And then the world changed

This was going to be a travel story. And then the world changed. Leafing through the pages of my journal, the varied memories of last summer’s self-directed tour through seven European countries jumped from the pages; vivid and distinct again, as if each event had happened this morning. The lines of often illegible scrawl and…

A Panama Paper

I’ve been teaching myself Spanish for a few years now. It was always something I wanted to learn, but my natural tendency towards procrastination had stopped me from actually doing anything about it. In fact, had it not been for the urgent need to find an alternative entertainment to the excruciating radio advertising jingles that…

The First Chapter of Your Story

We had forgotten something. As we watched your slow progress along the snaking line of the airport security checkpoint, the feeling continued to taunt us. But what was it? We were pretty sure that it wasn’t an overlooked domestic task. It seemed to be more important than that. No relative or friend had a proximate…

Rocks, Ruts, and Rivers: On the Road to Askja

I have driven in many of the world’s most intimidating cities, across some of its most hostile terrain, and through its bleakest weather conditions. Each time, occasionally more by luck than judgment, I have emerged unscathed – and with one more story to tell. So why was I plagued by a nagging anxiety before starting…

Iceland 2018: A Day Trip to Grímsey

There aren’t too many reasons to be on the morning ferry to Grímsey. Perhaps you are one of the 80 residents of the island returning home. Perhaps you are acquainted with one of those 80 residents, have been making excuses not to visit them for over a decade and, having recently played your “my-nephew-just-failed-his sheep-shearing-exam”…

The Other Side of the Curtain

It was a world of pre-departure cocktails, in-flight spa treatments, and post-arrival shower facilities. There was Fast Track and “Sir, Welcome Back”. Various lofty words, gemstones, and precious metals confirmed my superiority; I was “Envoy”; I was “Sapphire”; I was “Gold”.  Occasionally, the Utopian combination of “Executive Platinum” would announce my arrival in the highest…