A Year of Blessings

2014 was a busy year for me, and I was fortunate to land many of my pieces in well-respected publications. That was a blessing in itself. One can imagine, therefore, how honored I felt when I found out that my work published last year won several awards.

Corvina fans take note: Love, Death, and Protein,” my first piece for On A Junket, won a bronze medal (Travel and Food category) in the 2015 Travelers’ Tales Solas Awards.

The Death of the Red Devils,” a tale about the now-defunct hand-painted buses of Panama City, won a silver medal in the Solas Awards’ Culture and Ideas category (the piece previously won Transitions Abroad’s 2014 Travel Writing Competition).

Sending a bright message that we should all be eating more lionfish, my piece about said invasive species in Belize, appearing in Roads & Kingdoms last year, won a gold medal in the Solas Awards’ Animal Encounter category. This was after I was notified that National Geographic Traveller extracted the piece when they chose Roads & Kingdoms as one of their favorite travel blogs for the month of November 2014. (Make that “favourite,” because Nat Geo Traveller is published in the UK.) The piece also recently appeared in the compilation Adventures of a Lifetime: Travel Tales from Around the World (World Traveler Press), released in January.

Meanwhile, in the North American Travel Journalist Association Awards, alongside such writers as Andrew Zimmern, Anja Mutic, Tim Leffel, Michael Luongo, and Andrew McCarthy, I was awarded a bronze medal for my piece “Istria’s Edible Empires” that appeared in Unmapped Magazine.

Congratulations to all the winners! A complete list of the Travelers’ Tales Solas Awards winners can be found here, and the NATJA winners’ list appears here.

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Albino Critter Alert: Going Off the Deep End

Looking up at the surface, roughly 300 feet above us.
My lowest point. Literally, that is.

Here is the story of my journey to a depth of 2,000 feet underwater in a homemade submarine off the coast of Honduras’ Roatan Island. It’s a planet within a planet down there.

The piece, my first with Narratively, is part of a travel series in partnership with Expedia, and is accompanied by stunning pics taken by the venerable Lia Barrett.

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“Each of us is one key of a keyboard.”

Annai runway, Annai, Guyana

Meet the Makushi, a First Nation whose population of 15,000 straddles three South American countries and has withstood many challenges to its culture. In “Playing the Right Chord in the Rupununi,” my latest piece for Unmapped, I catch up with one of the Makushi’s community leaders and discuss how the Makushi of Guyana are dealing with mining companies and the influence of their larger neighbor to the south, Brazil.

Oh, and you’ll also encounter the Double Wheel Meat Shop and Disco, a cabbie named Rasta, and a sprinkling of reggae-flavored Christmas carols.

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Fur for Thought

Just in case you haven’t had your fill of alpacas…

Here are the extra photos for my article “Touching the money fur in Prince Edward Island” that appeared in the San Diego Reader a few weeks back. All shots were taken at Green Gable Alpacas on Prince Edward Island.

Outtakes, you say? No, there are no outtakes when talking about super furry alpacas.

curious alpaca

curous alpaca

Grizwald the llama and Janet Ogilvie.
Okay, this one is a llama, not an alpaca. Grizwald is quite the foodie when it comes to apples–he turns up his snout at mealy red delicious, while he favors the well-balanced sweetness and tartness of golden delicious.

Two-week-old Izzy.

Janet Ogilvie shows us Keswick.

Meet Keswick.

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Adventures of a Lifetime: Travel Tales from Around the world - Janna Graber (ed)

This is a sweet way to start off the new year…

My story on Belize’s lionfish invasion, published in Roads & Kingdoms last July, was recently chosen by World Traveler Press to appear in their anthology of adventure travel stories! Just released today, Adventures of a Lifetime: Travel Tales from Around the World, edited by award-winning travel journalist Janna Graber, also contains great pieces by Kimberly Lovato, Bruce Northam, James Michael Dorsey and almost twenty other brilliant travel writers to satisfy your travel story fix.

The compilation is available now on Amazon (paperback and Kindle) and Barnes & Noble.

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