Remembering the Hippie Trail

TomoryFor independent travelers just now beginning to travel in Asia, the legendary overland “Hippie Trail” of the ’60s and ’70s is a natural source of fascination and envy. Unlike today’s Lonely Planet-toting backpackers, the counterculture wanderers of the hippie era pioneered their Asian routes by word-of-mouth and trial-and-error. Hence, in indie travel terms, Hippie Trail travelers are to present day backpackers what the Ancient Greeks … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (95)  | August 7, 2015
Category: Travel Writing

Vagabonding: How adventurers and stories inspire the modern traveler

Vagabonding-wholeToday, there’s a Facebook group for just about everything. Full-time families, digital nomads, long-term travelers, family travelers, solo travelers and everyone in between have a footprint in the digital world. Just how drastically the Internet has changed a traveler’s adventure we will never know, but, whether you are a traveler of the WIFI generation or one from those that came before, the art of adventure hasn’t … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (1)  | June 3, 2015
Category: Travel Writing, Vagabonding Life

You have now entered the Tourist Zone

sadhuA few years ago, after finishing a journey in the Indian Himalayas, I traveled to the desert state of Rajasthan and visited the Hindu holy-town of Pushkar. A scenic outpost of 13,000 residents, Pushkar was famous for its Brahma Temple, its serene lake, and its annual Camel Fair. Several travelers had recommended it to me as a mellow place to relax for a few days.

From … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (2)  | April 18, 2015
Category: Asia, Travel Writing, Vagabonding Advice

The Savannah of travel writing

During random social occasions it’s always with a pinch of pride and much more self-pity that I gulp down when I am introduced to new acquaintances as a “writer”. In fact, once my friends drop the “W word”, the person who until a moment ago was thinking “who’s this long-haired nerd standing in the way to the bar” always steps back with eyes and mouth open wide. It’s a moment of mutual awe, as if … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (0)  | February 22, 2015
Category: Travel Writing

Traditional Christmas in Europe

Of the many things Europe does well, it’s the continent’s magnificent Christmas festivities that can charm this cynical traveler every time. From Scotland to Switzerland an extraordinary spirit of festivity, connecting this generations to others long since passed, can be felt in the wintertime air. The traditions of the season are still strong in this thoroughly modern part of the world, where bustling Christmas markets fill the main square of big cities and bucolic, half-timbered … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (0)  | December 14, 2014
Category: Europe, Notes from the collective travel mind, Travel Writing, Vagabonding Field Reports

In the hall of the baby Jesuses

SUMMER 07 PARIS PRAGUE 139The first time I was in Paris, I went to the Louvre and — like a million other tourists before me — headed straight for the Mona Lisa.

Since the famous French museum houses one of the most extensive art collections in the world, I’ll admit that making a beeline for a painting I’d already seen on countless refrigerator magnets and coffee … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (1)  | December 6, 2014
Category: Europe, Travel Writing, Vagabonding Advice

Don’t sacrifice the experience for the story

I find myself, more often than not, looking at travel experiences through a writer’s lens. Every meal, every trek, every chance meeting has the potential to be material for a travel piece. On boat rides, I think about phrasing. On long bus rides, I scroll through pictures, looking for the right one to go with the idea in my head. In cars, I pass the time by writing down thoughts that pop into my head … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (1)  | November 27, 2014
Category: General, Travel Writing

Veterans Day and historic military sites

Veterans’ Day in the US and the UK is replete with ceremonies (concerts and parades in the US, red poppies in the UK) to commemorate those who served their country in uniform. Aside from a great opportunity to thank those that fought in foreign lands, it’s a great opportunity to remember some of the historic sites that can give testament to the events they witnessed.

While some sites are now little more than quiet fields … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (1)  | November 16, 2014
Category: Europe, Notes from the collective travel mind, On The Road, Travel Writing

Magic bus: on the hippie trail from Istanbul to India

Magic Bus

This book found me, not the other way around. Tucked between a hat from the Karen region in the north of Thailand, an Indian pashmina and a pile of silk and cotton shawls plucked from market stalls across Indonesia. I pulled a long, tie dyed piece from the depths of the cardboard box, draped it over my shoulder, and gently picked up the book: … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (0)  | November 11, 2014
Category: Travel Writing

On Baksheesh

Egyptian Train

Photo Credit: walidhassanein via Compfight cc I’m riding a second-class train up the Nile valley when a boy in an official-looking blue jacket beckons me to the other side of the carriage.

“Look,” he whispers, pointing outside. “Beautiful!”

I look out the window to see a red sun streaking the sky with bands of pink and yellow. Beyond the train tracks, … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (0)  | October 25, 2014
Category: Hospitality, Languages and Culture, Travel Writing, Vagabonding Styles