Travel writing and the blurry line between fact and fiction

Writing!_by_Markus_Rodder_flickrIs travel writing a lie? That’s a question The Guardian recently posed, looking at some famous examples of travel writers who exaggerated, embellished or even outright lied on occasion.

The Guardian has some solid examples of travel writers’ tendency to, well, exaggerate. Everything from sailors’ tales of sea monsters, to Marco Polo’s did-he-or-didn’t-he legacy have built travel writing on a firm foundation of, if … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (1)  | September 30, 2009
Category: General

Long-term travel: considering the bad with the good

road_300The greatest parts on a trip are the exciting moments of newness and inspiration. But is it realistic to expect that you’ll have that every second of your trip? No. If you consider the realities of travel, you can manage your expectations—which usually makes for a better trip.

A new post by Nomadic Matt looks at the trickier side of travel. A few of the things … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (1)  | September 30, 2009
Category: General, Notes from the collective travel mind

Vagablogging: Call for writers

Just a reminder that the deadline to apply to join the team here at Vagablogging is fast approaching. If you’re been putting off submitting something, head the nearest internet cafe and fire off an e-mail.

We’re looking for a couple of new contributors to post once or twice a week on vagabonding-related topics of their choice — from travel tips to destination suggestions to reviews of travel media.

The ideal writer should be familiar … Read more »

Posted by | Comments Off on Vagablogging: Call for writers  | September 29, 2009
Category: General

The life you can save: solutions for making changes

A lot of vagabonders are hardcore volunteer-ers and, often, tend to be more progressive and liberal with their politics.  This doesn’t mean that anyone who travels is a hippie pinko Commie rat, by any means…just that there tends to be a lot more support for giving your money away rather than saving it like Scrooge McDuck.  (Which is not to say the conservatives or right-wing don’t donate to charity! You do!)

The problem I always … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (2)  | September 29, 2009
Category: General

Video: Rolf reads at Shakespeare & Co. in Paris

Part I: Rolf reads from Marco Polo Didn’t Go There

Over on my video page, I recently uploaded a two-part video of my July 2009 reading at Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore in Paris. I’ve informally read essays there in the past (alongside students from my annual writing workshop at the Paris American Academy) but this is the first time I’ve done an official event for the bookstore’s Monday-evening reading … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (3)  | September 28, 2009
Category: General, Rolf's News and Updates

Lonely Planet revives its cycling guides

The New York Times “In Transit” travel blog reports that Lonely Planet is re-introducing its cycling guides. The company noticed that out-of-print editions were selling for many times their listed price on websites like Ebay.

This shows biking is making a comeback (or was it never away?). In any case, it’s great to hear that more travelers are getting on the pedals.  Especially in more rural areas not really served by public transportation, bikes  … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (7)  | September 25, 2009
Category: Travel News

How do you organize your travel research?

moleskineHow do you organize your travel materials? I don’t mean your valuables — passport, money, etc — but less “valuable” though equally important stuff — maps, guides printed from the web, pages torn from a guidebook, etc.

We’ve written before about the value of a little research before you travel, whether it’s browsing forums, searching local websites, photocopying books from the library or buying … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (5)  | September 23, 2009
Category: General

Taking the slow boat: travel by freighter

freighter_300If your goal is the journey and you have all the time in the world, how about traveling by freighter?

I’ve only read of a few people who have done it—travel writer Jeff Greenwald being one of them. In his book “The Size of the World,” he circled the world using every means of transportation except an airplane—including a freighter across the Pacific Ocean.

The thing … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (5)  | September 23, 2009
Category: General

The Times on the Top 20 Travel books of the past century

thegoodlife_blhphotography_flickrIf you’re looking for something travel-related to read, now that the long Autumn evenings are nearly upon us, the Times Online has posted a great list of the top 20 travel books of the past century which has quite a few excellent suggestions.

While the time constraint eliminates some of my favorites, like Marco Polo or Ibn Battutah, who wrote a fascinating account … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (3)  | September 22, 2009
Category: General