Literate

Burkina Faso: remote logic and the almighty dollar

The author meets a West African witch doctor.

In my long-range travels I have learned two great lessons: 1) the people most removed from the modern world not only think differently than I do but are far more logical, and 2) Western-style capitalism ...

Solo in Venice

Traveling alone offers new perspective on this tourist favorite.

In Venice, I was a third wheel. Or more like a unicycle. The other wheels were found on a bicycle built for two, riding in the opposite direction. This was not the best city for ...

The first English expats: Banten, Indonesia

"An arrack to them."

In 1603, at a place Europeans then called Bantam, an English fleet trading for spices left behind a few merchants to organize the pepper trade for the arrival of the next voyage – two years ...

Sofia, Bulgaria: rakia with Boris

Straight talk and homemade booze in the Eastern Bloc.

I hung out the other day with a 50-something-year-old Bulgarian bus driver named Boris. He'd taken one of my classes on a field trip, and I’d offered to buy him and the tour guide a ...

Il Dolce Far Niente: Rome to Firenze

Italy is best explored at a leisurely pace.

"Il dolce far niente": The sweetness of doing nothing. Pleasant leisure. The joy of relaxation. Rome was a mighty city; an ominous feeling swept through the maze of narrow cobblestone streets and left me with ...

Mali: my almost nomad wife

A modest proposal in West Africa's Sahara.

In my capacity as a travel writer, I journeyed through much of Mali's Sahara Desert with the fabled Blue Men in the years before it was desecrated by Al-Qaida. For two thousand years, Tuareg nomads ...

Other people's luggage

A thought-provoking visit to the Unclaimed Baggage Center.

Imagine any Mr. and Mrs. Smith and their six-year-old daughter Suzie from Cairo, Illinois. They have just finished touring England on a bus. At Heathrow, they check in for their flight home. They give their ...

Bridging the gap in Haiti

Only three hours in Haiti, I'd seen forms of travel that spanned hundreds of years – a woman on a mule, a man on a horse, people walking, riding bicycles and on mopeds, brightly colored ...

Darkness and Light in Rwanda

A story of tragedy overcome.

I was the only one in the vehicle awake, excluding the driver. There were four of us. Two were snoring loudly, and I was trying to read my book and failing. Perhaps because of the ...

Vacation Evolutis

A (literal) getaway in Haiti.

The majority of non-business travel is for one special thing, “Vacation.” The word within the word vacation is "vacate" ("4. an act or an instance of vacating," Merriam-Webster), so by extension looking at it as ...

A Discovery: Prague's Josefov

Remainders of the Holocaust in one of Europe's iconic cities.

“Josefov.” The center of Jewish influence in Prague. A few other temples are scattered around the oldest part of the city, but Josefov is the vortex of Prague’s Jewish past. It was this name of ...

Join our
newsletter list

Enter to win $25 at Broken Yolk Cafe

Each newsletter subscription
means another chance to win!

Close