What better antidote to a frenzied business travel life than the pleasure of personal time with family, friends, or solo, in new or familiar places? A lifelong love of travel and my good fortune to visit so many destinations led to my long-running leisure travel columns and articles, and the opportunity to share my discoveries. Whenever I can as I travel, I wander without an agenda, looking for stories that inevitably emerge, often through chance encounters: the elderly owners of an exquisite furniture workshop tucked away on a hidden street in Florence, Italy; international champions practicing their craft at the rolley-hole marble “Super Dome” in tiny Tompkinsville, Kentucky; a villager on the locals train from Thonburi Station in central Bangkok to Kanchanaburi, a province on the famous River Kwai; a shop-keeper sharing the story of an impossibly-perched castle overlooking a pristine lake in Croatia; a burgeoning collection of island lore from colorful local story-tellers on islands throughout the Caribbean, and much more.

If you are an editor, I invite you to contact me about destinations you deem remarkable and stories you want to share with your readers. Reach me at bstark@traveling-writer.com or 608-335-4700.

Lulled by sea image

Lulled by Sea Stories in the British Virgin Islands

By Betty W. Stark Captain Darla skillfully anchored the Coral Sea for the night, maneuvering the sleek 68-foot length away from the reef and into the shelter of Great Harbour on Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands. That accomplished, she headed below to the compact galley to prepare our dinner. Fresh-caught yellow fin […]


The “Other Las Vegas”

Las Vegas, New Mexico is located about 65 miles east of Santa Fe and light years from the “real” Las Vegas. I spent several days there a few years ago and it still lingers in my memory as a unique and quirky place. Some of the places I visited, and locals I met might—or might […]

Wisconsin Cheese Stands Alone

A few years ago, California’s dairy farmers taunted Wisconsin with predictions that not only would their (allegedly) happy cows produce more milk, but they would also produce more cheese than the dairy state within a matter of months.

On Friday, Get the Fish

If traditional hour-long waits and out-the-door lines are clues, no Wisconsin road trip is complete without indulging in the quintessential Friday night fish fry.

Italy – Secrets And A Wanderer’s Dream

My love affair with all things Italian first blossomed when I was in college. My roommate, a bubbly Italian from a tightly-knit neighborhood in Racine, Wisconsin invited me to meet her parents, immigrants from a tiny town in the hills of Tuscany. Her family was a joyful and noisy bunch, welcoming me like a favorite […]