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Blog posts of '2014' 'January'

Wildsam Field Guides
If you could re-invent the modern guidebook, what would it look like? What specimens would you gather, which citizens would you interrogate, what archives would you plumb? A new travel series, unlike any we’ve seen, is making us re-think the resources we use to encounter a new place. Wildsam Field guides are beautifully produced pocket guides with "a bygone sense of place." The series, launched in 2012 by editor Taylor Bruce, has produced three guides, to Austin, San Francisco and Nashville.
The Trip to Echo Spring
In her first book, To the River, Olivia Laing walked from the source of the Ouse River to the sea, enriching her travelogue with tangential reflections on the landscape’s role in English literature. In her new book, The Trip to Echo Spring, Laing is again on the trail of writers, this time American, riding trains from New York to Key West, up the Mississippi, through the Twin Cities and west to Port Angeles as she follows F.
The Radiance of Tomorrow
Even as we return from our holiday travels and time spent with family to head into a new year, voices from distant lands can sound surprisingly close and deeply resonant. Take, for example, Ishmael Beah's words about his decision to write his new novel, The Radiance of Tomorrow: "How do you try to shape a future if you have a past that's still pulling at you?" he wonders. "People go back home with different nostalgias. The younger generation returns because their parents and grandparents have told them stories about how this place used to be. The older people are holding onto tradition. You have all of this push and pull; people are trying to live together.
Andapa, Madagascar
Kindly Contributed by Hilary Bradt, Founder of Bradt Guides, celebrating 40 years in 2014. Hilary will be giving a talk on Wild Adventures and Extreme Publishing at the Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville, March 19-23, 2014.
The men listened respectfully as the Président du Fokontany delivered his speech about mutual co-operation. With its soft consonants and lilting cadences the Malagasy language is ideally suited to oratory and this village chief was obviously a master of the art.
Travel Matters
Thank you, everyone! To celebrate my last days at Longitude, now happily humming along without me in Minnesota, a number of friends and colleagues kindly contributed tales of the transformative power of travel, many of which, perhaps not surprisingly, focus on making a connection. Why else do we travel? I’ll toss in a moment of my own during a hectic tour of Peru on Huayna Picchu, finally alone and eye-to-eye with a gecko; stopping randomly in San Pedro de Atacama for a week on a marathon trip in the 1980s; and the light bulb moment on a muddy street in Chiloe with a guide who gently us asked us not to give anything to the kids. “Do you want to turn our children into beggars,” he chided.
Nelson Mandela
“I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination,” he told the court. “I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal for which I hope to live for and to see realized. But my lord, if it needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” The world lost a well-traveled soul at the end of last year. Nelson Mandela, who we are commemorating as we move into 2014, passed away on December 5, 2013. Though imprisoned on Robben Island for close to three decades, Mandela traveled further in his 95 years than many of us who have always known the freedoms he fought for ever will.