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.


Historian with a Mission Brings Ancient Turkey to Life

The pewter gray sky, awash with early morning mist, did nothing to dampen our spirits as we left the sprawling city of Antalya on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. Our search for antiquity would take us northwest into the imposing Taurus Mountains, through fragrant pine forests, steeply upward along twisting switchbacks, then nose-diving in sharp descents and […]


Guatemala is a Tapestry of Religious Beliefs and Artistry

The rough-hewn stone steps to the whitewashed Church of Santo Thomás were covered with stacks of pottery, wood carvings, towering piles of richly-colored textiles, and perfect flowers. Graceful calla lilies, gladiolas, flame-colored feathery ornamentals and exquisite roses in tight-budded bunches perfumed the warm morning air. At the top of the steps incense billowed from low […]

Steinhatchee, FL

Finding Old Florida in a Forgotten Gulf Coast Town

Not many travelers know about Steinhatchee, an unpretentious little town on the Gulf Coast of Florida where the state bends south from the Panhandle and swoops toward the bustle of Tampa. That part of the state is sparsely populated, networked with hundreds of miles of country roads sheltered by cypress and cedar trees draped in […]

Fiesta San Antonio

San Antonio Throws a Texas-sized Party For a Good Cause

If you have never been to San Antonio, Texas during the annual Fiesta San Antonio, I have three words of advice: Go! Go! Go! Every year during the month of April, this picturesque south Texas city with a rich heritage blows the doors off with a 10-day citywide extravaganza packed with sparkling events, remarkable food […]