Travel Essays

Deep thoughts inspired by the world of travel
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.

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.

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.

A Road Trip: Refuge of the roads

A Road Trip: Refuge of the roads

Leaving home, hitting the road, casting oneself into uncertainty and danger, discovering the unknown, seeing one’s reflection in the landscape and the sky—these have been the stimuli and the “itch” that have propelled writers, artists and thinkers to abandon home, family and security and set out alone, across the seas, over the mystic mountains or out on a road trip.

Cruise ship boarding near miss: twice in two days!

Cruise ship boarding near miss: twice in two days!

HI Travel Tales friends Diane Benton and Jerry van Heeringen recently traveled for several weeks throughout Asia, hopping a cruise ship for part of that journey. They experienced a cruise ship boarding near miss, two days in a row, no less. Not what you normally plan on,…but it does make for some great stories.

My Traveling Blues: Charles Baty diner tour & driving tips

My Traveling Blues: Charles Baty diner tour & driving tips

More traveling blues wisdom from Charles Baty: The official “Diner Tour” continued today at one of his favorite spots – Dove Diner in Newcastle, Del. It has an amazing assortment of cakes and pies that he had never tried because he’s always too full after finishing a breakfast there to even attempt a bite.

Calling Sweden. Talking to a ‘random Swede’

Calling Sweden. Talking to a ‘random Swede’

Calling Sweden? You mean the entire country? Yes, you too can call Sweden and talk to a “Random Swede” and ask this random person picked randomly in Sweden about some random thing. We bit on the Swedish Tourist Association’s new promotion, The Swedish Number. We’re all over random.

A Traveler’s Shanghai – We are the people

A Traveler’s Shanghai – We are the people

Rain slick streets of Shanghai lie worn but resolute under two millennia of bare feet, sandals, hooves and wheels. The people run to work, hurry to school, linger in produce shops; peddling bikes, racing scooters, driving beat-down cars and over-stuffed delivery trucks. We are packed onto buses, waving for taxis and queuing for the metro.

Messing About in Boats: White water rafting on the Green River

Messing About in Boats: White water rafting on the Green River

“Hang on,” yelled our river guide Kevin with a grin. Leaning hard against the river’s pull, the oars bent slightly and the raft heaved to, taking a line that would carry us clear of the rocks, but right into the heart of the maelstrom. Heartbeats kept pace with the increasing speed of the raft as Kevin launched us into the jumble of waves. The raft bucked and heaved, so much so that in the middle of the rapid I managed to execute a nearly perfect back flip with a twist, landing smack in Kevin’s lap.

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