Why You Should Travel Outside the Comfort Zone

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We all have our comfort thresholds. While the actual challenge differs hugely from person to person, the process of confronting it is essentially the same. The pulse quickens, the heart pumps, the mind gropes at all manner of excuses and alternatives—and then, in one impetuous, soul-soaring moment, we say, “I’m going to do this!” And off we go.

Five Trips That Changed My Life

As a travel writer, I get to explore new places all the time. But there are some trips that stand out more than others—the ones that changed my life in some meaningful way.

The Art of the Quest: St. Lucia By Clarinet

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Fake Elvis’s rose-colored shades are straight out of an old Starsky & Hutch episode. Behind him, a faded tapestry emblazoned with the real Elvis flaps in the breeze, while the King’s “Welcome to My World,” released in 1977 just months before his death, crackles through cranked boom box speakers. Soon Fake Elvis leans into a stance, then pumps…

Four Great New Travel Books

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These new books take us from the backroads of the American South to the complex traditions of the Middle East. Here are four #TripLit reads that will transport you to a faraway place.

Garden State Variety: Road Tripping New Jersey

New Jersey is more than a shore thing: There’s a lot to love about the Garden State.

Travel Sketching 101

I love how my sketchbook slows me down, throws all of my senses wide open, and paves the way to spontaneous encounters with locals and fellow visitors alike. So, in the hopes of convincing more travelers to embrace the paintbrush and sketch pad as a way to be wholly present while they explore the world—and to record their unique experience of a new place—I’m offering my take on how to get started.

The Riches and Revelations of Paris

Forty summers ago, Paris changed my life. This year, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of that life-changing stay, I managed to carve out three days to spend in the City of Light. I arrived with no specific agenda or itinerary, but in the back of my mind I was hoping to reunite with that long-ago me.

Home Again in Jamaica

Jamaica is in my blood. My mother was born in the hills of this tropical paradise. She spent her childhood and adolescence here. Then, in the early 1970s, she left it all behind and headed for Canada to reunite with my father, who had emigrated from Jamaica a year earlier. They were married within months, and I came…

Trending: Private Nature Reserves

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A notable thing is taking place around the globe: Communities and conservation entrepreneurs are creating private nature reserves, from coral lagoons in Asia to sanctuaries in the Americas.

Walking the World With Paul Salopek

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and National Geographic Fellow Paul Salopek is retracing—on foot—the global migration of our ancestors in a 21,000-mile, seven-year odyssey that began in Ethiopia and will end at the tip of South America. Here’s a look at the world through his unique lens.

 The New New Orleans

When Hurricane Katrina crashed through New Orleans’ man-made levees in 2005, critics and cynics alike predicted The End of the famously overexuberant city. But the locals dug out, rebuilt, and preserved, attracting a wave of newcomers who are helping propel the Crescent City to new creative heights. Here’s a guide to the new NOLA, and the people who make it shine.

Shaolin Summer: In Search of Confucius

Their home life under stress, a mother and daughter find redemption—at a Chinese school for warriors.