Editors’ Choice

Editors’ Choice Articles

The Citroën and the Pomegranate

travelers-talesBy Matthew Félix

Grand Prize Silver Winner in the Thirteenth Annual Solas Awards

I’ve traveled extensively. But you’d never know it from the looks of my apartment. Between an almost obsessive insistence on traveling light—never carrying more than one backpack, which fits into any overhead bin—and a general aversion to accumulating things, I hardly ever bring back mementos from the road. That’s what made my attraction to the pomegranates all the more peculiar.

The Citroën and the Pomegranate 2019-03-06T09:06:54+00:00

The Mystery of the Sahara

travelers-talesBy David Robinson

Grand Prize Winner of the Thirteenth Annual Solas Awards

In 1965, I was driven across the Sahara by a woman whose real name I never knew. I’ve been trying to find her ever since. I was working in Nigeria at the time. In West Africa, even if you never see the actual Sahara, you are always conscious of its presence to the north. During the winter months, the desert asserts itself through the Harmatan winds that kick up dust storms and cause dry skin, hacking coughs, and chills among the populace as well as vivid sunsets. But in any season, just to see a Hausa man on the street is to feel the pull of the desert.

The Mystery of the Sahara 2019-03-01T14:24:35+00:00

Mideast Uprising

travelers-talesBy Sharon Kreider

Travel Memoir Gold winner of the Twelfth Annual Solas Awards

Before the internet, Google, or cellphones, the journey overland from Europe to Asia took time, ingenuity, and more than a little courage. Travel through Turkey, Iran, and Syria can be difficult today but was especially challenging for a young, white twenty-year-old woman touring these regions alone in the 1970s.

In February 1977, I found myself stuck at Gubulak, the border crossing from Turkey into Iran. Johan, someone I met in Greece, and I had been turned away from a Syrian boundary a few weeks earlier. Naively, we thought a bus service would just be there. Not only did such a thing not exist, but Iran had travel bans from sunset to sunrise. I was also completely unaware that civil resistance had commenced in Iran which led to the Islamic Revolution and the overthrow of the Pahlavi dynasty under Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi or 'the Shah.' I didn't see another woman anywhere.

Mideast Uprising 2018-08-01T12:28:06+00:00

Hung, the Boat Woman of Hue

travelers-talesBy Maxine Rose Schur

Most Unforgettable Character Silver winner in the Twelfth Annual Solas Awards

I raised the expectation, You shook your head sadly. Like fish in water and fowl in the air It’s not easy to meet… I saw you off on your way And felt hundreds of jumbled feelings. —Nguyen Binh (1918-1966)

For years I had loved the words “Perfume River.” I imagined sailing down this Vietnam waterway of which I knew nothing. I imagined it smelled gorgeous and the experience would be one of romance and poetry. That’s why on my single day in Hue, the ancient, imperial capital of Vietnam, the first thing I did was to inquire how to take a boat ride on the Perfume River.

Hung, the Boat Woman of Hue 2018-04-27T15:33:12+00:00

Finding the House My Father Built

travelers-talesBy May Gee

Elder Travel Bronze winner of the Twelfth Annual Solas Awards

A few thin, gray hairs skimmed the top of the elderly man’s pointed head, just like my father’s hair used to on his. Faint crinkles touched the skin around the old man’s eyes and deep creases ran from the edge of his nostrils to the outsides of his lips. All that was missing was a chest-length wispy mustache and goatee, and he could have been one of the Eight Immortals from Chinese mythology.

Finding the House My Father Built 2018-04-27T14:58:17+00:00