Despite their differences in genre and style, these books all give an unforgettable sense of place -- whether that place is a small patch of ground, an entire continent, or just the wrinkles of the writer's mind.
If one more sun-kissed expat walks up the steps from yoga class without his shirt on, while the sun is pouring down on his perfect body and long tousled hair, I am going to slap the living daylights out of that mosquito that is terrorizing my ankle. I just murdered a mosquito.
It's imperative that we teach our kids to find common ground with those from different cultures and countries and there is no better way to do that than through travel. It isn't always necessary, however, to take the kids to far flung destinations to show them a different world.
Despite being a writer and even though I wrote about the Himalayas while I was there, there were certain things that, had it not been for such caught-in-the-action pictures, I might have forgotten, that even now I had to ask someone to tell me the full story.
Five years ago I looked into a shelter cage and said, "Stay here, I'm getting you out," to my dog, Dusty-Danger. I had no intention of getting a dog, but was enamored by his one blue, one brown eye and his charm.
The pickers arrive just after 7:30 a.m. in an entourage of cars. From open doors emerge sundry shapes and sizes. The "gang" circles around its leader, anticipating another day of back-bending labor and hand-rolled cigarettes.
When I went to Thailand to visit my best friend Leah, it was very important to me that we stop in Bangkok to see the Red Light District. Like many naïve young women, I found the sex industry wildly compelling. At 22 sex was rewarding and certain, while the rest of my life felt absurd.
The dissonance between the "traveler" archetype the public craves and the one we travelers actually embody is a result of today's traveler being fundamentally different than it has been at any point in even recent history.
Any individual's perception of reality is inextricably linked with his perception of geography: The more comprehensive a picture someone has of the world, the wider his perception of what is "possible" becomes.
But what the hell is a travel writer? The cliched images likely come to mind: the zip-off pants-wearing, notepad-wielding, globetrotting do-gooder, or maybe the unshaven, whiskey-drinking, chain-smoking, ex-Peace Corps polyglot.
I've never been to Singapore and/or Borneo, or to any other place in Asia, and when people ask me about the book, and discover this is so, they seem bewildered. As in: How can you write about a place you've never seen or been to?
A writer's life is enticing. Besides his home in Key West, Hemingway also lived in Idaho, Paris and Cuba. He traveled the world and hung out with other famous writers and artists. He had his very own style of writing and believed less was more.