Lincoln’s Missing Bodyguard

When a celebrity-seeking couple crashed a White House state dinner last November, the issue of presidential security dominated the news. The Secret Service responded by putting three of its officers on administrative leave and scrambled to reassure the public that it takes the job of guarding the president very seriously. Read more..., April 8, 2010

India’s Royal Style

“Keep your eyes open,” Pamela Singh advises. “In Jaipur, anything can happen.” Pamela's sly smile conveys the same sense of adventure that I'm feeling. The Delhi-born art photographer and designer is showing me around her adopted city—Rajasthan's capital—where she now lives three months of the year. We're in the old quarter of Jaipur, the fabled Pink City, where every building is indeed painted deep pink. Read more...

National Geographic Traveler, April 2004

Into an Antique Land

In the Royal Mummy Room of Cairo's renowned Egyptian Museum, I gaze through a glass case at the wizened, leathery features of Ramses the Great (Ramses II)—the man who wore the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt for an incredible 67 years (1279-1213 B.C.), one of the world's longest reigns. Read more...

National Geographic Traveler, March 1999

Land of the Ascending Dragon

The well-traveled Peugeot labored up the winding stretch of National Highway 1 north of Danang, along the central coast of Vietnam. We were climbing toward Hai Van Pass, the Pass of the Ocean Clouds, in the mountains that cut across Vietnam's skinny midsection, separating the steamy southern half of this thousand-mile-long country from the cooler north. Read more...

National Geographic Traveler, May/June 1996

High on Jamaica

“Did you know that bananas sing?” Monica Zijdemans laughed as she drove her vintage Volvo through the rolling Trelawny hills, the wind whipping her dark hair. Deftly dodging potholes in the narrow road, the freespirited Jamaican launched into her rendition of the sound that the leaves of banana trees make when the breeze blows through them just so. Read more...

National Geographic Traveler, September/October 1995

Stumbling into History

One of the more persistent travel itches is our fascination with things historical. For years, literary history has been a motivation for my own travels. As a Hemingway-infatuated English B.A., I journeyed to Paris long ago in a suitably shabby houndstooth check sport coat and stood before Shakespeare and Company, the Left Bank bookstore hangout of Hemingway, Joyce, and other literati. Read more...

National Geographic Traveler, July/August 1993