A new tale added sporadically on Tuesdays. (color-coded by country or continental region if you're interested in searching for tales in a particular location) These are just short(ish) pieces -- vignettes -- from some of my travels ... typically (but not always) a single incident or a person or observation that touched me in some way while traveling. It may be from a trip chronicled here on the blog, or from another trip. While traveling, I stick primarily to real-time posting (or lately, themed-posting). While not traveling, I’ll occasionally share more of the experience in finer detail, and hence, Tuesday's Tales.

Ixtapa's Kitten Boss -- From Mexico. We meet some adorable kittens and their young boss in the marketplace.

Coincidence or Extraordinary Perception? 2023 Update on Ndjinaa -- From Namibia. A recent event involving a woman and the men who freed her from chains 11 years ago. Update to my post, "Twenty Years in Chains: A Triumph of Compassion Over Cruelty."

An Unexpected Day in Rocky Mountain National Park -- From Colorado. What I thought would be a "typical" day in the park instead surprised me with landscape and wildlife encounters I hadn't expected.

Lives from Gilpin Country Cemeteries: Bennett E. Seymour -- From Colorado. A tale of a Colorado pioneer who settled in Central City whose gravestone I ran across.

Explorer of the Wilds of Papua New Guinea in the 1970s -- From Papua New Guinea. For lack of a better place to file this in my blog I've put the tales of my friend, Trevor Ellis, here. In this you'll find a fascinating account and photos from his days as an exploratory geologist mapping unknown areas of Papua New Guinea in the early 1970s, encountering tribes who had never seen white men, and landscapes white men had never seen.

Things People Told Me: Conversations in African Landscapes -- From South Africa and Lesotho. A collection of some memorable conversations in vignettes that took place amid the amazing scenery and wildlife of southern Africa ... it was hard to know when I could trust what people said.

Dream Stalker -- From Namibia. Kangundu tried to leave his home before his nephew could find him -- an all-too-common tale of witchcraft in Africa. 

A Monstrous Meal in Marrakech and a Sudden End to our Trip -- From Morocco. We must leave Morocco due to the spreading Coronavirus but go out with a bang and a very full tummy.

How We Found Our Riad in the Marrakech Medina -- From Morocco. We get an instant immersion to driving in Morocco and the Marrakech medina.

Portrait of the Wini-Maker's House -- From Panama. Description of the hut and family where I had my winis (beaded bands) made. 

Little Lost Zebra -- From Tanzania. Title pretty much sums it up. A sad story. 

Finally Capturing Spoonbills in Flight -- From Mexico. Watching roseate spoonbills coming in for landings, flying with their magnificent pink wings across the small lagoon. 

The Fleeting Glory of Semana Santa in Antigua, Guatemala -- From Guatemala. The building of extraordinary sand carpets in the streets of Antigua and the subsequent Good Friday parades that trample them. 

Shara Sees Artful Sand and Seashells by the Seashore -- From Costa Rica. Mother Nature made some exquisite designs in the sand with the receding tide. I photographed them.

The Dark Heart of Nature -- From Bostwana. The circle of life feels a bit harsh when you witness it played out in front of you. Does nature have a dark heart or an apathetic one?

Dancing the Brazilian Night Away ... sort of ... depending on the definition of dancing -- From Brazil. Learning to dance like the Brazilians in Pará was perhaps one of the most unsuccessful undertakings of my traveling life. But it was fun trying. 

It Never Goes as Planned -- The Perpetual Title of a Pinzgauer Adventure -- From Colorado. We set out for a pleasant scenic drive in the mountains with our 4x4 vehicle ... but it doesn't go as planned.

Kitty Cat Finds a Yummy Dinner -- From Mexico. Making friends with a beautiful stray kitty and watching her snag a huge afternoon snack. 

Granny Sabina: A Tale of Mystery, Culture and Times Past -- From Namibia. Reuniting with an elderly grandmother who was once accused of being a witch, and learning a little bit about older and better days in her village.

A Life Left to the Cats -- From Greece. A photo essay on a life we discovered whose memory seemed to have been abandoned along with their house. In Mesta village, Greece. 

Should We Cross the River? -- From Namibia. The riverbed was dry when we went to the village. When we went back home, it looked a bit different! Should we cross the river?

Filming for the Documentary, "The African Witchfinder" -- From Namibia Traveling with the film crew, my primary role in the filming process was that of Chicken Chaser and Kid Shusher. 

Bridging Dementia:  Lessons in Dignity -- From Namibia. Visiting the ADN care facility for Alzheimer's patients teaches me about the mysterious worlds dementia creates and those who inhabit them.

A Challenge to a Duel ... Himba-Style -- From Namibia. A brief portrait of a man I'm proud to call my friend, rendered through a friendly stick fight in a Himba village, Namibia. 

The Foreigners Are Washing Their Hands! -- From China. The town officials of a small Chinese village show us amazing hospitality as guests of their annual rain festival.

The Invisible Photo Ray - the Mystery of Kids and Cameras -- From Brazil. The phenomenon of how cameras can bring kids out of the woodwork. 

View from an Airplane Window -- An unexpected sight during a flight to China. 

Dreams and the Olivine Death Pools: a cautionary tale of the power of ocean waves -- From Hawaii. I'd dreamed about something like it happening for years ... when it came to pass in real life, was it a kind of destiny or merely coincidence?

A Race With Darkness -- From Guatemala. Even though a pitch black darkness is descending, I can't help but push on to see a temple in Tikal.

Good Friends -- From China. A brief but special moment with a woman whose professional position elicits my admiration.

The Men of My 21st Summer -- From Alaska. Working at a cannery in Kenai, Alaska, I spent the summer among the lives and hearts of a group of Vietnam veterans in the tent city where I lived.

Fanclub at the Train Station -- From China.  Benevolence befalls us in the most ordinary yet unexpected places in China.

Revelation on a Rainy Day -- From China. My friend's family sacrificed so much for him, more than he even knew.

An Abandoned Past -- From China. An old man has a sudden burst of pride in his past home.

Currency -- From Nederland, Colorado. One of the most sheepish moments of my life.

The Swanky Hitchhiker -- From Tunisia. An unexpected passenger overloads one of our senses.

Priorities -- From Brazil. Bedazzled by a source of cultural pride in an impoverished village in Brazil.

How to Get Free Rings -- From Tunisia. Why not take what you can get out of an unpleasant situation?

Offering up the Past -- From China. Acknowledging the loss of my dad with a symbolic act at the Lama Temple in Beijing.

Chucking Alpha Blondy -- From Tunisia. What do you do when you can't stand a beloved album anymore?

The Date Incident -- From China. Not one of my finer moments ... a shameful lesson about hospitality and cultural sensitivity.

A Simply Joy -- From China. The smallest gifts provide such joy; whether it's more joyous for the receiver or for the giver is hard to say.

French is the Language of Frustration -- From Chile. Backpacking the Paine Circuit in Chile, a Frenchman sums things up perfectly.

Wardrobe Malfunction -- My brain takes its own vacation without me.

Haiku Peru -- Pretty self-explanatory, if nerdy. But I'll explain it anyway:  haiku poems about Peru.

Curses! -- From South Africa. My ranger wasn't exactly lost, merely optimistic ... and not a happy camper.

Why I Don't Drink Coffee -- From Brazil. Navigating unpalatable hospitality.

Mystery in the Riverbed -- From China. Creepy and intriguing ... how and why did this end up in the sand at my feet?

Run! -- From South Africa. It behooves you to do as your ranger advises.

Kindness of Strangers .. well sort of -- From Lesotho. We meant to do this guy a favor, but couldn't quite follow through.

Terror on the Table -- Two tales from France. My first culinary trials abroad.

Secrets in the Earth -- From China. Evading the destruction of the Cultural Revolution.

The Road to Jia Xian -- From China. Is it better for a traveler to have a tale or a smooth ride?

Approaching David -- My experience with the famous statue in Florence, Italy.

The Tree -- From China. A memorable incident that happened one morning while I was living in a traditional peasant village in China as a volunteer ethnographic researcher.

Remedies From the Road -- Various remedies for sickness or injury that I've learned from locals while traveling abroad. Simple, traditional remedies can be surprisingly efficacious. I've also learned about the occasional modern invention.

From China. Not one of my finer moments ... a shameful lesson about hospitality and cultural sensitivity.

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-- AFRICA --




South Africa






Namibia I


Namibia II +Witchcraft






Save Rhinos











Iran  All posts

Iran  photos only

















-- EUROPE --


Central Europe

- Czech Rep.

- Poland

- Slovakia


Catalonia, Spain


Andorra / France






Greece +Refugee




-- ASIA --


China I


China II






Costa Rica







Ixtapa, Mexico




Maui, Hawaii


Puerto Rico









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Travel Essays

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