Tag: Shameless Self Promotion

What We Loved This Week: The Dead Sea, Diving the Azores and ‘I Want to be a Travel Writer’

What We Loved This Week: The Dead Sea, Diving the Azores and ‘I Want to be a Travel Writer’ Photo by Nuno Sá

Terry Ward
Diving through lava formations under the shadow of Pico’s volcano in the central islands group of the Azores. On many a Transatlantic crossing, I’ve wondered what the Azores (about two hours’ flying time from Lisbon and just a five-hour flight from Boston) were like. “A mini New Zealand in the Atlantic,” a Portuguese friend had told me before my visit. From the rolling green hills, rocky windswept beaches and towering volcanoes to the fine local cheeses, shellfish and wine, I agree.

Photo by Nuno Sá

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2010 Lowell Thomas Award Winners Announced

This year’s Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Awards have been handed out. Freelancer (and former Brat Packer) Andrew McCarthy was named Travel Journalist of the Year, while Afar and BudgetTravel.com took the Gold awards for travel magazines and online travel journalism sites, respectively.

A few World Hum contributors were among the winners: Rick Steves received a couple of mentions, including a Gold award for his book, Travel as a Political Act, while David Farley’s An Irreverent Curiosity received the Bronze award for travel books. Tony Perrottet, Spud Hilton, Jeff Greenwald and Daisann McLane also received awards for individual articles. Congrats to all the winners.


What We Loved This Week: ‘Swingers,’ Boy Scout Base Camp and Scratch and Sniff Cartography

Eva Holland
I loved re-watching one of my longtime movie favorites, “Swingers.” I’ve only visited Los Angeles once (discounting a few extended visits to LAX) but this movie always makes me want to go back and get to know it better:

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What We Loved This Week: Calor Norteño, ‘Packing for Mars’ and the Astronomy Picture of the Day

Jim Benning
This Spanish-language cover of the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” by a band called Calor Norteño, performed in Tijuana (and recorded, unfortunately, with a shaky camera):

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World Hum Writers Honored in ‘The Best American Travel Writing 2010’

The latest edition of The Best American Travel Writing, edited this time by Granta founder Bill Buford, lands in bookstores today. Four World Hum stories were included in the notable selections: On the Perils of Travel Writing, by David Farley; Where no Travel Writer has Gone Before, by Rolf Potts; and Cycling India’s Wildest Highway and Face-off on the Congo, both by Jeffrey Tayler.

Several World Hum contributors, writing elsewhere, were also honored in this year’s collection: Tom Bissell and Peter Hessler had stories included, while Leigh Ann Henion, Pico Iyer, Tony Perrottet, Emily Stone and Christopher Vourlias were among the notable selections. Congrats, all.


What We Loved This Week: E.B. White, Calexico and ‘Metro Song’

Eva Holland
I loved E.B. White’s 1948 essay, Here is New York. My favorite sequence:

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What We Loved This Week: Grey Mountain, Don George’s Peru and ‘Sweatpants in Paradise’

Eva Holland
Last weekend I drove up Grey Mountain, just outside Whitehorse, for some great views and fall color. Here’s one of my favorite shots from the excursion:

Photo by Eva Holland

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What We Loved This Week: Rock Creek Park, Rainy Day Camping and ‘Sweetness and Blood’

Eva Holland
I spent a rainy Labor Day weekend camping in Haines, Alaska, and the weather didn’t detract at all. The beautiful thing about camping in town? We were never more than a few minutes’ walk from a warm, dry bar and the local brew on tap.

Michael Yessis
Rock Creek Park. The too-hot summer in Washington D.C. seems to be over, and I spent some of the long holiday weekend walking through the park’s shady paths, basking in the glorious weather.

Jim Benning
I’ve really been enjoying Sweetness and Blood, which is both a travel narrative and a look at surfing and globalization. Great stuff.


What We Loved This Week: Rachid Taha, Fall Colors at Alaska’s Denali Park and More

Jim Benning
Algerian musician Rachid Taha. I discovered him recently on a flight—he was a featured artist on Delta’s in-flight audio entertainment system. He has covered the Clash’s “Rock the Casbah.” Here’s a taste of something perhaps slightly less familiar:

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What We Loved This Week: Jonathan Raban, Ricardo Arjona and Ernest Hemingway, Humor Writer

Eva Holland
“At Sea,” Jonathan Raban’s ode to the simultaneous isolation and civility of the seagoing life. It’s a 1996 magazine story that I came across in The Best of Outside—here’s a favorite section:

In the society of the sea, it is the duty of every member to keep his distance from all the others. To be alone is to be safe. It’s no coincidence that those two most English of attitudes, being “standoffish” and keeping aloof,” are nautical terms that have long since passed into the general currency of the language. Standing off is what a ship does to avoid the dangers of the coast; aloof is a-luff, or luffing your sails, head to wind, to stay clear of another vessel. The jargon of the sea is full of nouns and verbs to describe the multitude of ways in which a ship can keep itself to itself.

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Nine Great Stories About New Orleans

new orleans Photo by Wayne Curtis

To mark the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, we've collected stories from our archives that explore the city's heartbreak, passion and rebirth

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What We Loved This Week: Ayaz Nanji and Eating in San Francisco

Ayaz Nanji

Michael Yessis and Jim Benning
We spent Thursday evening out in New York City with fellow Travel Channel staffers to say goodbye to our friend and colleague, Ayaz Nanji. As senior director of Interactive, Ayaz oversaw the company’s digital operations, including World Hum. This site wouldn’t exist without serious support, and Ayaz was as smart, thoughtful and supportive a boss as we could hope for. He also happens to be a hardcore traveler—recent trips have included weeks in Tunisia and Uzbekistan. He’s leaving Travel Channel to embark on a ‘round-the-world trip, and we wish him all the best. He’ll be sorely missed.

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What We Loved This Week: Book Passage, Seatmate Chitchat, and David Sedaris’ ‘Standing By’

Eva Holland
I’m in the Bay Area for a few days, visiting with friends and colleagues at the Book Passage Travel, Food and Photography Conference, and it’s been a treat so far—the in-person writing community is one of the few things I’ve missed since moving to the Yukon nine months ago, and it feels good to reconnect.

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What We Loved This Week: ‘Shipping Out,’ Joan Didion and the Last Roll of Kodachrome Film

Frank Bures
I loved this story about Steve McCurry (of green-eyed-Afghan-refugee-girl fame) going around the world with the very last-ever produced roll of Kodachrome film, shooting pictures on it in Italy, Turkey, India and other places. The end of an era.

Jeffrey Tayler
I’m afraid I’ve had a very negative week, with Czech Airlines fouling up my return reservation to Moscow from Paris, and then arriving in Moscow itself. It’s now so smoky we’ve closed our windows, and it’s almost 100 degrees inside. ... So there isn’t anything I’ve loved in travel this week.

Jim Benning
I’ve been reading Joan Didion’s heartbreaking memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking. I loved this anecdote she included about her daughter, Quintana: “All PSA planes had smiles painted on their noses. ... When Quintana at age two or three flew PSA to Sacramento to see my mother and father she referred to it as ‘going on the smile.’”

Michael Yessis
A list of all-time best magazine articles has been making the rounds online in the last couple weeks. Yup, David Foster Wallace’s Shipping Out (pdf) is on it and, yup, I got sucked in yet again by the all-red leisure suit with flared lapels and the image of 500 upscale Americans dancing the Electric Slide.

Eva Holland
I loved bringing home leftovers from a tasty restaurant meal in Skagway, AK—certainly the first time I’ve taken a doggy bag across an international border. Somehow, despite the frequency with which I cross the Yukon-Alaska border these days, I still get a kick out of it each time.


Book Passage Travel, Food & Photography Conference 2010

Travel writers and aspiring travel writers, take note: The four-day Book Passage Travel, Food & Photography Conference kicks off a week from today in Corte Madera, California, just a short drive from San Francisco.

It’s a great chance to learn the tricks of the trades from some of the best in the business, including legendary adventure writer Tim Cahill.

I’ll be teaching a class on digital travel writing and blogging with Jen Leo. We’ll cover audio slideshow production, writing travel essays, how to create and maintain a compelling travel blog, and travel-writing ethics in the digital age. Among other highlights on the schedule, World Hum contributor David Farley will teach a class on writing personal travel essays, and columnist Jeff Pflueger will be among those teaching travel photography.

The conference is always one of the highlights of the year for me. As conference chair Don George has said, it’s kind of like summer camp for travel writers.

Beyond that, “The conference’s track record is pretty amazing,” Don said in a recent interview. “Every year at least a few graduates start getting published in newspapers, magazines and web sites as a direct result of lessons learned and contacts made at the conference; in fact, a number of this year’s ‘faculty’ members started out as ‘students’ at the conference.”

We’ve published a number of alumni on World Hum.


What We Loved This Week: D.C. From the Air, the San Diego Zoo and ‘Newport State of Mind’

Michael Yessis
My view from seat 22A on American Airlines flight 1442 during the final approach into Reagan National Airport Tuesday evening. Stunning.

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What We Loved This Week: Roadside Cinnamon Buns, Off-the-Beaten-Path Ethiopia and a Good Rant

Eva Holland
A delicious, enormous cinnamon bun—no joke, it was the size of my head—from a roadside bakery on the Klondike Highway, between Whitehorse and Dawson City. That’s my kind of road trip fare.

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What We Loved This Week: The Chilkoot Trail, Susan B. Anthony House and a Virtual Tour of Chicago

What We Loved This Week: The Chilkoot Trail, Susan B. Anthony House and a Virtual Tour of Chicago Photo by Eva Holland

Eva Holland
The Chilkoot Trail. I spent four days hiking the old Gold Rush route from outside Skagway, Alaska, over the Chilkoot Pass to Bennett Lake, where the stampeders of 1898 boarded boats for the rest of the journey to the Klondike. It was hard work, but the scenery was outstanding. Here’s a shot from a few kilometers beyond the pass:

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What We Loved This Week: World Cup Cookies, Gary Shteyngart and ‘The Father of All Things’

Eva Holland
My copy of The Father of All Things, by World Hum contributor Tom Bissell, arrived in the mail this week and I can’t wait to crack it open. It’s been on my must-read list since I first came across Bissell’s story, War Wounds, in The Best American Travel Writing 2005 a couple of years back.

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What We Loved This Week: TBEX, Wholphin and Joan Didion

Michael Yessis
The Travel Blog Exchange conference. A lot has been said about it, so I won’t say too much about it except it was terrific to spend a weekend surrounded by hundreds of passionate travelers. Bonus when the location is New York City.

Jim Benning
Joan Didion. On my flight to New York for the TBEX conference (which was amazing), I read a few pieces in her essay collection Slouching Towards Bethlehem. Her essay “Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream” has been a favorite for years. On this flight, I read “Letter from Paradise, 21* 19’ N. 157* 52’ W.” for the first time. It’s about how Hawaii changed after World War II, and it’s typically beautiful writing.

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