Thoughts after one journey and before another “Tell me,” she said, “why gringo women wear such ugly shoes.” She said it in Spanish, her tongue forming the precise syllables that I envied and still failed to produce after years of practice. Her name was Viviana, and she was my Spanish teacher. We were practicing my conversation… Continue reading A Steamy Day and a Missed Connection In Honduras
Wanderlust is invading my dreams. The pandemic shelved six weeks on the Camino de Santiago, but the other night my mind decided to depart without me… The inn is far enough off the Camino de Santiago to be lightly visited, even at the height of the pilgrimage season, but that is to my advantage, for… Continue reading Why Is There a Denny’s on the Camino de Santiago?
Two double espressos on top of sleep deprivation have lodged my mind in a sweet spot where what I generally consider reality is heightened and blurred and unusually imbued with meaning. At this moment it seems to me the fog outside the grimy bus windows is the result of an atmosphere saturated with metaphor instead… Continue reading Coffee, Baseball, and Fear of Flying
Steven Pressfield would call it the dumbest idea he’d ever heard — but I’ll wager that was probably before Robert Redford got involved. Pressfield’s idea blossomed into the novel that became his first commercial success, The Legend of Bagger Vance. Unsatisfied, the idea morphed into a movie starring Will Smith and Matt Damon — and directed by Robert Redford.… Continue reading How Steven Pressfield Sold America the Bhagavad Gita
He was a racing camel “Tom Marley is a racing camel,” Ahmed said. “The fastest in all of the Sinai.” “Tom Marley?” I asked. “Not Bob?” Ahmed appeared somewhat surprised by my ignorance, but the stupidity of tourists is known the world over. Ahmed patiently explained that Tom Marley, the racing camel, was named after Tom… Continue reading A Camel Named Tom Marley Made Me Choose: Be Right or Be Happy?
In traveling, as in life, there are some things you simply don’t tell your parents. Going beyond what happens at the hostel stays at the hostel, some things you just keep to yourself. Including things that would keep your mom up at night and lead to a blizzard of reminders about safety and links to… Continue reading Who Reads Warning Signs Crossing the Nile?
Also: pay no attention to where you are going Three of us lurched down the narrow path carved into the dense forest. Weaving our way from one side of the path to the other, we paid no attention to the various squawks and rustlings produced by the creatures surrounding us. Having consumed an intemperate number of… Continue reading How to Almost Run into Massive Hippos (Hint: Be Drunk)
Rae and I pedaled as quickly as we could. Above us, the evening sky purpled toward evening. Beneath us, majestic, neon-bright iguanas serpentined through the clear water, their sinuous glowing tails trailing behind them like iridescent streamers chasing a comet. We pedaled with everything we had, fighting to maintain headway in the wide, algae-choked canal.… Continue reading Is My Iguana Dream Trying to Tell Me Something?
I’m a dinosaur. In this age of smart phones and online dictionaries, I own two physical dictionaries. You know, dictionaries. Big, heavy books filled with definitions. About as up-to-date as telephones that plug into the wall, sit on a shelf and stay inside when you leave the house. I have carted them across the United… Continue reading How My Daughter Succeeded Where Marie Kondo Failed
I went to Guatemala to study Spanish. Guatemala City is home to no fewer than three statues of Christopher Columbus. All three show him standing atop the globe. Riding buses and reading newspapers, I saw pictures of presidents, vice presidents, and ambassadors who looked like the man atop the globe. Most Guatemalans are of Mayan descent.… Continue reading The American Dream Costs You Your Life