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Welcome to SKJ Travel, a narrative travel blog. From here I share with you my most passionate pursuit: travel. Traveling is what shapes pretty much my whole life. I want to see as much of the planet as I can manage during my time living on it, and I enjoy sharing with others what I've seen and experienced. My essays have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and listed in Best American Essays (see My photography has been exhibited along the Front Range in Colorado and featured in online journals (see I've also written plenty of guest posts for other travel blogs (see Here).

My capacity for dreaming, scheming, and plotting adventures is quite stupendous, if I do say so myself. (Not always matched by my financial capacity to fund them.) If a person defines their profession or "what they do" as the activity which they spend the most time involved with, then I suppose I'm a professional dreamer.

Where have I been? Countries visited to date: Andorra, Iran, Namibia, Botswana, Iceland, Uganda, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Tunisia, China, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland,  Ireland, England, France, Switzerland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Guatemala, Belize, Canada, Mexico, and the continent which is not a country -- Antarctica.

Why did I start a travel blog? Well, I started entertaining folks I know with my travel tales when I went to China by myself in 2005. My husband was very anxious about my safety. Not necessarily that I might be kidnapped or mugged, but that I might inadvertently get sold as a cheap bride, or die of starvation since I can't read Chinese characters, or get hopelessly lost and die huddled in the corner of a hutong. He insisted I email as often as possible. My mom, in the throes of similar anxiety, then said, "Make sure you send copies to me." Then other family and friends said, "Hey, throw me on the list, too."  Sending the emails turned out to be a great way to keep a sort of default journal.

The following year, Erik came with me to China (for part of my trip), but by then everyone else who had received the emails was hooked to the vicarious travel, so  continued sending dispatches from our trips abroad (well, not all trips, but the most adventurous ones). Then eventually people said I should put my travels on a website instead of sending out a bunch of emails. And so, voila. Here it is. As my interest in photography grew and continues to grow, I began to focus more and more on photo-laden posts.  

This is a very casual affair, this blog, I write posts sporadically upon inspiration and I don't publish guest posts from other travelers, nor lists of things to do or recommendations and reviews. It's just me sharing my experiences.

Shara at the Ming Tombs, Beijing, China.

Now middle-aged, I'm beginning to panic at how little of the world I've seen. At first it sounds maybe a little satisfying:  30-some countries and all 7 continents. But I get depressed every time I'm filling out a form online in which I have to select my country. Scrolling down through the list all the way to the letter "U" for United States, is always a reminder of the girth of this planet. Nonetheless, I count myself a fortunate and blessed soul to have seen the things I've seen and done the things I've done ... and heard and tasted and smelled. People ask me what I've learned from all my travels. It's kind of a ridiculous question, but I hate when other people don't answer my (undoubtedly often ridiculous) questions; so here it is ... the epiphany ...:  It's a grand world. Go see it.

I also enjoy having travelers come to me! I'm the owner, maid and concierge of a self-catering B&B at my house. If you're passing through the Boulder/Nederland, Colorado, area, you can stay with me at  Cozy and Quiet in Nederland.

Below, this is my dad, Jerry Sinor. The things that are most important to me in my life -- love of travel, love of nature, interest in photography and desire to be a writer -- are things I shared with my dad, and I think I can assume I inherited the nature of my interests from him. (Kitty cats are mighty important to me, too, and here is where we differ, along with the fact that I need a calculator to add 2 and 2, and he was a chemical engineer.) He has passed away, but you should know that when you follow my adventures, look at my photos, read my essays, you're looking through a window of sorts, where my dad stands on the other side, his eyes fixed on the horizon, saying, "There's so much more to see."



-- AFRICA --



Uganda All posts


Uganda photos only


South Africa All posts


 - includes Lesotho


S. Africa Photos only






Namibia II Witchcraft


Save Rhinos






Iran  All posts

Iran  photos only








-- EUROPE --


Central Europe

- Czech Rep.

- Poland

- Slovakia


Catalonia, Spain


Andorra / France





-- ASIA --


China I


China II





Ixtapa, Mexico


Maui, Hawaii


Puerto Rico


Keepers of the Wild











Trip posts for Trazzler




Travel Essays



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Most Recent Additions

1. "Dragons, Land & Rain Gods: Village Temples in China" added to Travel Essays


2. "Eve of Battle: China's Traditional Village Landscapes Changing" added to Travel Essays
3. "Things I Keep: Observations in Guatemala" added to Travel Essays
4. "At Night in the Loo" added to Travel Essays

5. "The Earthen Heart: traditional farming in China" added to Travel Essays
6. "Is Iran Safe? The Traveler's Guide" added to Interviews with SKJ


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