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Blog posts tagged with 'travel'

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.
An Interview with John Gimlette
Award-winning journalist John Gimlette’s exuberant travelogues have entertained and informed readers about far-flung places, from Suriname to Labrador. In his new book Elephant Complex, he turns his attention to Sri Lanka, discussing everything from its startling landscapes to traumatic recent history.
  Longitude. You’ve written about countries as diverse as Paraguay, Newfoundland and French Guiana, but your travels to Sri Lanka begin in your own backyard of Tooting, England, with the Tamil diaspora who are your neighbors.
Elephant Complex
The island nation of Sri Lanka is home to around 5,800 elephants. The lumbering creatures traverse the teardrop island on alimankadas, or elephant paths, their entire lives, circling back to the same well-trodden routes again and again. In his latest book Elephant Complex, journalist John Gimlette employs the metaphor to explore Sri Lankan history, which, he writes, “never feels quite circular. Rather, there are recurring series of points of arrival and departure …No one is quite back where they started, and yet the same story will begin again, perhaps somewhere else.
The Lonely City
Independent travelers understand that exploring the world alone can be an enriching experience, leading to unique encounters and new perspectives. Alone, the traveler is free to reflect on what they see and more likely to engage with the strangers around them. But while solitary travel can be enriching, it can often be lonely, wrought with feelings of discomfort and isolation. For anyone who has experienced the alienation of being alone in a new place, Olivia Laing’s new book The Lonely City will be a welcome companion.
An Interview with Stephan Hormes
Maps in the Atlas of True Names series from Kalimedia Maps fancifully restore place names on today’s map of the world to their original meanings. Each map offers an explanatory reference on the reverse and acts as an invitation to think of Earth as a strange, romantic place. Owner Stephan Hormes discusses how his maps allow the traveler to see even familiar places in a new and exotic light.
  Longitude. How and when did Kalimedia Maps begin? Hormes. Kalimedia started in 2002 as a publisher for high precision city maps including house numbers and traffic signs.
Trinidad, Cuba
Kindly contributed by Michal McClure, whose photography book Cuba Awakening focuses on the close relationship between Cuba and the Soviet Union. McClure includes over 50 photographs (Henri Cartier-Bresson, Burt Glinn, Perfecto Romero, Seymour Raskin and more) that compare life in Soviet Russia with life in Fidel Castro's Cuba.
  If you are visiting Cuba, I hope you see this city with its Spanish colonial architecture and people living in a time of many years ago. Cubans love colors and with Trinidad they have created one of the most colorful towns I have seen in the world.
This Divided Island
In the aftermath of the three-decade long Sri Lankan Civil War, journalists, governments and everyday Sri Lankan citizens continue to piece together an identity for the divided island. The long years of conflict between the majority Sinhalese government and the militant Tamil Tigers seeking an independent state ended in 2009 with the government-led annihilation of the Tigers. Travelers to the country today may not always see the remnants of the war, but they would be remiss not to join the conversation about it. New Delhi-based journalist Samanth Subramanian’s new book This Divided Island is an invitation to take part.
Naples, Italy
Kindly contributed by Bonnie Alberts, who presents this amuse-bouche from the award winning Napoli Unplugged Guide to Naples. This new guide to one of the oldest cities in Western Europe shines a light on an under explored city, Naples, Italy. Written by longtime expat Bonnie and fellow authors Barbara Zaragoza and Penny Ewles-Bergeron, who love to wax lyrical about their adoptive city, the Napoli Unplugged Guide will make you feel you’re seeing Naples through the eyes of your best friends.
In Other Words
Language can be seen as a barrier to travel, or it can be part of the adventure. For Jhumpa Lahiri, author of bestselling short story collections and novels like Interpreter of Maladies and The Namesake, it is the latter. In her latest book Lahiri abandons not only her preferred genre of fiction but even the comfort of the English language and embarks on a new journey to document, in Italian, the process of learning a language.
The Geography of Genius
"True genius is inexhaustible," writes Eric Weiner, "the ghosts of Michelangelo and Leonardo and Botticelli and all the rest hang in the air, like a San Francisco fo­g. You'd think it would have burned off by now, five hundred years later, but it hasn't." In his new work of popular journalism, The Geography of Genius, the former NPR correspondent explores seven world cities and explains how genius loci (the spirit of the place) fostered great human achievement.