“Old World Wandering is a happy marriage of unusual locations, good writing and an infective love of travel, grounded in a real understanding not only of the places they write about, but of the nature and delights of journeys themselves.”

Alec Ash (@alecash)

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Dispatches

Longform non-fiction from life on three continents, where curiosity – met by kindness – helps us tell stories about how people live today.

Regions

The Old World refers to Europe, Asia and Africa, the three continents that were at least partly known to ancient geographers. We've organised our posts into rough cultural blocs, including:

Definitions

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Book Reviews

  • Catfish, no Mandala

    A dragon protects a gate at Hue's citadeI

    Short-changed, shoo-ed out of shops and fleeced by taxi drivers: Vietnam can be hard to like, but why should that matter?

  • Where to for travel writing?

    Rolf-Potts-landscape

    As part of Old World Wandering’s Kickstarter project, I’m interviewing three people about travel, writing and how they intersect in the topsy-turvy present. Last week I [...]

  • A journey across the road

    The Erawan Shrine in Bangkok, dedicated to Brahma

    In his novel Travels with My Aunt, Graham Greene tells the story of a bookmaker who has spent his entire working life at a racetrack, [...]

Transitions

  • South African in China

    An illiterate old lady in a Shanghai linglong that was due for demolition last year. We spoke to her on camera.

    Thoughts on being South African in China, ahead of our appearance in the documentary Postcards from China, with links for Africans in China.

  • Night Train to Nong Khai

    Dining car on the night train from Bangkok to the Laos border

    A night train from Bangkok to Nong Khai, on the border of Laos, is an opportunity to indulge in fantasies of the East.

  • Writer in Transit

    A Mughal tomb in Allahabad

    I don’t have a single journal entry about my three months in India. I didn’t write anything about my time there, except for a post about the dancer that didn’t dance, in a Bombay beer bar. The scene – a slice out of a furtive, alternative reality, swallowed up in Mumbai’s underworld – spoke to me, forming sentences in my head. But those brief moments of inspiration stood alone.

Asides

  • In Ulan Bator, with just five days to go

    Ulan Bator

    Sanbanor! We’re finding our feet in Ulan Bator, where we arrived on the Trans-Mongolian two days ago. It’s a surprising city, where dirt roads, ger [...]

  • Where to for travel writing

    jodi-thumb

    The three interviews connected to our Kickstarter project started with Graham Boynton, a magazine and newspaper editor. My second subject was Rolf Potts, whose career [...]

  • Where to for travel writing?

    Rolf-Potts-landscape

    As part of Old World Wandering’s Kickstarter project, I’m interviewing three people about travel, writing and how they intersect in the topsy-turvy present. Last week I [...]