7 Free Travel Journals to Dive Into

Under-the-radar publications to explore over the holidays

7 Free Travel Journals to Dive Into

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Reading, writing, and traveling have a long affinity, and many a noteworthy author has been an avid traveler: think Byron, Twain, Robert Louis Stevenson, Jack London, Hemingway. With online literary magazines for every topic under the sun (Mad Scientist Journal, Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly), several are devoted to travel with literary leanings. Here are a few of the best, with the proverbial something for every reader among them.

1. Lowestoft Chronicle
In this quarterly, you’ll find creative nonfiction, short stories, and a few poems, with a welcome dose of humor in many. Try “People-Watching in the Galápagos Islands.” Wander around the site and you’ll find intriguing stories.

2. Cargo Literary Magazine
Its home page cites one of the great literary travelers, Matsuo Basho: “Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Seek what they sought.” In addition to an abundance of poems and stories, Cargo includes book reviews; the latest are of In Search of Buddha’s Daughters and Reclaiming Travel. And Instagram fans won’t want to miss the photography stories, such as “Festival Fractals of the Subcontinent.”

3. Words Without Borders
The focus of this journal is on international writers more than travel, per se. The current issue features Singapore stories, both fiction and nonfiction. Its extensive archives include translations of stories from some 100 languages, from Albanian to Vietnamese.

4. Literary Bohemian
Top-notch and featuring poetry, this journal just recently went on hiatus—which, sadly, generally means a publication won’t be returning. But all the issues are online, available to browse. Poems in the latest take readers to the Yukon River, Kenya, and Greece, among other spots. Also now defunct but still online: Outside In Literary & Travel Magazine.

5. Coldnoon
This journal is a mix of poems and stories, with a touch of the academic. Yet its creative Word of the Day feature—Gallivantriloquism: The Globetrotter’s Glossary—proves there’s a sense of humor at work here, too.

6. Vela
In this magazine, which features only women writers, check out the “Placed” section, which focuses on—yes—places.

7. Frostwriting
Based in Sweden, but written in English; look for travel items in the “Postcards” feature. They include short memoirs, such as “Florence Sun,” and poems.

The journals listed above are available free online. For a few others, you’ll have to pay to read the content, such as Silk Road: A Literary Crossroads (although it also has travel items on its free blog).

>>Next: 6 Reasons We Love Australia’s Quirky QT Hotel Brand

Pat Tompkins has written for Afar about movies, books, art, UNESCO World Heritage sites, and other topics.
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