This Boat is Real

Travel writer pro tip:  When you think you’re losing perspective on what it means to be a travel writer, pack your younger brother. “Take a good hard look at the motherf*cking boat.” My brother can’t stop singing the Lonely Island song. It’s a parody of rap excess, but for years I’ve interpreted it as an …
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Dim Fuzzies and Girl Astronauts

“It’s just physics,” says the girl, and she draws a diagram on the white board to explain the way light refraction works underwater. “There are equations you can do to show how it works, but really… it’s just physics.” She’s Olivia Humes, a junior in high school, confident, serious in her adult haircut, and totally …
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Some Things About My Dad

I’m not sure about the date on this photo — my Dad served in Korea and he’s in uniform here. The signs are in English, so he must be flying outbound. It might be the early 50s, he’d have been maybe 21 years old at the time. Forgotten, but Not Gone: I wrote this after …
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Post-Modern Medieval

The historic main square in Frankfurt is a pretty cobbled place. There are buildings on three sides with black or red timbered faces. There are cast iron sign brackets and from them hang attractive shields emblazoned with the names of traditional German restaurants, the wine cellar, the Black Star, the Stone House. City hall is …
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TBEX 2013: Less is So Much More

Here’s the truth: I attended only two sessions at TBEX this year: writer Mike Sowden’s storytelling talk and the live recording of Gary Arndt, Jen Leo, and Chris Christensen’s This Week in Travel featuring Spud Hilton, the editor of the San Francisco Chronicle as the guest. I regret missing two talks, Lola Akinamade’s photography talk …
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