history – Digital Nomad

Tag archives for history

Route 66: The Mother Road

There’s a piece of the road in the museum—square slabs of aged asphalt excised from west of Oklahoma City. I’ve never seen such a thing in a museum.  I have seen shrunken human heads and Tyrannosaurus teeth, polished suits of armor and a queen’s underpants, but never before have I seen a chunk of road…

New Havana

“I wanted to see Cuba,” explains one man in our group, “Before it changes.” We all nod in agreement, except for the two Cubans in the room, who simply smirk. “I’ve been hearing that for the last twenty years!” says Migdalia, our guide. And she’s right—I’ve been hearing (and saying) the same thing for the…

Floating Down The Missouri

The river was a mirror of glass—like a silvery puddle of mercury, spilling me forever forward into the wilderness. Odd-shaped cliffs of sparkling white stone framed either side of the channel, with bulging towers and blobs that looked like some child’s dribbled sandcastle. We were utterly alone in the world—just me and Bob, a retired…

Memorial Day

At the very moment of the final top ten round of the the 25th anniversary National Geographic Bee (congrats Sathwik Karnik!), yours truly was sitting on a stool in a glass-walled television studio at 30 Rockefeller Place undergoing a more gentle interrogation on the Today Show. The questions asked me each concerned the upcoming holiday…

The Rangerettes

Sadly, I can never be a Rangerette. Not only does being male disqualify me, but I would never make it past the first audition. Apparently, in order to join the elite dance drill team of Kilgore College, girls must be able to kick high enough to touch boot toe to the front brim of their…

Marfans

Listen to my interview with Marfa Public Radio in Marfa, Texas! ——————————————————————————— Yes, I saw the Marfa lights. It was about 11 o’clock at night, and I was alone at the Marfa Lights View Park when I spotted two pale greenish-white balls of light, hovering over the barren fields. Yes, it was kind of cool—but…

Covellite

Never judge a town by its exit ramp . . . . . . because at night, every exit looks the same: fast food beacons and glowing gas stations with trucks steaming in the cold. I spin away from the dark rush of the interstate and down the town’s widest avenue—to the snow-crusted parking lot…

Mountain of the North

I love toponyms (place names), because they reveal so much—and yet so little—about the places they are meant to typify. It was snowing in Minneapolis (Sioux Mni = “water”; Greek polis = “city”) when I boarded a flight for Kalispell, and briefly imagined that Kalispell was the name of some flaxen-haired, rose-lipped pioneer beauty in…

Two Tombs #RTW

In China, it’s all about the gift shop. Since arriving in the Middle Kingdom, nearly every destination we visit comes equipped with a well-stocked gift shop manned by an English-speaking staff all ready to grant us, their new friends, at least a twenty percent discount. Even a callused traveler as myself is susceptible to the…

Crossing the Röstigraben

I was traveling backward, the rain falling away from the final window on the train. I was sitting in the last seat on the last car of the GoldenPass, facing backward at a panoramic window that showed me all the wet green landscape I was leaving behind, the whole of it measured out in miles…