Flying Carpet

Toiletry Bag

travelers-tales

By Jennifer Elle Lewis

Eighteenth Annual Solas Awards Bronze Winner in the Women’s Travel category

I spent five days packing a toiletry bag. It was for my first business trip post-baby. I’d already read in the Attachment Parenting Handbook exactly how many days I could be away from my six-month-old before he was irrevocably traumatized, calculated how many times a day I must pump before my milk would dry up, and ordered the most efficient and quietest breast pump for the long journey to New Delhi – but I wasn’t finished packing yet. That damn toiletry bag just wasn’t ready. If only I could get it organized, I’d be ready to go. Read full story
Toiletry Bag2024-03-02T09:25:30-08:00

The Art of Crossing the Street

travelers-tales

By Emma Morrell 

Eighteenth Annual Solas Awards Gold Winner in the Family Travel category

The complete bedlam in Hanoi’s old quarter sent thrills through me, but only from the safety at the edge of the road. Hundreds of motos – bicycles, motorbikes and scooters – dodged around each other on the street in front of my children and me, as if they were weaving an intricate braid. Cheerful tooting and honking intermingled with invisible clouds of exhaust fumes and fragrances of phô broth and fried spring rolls. I couldn’t help but catch my breath and smile. The hum of the city’s motos buzzed through our bodies and fizzed as far as our skin and eyes, making Hanoi everything I had never dared hope it would be. As long as I didn’t have to cross that road. Read full story
The Art of Crossing the Street2024-03-02T09:26:43-08:00

The Tides of War

travelers-tales

By Mike Bernhardt

Eighteenth Annual Solas Awards Gold Winner in the Culture & Ideas category

Our journey began in 1997 with an old, hand-bound book, its thick, padded covers wrapped in light green fabric embroidered with a pattern of cracked glass and flowers. We found it hidden underneath a sweater in Margaret Hansen’s dresser drawer. By the time Margaret died at the age of 103, she had lived through two world wars and survived her children, two husbands, and a 96-year-old boyfriend. Everyone, even her neighbors, called her Oma — German for grandma. Her eyes were gray and piercing but kind. They smiled when she looked at you. Read full story
The Tides of War2024-03-12T18:47:39-07:00

To the Thai Woman Who Touched Me

travelers-tales

By Pier Nirandara

Eighteenth Annual Solas Awards Grand Prize Bronze Winner 

Your hands touch my bare skin. They press, stroke, rub. “Pressure okay?” you say, the English heavily accented. I recognize the intonation immediately. “Khon Thai ka.” The words leave my mouth in a strange way—muffled from the pillow pressed around my face, and rusty from disuse. Your fingers pause. After all, I don’t look Thai. I thought you were Chinese, you respond in our mother tongue. People always think that. It’s because they can’t tell us apart. To them, we’re all the same. Especially here. Read full story
To the Thai Woman Who Touched Me2024-03-22T12:28:55-07:00

The Lessons of Drnc

travelers-tales

Lance Mason

Grand Prize Silver Winner in the Eighteenth Annual Solas Awards

Early August, 1970. Gearing down on the last hill, a quartz-white sun rising behind me, aiming the VW microbus onto the Bay of Kotor’s perimeter road.

Last week I’d farewelled Istanbul’s Golden Horn and the Old City’s bazaars, swung west and north though Greece, motoring up through Macedonia and Skopje. In a week I’d load the bus on a ship from Bremerhaven to California, but was detouring now up the Adriatic coast because, weeks before, some German friends in Köln had praised its beauty. So, I’d crossed the Kosovan passes near Pech, encircled by the fists of igneous, snow-strewn crags, and then wheeled down through Montenegro to Kotor. Read full story
The Lessons of Drnc2024-03-06T14:45:02-08:00