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YA Eco Mysteries, Memoirs, Novels & Travel

The passionate traveler

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.


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.


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...