An American Abroad

Kuala Lumpur: Photo Edits

When I returned to America after two years abroad, I brought back thousands of photos. Some of these I hastily edited and published on this blog, but the vast majority have never seen the light of day.

My good friend Lori Seubert convinced me to let her edit some of my photos. She has an amazing eye; she sees things in my pictures that I do not, and her editing skills allow her to bring them out. Here, then are her edits of her favorite photos of Kuala Lumpur, which I took in June of 2014.

Trump: Ya Got Trouble

Not long after the video of the Gilbert & Sullivan parody I wrote about Kim Davis hit the interwebs, I was again contacted by Richard Kraft. This time, he offered me a commission to write a parody about Donald Trump set to a song in The Music Man by … [Continue reading]

Bucket Lists Trivialize Travel

There isn't anything uniquely awful about this article that pushed me over the edge into rant mode. In fact, by avoiding the hackneyed and cliched term "bucket list" in favor of the hackneyed and cliched term "trips of a lifetime," it actually got … [Continue reading]

Hong Kong 2010: Signs of the Times

I have a habit of photographing signs when I travel. I find that they often communicate far more than their text conveys. So continuing with my series of the photos I took from an October 2010 trip to Hong Kong, here are some signs I saw there, … [Continue reading]

Hong Kong 2010: HK Museum of History

In the fall of 2010, I took my first trip to Hong Kong and fell in love with the city. I wasn't maintaining a travel blog then. I recently dug out my photos and notes from that trip and am posting them here. … [Continue reading]

Kim Davis’s Song

Earlier this month, I was sitting on the sofa reading news accounts of the Kentucky county clerk, Kim Davis, who refused to do her job and issue marriage licenses to people in her county. She was opposed to same-sex marriage, of course, but to be … [Continue reading]

My Travel Essays & Articles

In the last two years, I've had various articles and essays published by the Village Voice of Ottawa Hills, my hometown's monthly newspaper. They have graciously permitted me to repost those pieces here. Your Miserable Life Will Soon Be … [Continue reading]

Nicaragua 2008: The Buses of San Carlos

After a remarkable visit to El Castillo, Spencer and I caught another riverboat, this one going upriver back to San Carlos. We went directly to the bus station and bought tickets for Managua. While we waited, we drank sodas and watched ancient, … [Continue reading]

Nicaragua 2008: The Tributaries of the Rio San Juan

Continuing my reminiscences of a journey my son and I took to Granada and El Castillo in 2008 . . . In El Castillo, Spencer and I inquired around town and found a native-born naturalist with a canoe who agreed to take us deeper into the jungle on … [Continue reading]

40 Books That Made Me a Traveler — Part 3

The authors of the books featured this week have distinctive voices, the kind you can identify from a single paragraph. There's the amphetamine-fueled Beat Generation prose of Jack Kerouac. The media-drenched flat affect of Alex Garland. The … [Continue reading]