Destination: North Carolina

Ode to the Summer Vacation

The sun. The sand. The improvised Taco Bell sing-alongs. Terry Ward revels in the power of her family's long ago trips to the Outer Banks.

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Eight Great Road Trip Stories

Eight Great Road Trip Stories Photo by Nicholas_T, via Flickr (Creative Commons)

To mark World Hum's eighth anniversary, we've collected from our archives eight favorite travel stories that heed the call of the open road

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Christopher Lee: ‘I Can’t Recall Visiting any Countries I Hated’

So where does one of the most omnipresent movie villains of the past half-century (who also popped up in our list of the best travel horror movies) like to go on vacation? The veteran actor recently dished to the Independent about his ideal travel experiences—and it turns out, solitude is high on his priority list.

Lee’s favorite country is Finland, “because once you get to a certain point, you can drive for hours without seeing a single person.” His worst-ever journey was a rough ride from Washington, D.C., to Charlotte, N.C.: “It was only a 45-minute flight,” he told Sophie Lam, “but I have never known anything like it—including during the war when I was shot at in planes.” And as for New Zealand, where he spent a few months during the filming of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy? It’s “the most beautiful country I have ever been to in my life.”

The Distance Between Then and Now

The Distance Between Then and Now Photo by Frank Murray.

How far can you go without extinguishing the thrill of a moment? On the 50th Anniversary of "On the Road," Bill Belleville reflects on a pivotal road trip of his own.

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No. 30: “A Turn in the South” by V.S. Naipaul

To mark our five-year anniversary, we’re counting down the top 30 travel books of all time, adding a new title each day this month.
Published: 1989
Territory covered: The American South
In deceptively simple prose conveying complex insights, the great novelist and travel writer V.S. Naipaul penetrates what may be the most impenetrable region of the United States. And he would seem to be the perfect chronicler of the place: a man who feels he doesn’t belong anywhere amidst people who feel they don’t belong anywhere else. Each of the seven chapters is devoted to a city or town—Atlanta, Charleston, Tallahassee, Tuskegee—and Naipaul is often helped in his understanding of each by a long-time resident who patiently, sagely, shows him around. Telling observations from the author are interspersed with long passages of reported speech. His almost ornithological fascination with spotting a “redneck” is balanced by his steadfast determination to look beyond the stereotypes. The last chapter, on North Carolina tobacco culture, is a masterpiece of meticulous reporting and illuminating reflection.

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