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 (californiatravelguide.travel). He lives with his family on Telegraph Hill in San Francisco.

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 2019-03-06T09:06:54-08:00

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 2019-03-01T14:24:35-08:00

Billy Gogan Sequel Launches Spring Books

We’re getting a jump on spring with the publication of Billy Gogan, Gone fer Soldier, book two in the Billy Gogan series from Solas House Fiction. Follow Billy’s adventures as he flees New York and joins the army and lands in the Mexican-American War where he becomes an aide to the young officer Ulysses S. Grant. Later this spring look for Strange Tales of World Travel by Gina and Scott Gaille (with a foreword by Don George), who recount fifty of the most amazing stories they’ve been told in travels to more than 100 countries. Then get ready for The Girl Who Said No, Natalie Galli’s exploration of Sicily in search of the woman who broke a 1000-year-old Sicilian tradition by refusing to marry her abductor.

Solas Awards Winners Announced

Congratulations to the winners of the Thirteenth Annual Solas Awards for Best Travel Story of the Year. Grand Prize winner David Robinson collected $1000 for “The Mystery of the Sahara,” his poignant evocation of a place and a person both shrouded in mystery. Matthew Félix won the silver award and $750 for “The Citroën and the Pomegranate,” his engaging account of an astonishing set of coincidences on his travels from Istanbul to Barcelona to Hvar. Sivani Babu took the bronze and $500 for “The House on KVR Swamy Road,” her moving reflection on family life and the passage of time on a visit to her grandparents’ house in Rajahmundry, India.

Billy Gogan Sequel Launches Spring Books 2019-03-14T14:45:52-08:00

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 2018-08-01T12:28:06-08:00

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 2018-04-27T15:33:12-08:00