Friday, February 26, 2010


That's my foot hanging out the open door of an old Russian helicopter sputtering its way above my resort in north-east Cuba en route to a trip over the Sierra Maestre mountains to Santiago. I was strapped by a simple waist-only-seatbelt into what seemed to be a car seat bolted to the wall. Thought I'd start with this to grab some attention. Cheesy, I know, but hey.

Anyway, I'm back from Argentina and my new novel BORDERLINE is coming out March 9. It's had great pre-publication reviews including stars in Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal, and a full cover profile in the current Quill and Quire. I'm told I should share some quotes, and maybe I will, but being Canadian makes that part of a blog seem, well, you know, eh?

So for now, here's a post about fifteen things I'll never forget. If any of them strike your fancy let me know and I'll write a bit more about it. Okay?


Encountering a shark while snorkeling off Cayo Largo

Wandering alone through the Red Pyramid, in the desert south of Saqqara, Egypt

White-water rafting in the Canadian Rockies

Taking a balloon ride with my eighty-year-old mom over Cappadocia, Turkey

Waking up to find an elephant beside my tent in the bush in Botswana

Volunteering at a Baptist soup kitchen while living in Manhattan

Undergoing a santerĂ­an purification ritual in rural Cuba

Staying overnight in a one-room mud home in the village of Ulongwe, Malawi

Sleeping between train cars while traveling by rail through the former Yugoslavia during the Cold War

Shaking hands with Pope Paul VI, age eighteen, at an audience in Vatican City

Meditating in Buddhist temples around Bangkok, Thailand

With the imam’s permission, climbing the minaret of the Mosque of Qaitbey in Cairo’s City of the Dead

Skiing opposite the Matterhorn

Hiking along the Great Wall of China

Eating a mopani worm in Zimbabwe


So... anything you'd like to hear more about? Or shall I bore you with BORDERLINE stuff? :)




  1. Hi Allan, I just read Chapter One of Borderline - very intriguing! I want to know what happened with Mary Louise Prescott!

    Also love the "hangs around like..." reference. Christine gave me the advice to include one in everything I write. And it always pays off. :)

  2. Love the blog. Reading stuff like this gets me so motivated to get out of my own country. I just came bag from a couple months in SE Asia and I'm already getting cabin fever here at home. Look forward to reading your book!

  3. Char, Mary Lousie Prescott -- a fun story.

    Tikitravel -- you have a great blog too. If you're interested in BORDERLINE,check out my website: :)

  4. Hey, thanks Allan. I'll be checking out your site for sure!

  5. Allan the first chapter is great! I have at last got internet in Mom's room so I can show her all this. She will love it too! When I get my copies you must sign them for me!

  6. Just an FYI, wanted to share a blog we did today (please feel free to cross-post) about our travels in Lilongwe, Malawi. We blog everyday from all over Africa at a website call Border Jumpers ( and for the Worldwatch Institute's Nourishing the Planet (

    Here is the link: "1,000 Words About Malawi"

    All OUR best, Bernard Pollack and Danielle Nierenberg

  7. I know I made everyone mad at me during the tour. I stayed in my room after the shows, smoked pot when it was available, and watched and listened as the rest of you gathered around while you created the Nurse show. I'm happy for you. Very. Now I look back at the 30 odd years since and wish I had done things differently; played the part off stage as well as on. I shouldn't have gone to Windsor.