In the Birks O' Aberfeldy, Perthshire, Scotland

The days are getting longer. Light seeps back into the world, slowly, inch by inch and day by day. We are cataloguing and packaging up the past year, wiping away tears for the lost ones and celebrating the continuation of our heart fires. But there is a chill in the air from something other than these late December nights.

A dark road unfurls ahead and we are walking on it together, whether we like it or not. The modern world can seem like a terrible place beset upon by our darkest demons if you take it all in. What we see on the news, hear on the radio, and read in papers is humanity at its worst… Read more...

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The Antibes coast, Côte d'Azur, France

A few days ago I woke up at the crack of dawn unaided, drove to Chicago, boarded a plane to Dublin, spent the better part of a morning in Dublin’s terminal 2, made a turbulent jaunt to Nice, and managed to take approximately 15 wrong turns through the Côte d’Azur hills before arriving to Golfe-Juan outside Cannes. Gone were the blooming oaks and fields of trilliums around Madison. Now I walked along Golfe-Juan’s vieux port beneath palms jostled by a fractious Mediterranean wind.

Twenty-six hours to spin the globe. My head is still spinning. Modern travel is such a complex experience, and I doubt it will ever get better or worse than this… Read more...

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Weapons of Scottish Wars

Last month marked six years of Traveling Savage. Six years! I wrote my first post here on December 13, 2009, almost a year from the date I intended to leave my corporate job. It was a cringe-worthy, rambling manifesto that began a year of philosophical writings on travel intended more to keep me motivated than to satisfy my readers — I had no readers! I wrote in the evenings after work as a test to see if I could stick with a blog, and if I couldn’t then perhaps I didn’t believe enough in the idea. But I did stick with it, and as my departure date approached my pragmatic and soul-blasted selves tangled in an exhausting cage match of fear, anxiety, hope, and excitement. I was leaping into…into what? Read more...

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Hiking through Glen Coe, Lochaber, Scotland

I returned from three weeks in Europe this past Monday. It was mostly a vacation, a gluttonous couple of weeks staggering through searing southern Spain on dirt-cheap wine and free tapas followed by a lush, wet week in the highlands of Scotland with friends from the other side of the world.

The trip was also the perfect milestone to force me to finish the first draft of my novel (I did) and forget about it (I mostly did) so I could return to it with analytical, editor eyes in place of creative, writer eyes. Interesting fact: I have two sets of eyes.

In between the gallons of wine, horns of whisky… Read more...

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Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Today is the one-year anniversary of Traveling Savage. It’s also my first weekday back in the States after a month in Argentina. The light doesn’t last long here, the snows are high, and I’ve managed to catch my first cold of the season – sounds like the perfect recipe for a little reflection and crystal ball-gazing. Read more...

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