In 2014, GoNOMAD published more than 350 travel stories. Stories were submitted from all over the world, from nomads living in Africa to beach bums enjoying life in Australia to professionals who sneak off to exciting places a few times a year and write from their offices in New York skyscrapers. There were lots and lots of travel stories published and reviewed—but these ten are what we consider the very best.
We narrowed the long list of 350 down to 25 semi-finalists and then used a scoring process to decide the top ten stories of 2014. Once again we are proud to publish great travel stories like these. Our contributors never let us down and never stop coming up with great submissions.
We commend all of our contributors in 2014 for sharing their travel stories in compelling and interesting ways that brought us with them on their journeys and conveyed what they saw through excellent photographs. You are what sustains us and what makes GoNOMAD a special website for travelers.
Ten Best Travel Stories of this year…
Three Southern Towns Where Trains Run Up Main Street by Herb Hiller. Herb captures an essential aspect of three Southern towns, they share the same daily phenomenon, big freight trains slicing their towns in half. Herb strives to capture the true spirit of a place, and what’s about to happen in all of the destinations he writes about.
Spécialitiés Niçoises: Where France Meets Italy, Deliciousness Occurs by Derek Noll. Could there be a more delicious place than Nice? Derek shares the inside culinary secrets of Provence in this story that has his readers hungry for more.
Passareddu: A Creative Spark in a Charming Sicilian Town by Sarah Robertson. There is something about Sicily, as a friend once told me, it’s like everything you like about Italy but concentrated. Sarah captures both the way these artists have created a real community and the way they’ve blended it with the world’s nicest setting.
A Travel lesson in Chiapas by Lori Veale “The villages of Chiapas, Mexico are pristine. Villagers march forward proudly, living their simple lives as they have for hundreds of years. These people are united in poverty, divine in spirit, and fiercely independent.” Lori writes with empathy and precision in this story about a woefully-uncovered Mexican province.
Stalking Bears in Transylvania by Adam Eagle. Adam captures the feeling of frustration out in the field when you’re trying to locate elusive wildlife, he shares his prize with the reader at the end, he satisfies the readers. He puts a lot of heart into every sentence.
Shamanism and Shots: What I Learned on My First Day with Mongolian Nomads by Peter Bittner. Peter leg wrestles with his Mongolian hosts and keeps up with them shot for shot. It’s a cultural Mongolian melting pot and he brings us all along for the crazy ride.
Thailand’s Taboos: Beware of Bare Feet and Too Much Skin by Declan Taggart. It’s good to know what offends one’s hosts, no matter how polite they seem about. Here, some useful cultural instructions.
Moving to Rome by John Henderson. This piece was very useful with lots of relevant details and questions answered–because more than one of us at some point might have fantasized about a move to the Eternal City. John actually did it!
Harvesting Grapes in France: Mosquitoes, Spiders and oh yes, free wine by Joanna Gonzalez Another nuts and bolts story that provides an answer to a question, how DO I get a job picking grapes in France?
Getting a job as an Extra on the set of Spartacus in Auckland by Mike Markoff. Finally, a chance to mix one of the world’s best travel destinations, New Zealand, with the thrill of working as a movie set extra.
Congratulations to all of this year’s Ten Best Winners…we hope to publish more of your stories on GoNOMAD in 2015!