soul-searching travel books from Frances Mayes, Donna Leon, and Esther Woolfson. Graham Reid covers new world music albums from around the globe, including a great collection of Indian classical music and the return of Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars.

STM laptop bag for travelWe give away something cool each month to a Perceptive Travel subscriber/follower who is paying attention and last month two readers scored. They each got gift certificates to go shopping at the Samsonite USA website for a new suitcase or a daypack. Speaking of something to take on your next trip, this time one lucky reader will get this nice $140 value Drifter Pack from STM Bags. I’ve been using one of these myself lately and it has become my go-to daypack when I need to travel with my laptop and have loads of pockets for other gadgets.

If you’re already on our newsletter list, then just watch your inbox and check the bulk folder if the address is not in your approved list. If not and you want to get in on this month’s, just go follow Perceptive Travel on Facebook and watch for the announcements that will run a few times in July.

 

yucatan Mexico

There may be a chance, because of how the travel industry conference circuit plays out, that I’ll be in Cancun three times this year. This turn of events is certainly not something I planned, wished for, or ever imagined. So for my TBEX blogger brethren who will soon be wondering how they ended up in a hotel zone that attracts four million tourists a year, here’s my advice: Go west young man/woman.

Tack on some time, because there are a lot of really cool places to see and interesting things to do in the rest of the Yucatan Peninsula, beyond the vacation factories. Here’s a story I’ve been meaning to write for years: The Other Side of the Yucatan.

This one’s a little more personal, with a little more reflection than what I usually write. That’s because the Yucatan has been deeply entwined in my life for the past 11 years. It was the first place we took my daughter after she got her first passport at three and we returned there again and again after buying a little beach house on the Gulf Coast near Merida. Each time we did a little more exploring, plus I’ve been back a few times on my own for writing trips. I could post a hundred photos from there, but I mostly just put up some Mayan ruins, a fun video of a horse-drawn train, and some memories of when my teenager was a cuddly little girl.

Borneo man

In this month’s issue of Perceptive Travel though, that’s just the start. My buddy Bruce Northam is back with a fun story about hanging with a real man in Borneo, the kind of man who does the things we used to do before we got so soft. He catches fish with his bare hands and cooks them up in bamboo tubes. He can whip up a shelter in the jungle in no time flat with a tarp and a machete. See Rent a Real Man in Borneo.

James Dorsey has met up with plenty of wild men himself in the stories of Perceptive Travel and this time he ends up on a baboon hunt with the Hadzabe tribesmen in Tanzania. There’s smoking, spearing, and passing around primate meat. See Last of the Bushmen in Tanzania.

As always, we check out some new travel books so you’ll know what’s worth reading and we review some new world music albums so you’ll know what’s worth downloading. (Oh, okay, what’s worth at least checking out on Spotify.)

We’re always helping our loyal readers gear up for their travels. Last month someone scored some nice $100 polarized sunglasses from Bolle. This month we’re giving away two, yes two gift certificates to buy whatever Samsonite luggage, messenger bag, or travel accessories you need. If you’re on our newsletter list, watch your inbox. That’s the best bet because as you’ve probably noticed, even if you follow Perceptive Travel on Facebook, you’re probably not seeing the feed. That social network has become a “pay to play” platform where fan pages don’t show up unless they’re paying. Sign up here to be sure you can enter.

Mongolia travel story

Ah yes, it’s a new month and there’s a new issue of Perceptive Travel online magazine, with the best travel stories from wandering book authors.

In May we travel to diverse spots on the globe and also highlight some worthy travel-related books and music. We welcome two authors making their first appearance in the webzine. Larry Zuckerman, author of The Potato, is an American Jew in Israel when he joins up with a tour company run by ex-soldiers to see how the politics of occupied Palestine play out on the ground in Hebron. See Make Hummus, Not Walls.

Marco Ferrarese, author of Nazi Goreng brings us a story on hard cheese and hard horse riding on a Mongolia steppes adventure. See Cutting the Cheese, Mongolian Style.

David Lee Drotar returns with another tale from Canada, this time exploring Quebec in the dead of winter for some outdoor activities of snowmobiling, dogsledding, and skiing. But with a twist… See The Blade Runners of Quebec.

Quebec winter adventure

William Caverlee reviews a few new and notable travel books: Ukraine before the conflict, overland Morocco by motorcycle, and travelers writers’ food experience around the globe. Graham Reid spins a few mash-up world music albums, but also the aptly named collection The Rough Guide to the Best African Music You’ve Never Heard. Perceptive Travel newsletter winner

Each month one of our loyal (and attentive) readers scores something useful for their travels for free. Here’s a picture of our March winner Jack with his Granite Gear pack. In April, reader Jen from New York state scored a nice pair of $90 water sneakers from Sperry.

A month from now somebody is going to have that old Timbuk3 song in their head when their future starts looking brighter. They’ll be sporting a new pair of Vibe sunglasses from Bolle with polarized lenses—a $100 value. If you want it to be you, get on the newsletter list or at least follow Perceptive Travel on Facebook.

travel sunglasses

Italy travel Carrara

Sometimes editor types joke about the “three I’s of travel” that grace so many magazine covers: Italy, Ireland, and India. They’re photogenic, look exotic, and have nice luxury hotels with ad money to spend. You’ll rarely find a travel magazine that goes a whole 12 months without one of the three on a cover.

In the current issue of Perceptive Travel, we subbed in Iceland for Ireland. (Don’t worry, you can still find the latter plenty of places on our blog.) Iceland is also photogenic, can look exotic, and has some nice hotels. As usual though, we don’t tick off places you’ve already seen a hundred times before. We like to take the road less traveled. In this case we’re literally on the road with Luke Armstrong as he tries to learn how to drive a stick shift on the fly. In a van. Going across Iceland in the “crazy season.” See Learning to Drive a Dinosaur in Iceland.

We also have a story about Italy, but toss out your expectations because Debi Goodwin is not going to check anything off your bucket list. This place was on hers though: the Italian marble quarries of Carrara.

Old Delhi

We had a story in the past on how the “Incredible India” portrayed in ads and glossy travel stories is like an alternate universe to the Slumdog Millionaire reality that non-luxury travelers see every day. Being sheltered from the grinding poverty is next to impossible if you go for a walk though, as Jim Johnston finds out in Hunger and Privilege: Dinner in Old Delhi.

As always we run down some world music worth listening to, from a globalFEST compilation to classical music with a Turkish twinge, through the ears of Laurence Mitchell.

Susan Griffith reviews three new travel books: one from a legend, one from a shipping industry reporter, and one from…well, you decide.

Need some new travel shoes?

We give away something cool to one of our loyal Perceptive Travel readers each month and last time Jack P. from Florida scored a nice $139 daypack from Granite Gear. In April we’re setting someone from the USA up with a nice $90 pair summer travel shoes: the H2O Escape Bungee Sneaker from Sperry Topsiders.

To win, you could follow PT on Facebook and pay close attention. The better bet is to sign up for the monthly e-mail newsletter.

amazon-top2

I think I can say with confidence that if an executive editor of Travel + Leisure or Afar tried to put this month’s batch of Perceptive Travel stories on the cover of their magazine, said editor would soon be looking for a new job.

We don’t like to play it safe though, so we’re going with our odd batch of travel tales from places that won’t make the trend-chasing travelers sit up and take notice.

Well, we do have Brazil in there, which is getting tons of press in 2014, but there will not be any World Cup matches where this article takes place. Volker Poelzl and his girlfriend take off on a canoe to paddle down a remote section of the Amazon River where there are more pink dolphins and caimans than people. See The River of Solitude in Brazil.

Ukraine travelJudith Fein corresponds with a pen pal in Ukraine for 20 years before finally paying him a visit. She’s there to research a new book (The Spoon From Minkovitz) and dive into the origins of her mother’s home cooking in Jewish Brooklyn back in the day. See Kishka and Kasha in the Ukranian Countryside.

I think I know a lot about the world and as a kid I was fairly obsessed with all the unsolved mystery stuff that was all the rage in the 70s—from UFOs to the Loch Ness Monster. I’ve never heard of this strange Nan Madol site in Micronesia though that Brad Olsen profiles. It’s a citadel of ancient kings, built with giant basalt “logs” that can weigh a couple hundred tons, and it defies all logical explanation as to why it’s there and how it was built. See Micronesia’s Mysterious Nan Madol.

Graham Reid cranks up some new world music albums, including the new Rough Guides collection Arabic Cafe and a new one from the legendary Gipsy Kings.

Bill Caverlee reviews some new and noteworthy travel books hitting the shelves, from yet another Lonely Planet coffee table book to the 80th anniversary edition of a beloved Footprint guide. See the latest travel book reviews.

Granite Gear packWe give away something cool for free each month to one of our newsletter subscribers. For February, an Australian reader named Hannah scored a free pair of new Vasque shoes. This time we’ve got a $130 daypack from Granite Gear that can work for hiking or just hauling around your stuff when you’re sightseeing. You’re on the newsletter list, right? If not, get on it quick to enter this month and every month.

I’ve saved the bragging for last, but if you’ve read this far, we’ve done very well in some award announcements lately. Perceptive Travel got a Silver for “best online travel magazine” from the North American Travel Journalists Association, as well as some individual awards. Then the Solas Awards came out and we took home even more in that one. See the home page of Perceptive Travel for more: best travel writing awards.