What do Borneo, Baja, Milan, and the Midwest have in common? Nothing really unless you happen to be reading the August issue of Perceptive Travel.
Since 2006 I’ve been editing the online magazine featuring travel narratives from wandering book authors. No listicles, no fluff, just good stories from good writers who are allowed to cover whatever strange places and angles they stumble upon.
This month we’ve got four tales from three continents, plus reviews of some noteworthy new books.
The Last Village in North Borneo is about Kampung Maruap, a motley collection of stilt houses connected by elevated wood bridges, founded by one man and now housing 40 families. It’s about this isolated place at the top of Sabah, yes, but also a rumination on the pros and cons of attracting tourism to a remote area.
The Baja part of that title refers to my story on a whale watching camp on Magdalena Bay, Baja Sur. We stayed in tents at night and ate in a big white dome or on the beach, sometimes seeing whales swim by in the distance. These are the mating and birthing grounds of the migrating gray whales, so out in the boats, mamas and babies are swimming together and are not shy.
Susan Van Allen has written three books about Italy, but she never gets excited in cold and gray fashion-obsessed Milan. She finds a way to turn around her mood though by taking a cooking class and learning to make the city’s famous version of Risotto. See Milan: My Gray Dame Turns Golden.
Gillian Kendall books a multi-day train journey across the USA to California, but she has to do some transit time in bus and train stations in the American Midwest before boarding. What she finds when she wanders and needs some help turns out to be surprising. See Too Cool for Normal in Illinois.
Susan Griffith reviews three new travel books, two takes on great train journeys and one on the WWII “liberation routes” of Europe.
Light Up Your World
Would you like a heavy-duty (but compact) flashlight that doesn’t require batteries? Well one lucky follower or newsletter subscriber is going to score one from Fenix Lighting this month. This rechargeable light blasts out a powerful 1600 lumens, so even the darkest forest won’t be daunting.
We often get just a few dozen entries for our monthly giveaway, so some readers have even won twice. Get on the insiders list and you could be like our July champ Dave M. of Alberta, Canada. He scored a weatherproof 45-liter duffel bag from Sea to Summit.
If you’ve already missed it for this month, get on the list for next time and then go follow Perceptive Travel on Facebook. Watch the feed for the contest instructions and you can still get in on the Fenix action.
If you want to read some of the best travel stories on the internet from other months, we’ve got them categorized in the archives by region (see the sidebar), or you can just do a search.