Flying Carpet

You Can’t Get There From Here


By Sue Parman

Eighteenth Annual Solas Awards Grand Prize Gold Winner

“You can’t get there from here.” The young woman working in the Tourist Office in Stornoway pointed to the map between us. Stornoway was on the Island of Lewis and Harris, the largest island in a hundred-and-thirty-mile chain of islands called the Scottish Outer Hebrides that lay, like the fossilized skeleton of a giant fish, some forty miles west of the Scottish mainland. Forty-five miles to the south of Stornoway lay the island of Berneray where I wanted to go in order to visit a Danish anthropologist named Susanne Barding. Read full story
You Can’t Get There From Here2024-03-02T09:40:09-08:00

Summer at Nrityagram Village


Sumitra Mattai

Gold Solas Award Winner in the Women's Travel category

  I arrived at Nrityagram dance village in Karnataka, India in July of 2014 with the monsoon rain. Red clay earth stained my socks and sneakers as I followed the worn stone pathways. Coconut trees and banana palms slow-danced in the breeze, and the air was fragrant with jasmine and frangipani. Stone structures rose from the verdant landscape in gentle, curving lines, their henna-hued facades painted with white line drawings. As I wandered the campus, I felt the presence of spirit life, of souls lost and found. Read more
Summer at Nrityagram Village2024-03-01T10:55:28-08:00

The New Ascentionist


By Kang-Chun Cheng

Gold Solas Award Winner in the Travel & Sports category 

  When I arrived in Kipwa, it was so hot I nearly threw up. It was February, in the middle of summer, just a stone’s throw from the equator, with the kind of ferocious heat that steams water in a Nalgene, disintegrates cheese and chocolate, and makes me want to do nothing but lie down on a bouldering mat –– anything other than go cragging. Read more
The New Ascentionist2024-03-01T10:56:07-08:00

Crushing Christmas with the Coast Guard


By Gillian Kendall

Gold Solas Award Winner in the Cruise Travel category

  Holidays have been weird the last couple of years. Masks, distancing, vaccines or the lack thereof have all made the season a lot less bright. And forget merry: the 2021 season of light could be darkly depressing. But despite the general angst in America and Covid-concerns worldwide, I'm spending this December with a bunch of people who put the "sea" back in "season" and break through incredible obstacles to enjoy the "holiday routine" -- I'm a civilian instructor on a US Coast Guard icebreaker. Read more
Crushing Christmas with the Coast Guard2024-03-01T10:56:45-08:00

Where is their Tibet?


By Mary Litrell

Gold Solas Award Winner in the Elder Travel category

A crowd of more than a thousand folds me in as we climb a hill toward the plaza outside the Dalai Lama’s temple high in the Indian Himalayas. Today, March 10, 2019, marks the 60th Anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising—the day His Holiness fled Tibet. Three stoic-faced elders motion me to join them on a low wooden bench. I sit among hundreds dressed in faded Tibetan attire—well-worn leather boots, dark holey sweaters, and knitted caps pulled down over the ears. Read more
Where is their Tibet?2024-03-01T10:57:26-08:00