Larry Habegger

About Larry Habegger

Larry Habegger, executive editor of Travelers’ Tales, has visited more than fifty countries and six of the seven continents, traveling from the Arctic to equatorial rainforests, the Himalayas to the Dead Sea. In the 1980s he coauthored mystery serials for the San Francisco Examiner with James O’Reilly, and for thirty-one years wrote a syndicated newspaper column, “World Travel Watch.” Habegger regularly teaches travel writing at workshops and writers’ conferences, is a principal of the Prose Doctors (prosedoctors .com), and editor of the Travel Guide to California, an annual magazine ( He lives with his family on Telegraph Hill in San Francisco.

A Hard Place to Leave Wins a Lowell Thomas Award

Marcia DeSanctis's probing, evocative, and transporting memoir was honored with the prestigious 2023 Lowell Thomas Award. A Hard Place to Leave took the bronze award in the Travel Book category. Restless to leave, eager to return: this memoir in essays captures the unrelenting pull between the past and the present, between traveling the world and staying home.

Melissa Febos in The New York Times had this to say about the book: “Intrepid and empathetic, gifted with the dispassionate gaze of a born observer…a  harmonious collage of worldview and character, a wunderkammer of experiences in a life fully lived.”

Congratulations, Marcia!

A Hard Place to Leave Wins a Lowell Thomas Award2023-09-13T11:44:41-07:00

Ambush on the Cumberland Plateau

travelers-talesBy Brian Reisinger

Grand Prize Silver Winner in the Seventeenth Annual Solas Awards

A hunting trip in America’s original colonial backwoods was supposed to be full of lessons for his 12-year-old nephew.

We were deep in rural Tennessee when the rain came. It was light and so quick that the sun was still out, and it danced in the sunlight as we drove on, coming and going. It was hard to tell whether the rain was just starting and stopping, or whether we were traveling through different pockets of a land with secrets. That land was the historic Cumberland Plateau, and we had come to this high wooded country to hunt wild hogs.  [Read more]
Ambush on the Cumberland Plateau2023-04-09T20:55:08-07:00

The Weight of Paradise

travelers-talesBy Cherene Sherrard

Grand Prize Gold Winner in the Seventeenth Annual Solas Awards

(this essay originally appeared in Hidden Compass)


Given the picture-perfect day, the narrow Oahu beach was peculiarly empty. A pair of newlyweds had the entire panorama as backdrop for their wedding photos. Far from shore, streaks of cirrus clouds formed a cross in a cobalt sky that met the white foam of the break. The rainbow arcs of parasails spun their stick figure riders like marionettes.

The water was the aqua blue of my dreams, but I couldn’t enjoy it. Turning away from the waves, I kept my eyes fixed on the bride and groom as they cycled through predictable romantic postures. We didn’t say a word, but I could feel my husband watching them, too. We were steeling ourselves — for the unpredictability of the water, and for the challenge that awaited us there. [Read more]
The Weight of Paradise2023-07-01T23:56:08-07:00

Winners of the Seventeenth Annual Solas Awards

The Travelers’ Tales editors and this year’s guest judge Scott Dominic Carpenter are proud to announce the winners of the Seventeenth Annual Solas Awards for Best Travel Story of the Year. Grand Prize winner Cherene Sherrard collected $1000 and the gold award for “The Weight of Paradise,” her moving tale about surfing while Black off the beaches of Oahu, Hawaii. Brian Reisinger won the silver award and $750 for “Ambush on the Cumberland Plateau,” his multigenerational story about hunting wild hogs in Appalachia. Pier Nirandara took the bronze award and $500 for “To the Young Mom on Flight 1122,” her tale about a trip to South Africa that is marked by grief. Here’s the complete list of winners.
Winners of the Seventeenth Annual Solas Awards2023-03-15T03:38:38-07:00

To the Young Mom on Flight 1122

travelers-talesBy Pier Nirandara

Grand Prize Bronze Winner in the Seventeenth Annual Solas Awards

Fourteen hours, five passengers, three seats, two longed-for countries, one memorial.

You shuffle down the aisle, toddler in tow, before plopping down in the middle seat beside me. Already flustered from the delayed flight and whatever connection you had to make, strands of hair escape down the sides of your face, framing brows downturned at the corners. Your expression crumples ruefully as you apologize profusely in advance: it was to be a long 14 hours, especially with your child in your lap. I smile politely—but the gesture quickly drops when your husband closes the aisle seat, armed with another child, a newborn.
To the Young Mom on Flight 11222023-03-14T17:55:16-07:00