Blog posts of '2016' 'April'

Kindly contributed by John Harrison, author of several travel books including his most recent historical travel narrative 1519, A Journey to the End of Time. Harrison spent four months on the trail of destruction left by Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes, walking the Mexican coast, cross-country to Mexico City and to sites in Guatemala. As he explores the worlds of the Spanish and Aztecs, people groups that believed that the world was about to end, Harrison receives a diagnosis of cancer. He must face his own mortality even as he probes the larger questions of human history.
Migrations: Wildlife in Motion
wildebeest and zebrasBehind every photograph in Art Wolfe's now-classic collection Migrations: Wildlife in Motion are the primordial stirrings that prompt animals to travel incredible distances. Revised, updated and back in print, the coffee table book portrays large animal populations in motion around the globe. Wolfe catches gaggles of geese, herds of cattle, parcels of penguins and flamboyances of flamingos in M.C. Escher-inspired patterns, the masterful photographs a reminder that cyclical migrations are some of the world's most awe-inspiring phenomena.
Films from National Geographic
NAT175You know we recommend what books to read before you travel, but we can also tell you what movies to watch! Browse our wide selection of place-based films, including these fascinating documentaries from National Geographic. Some favorites are featured below, but you can see an even wider selection here. Happy viewing! Darwin's Secret Notebooks.
Why the Dutch are Different
What makes one culture stand out from another can be as deeply rooted as a tulip bulb and as subtle as that flower’s scent. To discover just what makes the Dutch different from their fellow Europeans, Ben Coates—a British transplant who found himself stranded on a layover in Amsterdam, and stayed—traveled the Netherlands, participating in festivals, viewing art, observing religion and studying the country’s landscape and history. He recorded his findings in his delightful book Why the Dutch are Different. The water, is one answer.
Empire's Crossroads
Kindly contributed by Ben Coates, who was born in Hertfordshire, England and currently lives in Rotterdam where he works for an international charity. His first book Why the Dutch are Different: Into the Hidden Heart of the Netherlands is published by Nicholas Brealey Publishing.
  The Netherlands is a country often defined by clichés: a place where windmills turn gently in the breeze, bicycles rattle over ancient cobbled streets and slender townhouses line quaysides like books along a shelf.
The Silk Roads
Finding Western history rigidly focused on the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, in his new book The Silk Roads: A New History of the World Oxford historian Peter Frankopan reorients readers towards Asia. The result is a tour-de-force that is well over 600 pages and spans from Israel to China, from the Agricultural Revolution to the second term of President Obama. Far from being mere trade routes, the Silk Roads were an essential first step to today's complex and interconnected world.