Istanbul Story: Up In (Hookah) Smoke

“Just suck and blow, you know how to do that right?” Vicky cackled, passing me the hookah hose. As white smoke filled the milky base, my head filled up with sleek and sexy images of desert sheikhs and curious caterpillars, puffing on long slender pipes, exhaling delicate, swirling plumes. Self-consciously raising the plastic mouthpiece to Read More …

Barrel Racing & the Infinite Kansas Sky

“Happiness lies beyond the clouds, Happiness lies up above the sky…” Kyu Sakamoto, English translation of song Sukiyaki. The announcer’s voice boomed over the gentle hum of cicadas in a nearby grass flat. “Alright folks, let´s get started…” I perked up my ears, licking barbecue-sticky fingers. Dozens of horses—pebble grey, cappuccino, cloudy white—whinnied and rustled in the Read More …

Pozas Azules: My Bedlam Baptism

“Let the mind beware, that though the flesh be bugged, the circumstances of existence are pretty glorious.” Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums. “Just follow the road to Ixcateopan,” the old lady said, flipping blue-grey tortillas on a smoking road-side griddle. “Don’t worry. You’ll find it.” I could barely pronounce it, much less find it. Barely a mile Read More …

Backpacker Befriends Bukhara, Part 2

“My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them.” Jack Kerouac The earlier blistering sun was soft and low on the horizon now, Somoni Park with its dwarfish bushes and dusty brick paths bathed in an ominous golden glow. The Samanid Mausoleum was sand-thatched, diminutive, and padlocked Read More …

Istanbul Story: Coworkers & Conquerors

Vicky and I didn’t always see eye to eye. But as we piled into a passenger van from Ataturk Airport, we were swept up in giddy excitement, enchanted by swirling Turkish pop melodies blasting from the radio. This was Istanbul—where East meets West. Here my coworker and I—like the Christians and Muslims, conquerors and traders that have passed through Istanbul itself Read More …

Lima, Peru Photos on Instagram!

Hey there, mystic vagabonds! Have you checked the TVB Instagram feed recently? Follow The Vagabond Beat on Instagram for the latest iPhoneography on the road!   Meanwhile dig these Lima, Peru photos from my recent trip! Noble steeds advance upon the curious crowd. A photo posted by Theo (@thevagabondbeat) on Jul 5, 2015 at 9:48am PDT   Read More …

The Timeless Shores of Martín Adán’s Cardboard Barranco

Hopping on the Lima Metropolitan’s main trunk in downtown Lima I headed south. I didn’t know exactly where I was going. All I had to go on was my memory of a few general maps and the solemn nod of a station attendant whom I asked if I could get to Barranco this way. But Read More …

Chasing Ginsberg’s Ghost in Lima

An almost imperceptible shift of sound in the streets below stirred me from sleep in the unfamiliar San Isidro apartment. I squinted through a crack in the blinds, where yellowish lanterns like fireflies pierced encroaching mist under a dense, black sky. I smiled, then drifted back to sleep. When I woke again the fireflies were Read More …

Nominated for the Liebster Award!

I’m super excited that Mar over at Once in a Lifetime Journey has nominated me for the Liebster Award for up-and-coming bloggers. So without further ado, here are my answers to the 11 questions and my nominations at the bottom. Enjoy! 1. What makes you a unique traveler? I don’t know if this makes me Read More …