Musings

Laugh, cry, dream, wonder.

Good travel writing lives in a space where culture, place, people and adventure intersect. In this section you will find travel essays (some thoughtful, some humorous), podcasts, images and even some insights from traveling teddy bears. Savor, appreciate, laugh, cry, ponder, and most of all, enjoy. Then get out and create your own travel narratives.

Make travel important – transformative travel is life-changing

Make travel important – transformative travel is life-changing

It is too easy to get stuck in a grind, in a life that sucks you into a day-to-day routine that leads to being unfit and unhealthy. But, if you make travel important, travel can be your lifesaver, leading you to a fresh start or exposing you to a mind-opening experience that affects you deeply and changes your life forever. Transformative travel is life-changing.

A love for travel began with my mum

A love for travel began with my mum

My love for travel and adventure began with my mum. I still take time on her birthday, on Mother’s Day and on International Women’s Day to honor her and thank her for all the gifts she gave me. Gifts that have made me a better traveler, journalist, photographer and, I hope, a better man.

Top 10 stories of 2020 – Readers keep dreaming of travel

Top 10 stories of 2020 – Readers keep dreaming of travel

It has been a very long 2020 but through it all we found our readers still wanted to dream of travel, to think about travel, and to plan for travel. This was made clear with our Top 10 Stories of 2020 as selected by our readers and what they viewed. Local and regional U.S. stories, stories that highlighted adventures closer to home and ideas for road trips, sprinkled with a few topics drawn from our archives allowed us and our readers to keep dreaming of travel in 2021.

Goodbye Berlin – Hello to a world forever changed

Goodbye Berlin – Hello to a world forever changed

In two short weeks, we went from happy travelers to anxious escapees. Therese and I held hands and stared out the airplane window. It was goodbye Berlin. Hello to a world forever changed. From Tegel airport to London Heathrow to Los Angeles and then home, each airport provided a glimpse of a world turned upside down because of COVID-19.

A tearful goodbye to Berlin as COVID changes the world

A tearful goodbye to Berlin as COVID changes the world

The coronavirus upended the entire travel world seemingly in days. Hurrying out of Berlin, I felt like an evacuee – not that I really know what that feels like – but here I was being forced to leave somewhere I didn’t want to. I felt like Pac-Man scurrying away from the hungry ghost called COVID-19.

Fear of COVID-19 – traveling in the age of coronavirus

Fear of COVID-19 – traveling in the age of coronavirus

Should we be traveling in the age of coronavirus? We make our living as travel writers and photographers. For us, it’s either travel, or find another line of work. But the fear of COVID-19 is real. How do we travel and still stay safe from coronavirus? Read our personal essay on learning to stay calm and travel despite a fear of cornonavirus.

Teddy & Friends: traveling stuffed animals

Teddy & Friends: traveling stuffed animals

Traveling stuffed animals are perfect travel partners and friends. They never complain and are always ready for the next adventure, the next photo opportunity, or a really good restaurant. They listen intently to your every word. They are a constant reminder that imagination and a sense of humor inspire smiles and connections with strangers around the world. They travel free and often serve as a trip mascot, no matter what trip you are on. And they are always ready to offer a hug.

Travel photos – Instagram is turning us into idiots

Travel photos – Instagram is turning us into idiots

Armed with digital cameras and smartphones travelers are able to detail every idyllic moment of every trip in all its “Instagrammable” glory with often ridiculous travel photos. In truth, Instagram is turning us all into idiots as we embark on a frantic search for the most Instagrammable moment.

Transformative travel – learning while traveling

Transformative travel – learning while traveling

I arrived at my photography workshop eager and excited for learning while traveling, but also more than a bit nervous. “Why?” asked one of the instructors earlier when I mentioned that I was a bit anxious. “We don’t bite.” Transformative travel is a marvelous thing for learning.

My Travel Tales with Frank Hugelmeyer

My Travel Tales with Frank Hugelmeyer

It doesn’t take you very long to determine Frank Hugelmeyer is pretty comfortable traveling to exotic places. Apparently, that’s what happens after spending your childhood on a sport fishing boat and then 30 years or so promoting the sporting goods, fitness, outdoor and RV lifestyles across the globe.

My Travel Tales with Kevin Wenning

My Travel Tales with Kevin Wenning

Kevin Wenning is our guest on this episode of My Travel Tales. Kevin decided to create his bike photography tours when he couldn’t find a cycling vacation that catered to photography enthusiasts. You’ll hear about bike touring with cameras, and four tips you can use right now to make any photo better on any trip you take. And what does this experienced bike guide and photographer always pack with him where ever he goes in the world? Listen in to find out.

My Travel Tales with Ajay Jain

My Travel Tales with Ajay Jain

Ajay Jain is our guest on this episode of My Travel Tales. In the summer of 2007, with a camera and notebook in hand, Ajay left behind a corporate career for good and began driving, eventually ending up in Kunzum La (a very remote pass in the Indian Himalayas). He was so taken by the destination he named his business after it. Since then, he has been traveling all over India, and also covering a fair amount of the world, chronicling his journeys in blog posts and in his photography books. You’ll hear all about his beloved Indian Himalayas and much more in our conversation.

My Travel Tales with Tim McGuire

My Travel Tales with Tim McGuire

Tim McGuire is our guest on this episode of My Travel Tales. Listen in to find out how the search for an easy college class while playing Division 1 soccer at San Diego State University led him down a path of adventure, travel, and now as part of the executive team at Eagle Creek. Learn too why even an experienced world traveler like Tim can end up in the wrong country while simply trying to get back to his hotel. And what does this experienced adventure traveler always pack with him where ever he goes in the world?

My Travel Tales with Soraya Shattuck

My Travel Tales with Soraya Shattuck

Since witnessing ivory being set on fire in Kenya as a child, Soraya Shattuck has been driven to help the travel community understand, minimize and mitigate negative impacts of travel. Listen in to Soraya’s My Travel Tales episode to learn more about her and the Adventure Travel Conservation Fund.

My Travel Tales with Katie and Jim Thomsen

My Travel Tales with Katie and Jim Thomsen

Katie and Jim Thomsen were living in Antwerp, Belgium when Katie returned from a kayaking trip off Vancouver Island, British Columbia and announced, “I could live on a boat.” That started a path of global adventuring that hasn’t begun to slow down yet. Listen in to our podcast to learn more.

My Travel Tales with Shannon Stowell

My Travel Tales with Shannon Stowell

Shannon Stowell is our guest on this episode of My Travel Tales. Listen in to find out why Shannon decided to buy the Adventure Travel Trade Association in 2004, why he feels a deep connection to Kurdistan, what place he has dreamed of since childhood but has yet to visit, five things he always travels with, why a visit to Barentsburg on Svalbard in Norway was surreal, and a few surprises including the “hot chili pepper incident” at an ATTA event.

Poignant Korean War Memorials: Honoring Uncle Ara

Poignant Korean War Memorials: Honoring Uncle Ara

Korean War Memorials are always on my list to visit when traveling. My Uncle Ara disappeared on Oct. 23, 1951, less than a year into the Korean War. A part of an air mission with nine Super Fortresses, his B-29 bomber was one of six attacked by Soviet MIGs.

My Travel Tales with Jen Taylor

My Travel Tales with Jen Taylor

Jen Taylor, former brand manager and director of creative development for Mountain Khakis is our guest. Learn about Grand Junction, her favorite travel destination, riding motorcycles, how a fish taco inspired her next great idea, and five things she always travels with.

Airline acts of kindness do happen – more frequently than you imagine

Airline acts of kindness do happen – more frequently than you imagine

Because we do fly a lot, and talk with so many other passengers and frequent travelers, we think it is worth pointing out there is another side to the story: Despite the avalanche of news regarding despicable behavior by some airline employees and by some passengers, there are always two sides. We would like to humbly point out that airline acts of kindness can and do happen, on an almost daily yet too often unreported manner.

Fear of Flying: The cockpit is no place for loud bangs

Fear of Flying: The cockpit is no place for loud bangs

BOOM!!!… The unmistakable sound of an explosion or other impact came from the cockpit. Immediately the plane began to shake and, within seconds, we were executing a very tight turn and initiating a steep descent heading back toward Salt Lake City … and, I hoped, for the airport. She looked at me with very wide eyes. “You have an explanation for that, right?” Her fear of flying was real.

You don’t go to Tucson to eat pizza – Charles Baty blues wisdom

You don’t go to Tucson to eat pizza – Charles Baty blues wisdom

Traveling blues guitarist Charles Baty (“Little Charlie and the Nightcats”) and his fellow musicians with the Golden State-Lone Star Revue are on the road yet again – now in the Southwest, Northwest and California (wait, where did that one gig in Illinois come from?) This round, he and band members Mark Hummel, R.W. Grigsby, Wes Starr and Anson Funderburgh will be not only turning clubs into hot blues joints, but also some outdoor festivals.

Lost in Translation: Funny Chinese English on warning signs

Lost in Translation: Funny Chinese English on warning signs

The eleven signs with funny Chinese English in this post are part of our second offering in a series of stories on funny Chinese-to-English translation fails. If you missed it, be sure to check out “Lost in Translation: Fire warnings become funny Chinese signs.” Now, without further ado, funny Chinese signs with extremely humorous translation fails focused on warning the public about something or other.

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