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YA Eco Mysteries, Memoirs, Novels & Travel


Travel Photos Capture Memories

Tips for Capturing Travel Photos

A camera is a save button for the mind’s eye.

Even the most brilliant travel memories fade over time, yet we find great pleasure in reliving and sharing them. To keep these memories alive, we might purchase souvenirs or postcards, collect objects, keep travel journals, or sketch scenes. For me, the best way to capture and to share these precious moments is through pictures. In addition, I
write travel books and travel blogs to record the experiences that may magically weave their way into my stories.

Gorges, Port Campbell
Loch Ard Gorge, site of the 19th century shipwreck of 'Loch Ard' Port Campbell (Boris Datnow) Read More...

Travel Inspires Writing

“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” – Maya Angelou

Travel Inspires Writers Claire Datnow

Writers have felt the creative benefits of travel. Ernest Hemingway, for example, drew inspiration from his time in Spain and France. Aldous Huxley, the author of
Brave New World, moved from the U.K. to the U.S. in his 40s. Mark Twain, after sailing around the Mediterranean in 1869, wrote in his travelogue Innocents Abroad that travel is “fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness. Read More...

Passionate Traveler iBooks Enhance Travel

Best Travel iBooks Enhance Travel Experience

A traveler bombarded by new experiences can easily become overwhelmed by the exhilarating rush that travel can bring. The best way to boost your sense of wonder and delight is to remain open to new experiences— to connect with them on a human level.

The Passionate Traveler the Iberian Peninsula

Here are some practical ways, excerpted from The Passionate Traveler iBooks, which will enhance your travels—before, during and after the trip. Read More...

Solo Paddling River Trails

Laurie Chandler Kayaks the Northern Forest Canoe Trail

It is my pleasure and honor to introduce Laurie Chandler as my guest blogger. In the summer of 2015, Laurie Chandler became the first woman to solo paddle the entire 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail, at the age of 53.

Laurie Chandler Paddling

She holds degrees in Biology and Forest Productivity from Albright College and Duke University and worked for many years in the field of forest genetics. A lifelong learner, Laurie returned to Kutztown University in 2001 to study elementary education and is now pursuing a second career in special education at her local K-8 public school. After moving to Maine in 2003, she began exploring the lakes and rivers there in her first kayak and discovered a new passion, wilderness paddling. Embracing a simpler life, Laurie now lives in her parents' log home in Bremen, Maine, within four miles of five lovely lakes. She has two grown and freshly-independent children living in Virginia, a daughter who is a graphic designer and a son who is a firefighter. Life is good and every day is a gift. Read More...

The Passionate Traveler Prince Christian Sound

Cruising Prince Christian Sound, Greenland

Travels with Claire and Boris Datnow

Imagine slurping down thick, steaming-hot Dutch green pea soup on the deck of a luxury liner, gliding between sheer granite cliffs billions of years old. The sun, streaming down from a rare cloudless sky, mirrors the reflections of jagged peaks and snow-filled valleys in the calm water of Prince Christian Sound.

PC #1 BD

7 Best Places on the Iberian Peninsula

Galicia and Andalusia, Spain

1. The medieval towns of A Coruña (in Galician)/La Coruña, Betanzos, Vigo, and Baiona/Bayona are rich in the history and culture of this region.
Climb the Tower of Hercules, the lighthouse at the entrance to A Coruña, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built in the second century, it is the oldest Greco-Roman lighthouse constantly in use and the oldest existing lighthouse in the world.

A Caruna 1

Singapore A Futuristic City Updated

Singapore A Futuristic City
No doubt about it, Singapore has transformed itself into an impressive, vibrant and modern tourists mecca that rivals the Asian cities of Hong Kong, Manila and Shanghai. Indeed, on a recent visit to Singapore, the huge scale and creativity of Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay made me feel as if I were stepping into a futuristic science fiction city. The most outstanding transformation is the skyline of the Central Business District with Marina Bay as the centerpiece. The stunning Marina Bay Sands hotel, casino, and shopping complex, designed by renowned architect Moshe Safide, pierces the skyline with three soaring towers joined by a gleaming sky terrace that resembles a spaceship docked atop the skyscraper. To add to the glamour, the world’s longest elevated swimming pool floats on the top. For more information: Moshe Safdie. Read More...

Traveling Rough and Ready

Basic Necessities: Toilets and Showers


It is my pleasure to introduce Rhoda Lurie, fearless traveler and treasure hunter par excellence, as my guest blogger. Over her long career, Rhoda traveled to 75 countries around the world, in particular under developed countries including Papua New Guinea, Africa, Vietnam, and South America to mention just a few. Once there she journeyed to remote villages to meet with artists in their studios and shops to see firsthand how they created beautiful traditional arts and crafts of the region.


Best 5 Norweigian Cities and Fjords

Highlights of Norway

Norway is, without doubt, one of the most rewarding, beautiful and relaxing places to visit. Nestled between gorgeous mountains and breathtaking fjords, Norwegian cities are charming, historic, and easy to explore on foot. Here are just a sample of the best places to visit. For more detailed information you can download: The Passionate Traveler: Highlights of Norway — from the iBooks Store.

Highlights of Norway


Alesund and Sunnmore

Ålesund & Sunnmøre Magical Highlights

For me, the most magical cruising experience is to wake early in the morning and find myself in enchanting, new surroundings. The spectacular setting of Ålesund is just such a place, nestling on small islands, surrounded by fjords, and framed by the high peaks of the Sunnmøre Alps.
Perched on a fishhook-shaped peninsula, its harbor shelters Norways largest cod-fishing fleet.

Alesund 3_tonemapped

Travel Agents Gifts

Books for Travel Agents to Give as Gifts

Travel agents know the value of rewarding clients with gifts. Thoughtful small mementos from a cruise, or tour, your clients book are always appreciated.Travel books, make excellent promotional gifts, bon voyage presents, or holiday remembrances.

Chair Obidos

Geirangerfjord Travel Blog

Fjords, Mount Dalsnibba, Geiranger
The world famous Geirangerfjord with its sheer rock walls and tumbling waterfalls is justifiably listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We got up early to enjoy the fjord in the tranquil early morning sunrise.

Fjord G 1 copy

I’d imagined the landscape to be dominated by ice and glaciers, but as it was summer, lush, green forests cloaked the fjords, and waterfalls—formed by the melting, snow-capped mountains—gushed down the cliffs. Standing on deck with a 360-degree view of fjord on either side, I sensed the dark pull of the abyss, the powerful force of the rapids, and savored the untamed beauty of the landscape. Nearing Geiranger, colorfully painted houses, dotted the steep hillsides. Higher up we could see abandoned cliff-top farms.

Bergen Travel Blog

Bergen, Fjords, Cod Fish, and the Hanseatic League

As our ship glided between the cliffs of the Norway Fjord, we gathered on the deck to begin our journey deep into the interior to the port of Bergen, proclaimed as the Gateway to the Norwegian Fjords. As Boris pivoted from one side of the deck to the other attempting to capture the beauty in images, purple prose rushed through my head: rugged, majestic, crystalline cliffs, charming villages nestled on the hillside, breathtaking panoramas, serene forests, shimmering reflections, forbidding granite walls, plunging, lacey waterfalls . . .. Then my mind emptied. I just stood there, letting the magic flow over me!

Geringer Fjord

Armchair Travel via Online Books

Armchair Travel with iBooks
Today the Internet offers a huge resource for travel inspiration. Just by searching for “Travel Blog” or “Armchair Travel” sites like pop up, listing a wide variety of travel books. These include popular travel writers like Bill Bryson and Paul Theroux, and even Alexander McCall Smith, author of the N. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, which takes place in Botswana. For more suggestions on favorite armchair travel writers visit: Take Me Armchair Traveling Read More...

Best Online Travel iBooks

How to Choose Online Travel Books

Chinese Latern

Before you travel it’s definitely worthwhile selecting travel guides to help you get the most enjoyment and value out of your trip. Best of all, you are now no longer limited to traditional print books. My recommendation is that you first download samples from the ibook store
with the blue label that says Made for iBooks. Read More...

How to Enhance Travel Experiences

How to Enhance Travel Experience:
Passionate Traveler iBooks

Never lose your sense of wonder; that’s the best way to get the most out of your travels. A traveler bombarded by a world of new experiences can easily become overloaded, stop paying attention, or stop feeling the rush of exhilaration that travel can bring. Whether it’s an outer adventure or a journey of inner reflections, never loose your sense of wonder. For me, a sense of wonder includes not only delight and surprise at the novelty of a place, but also a way to be emotionally open to experiences— to connect with them on a human level. On my exploration of Singapore, for example, I was amazed by modern day Singapore, yet I understood something else was going on below the glitzy surface. In The Passionate Traveler: Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia (Vol. 2 ) I write:  Read More...

eBook Travel Guides

eBook Travel Guides to The Eastern Caribbean and Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia
No doubt about it, Travel eBooks, or iBooks, are becoming so popular that even

View of Singapore from Marina Bay

Christopher Columbus Monument in Seville

Christopher Columbus Tomb

Tomb of Chritopher C jpg


Rotterdam Bikes Dykes Modern Cubes

Rotterdam: Bikes, Dykes, and Modern Cubes

Usually, we don’t suffer from jet lag when flying east to west. So after a nine hour flight east from Atlanta, we arrived in Amsterdam, Holland, at 8 a.m. the next morning ready to go exploring. A chauffeur, in a Mercedes, waited to whisk us off to Rotterdam where we would board our cruise ship. As we drove across flat fields, we sighted of our first windmill under a lowering sky.

Kinderdyke 4tonemapped

 Our driver—who spoke good English as do most Dutch—explained that Holland, or the Netherlands, is in a never-ending battle with water. Dykes, sluices, canals, pumps, windmills and modern floodgates hold back the numerous rivers draining into the sea, and the sea washing back into the land. Yet, meandering through the city you don’t have a sense that so much of the land is reclaimed let alone below sea level. As soon as we checked into the hotel, we dumped our baggage, and, as our room wasn’t ready, set out to explore the city. A sudden happy jing, jing! made me jump to the side as a biker swerved around me. Read More...

Phuket and Phang Nga Bay Thailand

Phuket, Thailand

Phan Ngh Bay

I am a Passionate Traveler who asks questions and digs below the surface of the places I visit to get the most our of the experience. Here’s my take on Phuket. Our ship dropped anchor just off the beach resort of Phuket—know worldwide for the horrific tsunami that swept the town, and the surrounding area, away in 2004. As we trudged across the sand on the beachfront in the bright morning sun, I could not stop searching for remnants of the devastation, or from thinking about the thousands who had died here.


Bali The Dream and The Reality

Bali The Dream and The Reality
Visions of magic places on our bucket list float in our heads even if we are only dimly aware of them. I imagined Bali with pristine beaches framed by swaying palms, and bathed in sunlight radiating from a pure blue sky. In reality, as our tour bus rumbled along the highway from Bali’s port of Benoa, the tropical paradise I envisioned was nowhere to be seen. Instead, mundane shopping strips with old houses jammed in between, and heavy traffic with scooters buzzing everywhere.
Baili Mundane

Unexpected MacDonalds in Benoa, Bali


Tropical Island of Penang Malaysia

Tropical Island of Penang Malaysia
Penang is an island in Malaysia's north, not far from the Thailand border. George Town is the capital of the state of Penang in Malaysia (also spelt Georgetown). Penang’s mosaic of cultures, languages and religions can be clearly seen in the old heart of the city called Colonial George Town, and named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2007. A fascinating fusion of East and West, George Town's heritage is testimony to more than a century and a half of British rule fused with Malay, Chinese and Indian traditions. The shophouses are still both shops and homes.

Penang view
George Town, Penang, Malaysia


The Passionate Traveler Lombok Indonesia

After the metropolitan glamour of Singapore, Lombok, Indonesia by contrast offers a more unspoiled beauty and a glimpse into authentic traditions that are still followed. While some of our fellow travelers were disappointed in Lombok, I was happy to see an island less commercialized than Bali (see more about Bali on the next Blog). We took a bus ride to the north part of the island up to our destination, the Sendang Gila Waterfall in Mt. Rinjani National Park. At our first stop, Senggigi Beach, we partook of tea and assorted sticky rice sweets in banana and bamboo leaves. Read More...

Kuala Lampur from shanty town to metropolis

Kuala Lampur

KL from Communications tower
Kuala Lampur, the federal capital of Malaysia with a population of around 1.5 million people.

About a half hour’s drive from Kuala Lampur brings you to a towering series of caves in an ancient limestone cliff known as Batu Caves.


Singapore A Multi Racial Nation

Singapore a Multi-Racial and Multi-Religious Nation
On a recent visit to Singapore I could sense that Singaporeans take pride in the racial and religious tolerance enshrined in their constitution.  The Chinese are the majority and follow Buddhism mixed with elements of Chinese folklore. Most Malays are Muslim. Indians are mostly Hindus while a smaller percentage are Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Christians. This interesting multicultural background is clearly evident as one strolls thorough the distinct old ethnic neighborhoods like Little India, Chinatown, and Kampong Glam. See: The Passionate Traveler: Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia
 Passionate Traveler Asia

Komodo National Park Indonesia

Komodo National Park

KNP Island

Like many of you, I’ve seen pictures and videos of the Komodo dragon, or lizard (Varanus komodoensis), but since it lives on the remote island of Indonesia thousands of miles away from my home in Birmingham, Alabama, I never imagined that I would have a chance to see this awesome creature in real life.