A Casual Traveler – 2nd Edition

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          * NEW RELEASE *

SECOND EDITION – Re-edited, with More Stories

A Casual Traveler is a collection of short stories and poems that chronicle my adventures and misadventures around the world.

Let me take you to exotic countries in Southeast Asia, and Central or South America, to explore great cities like Buenos Aires or Seattle, and ancient sites like Angkor Wat or Machu Picchu.

I’ll introduce you to interesting people from around the globe, and share my culinary experiences with strange and gourmet food.

Sail with me on a wooden Junk boat in Ha Long Bay. Take an exhilarating motorcycle ride across the country or to the top of Pike’s Peak in the Rocky Mountains.

Get off the beaten path, I dare you. Follow me to places that you have only dreamed of. Take a trip with A Casual Traveler.

Unintended Adventures

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            What exactly is an adventure and where do you find one? Touring companies offer them all the time—they must know. Usually, for a tidy sum of money, they promise unique adventures that anyone can go on. Is that being adventurous—going where everyone else has gone before? Sure it is, but we don’t need to spend our hard earned money to have someone else show us something different, off the beaten path.

            We call ourselves tourists, when we venture off to discover something new and different from the norm. Unfortunately, many of us become sheep, using travel agents and guide services to tell us how and where to find what we seek. For hard working individuals who need to get away from it all, there is nothing wrong with that.

            For real travelers, or adventurers, we know what is required. We know that you have to get off that beaten path, peek over that fence, look around the next corner, and drive down that next road to see where it leads. It’s not rocket science, it’s a yearning, curiosity, and desire to enrich ourselves and learn something new. It’s enlightenment.

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The Men of Melaque

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Who are the elusive men of Mexico? To us Gringos who flock south for the winter, if we pay attention, we might just catch a glimpse of the homosapien species. Our first exposure was at the Puerto Vallarta airport, where throngs of eager males threw themselves at arriving snowbirds in the hopes of snagging fares for the taxis and shuttles that were stacked up out front.

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Favorites – Venice

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I can’t count how many times I’ve been asked where’s my favorite place I’ve visited. And, for those of you who know me personally, I don’t really do favorites. So why, you ask, am I posting Venice as one of my favorite places? Well, I must shyly admit that it is. Right now it’s the number one tourist destination in the world. That’s big.

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Eddie Murphy & The Golden Girls

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This story appears in my book,  A Casual Traveler

Kananchuburi Provence, Thailand 

      I booked a no-brainer trip from Pataya Beach to the Kananchuburi province in Thailand, near the Burma border. It is home to the Bridge on the River Kwai, that was made famous by the movie of the same name.  For those unaware, it’s where the Japanese used allied prisoners of war to build a railway bridge over the river, and through the mountain pass into Burma.

      The shuttle bus picked me up at my hotel at 5:30 a.m. sharp, a despicable time of the day. The birds weren’t up yet, but there were still a couple people drinking at the bar across the street. Not unusual in Pataya. I’d behaved the previous evening, opting for a movie at the local cinema, instead of being one of those people at the bar.

     I climbed into the van and saw with my one open eye that there were other people on the bus. Three older black women had nabbed the best seats. The looked like a darker version of the Golden Girls. I wedged myself in and didn’t pay the driver much attention, until he got lost two blocks from my hotel.

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