Words for the Road: Wellington, NZ.

Words for the Road are dispatches from our Editor-at-Large — an image from her travels paired with a relevant musing in haiku.

This one’s a meta missive from Wellington, New Zealand.

Do you know, my bird
Your legacy here on Earth?
You are immortal

Post-BBQ link roundup.

Bad trip: hapless turistas in Chernobyl Diaries. image via

Oh hey let’s all backpack through a site of human catastrophe for our romantical (??) honeymoon/proposal/family reunion, what could go wrong? (Everything.)

If you are in a less disastrous frame of mind, you could white water raft through London, in the first Olympic venue open to mere mortals after the Games.

Or maybe you’re as obsessed with Lisbon as Frank Bruni was this weekend.

Maybe you’d rather wander where so, so many have wandered before?

I guess you could just obtain a collection of beautiful items to bring with you, wherever you’re going.

Covetable travel items from the always-on-point designsponge. image via

This Was New York: NYC Municipal Archives.

Manhattan Bridge, sans bridge. all images via

We’re a little late to the NYC Municipal Archives online access party, but let’s take a moment to highlight this everchanging city. The Atlantic has a good roundup of the variety of subjects held by the Archives (in case you are stuck waiting for their traffic to slow a little) — a peek at pastoral Queens, city nightscapes circa 1930, Weegee-style crime scene photos, and your run-of-the-mill street scenes. These and so so many more to geek out over at the Archives’ online hub. Because sometimes travel should involve some time travel, too.

LaGuardia getting all Office Space on some slot machines aboard a police boat in 1934.

Harlem, 1932.

Find any good ones? Post them below!

fellow travelers: A Montrealer Abroad.

fellow travelers is our chance to shine a spotlight on greatness from the internet’s travel community. It is not our list of poputchiks. Just some wanderers who we consider outstanding.

La Belle Montreal from AMA’s fab citywalk. all images via

Home and away: you can love both, yknow. A Montrealer Abroad is a perfect example — Marie details her travels and her hometown in easy, conversational pieces accompanied by her gorgeous photography. Like any good traveler, she knows that where you’ve been is only trumped by where you’re going next, so she features her future plans as well as a roundup of her globetrotting thus far. In between, she gives you guides to cities in Canada, Europe and the US: where to go, what to see, and of course, images to dream about.

Seriously, dream. AMA in Brighton, UK.

She even covers cute-animal-photos, like this Catalonian canine.

Her guides for those looking to relocate include real tips like how to budget, find a flat, and use crime maps to understand the lay of the land. And let’s not forget the namesake, the city that started it all: the ins and outs of Montreal from her local perspective are invaluable to those dropping into town for just a short while. So follow her wandering already… weren’t you convinced like 100 words ago?

Book Club: the Atlas of Remote Islands

Simply beautiful book. all images via

I try not to buy books anymore (my library’s size makes moving tricky!) but this is less of a book and more of an art object, a dream piece. The Atlas of Remote Islands is subtitled “Fifty islands I have never set foot on, and never will” — and author Judith Schalansky has compiled verbal snapshots of the farthest-flung places on the planet, that most likely none of us will ever see with our own eyes.

If you are a bookmaker’s nerd, this one is perfectly executed: cool blues and greens of the map with a shocking orange accent. Immaculate typography. It’s fitting that all islands are rendered in cartographic illustration — there’s no photography to distract from the images conjured by your own imagination as you read these stories. Mother’s Day is coming up: give your mom the gift of the most exotic travel one can buy (and house on a bookshelf). You can buy it here.

Of Roads Less Traveled and Castles in the Sand

Krista Westerlund is our spiritual + historical correspondent. This, her first dispatch, arrives from the former Roman capital of Dalmatia.

Zagreb ruins

Road through the ruins of Solin, Croatia.

I was really excited to learn about this blog and to have the prospect to write for it. The idea of hungry travel not to mention hungry living, embracing the world with eyes, mouths, minds and hearts opened as widely as possible is one that I generally try to put into practice whenever I can. I’d like to say that like Robert Frost, I’m taking the road less traveled. The truth though is that in this world, the roads heavily traveled are as fascinating as those yet to be fully explored. I am not the most well-traveled person, I have not been to the most places. I do not speak the most languages in the most fluent fashion. There are many other people who have seen larger swathes of the world than I have.

Travel is not a competition. It’s not just about statistics, miles flown, continents covered, bucket lists achieved … though all of those things are certainly worth commending. Travel is about the way in which we as human beings come to terms with the fact that our time as living organisms on this planet is limited. There is far more to see and do than any one person can, and when you think that you’ve seen it all, the world has already changed into something new, something beyond your recognition. That’s why even though the idea of finding yourself on an odyssey of self-discovery is one of the oldest cliches around, it is still among the most profound, the most captivating, the most resonant for many people. For every possible journey, there are thousands of different paths to get there, detours to take, and observations to notice. It is my hope that the path I take is an interesting one and that I can help others who want to do the same.

Salona, no more.

As you are now, so once was I.

So, enough of the philosophical musings about roads traveled and untraveled, because I would like to take the opportunity to talk literally about my experience on a road that has generally not been traveled much in recent millennia. Last summer, I was in a city called Split, Croatia, which was a place that I had never really heard of before then. Split is a shipping depot for the ferries of Dalmatia. While the Adriatic waters glitter like jeweled bathwater, Split is a gritty ex-Yugoslav industrial town. Factory smoke stacks intersperse with palm trees. Diocletian’s Roman villa crumbles far more slowly than its more recently built communist counterparts. It’s a hazy Mediterranean port with a very thin veneer of glamour (but some excellent dining and cafes).

It was in this place on a hot afternoon that I boarded a city bus and went to the outskirts of town and found a long, dusty, sunbaked dirt road. This road was like a pathway to another time, to the ancient Roman city of Salona (Solin). Archeology aficionados may quibble about its significance. It’s not Pompeii, no major natural disasters happened there. It’s not a great ancient capital of a lost empire. Countless slaves were not sacrificed to create a marvel of the ancient world there. All of those things are impressive, but it is rather just an ordinary town that has disappeared in the sands of time.

I found the site to be far more moving than the grand aloof ampitheatres, temples and palaces that encircle the Mediterranean region. This was a place where ordinary Roman citizens lived, worked, loved and died. Walking around the foundations of houses, plumbing systems, an ampitheatre, a cemetery and many functional buildings, you really got the sense of how most people lived. The city was destroyed by invading Slavic tribes in the 7th century, an ancient Main Street whose obliteration was probably barely noticed by the prevailing powers of the day.

There is a tourist information area but it is not conspicuous. There is no admission fee to the site beyond the public bus ticket. There are no concession stands or ostentatiously sold souvenirs. The closest we got to one was an old lady nearby who offered us homegrown tomatoes out of her garden. I haven’t really been to any other large collection of ruins that are more understated or less extolled. And yet, there was something so utterly haunting and mesmerizing about this place. A green field with some scattered stone structures where locals now exercise their dogs, an expanse of ancient ruins with a skyline of tower blocks on the horizon. This secret garden was a time capsule into the past but also a mirror into the present. We, the ordinary people of the modern era are members of an advanced civilization that has created all kinds of achievements and progress, and yet most of the places that we live in and the daily routines that we practice are insignificant as far as the history books are concerned. That doesn’t mean that we are insignificant as people but our personal struggles are merely water droplets in the oceans of the globe. To the residents of Salona, their little city was the center of their world and the tribal raids that overran it were the most critical worry. Such things don’t concern us today but I am grateful that the inhabitants, raiders and various city planners over the centuries, left enough of the ruins intact for tourists like me to appreciate on a hot summer’s day. meandering down the dirt tracks of history and mortality gives us some perspective before we go back to the restaurants, hotels, beaches, and momentary cares of modern life.

fellow travelers: 28cents.

fellow travelers is our chance to shine a spotlight on greatness from the internet’s travel community. It is not our list of poputchiks. Just some wanderers who we consider outstanding.

Honest you do. image via

28cents is a compendium of your humble means of analog communication, the postcard. When Ms. Lis (who does a bit of wandering herself) began this tumblr project in March of 2011, you could send a postcard in the US for a quarter and a few pennies. Postcard designs range from simple promos of local businesses and tourist traps to the more personal and handmade varieties — and they all seem to carry the same message to their recipient: I’m thinking of you, now, in this place. It’s interesting to see one person’s collection of these markers of space and time.

She received this Balinese one from Homer, AK. image via

You can see the Sutro peeking out from behind the cantilever at DeYoung in SF. image via