Baja, Boracay, and 10 Years of Perceptive Travel

Boracay Island travel Philippines

I launched Perceptive Travel in January of 2006, just as lots of magazines aimed at independent world travelers were going out of business. I and many of my fellow travel writers were seeing fewer and fewer outlets that were publishing quality material. The ones that were left standing were obsessed with top-10 lists, “what’s hot this year,” and fashion spreads disguised as travel articles.

So instead of whining I did something about it. I didn’t launch a print magazine though as it was clear that medium was going into permanent decline. I launched one of the first online travel magazines devoted to publishing good travel stories from talented writers. To set it apart, we only published stories from book authors. Several other similar projects popped up later on the web, but few of them are still around. We’ve kept plugging along and now we’re entering our 11th year.

So I thought it would be a good time to look back. This month we’ve got a rundown of the most popular stories we put out in the past three years, then the most popular of all time. That second collection is missing two stories though—I disqualified them because they’ve got one word in their titles that has brought a lot of the wrong kind of search traffic.

Then we have two new features. One is on my return to the Philippines. I wanted to give the Philippines a second chance after coming away with a pretty lousy impression the first time I visited as a backpacker. This time I experienced it like a tourist on vacation would and have to say “tourist” won the battle bigtime for this destination. See On a Blowout Budget in Boracay.

Mexico City resident Lydia Carey makes her debut this issue with a story on traversing the entire long Baja Peninsula in a rental car. See Following the Faded Signs in Baja California.

Baja road trip story

Then we spin some notable world music albums, this month with Graham Reid checking out tunes from multiple continents. William Caverlee reviews three new travel books.

Upgrade Your Sock Collection

We give away something cool for travelers each month and reader Kevin G. of Colorado entered for the first time in December and scored. His name came out of the randomizer to pick up the Nat Geo Response Compresslite jacket from Craghoppers we gave away in December.

Did you get any nice new socks for Christmas? Well if not, here’s your chance. We’re giving away a grab bag of four pairs of quality hiking and travel socks from name brands like Bridgedale, Smartwool, and Thorlo, via Sierra Trading Post. If you’re on our newsletter list, dig out the e-mail we sent this week for how to enter. If not, follow Perceptive Travel on Facebook and look for the contest post.

  1. Don

    Congratulations Tim on the success of Perceptive Travel! I’m looking forward to the second decade of great stories. All the best. Don

  2. Chris Edwards

    Congratulations on a great online publication- it really is wonderful to read these inspirational pieces!

  3. Gary

    Hi Tim,

    Just spent an hour or so perusing articles published within the last year. Wow! There’s a boatload of great resources and well-written pieces.

    Loved your Philippines piece. I worked in Makati back in the 90’s. I found the locals fantastic … but never favored the urban morass that is Metro Manila. Was able to stay at hotels like the Peninsula and Shangri-la for the ‘locals’ rate, which then was about 70 USD per night! Add to that, both properties had these incredible, over-the-top happy hours that would feed and water you in style for 5 bucks. Oh, the days of yore!

    Thanks for posting this entry. What a treasure trove that awaits your readers.

  4. Agness of a TukTuk

    Congratulations on 10 anniversry of Perceptive Travel, Tim! Traveling to Baja is a perfect bonus to celebrate.

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