About Larry HabeggerLarry 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 (californiatravelguide.travel). He lives with his family on Telegraph Hill in San Francisco.
By 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.
TT has said goodbye to our beloved colleague Sean O’Reilly, who died of cancer December 6 at the age of 70. As editor-at-large for Travelers’ Tales since the 1990s, Sean helped develop and edit many books, and he was instrumental in managing the annual Solas Awards for Best Travel Story of the Year from their inception in 2006. His favorite travels took him to the South Pacific, Malaysia, China, Australia, New Zealand, and all over Europe. Outside the travel writing world he wrote a number of controversial books on men’s behavior and society, including How to Manage Your D.I.C.K; Authority, Creativity and the Third Imperium; God Has Skin in the Game: How a New Understanding of Politics and the Soul Could Change America. He was also an entrepreneur with multiple enterprises in various realms: book distribution, transportation, and online sales. Sean’s humor, strength of will, and eternal pursuit of truth endure in the hearts of his family and friends. He is survived by his wife, five sons, one daughter, six siblings, and dozens of nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, and godchildren.
By Dianne Cheseldine
Travel and Transformation Gold Winner in the Sixteenth Annual Solas Awards
Finding an oasis in the ancient medina of Fez.Only a small plaque indicated the entrance to my riad, Dar Attajalli, meaning House of Transfiguration. The door opened and with one steep step I entered a new world. The young employee, Idris, greeted me with Salaam Alaikum in a soothing voice. He was tall and slender and moved with ease as he crossed the tiled floor of the courtyard. He was casually dressed in blue jeans and a light-colored cotton shirt, sneakers and a baseball cap, his dress contrasting with the old courtyard surrounding me. He lifted my heavy suitcase as if it were weightless and showed me to my room, the only one located on the ground floor. It was more beautiful than I had imagined, dimly lit with a huge bed clothed in an emerald-green spread and amber pillows displaying Berber designs. The floor was covered in carpets and several leather poufs in varying shades of blue, brown and red. The window of my room opened onto the courtyard from where I could contemplate the patterns of the wooden panels aligning the walls. I could hear the soothing sound of the fountain twenty-four hours a day.
By Johnny Motley
Men's Travel Gold Winner in the Sixteenth Annual Solas Awards
Further proof that lives can change in an instant.On the sixth day aboard an Amazonian cargo ship, I spied the faint outline of São Gabriel da Cachoeira from the aft deck. Located deep in the Upper Amazon, São Gabriel held the title of “Most Indigenous City in Brazil,” although “city” was a misnomer: São Gabriel was little more than a village that had sprung up around a Brazilian military base, an outpost intended to secure the nebulous borders between Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela.