Slept badly. Up at 3AM. But who cares—I have new travel plans, more travel plans, scary travel plans. I have email exchanges going with Russia, Mongolia and Kazakhstan. And texting and phone calls with my lovely T. to go visit the Virginia Tech campus with her—one of the schools she’s considering for her masters. And my birthday present from San Diego son is a plane ticket for a week with him ending… Read More

Preparing to publish the book of Time and Place 2013 and 2014. A small explanation is in order to account for the inclusion of the next few posts—all written in 2015. Confusing I know but here’s the reason. Through January and February, 2015 I was still writing mostly about past travels (although not entirely) so it seems logical to go ahead and include them here…then to launch the next volume of these travel… Read More

THIS WAS FALL 2013; NOW AT THE END OF 2014 I AM FINALLY FIGURING OUT WHERE I WANT DANCE IN MY LIFE—WITH FRIENDS. “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” Thank you Susan Sontag. My sentiments exactly. Time and Place (mneset.me) is my favorite blog. The oldest and, even to me, most interesting. The sad thing is I cannot travel all of the time so how to write interestingly about… Read More

Travel out among the glaciers and to the outlines of those original Viking farms, hiking among mountains, sheer walls of ice, not a Starbucks in sight. AND. Out onto to the steppes, ride a camel, spend a night in a ger, walkabout among the mountains and Mongolian ponies and a sheep or thousand. No Starbucks here either. AND. Norway. AND. Lapland. AND. Beijing. AND. South Korea. AND. A stopover in Latvia for… Read More

Little souvenir I picked up in Estonia. Seems right as I plan a Siberian train trip. In Minnesota, on VERY cold days, we always said, ‘my god, it’s just like Siberia out there today.’ The only other thing we knew about Russia was that it was a VERY big and VERY scary place. Now it’s 2014 and Russia is still very cold, big and could be considered just a little bit scary…. Read More

I am writing a book called “Up North.” Really. But more about that later. Today’s Up North is about next summer. Minnesota, Greenland, Lapland, Norway, Siberia. When I feel even a little disgruntled or worried or bored during the course of the day—I sneak a few minutes on a web site named “The Man in Seat Sixty-One,” the Trans-Siberian Railway section. It is brilliant site. It is inspirational. It is the stuff… Read More

The lime green suitcase still decorated with a sticker from my first trip to Rwanda is open and waiting for me to load the essentials of life on the road. Small suitcase, almost five weeks, a challenge. There is nothing more detrimental to the journey than a big awkward bag. Granted, I will not be traveling alone, but no need to burden my fellow travelers with Granny’s suitcase!  My too-heavy backpack with… Read More

IT IS 2014 AND A VERY GOOD YEAR IS UNDERWAY. ROAD SONGS One of the BEST things about road trips is that you can PACK AS MUCH AS YOU WANT. I need road songs. I didn’t take care of my DVDs and now they are scratched and melted and all used up. But I need road songs because Friday I AM ON MY WAY TO CALIFORNIA. Not so many travels this year… Read More

The moments after the moments Hotel El Farouk  Crankiness is a basic travel mood as anyone who has ever read Paul Theroux knows. Ah yes, there is that first euphoria of discovering the fabled River Niger flows by your window and the smells and sounds of an African city are just outside your door. (That would mainly be exhaust and honking horns but who’s counting except for these bad mood moments).  Remember… Read More

To travel widely is to feel at home in the world—at least this is the effect travel is having on me. Growing up in an isolated cabin in the snows of Minnesota apparently instilled in me a deep desire to connect with the rest of the world—to areas as different from Koochiching County as possible such as the African continent—and to places quite similar such as  Norway and my heritage—then on to… Read More