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.
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.