Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Gone to the Litblogs: Jim Benning on World Hum's Representative 5

Today's post is a "Gone to the Litblogs" column--- by ace travel writer and World Hum blogger Jim Benning.

"World Hum is an online travel magazine with a literary bent and a global perspective. As we put it on the site, “World Hum is dedicated to exploring travel in all its facets: how it changes us, how it changes the way we see the world, and finally, how travel itself is changing the world.” We publish stories, essays, interviews and book reviews, and we maintain a daily weblog. I co-founded the site six years ago with writer/editor Michael Yessis after complaining about the dearth of outlets for literary travel writing. We’d been maintaining the site as a labor of love while juggling day jobs until a few weeks ago. That changed when World Hum was acquired by the Travel Channel. We’re jazzed that we can now work on the site full-time.

C.M. asked me to recommend five posts. Here are five that I think are representative of what the site is all about.

1.) Unlocking Beirut by Catherine Watson
This is a lovely essay about travel and people and the passage of time. It’s the kind of travel writing that, sadly, you just can’t find in many publications these days.

2.) Top 30 Travel Books
This is our take on the top 30 literary travel books of all time, with writers explaining just what makes each book great. Titles range from Jan Morris’s Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere and Mark Twain’s The Innocents Abroad to Paul Theroux’s The Great Railway Bazaar.

3.) How to Kiss Hello in France
Our “How To” section shows readers how to dive deep in a culture. This entry is a primer on how to properly greet someone with a kiss on the cheek in France--- a delightful custom that needlessly confounds many visitors.

4.) Invasion of the Kilt-Wearing, Buttocks-Baring Scots!
While we take travel seriously, we like to have fun, too. This is a recent news item from our weblog about a rather, uh, troubling trend in European travel.

5.) The Speed of Rancho Santa Inés by C.M. Mayo
You may have heard of the author. We were honored to publish this excerpt from Miraculous Air: Journey of a Thousand Miles through Baja California, the Other Mexico. I’ve spent lots of time traveling in Baja California, and I’ve read a bit of writing about the place. I haven’t come across much that captures the magic of Baja as well as this piece does."

Well (blush) gracias Jim!
For the previous "Gone to the Litblogs" post, by DC poet Kim Roberts, click here.