Archive for the 'Great Stories' Category

The Trip That Took Me

Thursday, September 3rd, 2020

By Marcie Kaplan Elder Travel Bronze Winner in the Fourteenth Annual Solas Awards The Himalayas helped her find intimacy, faith, and reassurance. I had my first tingly feeling when we were hiking up through woods from a 10,000-foot Himalayan pass to a monastery, and we passed soldiers in camouflage. I expected surprises in Bhutan, a […]

Grand Prize Bronze Winner (tie): Cubana Be, Cubana Bop

Thursday, April 30th, 2020

By Tom Miller The best guitar maker in Cuba. Three events—baseball, Pope Jon Paul’s visit, and the Elián González case—exposed Cuba to the American public far beyond the embargo. Yet it was the improbable success of a handful of aging musicians that exposed a Cuba few knew and expanded the country’s audiences far beyond its […]

Grand Prize Gold Winner: Our Ravaged Lady

Thursday, April 16th, 2020

By Erin Byrne Little by little, his spirit expanded in harmony with the cathedral.—Victor Hugo, The Hunchback of Notre Dame She’s had many lives and here was the burnt offering of another. Notre Dame’s lace spire sizzled and crumbled as it fell, and the gigantic hole it created became a cauldron. Flames, golden to orange […]

Grand Prize Bronze Winner (tie): Dark Train to Cusco

Tuesday, March 31st, 2020

By Chase Nelson A modern-day rescue mission raises questions of life and death. With her husband looking on, we took turns pumping her heart for her, pushing blood to her organs, to her extremities, hoping for a gasp to bring her back, tearful and afraid, from wherever she was now. Technically, they were called compressions. […]

Grand Prize Silver Winner: Love in a Time of Abundance

Monday, March 2nd, 2020

By Amanda Castleman Navigating grief with the Okavango Delta’s last generation of Bushmen hunter-gatherers. When he was 15, Ditshebo “Dicks” Tsima took his spear into the bush. Hunting was still legal in Botswana’s Okavango Delta then, so he could follow an ancient coming-of-age tradition, practiced for around 200,000 years by his people: the Bushmen. Most […]

Almost Blond in Nepal

Monday, May 6th, 2019

By Nancy Bartley Funny Travel Story Gold Winner in the Thirteenth Annual Solas Awards I never asked to look like a female wrestler. You know the blondes in bikinis who toss each other around the ring or wallow wantonly through mud. But then again, maybe my problem simply was a matter of hair color – […]

Nuns on a Train

Monday, April 29th, 2019

By Ashley Seashore Doing Good or the Kindness of Strangers Gold Winner in the Thirteenth Annual Solas Awards Half of my money is in my right shoe. My passport is in my left. The other half of my money is in an envelope in my underwear, and my credit cards, family photos, and one traveler’s […]

Strangers in the Bush

Monday, April 22nd, 2019

By Susan Bloch Destination Story Gold Winner in the Thirteenth Annual Solas Awards I’m traveling into unknown territory with a man I just met. His name is Karl, my safari guide here in Namibia, and we’re driving along a coast shaped by death and diamonds. A coast where shifting sand dunes bury secrets, mysteries, and […]

That Other Hijab Story

Monday, April 15th, 2019

By Maryah Converse Culture and Ideas Gold Winner in the Thirteenth Annual Solas Awards When I tell people that I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Jordan, the response is usually predictable: “Wow. How was that?” How am I supposed to answer that in few enough words that their eyes don’t glaze over? Overwhelming. Amazing. […]

This Never Happens

Monday, April 8th, 2019

By Anne Lowrey Bad Trip Gold Winner in the Thirteenth Annual Solas Awards “Nunca ha pasado aquí,” he repeated. I shrugged as if I didn’t hear him, though I understood every word. “This never happens.” Except it did. I sat silently in the back of the rusted car that was taking me slowly away from […]

Travelers' Tales