Archive for the 'Great Stories' Category

Doing Good or the Kindness of Strangers Gold Winner: Nirvana’s Horizon—Discovering the Soul of the Golden Land as a Buddhist Monk in Myanmar

Monday, April 24th, 2017

By Kevin Dimetres
He was seeking a new level of travel.
The reflection in the mirror was virtually unrecognizable; the spelling of my name remained obscure; what might happen next had become a perpetual mystery.  Before I could make sense of it all, Burgundy-robed monks whisked me away, up a dusty spiral staircase, to their secluded 5th [...]

Bad Trip Silver Winner: White Water Death

Monday, April 17th, 2017

By Steve Gardiner
A drowning in Yosemite National Park
A park ranger on a horse rode up behind Terry Rypkema and me and pleaded for our help. “You have a climbing rope,” she said. “Bring it up to the bridge, please. We have a possible drowning.”
Terry and I had driven from our homes in Wyoming to Yosemite [...]

Elder Travel Gold Winner: The Elevator in Rome

Monday, April 10th, 2017

By Bill Zarchy
Stuck on a hot day.
“I’ve gotta get out of here!” shrieked the voice from the corner. “You don’t understand. I’m claustrophobic!”
It was a warm summer day. Susan and I had boarded an elevator in a poorly air-conditioned archaeological museum in Rome, along with a dozen people from our tour group, and Rachel, our [...]

Family Travel Gold Winner: Making the Great Migration

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

By Sarah Enelow
An American woman makes a pilgrimage to Mississippi, where her black family lived during slavery and segregation, then retraces their 1941 exodus to Detroit by train.
I stared up at a concrete obelisk streaked with black dirt. It bore an etching of a confederate flag and read, “The men were right who wore the [...]

Grand Prize Bronze Winner: The Remnants of War—A Meditation on Peleliu

Monday, March 27th, 2017

By Anna Vodicka
On Peleliu, the roads are paved with coral—a once-living thing, a hardy animal. The coral came from the inland ridges and valleys of this two-by-six-mile speck among specks in the island nation of Palau, in western Micronesia, an almost invisible scene in the shadow of bigger acts in the Pacific, where land itself is [...]

Grand Prize Silver Winner: Bubble-Up

Friday, March 17th, 2017

By Katherine Jamieson
A tropical love story in Guyana.
The one-room schoolhouse rang with the din of teenage girls’ voices in the humid afternoon air. Someone had erased the sentences with their adjectives and nouns underlined from the black wooden slab we used for a chalkboard and scrawled out a rough schedule for the upcoming concert: [...]

Grand Prize Gold Winner: Jordan’s Bull

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

By James Michael Dorsey
A magical day in Mali.
Hippos surfaced with wiggling ears as the boat man poled our dhow past the submerged herd. We were both tense, expecting a bluff charge, while only feet away white pelicans with long golden beaks floated in the shallows casually scooping minnows in their great fleshy pouches. On the [...]

Family Travel Bronze Winner: Bellagio People

Monday, February 27th, 2017

By Suzanne Roberts
Getting naked with your new lover’s family.
Your lover’s family doesn’t like that you’re from California, that you’re only half Jewish (and the wrong half), but most of all, that you’re still married. While nobody seems to question your lover’s decision to have an affair with a married woman, everyone wonders about your lack [...]

Destination Story Bronze Winner: King Cotton

Monday, February 20th, 2017

By Rosemary Davis
A visit to the home of the Mississippi blues.
Sometimes the answers aren’t easy. Driving down endless country roads—seeing nothing but identical rows of crops covering the flat, uneven land, one ponders the meaning of life.
But in one Southern town, the meaning of life can be summed up in two words: cotton and the [...]

Elder Travel Bronze Winner: Driving with Gods

Monday, February 13th, 2017

By Carol J. Arnold
An old gypsy teaches a retired American visitor that getting lost is often the best way to find what you’re looking for.
It came out of nowhere, a horrendous crash like something had dropped from the sky, shattering the passenger window only a few feet from my face. “It’s okay,” my husband Andy [...]

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