Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil in Rosedale, Mississippi

Last month, while I was driving down the Mississippi River on a magazine assignment, I had a curious experience in Rosedale, Mississippi. As I was eating lunch in a place called Leo's Market, a waitress mentioned that Rosedale is the place where the legendary bluesman Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil in exchange for musical genius (an event alluded to in -- among other places -- the Cohen brothers' movie Oh Brother, Where Art Thou). As if to prove it, the waitress handed me a wrinkled, typewritten transcription of a "vision" about Johnson's fateful moment that had appeared… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (85)  | June 26, 2015
Category: Rolf's News and Updates, Travel News

A chance to study writing in Paris this summer

Creative Writing Workshop at the Paris American Academy July 1st through the 29th, 2011 For the seventh year running, I'll be teaching an intensive, month-long creative writing workshop at the Paris American Academy. This hands-on English-language writing program includes courses in: Fiction Poetry Travel Writing Memoir Screenplays and dramatic writing Literary journalism Journal Writing Presentation and Performance In addition to taking classes and amassing writing portfolios, students will participate in one-on-one critiques with professional writers (including myself), give readings in Parisian bookshops, and receive "survival" French lessons. Other instructors include O. Henry Award-winning author and playwright John Biguenet, and novelist… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (1)  | January 31, 2011
Category: Rolf's News and Updates, Travel Writing

Holiday sale on Vagabonding and Marco Polo Didn’t Go There

It's once again winter holiday season, which means it's time for me to tout my books as stocking stuffers for the travel lovers on your Christmas list. And, since I'm stateside this month, I'm able to mail out signed copies at a reduced price. Vagabonding and Marco Polo Didn't Go There are $15 each -- and if you live in the U.S. I'll mail them for free (if you live overseas, postage will run about $2-$5 extra). For orders of more than one book, additional copies of my books are $10 this month only. Just let me know how you'd… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (1)  | November 29, 2010
Category: Rolf's News and Updates

Thailand to Queenstown: No Baggage Challenge Update

Rolf's latest travel project is the No Baggage Challenge -- a journey that will take him around the world without using a single piece of luggage. Every few days, we'll be updating Vagabonding with a recap of the latest to keep you up to date on the adventure. Rolf ended up staying three nights in Bangkok before heading south to Malaysia on an overnight train. After a quick visit to Singapore (and the Sydney airport), Rolf arrived in New Zealand for a few days of adventure before heading back to The States. The Same River Twice: Bangkok in Three Acts:… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (1)  | September 30, 2010
Category: Asia, General, Oceania, Rolf's News and Updates

South Africa to Bangkok: No Baggage Challenge Update

Rolf's latest travel project is the No Baggage Challenge -- a journey that will take him around the world without using a single piece of luggage. Every few days, we'll be updating Vagabonding with a recap of the latest to keep you up to date on the adventure. Rolf spent a few days off the grid while on safari in Kruger National Park. While there, he created his own personal alternative list to the Big Five animals -- top of the list: hipppos. After the safari, they headed to the Welgevonden Game Preserve, three hours northwest of Johannesburg -- where… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (1)  | September 22, 2010
Category: Africa, Asia, General, Rolf's News and Updates

Egypt to Johannesburg: No Baggage Challenge Update

Rolf's latest travel project is the No Baggage Challenge -- a journey that will take him around the world without using a single piece of luggage. Every few days, we'll be updating Vagabonding with a recap of the latest to keep you up to date on the adventure. After a few hectic days in Cairo, including getting an Egyptian straight-razor shave in 21 easy steps (one of the most popular videos so far in the journey), Rolf flew to Johannesburg for a few days off the grid -- wildlife spotting near Kruger National Park. Egyptian Straight-razor Shave in 21 Easy… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (3)  | September 16, 2010
Category: Africa, General, Rolf's News and Updates

Morocco to Cairo: No Baggage Challenge Update

Rolf's latest travel project is the No Baggage Challenge -- a journey that will take him around the world without using a single piece of luggage. Every few days, we'll be updating Vagabonding with a recap of the latest to keep you up to date on the adventure. After time in Chefchaouen and Fes, Rolf headed to Egypt to embrace his inner tourist at Giza -- including one camel ride from the most spectacularly persuasive and devious tout Rolf has ever met in all his years of travel. Trip stats: Days on road: 18 Miles traveled: 11,340 Flights: 4 Trains:… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (0)  | September 8, 2010
Category: General, Rolf's News and Updates

Madrid to Morocco: No Baggage Challenge Update

Rolf's latest travel project is the No Baggage Challenge -- a journey that will take him around the world without using a single piece of luggage. Every few days, we'll be updating Vagabonding with a recap of the latest to keep you up to date on the adventure. After experiencing Madrid through tapas -- in 9 dishes and 7 drinks -- Rolf crossed the Straits of Gibraltar to Tangier, Morocco. A 'lost in translation' taxi ride to the nearby city of Tetouan (instead of the intended Chefchaouen), proved to be an amusing afternoon in the souks. Trip stats: Days on… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (0)  | September 2, 2010
Category: General, Rolf's News and Updates

Paris to Madrid: No Baggage Challenge Update

Rolf's latest travel project is the No Baggage Challenge -- a journey that will take him around the world without using a single piece of luggage. Every few days, we'll be updating Vagabonding with a recap of the latest to keep you up to date on the adventure. Rolf spent 36 hours in Paris catching up on blog entries, shooting a video demonstrating his laundry routine, and touring familiar Paris sites in a vintage Citro├źn 2CV, before catching an EasyJet flight to Madrid. Trip stats: Days on road: 6 Miles traveled: 4,927 Flights: 2 Trains: 2 Bags: 0 "There was… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (10)  | August 27, 2010
Category: General, Rolf's News and Updates

NYC to Paris: No Baggage Challenge Update

As announced last week, Rolf's latest travel project is the No Baggage Challenge -- a journey that will take him around the world without using a single piece of luggage. Rolf and cameraman Justin left New York City for London on Saturday and are now headed for Madrid. Every few days, we'll be updating Vagabonding with a recap of the latest to keep you up to date on the adventure. Trip stats: Days on road: 3 Miles traveled: 4,418 Flights: 2 Trains: 1 Bags: 0 A whirlwind tour of London, on the three-and-a-half hour layover, included spotting and participating in… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (0)  | August 24, 2010
Category: General, Rolf's News and Updates