Sunday, August 2, 2020

Sharing my Walkabout with Boomer Far Out Adventures


I had so much fun re-visiting my travel stories in Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler's Tales.
My travel wings are clipped, but I can still enjoy sharing my past adventures. Craig Koehn loves spotlighting Booming Boomers on his podcast Boomer Far Out Adventures. We are not over the hill, we are in for the thrill of being alive and holding each day precious.

I take you to from the majesty of my Alaska homeland to of  magical beauty of New Zealand, the wild west of America and the romantic isles in the south seas. My theme song is that nature can be our salvation. In this modern age I believe that reconnection with the natural world is critical to achieve harmony and balance in ourselves and with others.

Take a listen. The podcast is also available on your favorite online distribution site.
Podcast interview with Boomer Far Out Adventures

Adventure travel writer, Linda Ballou, has rafted, kayaked and horseback ridden through pristine wilderness areas around the globe. The most memorable of these journeys are chronicled in her book Lost Angel Walkabout.  In Lost Angel in Paradise she shares 32-of her favorite daytrips along the coast of California. In this issue we learn about her latest effort Get Great Trips for Free.  Learn more about her travels at

Friday, July 31, 2020

Get Big Travel Ideas in GlobeRovers Magazine

A host of travel ideas for you to explore.  Armchair travel for when the world re-opens.


Below are the links to the GlobeRovers FREE App with all FREE issues. You and other readers can either search in your App Store for “globerovers” or just click on the links.



My interview with GlobeRovers is on page 180-181. There is a slider located at th botton of the magazine that allows you to easily navigate the magazine.

Adventure travel writer, Linda Ballou, has rafted, kayaked and horseback ridden through pristine wilderness areas around the globe. The most memorable of these journeys are chronicled in her book Lost Angel Walkabout.  In Lost Angel in Paradise she shares 32-of her favorite daytrips along the coast of California. In her latest effort Get Great Trips for Free she provides a roadmap for travel writing success.  Learn more about her travels at

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Sensational Summer Reads Discounted and Free

Fabulous list of Women's Fiction Summer Reads.
 Free and discounted. Don't miss out on these deals.

My Book Wai-nani: A Voice from Old Hawai'i is on the list, but there are lots more for you to chose from. 

                                             Wai-nani: A Voice From Old Hawai'i

Enjoy your staycation with a great book.

Women's Fiction Summer Reads.

Linda Ballou, shares a host of articles and information about her travel books on her site  You will find information about her novels and media offerings at

Subscribe to Linda’s blog to receive updates on books, and travel destinations and events.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Tasmania: The Devil Made Me Do It!

Tasmania: Australian Adventure - Go World Magazine
Editor’s Note: While we hunker down at home during the current world situation, we still dream of travel. Tasmania is Australia’s smallest state, and this southern island offers plenty of adventure. Enjoy! 
Eager to hike the trails in Eagle Hawk Nest on the Tasman Peninsula, I set out early from Hobart, the largest port and gateway to adventures in Tasmania, an island state off Australia’s south coast. 
The intoxicating perfume of wildflowers drifting on a sea breeze greeted when I pulled over to view of the shimmering blue Tasman Sea far below. 
Tassie, as Australians affectionately call the island, is known for its rugged wilderness areas, which are mainly located within reserves and parks. Tasmania, Australia may be the smallest Australian state, but it offers plenty of adventure.  

Waterfall Bay Walk in Tasmania
Waterfall Bay Walk in Tasmania

Waterfall Bay Walk

The Waterfall Bay Walk was a perfect amble through the forest overlooking the craggy rock formations and aquamarine coves far below. The Three Capes Track, a four-day, 30-mile track skirting the soaring dolerite cliffs unveiled in 2015 draws trekkers from about the globe.
National Parks in Tasmania
I left regretting I had not allotted more time to explore this gorgeous region. I gave myself one week in Tasmania (fast becoming a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts) to hit the top sites of Cradle Mountain National Park, the Cataract Gorge in Launceston, and Wineglass Bay in Freycinet National Park on the sunny east coast, so it was time to go.

Hiking in one of the many forests of Tasmania, Australia

A 3-hour drive north of Hobart through the arid middle of the country brought me to my friends’ home in Launceston. Proud of the rich heritage of their city, they pointed out the many Victorian structures and remnants of the convict days and gardens that grace their city.
They took me to a gracious restaurant overlooking the Cataract Gorge, famous for hikes into the dramatic canyon carved by the Esk River that is traversed by a striking suspension bridge.
From there I drove the winding road to Cradle Mountain, stopping in Deloraine for a “toastie” (a grilled/panini-like sandwich) and tea. A Wind in the Willows-like river walk in drizzling rain reminded me of the Mother Country.
Its tidy patchwork quilt of pastures on rolling hills dotted with sheep completed the picture; the difference being this bucolic scene is framed in ragged spires.

Driving in Tasmana -- How to get aroundDriving in Tasmania

The country lane soon turned into a corkscrew affair that spiraled upward through mountains sheathed in thick forests. No one had mentioned to me that Tasmania is one of the most mountainous islands in the world.
Accidents on the narrow lanes are common. You are advised not to drive after dusk as that is when the wombats, wallabies, and pademelons come out to graze causing accidents as people swerve to miss them.

The Tasmanian Devil is a carnivorous marsupial that is now only found in the wild in Tasmania.
The Tasmanian Devil is a carnivorous marsupial that is now only found in the wild in Tasmania.

Tasmanian Devils

The nocturnal Tasmanian Devil, rarely seen outside of sanctuaries, is coming back from the brink of extinction. The devils suffer from infectious viral cancer in the form of a facial tumor that spreads through biting and has killed 90 percent of them in the wild.

Cradle Mountain National Park

Cradle Mountain National Park is home to the highest peaks in Tasmania with wild, unpredictable weather. Even though it was raining the day I arrived, I attempted to hike the 4-mile Dove Lake Circuit.
The trailhead is also where the challenging 6-day Overland Track begins. Sheets of water shut out the view of the mountains framing the lake and forced me to turn back. I was, however, able to enjoy the Enchanted Woods track in the gloom of a haunting forest ensconced in moss and algae to energetic Knyvet Falls.

Tasmania has many beautiful beaches
Tasmania has many beautiful beaches

East Coast of Tasmania

Another roller coaster road brought me to the sunny East Coast of Tasmania where endless miles of white sand beaches are kissed by turquoise rollers off the Tasman Sea. Sailboats dot the marinas and summer cottages line the shore of coastal villages.
My charming Airbnb in Bicheno was a skip away from a blowhole, and a walk on granite rocks covered with orange lichen that brought me to a tiny marina where the special was a zesty seafood bouillabaisse.
The guide on a glass-bottom boat tour of the marina informed us that the marine creatures here, like squid and seahorses, are endangered due to a warm current coming from mainland Australia that is heating up the waters killing the kelp forests. Yet another imbalance in nature caused by global warming.

Tourville Lighthouse in Tasmania, Australia
Tourville Lighthouse in Tasmania, Australia

Freycinet National Park

Freycinet National Park, home to the spectacular Wine Glass Bay, is the most popular attraction on the east coast. I took the spiraling road up to the Tourville Lighthouse where an easy loop affords mind-expanding views of the blue veil of the Tasman Sea.
The marine preserve below the surface, established in 2007, begins 3 miles offshore and extends for 200 nautical miles to protect migrating whales and all manner of sea life in the submerged mountain range.
The easiest way to experience Wine Glass Bay is to take the water taxi out of Cole’s Bay. It takes you around the peninsula, drops you off on a flat trail across the isthmus to Hazards Beach where you are picked up for the return ride.

Benoche Marina in Tasmania, Australia
Benoche Marina in Tasmania, Australia

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

If you love Kaua'i you will love this book.

Iced in Paradise (Leilani Santiago Hawai'i Mystery, #1)Iced in Paradise by Naomi Hirahara
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I looked forward to curling up with this book. So much fun to revisit Kauai and see it through the eyes of a local. I lived there when there were only 35,000 people and few “no trespassing” signs. In this rendering there are 70,000 locals finding it hard to survive and traffic jams. The protagonist like many Hawaiians is multi-cultural. She is torn between living on the mainland in Seattle and returning to her roots on Kauai. There is a mystery here, but I have to say I found the motive for murder a bit weak. No matter, I loved hanging with the locals, visiting places that have changed so much since my time in the Islands. Thank you to Naomi Hirahara for this authentic rendering of Kauai today with some interesting plot twists for good measure.Wai-nani: A Voice from Old Hawaii

View all my reviews

Sunday, June 14, 2020

California Coast-A Love Story

Love this interview with Craig Koehns of Boomer Far Out Adventures Fame

With the CDC discouraging international travel this summer due to covid-19 most of us will be vacationing domestically. With our new normal in mind we re-convene with boomer travel adventurist writer Linda Ballou as she reveals her 32 off the tourist grid hidden gems along the stunning California coastline. 
Talking about my favorite stops along the coast from Malibu to Mendocino made me want to do all my daytrips over again! California has so much to offer. 
Take a listen

My books is avaible e-book format on kindle and Itunes and in print on Amazon.

For more about Linda's books and articles go to

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Ready for a Road Trip on the Coast of California?

Adventure travel writer, Linda Ballou, has rafted, kayaked and horseback ridden through pristine wilderness areas around the globe. The most memorable of these journeys are chronicled in her book Lost Angel Walkabout.  In Lost Angel in Paradise she shares 32-of her favorite daytrips along the coast of California. Her latest effort Get Great Trips for Free tell you how to build your travel writing platform..  Learn more about her travels at

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

California Coast -A Love Story

Are you ready for a road trip up the coast of California?!

Escape with me as I take you on my favorite power-packed outdoor days along the sun-splashed California Coast from Malibu to Mendocino. Let your spirit free strolling long stretches of sand in solitude. Breathe deeply of the restorative energy of fern forests shaded by towering redwood giants. 

Kick-start creativity while meandering among flower-infused meadows, listening

to wind voices off a full-blown sea. Get the rust off your soul and find harmony in nature. When you are done with your hike, tuck into tasty treats at a sweatband-friendly eatery that I have tested personally. You have earned your calories!

Download e-book available at I-Tunes, and Amazon Kindle Store $4.99
Companion Print book at all major online Distribution sites $9.95 Signed copy with free shipping at Linda Ballou’s website

Friday, May 15, 2020

Wet, Wild and Wonderful River Trips

The Los Angeles Times recently ran a piece suggesting that river rafting could be the best thing to do this summer “Why white-water rafting could be the safest way to a family vacation this summer.”A doctor from Seattle who has been working with Covid 19 patients feels the need to get into the fresh air to re-charge his batteries. He will be taking his children on a river trip and believes it will help him re-connect with his family. River rafting is one my favorite ways to get out into pristine country. Gliding along following the ebb and flow of a river, rubber necking gorgeous scenery and listening for the rumble of the next rapid ahead is one of my favorite things to do.

Rogue Rivr-Oregon

Tatshenshini River-Fairweather Range

Momentum River Expeditions is a small company with personalized service on some the best rivers in the U.S. They run the Tatshenshini River, a 125 mile run from the Yukon to the Gulf of Alaska. This is for the more rugged outdoors enthusiast as it involves rafting through glacier fields and being totally unplugged. The Salmon River in Idaho is a bit more civilized, but don’t be surprised if you see Big Horn mountain sheep standing on the shore. It takes you through a deep canyon far away from the maddening crowd. Ashland Oregon, of  Shakespeare Festival fame, is home base for Momentum River Expeditions. They run the family friendly Rogue River with small groups and experienced guides that pride themselves on their home cooking all summer.
Salmon River-Idaho
Whether you are a seasoned river rat, an intermediate adventure junkie, or a family looking for a way to spend quality time together there is a river for you. Check out all the river rafting options offered by Momentum River Expeditions

When Linda is not river rafting, hiking or horseback riding in gorgeous country she is writing about her experiences. Her articles appear in Go World, Real Travel Adventures and on her Boomer Column on She shares her most memorable journeys in Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler’s Tales. Linda resides in the City of the Angels and takes you to her favorite hikes of the coast of California in Lost Angel in Paradise. Get Great Trips for Free is her latest offering. Learn more at

Friday, May 8, 2020

Make Your Downtime Count

Fun Q&A with Lisa Smith about what it takes to succeed in the travel writing world.
Now is the time for you to position yourself to take advantage when the world re-opens.
Trust may it will! Don't waste this gift of free time.

Get Great Trips for free is available for dowload on Amazon in the kindle store.

I have a host of articles and information about my travel books at

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Building Blocks to Your Dream Destinations

Make your time at home count and get great trips for free!
Successful people position themselves to succeed. In this handbook I provide a road map for “Travel Writer Wannabes.”   Often people tell me I am lucky.  I do feel lucky that I have been hosted on fabulous trips around the globe. But, I worked hard to get lucky!  Because of my travel writing skills I have enjoyed fabulous trips with like-minded travelers to exotic locales around the globe.
Since being gifted with downtime that allows me to focus on my writing, I created this book to help those who have asked me,
 " How do I get great trips?"  This guide takes readers on the fast track to getting their dream destinations.
 Don’t waste this time. Use it to create your writing platform. You need a web page and clips of articles. Use what may be a year before the travel industry is up and running to your advantage. Position yourself to approach tour companies with a professional media kit. They will need ways to re-vitalize their businesses and you could be the answer.
I will be sharing more travel tips on my YouTube Playlist. Presently, there are 5 videos on my Tips for Travel WriterWannabes playlist. Purchase on Amazon. Or on my site

Adventure travel writer, Linda Ballou, shares travel essays in her book Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler’s Tales, and 32 Day Trips along the California Coast in Lost Angel in Paradise  and Get Great Trips are available on her site and Amazon.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Enjoy Your Staycation with Armchair Travel

Armchair travel at its best is informative, entertaining, well-written, sparks our wanderlust and provides a sense of place. All of these books fill that criteria for me. Enjoy your staycation.
Wilderness: The Gateway to the Soul, by Scott Stillman. Stillman is preaching to the choir in my corner of the world. One of my stories, set in Sedona, Not Enough Said for Solitude, is about taking time to connect with nature. For some time, I have been encouraging people to toss the remote out the window and breathe deeply of our beautiful world. However, it is refreshing to find this younger voice sharing the many ways that nature can be our salvation. I believe people are too concerned about being connected on social media and are so harried keeping up with technology they have lost touch with themselves. I am not able to carry a backpack into remote regions solo like Stillman, but I do enjoy river rafting and hiking in our country’s varied, majestic landscapes. I thank him for taking me into places I can’t go alone and for allowing me to imagine the peace, silence, and magic of these wild places. This is a poetic rendering that will help you become free in your wildness.
The Geography of Bliss, by Eric Weiner. The right to pursue happiness is guaranteed to us in our constitution, but it seems most of us have chosen goals that don’t bring us to that blissful state. Weiner made it his mission to understand why and figure out what constitutes happiness in different cultures about the globe. It seems Americans for all their wealth and creature comforts, are among the least happy of peoples. I looked forward to curling up with this fun, thought-provoking romp each night before going to sleep. Weiner admits he falls back on generalizations about cultures, but he does it with self-deprecating humor. “Be here now” is the accepted mantra for happiness these days. The people of Thailand say it more simply, “Don’t think too much.” The Danes, declared to be the most content since there are no expectations in a socialized country, are not included in this journey. Perhaps, Weiner, a self-proclaimed grump, will take us there next time he explores what makes us glow from the inside out.
Talking to the Ground, by Doug Preston. This epic horseback journey across the Navajo Nation is well-researched, informative, and fun. Preston takes his wife-to-be and her nine-year-old-daughter with him on a harrowing trek that turns life-threatening on more than one occasion.  Preston displays a deep knowledge of the Navajo, the ancient ones, and the geography of the Navajo Nation. We visit canyons where ancient cliff dwellings can’t be reached any other way than by horseback, camp under the stars, and feel a deep connection to the land. Preston shares a journey that brings his family together in a very special way. I loved this book and didn’t want it to end.
Baboons for Lunch by James Michael Dorsey. I love a man with a sense of humor. It’s hard to imagine the distinguished James Dorsey I know to be slinging dung balls at monkeys, or bouncing unceremoniously across the desert on a camel, but he does. In his effort to connect with cultures that are rapidly disappearing, he finds himself in some precarious situations. He always handles them with respect for his hosts and delivers insights to his readers. This is a wonderful well-written collection of tales from silly to soul-searching. Obviously influenced by Tim Cahill, my travel writing hero, Dorsey shares his exploits with self-deprecating humor while delivering a deeper message.
A Sunburned Countryby Bill Bryson. The first time I read this book I enjoyed it. The second time I read it a couple of years later, after learning a great deal more about Australia from other sources, I loved it more. Bryson does not take you to the typical tourist stops. Rather, he takes you many places best avoided, but he explains why in the process. His focus is on odd happenings in history, and quirky people he meets along the way. He is always researching museums and reading local papers to ferret out more little-known factoids about the place. He does not spend a lick of time at the Great Barrier Reef except to tell us about the couple that was left there to try to snorkel thirty miles back to shore. Instead, he takes us to the distant shores of Western Australia, a place so vast that it has never been completely explored, to stare at blobs of matter called stromatolites credited with being the first bits of life in our universe. No matter where we are, he always throws in a bit of sly, self-deprecating humor. Fun read chock full of information and insights into the people and places down under.

Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler’s Tales, by Linda Ballou. Since I’m the only woman author in this collection, may I suggest my own book? Rolf Potts, author of Vagabonding, writes, “Awaken your senses with thrilling tales of an intrepid soul’s search for beauty in the wilds. Ballou embraces life and draws readers into her adventures with vivid descriptions that make you feel you are traveling alongside her. She brings an intelligent meditation on nature in richly detailed, often poetic stories.”Available on my site and on Amazon. 
My mission is to get to as many beautiful places she can before they are gone! I share a host of travel articles on her site, along with information about her articles and books at   

Join her at Facebook –
Subscribe to her blog at -

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Earthiest's Creed

In the words of Edward Abbey…I am not an atheist, I am an Earthiest!

Earthiests are people who literally need to plug into the planet to recharge. Whether sitting on a rock warmed by the sun,
or face planted down on the sand at the beach, standing on a mountain top arms spread with palms up to gather energy, or resting against a tree, I am gathering energy from the earth.

 Some people think nothing is happening when they are sitting still because their minds are too busy to feel anything. But, they are receiving nature’s gift just the same.  An earthiest consciously makes themselves more receptive to the bounty by quieting their minds and will not miss an opportunity to plug into the universal gas pump! 

 I have a host of travel articles on my new site dedicated to travel including my travel memoir, Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler’s Tales 

My  historical fantasy novel,Wai-nani, A Voice from Old Hawai’i and my latest action-adventure novel The Cowgirl Jumped over the Moon  are  

 Subscribe to her blog and receive updates on her books, and travel destinations.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Going Solo on Safari

dawn on chobe_1When I told friends I was going on the Ultimate Safari that would take me to Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia, their first question was, “Are you going alone?”
Well, yes, but not exactly. I told them that I would join a group of 14 other travelers upon arriving in Johannesburg and that we would be sharing the 17-day adventure that would take us to four different bush camps in vast wildlife preserves.
Don’t you feel uncomfortable being single among a group of couples?
“Nope, not at all. I’m there to experience what can be a dangerous place safely, not to get a date.”
My tent house at Banoka Camp-Delta_1-webThe stats are out. Solo women are the largest travel demographic in the United States. Ladies are not willing to wait for a friend or a reluctant husband to be ready for the adventure their heart desires. They are making the leap on their own.
Whatever their status: widowed, divorced, married, or single, these women are smart, curious, and immensely interested in engaging with local people and cultures.
Overseas Adventure Travel is one of the first outfitters to dispense with the solo traveler supplement that oftentimes makes traveling alone prohibitive.
Forty percent of OAT travelers (up from 27 percent in 2010) are going solo. Of all the solos, 80 percent are women. On my trip were three other solo women: one married with a husband at home and two senior world travelers who had gone to Thailand with OAT in the past.
Land Rover with ellie-Tom SchwabWhile on game drives, we shared tiered seating in open-air land rovers. Traditionally, seating positions are rotated to give everyone a chance at the best viewing.
Everyone was open and eager to meet new friends and to share the day with them. I never felt a sense of exclusion or social unacceptance. In fact, I think the couples relished the opportunity for new conversation.
Table setting on sunset cruiseOur buffet meals were served on long dining tables that encouraged guests to circulate. Each meal provided the opportunity to get to know another guest.
“Sundowners,” as happy hours on the savannah are called, were another fun op for getting to know one another.
Actually, I had a much more stimulating social life on safari than I normally have at home. It was full of fun exchanges with fascinating people.
No, I didn’t feel the least bit alone or uncomfortable in this setting.
At the end of our journey I asked several of the women what they enjoyed the most from our trip.
Walking Leopard-Tom Schwab_1
Courtesy Tom Schwab
One seasoned traveler who had been to Africa seven times, said she loved boating up the Kafue River from our bush camp in Zambia to fish. She needed engagement and was not content to be a passenger. She came back to camp with a mess of tilapia and a big grin on her face.
She became my companion on the Elephant Back Safari offered at the Stanley Livingstone Wildlife Preserve. As we lumbered along on our giant mobile rocking chair behind four other elephants and a gun-toting guide, she kept saying, “This is Crazy.” I knew she was loving it.
Another woman, a retired school teacher, was moved at our visit to a school in Zimbabwe where the kids danced and sang a welcome song for us. We were given time to sit down and interact with them so they could practice their English on us.
Lions are what the married, solo female had come to Africa to see. Thank goodness we came upon a pride of fourteen in Chobe National Park or she would have gone home disappointed. Tracking a pride of five in the Okavango Delta was a highlight for me.
Ellie safari_1Riding shotgun while crashing through the brush on the hunt, reminded me of times with my father in Alaska. Finding a majestic male lion sleeping in tall grasses where he lazed away the day with his mate and their daughters after a night of hunting was an unforgettable thrill.
best mother ellie with twobabies_1All trip guests were wowed by the power and strength of the immense numbers of elephants we saw. Heading back to the comforts of our lodge, we rounded a bend to see a wall of about two hundred of them blocking our path. What a shocking mass to behold! After the initial flurry of snaps, we moved toward crossing the channel where they were drinking.
Wise Guy (our OAT guide) cautiously moved forward with his band of seven guests as our separate band of eight trundled behind in the second land rover. As we made our way, the elephants trumpeted, flapped their ears purposefully, and stamped their “big-boy feet,” threatening to T-bone us as we forged the river.
CUbaby ellie-Tom Schwab_1
Courtesy of Tom Schwab
Wise Guy stopped midstream leaving us facing an enormous matriarch who was furious because we were too close to her baby. Finally, he got us out of the way, and we surged forward as her blasting trumpet followed.
All hearts were pounding as we navigated the gauntlet of gray mountains furious with our intrusion. We left the normally docile creatures shuffling and snuffling the water feeling grateful to be alive.
Our last lunch in the wilds was at Masuma Pan, a watering hole frequented by a thirsty menagerie of animals. A parade of elephants sauntered in for a long draw at the trough, a dazzle of zebra grazed in the distance with a handsome male sable (antelope), a pod of hippo lollygagged in the water all snorting and blowing bubbles, while a rank of impala chuffed a warning sensing a cat in the neighborhood.
shatangi ladies_1A herd of kudus with two striking males, a platoon of baboons, a crocodile, and a trio of giraffes turned up late for the party. This was a fitting finale to the all the game drives we had enjoyed in our time in the bush.
It is customary on the last night of one’s stay at a given camp that hosts build a fire in the boma and invite guests to dance with them to beat of drums.
I would hate to have missed being inside the music and feeling the warm embrace of these lively, extending people with their bright smiles because I was afraid to leave home alone.
Linda Ballou says her mission is to experience as many beautiful places on our planet as she can, before they are no more. “Travel tales relating my experiences while kayaking, horseback riding, sailing, birding and hiking about the globe have appeared in numerous national magazines.
 I had a great deal of fun collecting travel stories, and profiles of people I have met in “naturally high places” for my book, Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler’s Tales, while my latest book, Lost Angel in Paradise is a collection of 32 of my favorite daytrips on the coast of California

For a complete bio as well as published on-line clips with photos go to my website focuses on my travel destinations. Follow my blog, or friend me on Facebook to keep up with my latest adventures.”