About Global Travel Authors

We travel the world, explore, and make friends. We take photosblog, write articles and books, and give lectures. We would like to share some of our experiences with you.

Upcoming Events

The Artists Archives of the Western Reserve is proud to announce its program:  The Woman Behind the Artist– The Many Lives of Erika Bourguignon a presentation by Irene Shaland. Wednesday, August 17th 6:30-8:00 PM     
Address: 1834 East 123rd St. Cleveland, Ohio 44106
NA’AMAT presents Irene Shaland and her new book The Dao of Being Jewish and Other Stories at the Beachwood Library. Wednesday Sept. 14 at 7:00 PMAddress.
Orange Library presents Irene Shaland’s lecture Face-to-Face with Africa through the Eyes of a Jewish Explorer.  Thursday Sept. 22 at 7:00 PM.  Address. Read more: Sept 22 2016 Lecture
New City NY Library presents Irene Shaland’s lecture: The Return of the Jews: Jewish Renaissance in Sicily and Sardinia. Sunday October 16, 2016 at 2:00 PM.   Directions
Cleveland Museum of Natural History Presents Irene Shaland’s lecture: History, Nature, and Isolation: Rediscovering Icelandic, Australian, and New Zealand Food Cultures
Wednesday October 26, 7:00 PM  Download lecture flyer: Oct 26 2016 Flyer
For a complete list of our lectures and photography shows please see our Schedule



  Read Our Recent Posts
Koala looking at visitorsWhere to Stay on Kangaroo Island, Australia: the Sea Dragon Lodge is an Excellent Choice
Overlooked by most popular guidebooks, this third largest Australian island (after Tasmania and Melville) remains the largest secret of that country for many globe trotters. There are precious few corners left in our 21st century urbanized world where Australian animals could be observed in the wild, and Kangaroo Island is exactly that place. Continue Reading the blog post.
Cover of Irene Shaland book The Dao of Being JewishPaperback edition of Irene Shaland’s third bookThe Dao of Being Jewish and Other Storiesis now available on Amazon.
boat at nightChasing the Elusive Northern Lights in Iceland by Alex Shaland
All visitors to Iceland fall into two distinctive categories: those who saw the northern lights and those who did not. When Irene set her trip target on Iceland, she was determined to place herself, our daughter, and I squarely in the first category. The problem was that unlike the predictable crowds at JFK on the way to Iceland, the famous northern lights of Iceland are highly unpredictable.
Continue reading the blog post.
cover of Irene Shaland book Tennessee Williams on the Soviet StageIrene Shaland’s book “Tennessee Williams on the Soviet Stage” is on Kindle.
In her Tennessee Williams on the Soviet Stage book, Irene Shaland explores the history and problems involved in staging Tennessee Williams’s works in the Soviet theater.
Continue reading the blog post.
James Bond photo inside restaurantJames Bond’s Swiss Connection
Back in 1969, James Bond, also known to millions as 007, was doing what he is always doing – saving the world.  But this time, it was different.  In addition to saving an imaginary world from imaginary villains, Bond managed to save a real-life Swiss company from all-too-real financial ruin. Continue reading this blog post
Roman girls mosaic in SicilyVilla Romana Sicily – Must See for Italy History Buffs
Villa Romana del Casale located in Piazza Armerina in Sicilian heartland is not-to-be missed site for all history and art enthusiasts. Covered by layers of mud for 700 years, rediscovered in 1950, and reopened in 2003 after over forty years of reconstruction, the Villa is a treasure trove of the best Roman mosaics in existence today. Continue reading this blog post
Ortygia SiracusaSiracusa – Sicily’s Top Destination
Siracusa is truly a summation of Sicilian splendor, and if there is one city in Sicily that personifies this magnificent island it is Siracusa. The city is 3,000 years in the making and combines Greek and Roman civilizations with ancient Jewish culture and baroque masterpieces. Continue reading the blog post.
African lionAfrican Safari Tips:  The Importance of a Good Company
Going on an African safari by yourself or in a small group is not advisable. Suppose, you are standing in front of a lion or a rhinoceros and trying to calculate your chances of getting out of this situation in one piece and hopefully not perforated in too many places. You are staring at the whatever it is that is going to do a very bad thing to you ….   continue reading this blog post  
Duomo cathedral, CataniaOverlooked by Visitors, Catania is a Masterpiece of Sicilian Baroque The third largest city of Sicily, a UNESCO-listed Catania lies in close proximity to the majestic mountain Etna. The city was always subject to the brooding moods of that volcano.  In the late 1600s, Mt. Etna struck twice: first drowning Catania and over 12,000 of its inhabitants in boiling lava, and then, in less than 25 years, leveling the city again by a murderous earthquake. Continue reading the blog post.
Casa Cuseni Taormina, SicilyFollowing the Steps of Tennessee Williams in Sicily: Taormina’s Casa Cuseni 
I came across the name “Casa Cuseni” while reading about Tennessee Williams and his beloved partner, painter/poet Henry Faulkner, spending many happy months in Taormina while staying in Casa Cuseni. I knew then, without a doubt, that when we are in Sicily, we will follow the steps of Tennessee! Continue reading this blog post.
Sharing first impressions from Scandinavia
Scandinavian countries – Denmark, Sweden, and Norway – constitute arguably: the most cultural and sophisticated, most educated and prosperous (with the least income disparities), most highly taxed and socialistic (oh well…), least churchgoing and most unmarried – part of the West. People are the happiest we ever encountered, reserved, but very polite and helpful. Continue reading.
Masai warrior danceMasai – the Lost Tribe of Israel
This is a Jewish story of Africa that I found in the most unlikely of places: the vast plains of Masai Mara and Serengeti reserves. As we drove there, we saw the light-skinned, tall, slender people dressed in red, who were as ubiquitous to the landscape as sky above and earth below. Continue reading this blog post.
Nairobi Hebrew Congregation Synagogue, KenyaFinding Home away from Home – in Africa
We were travelling all day: through the exotic strangeness of the Zanzibar Stone Town to the Nairobi airport’s thick mess of people and suitcases, sickening smells and deafening noises. Then again, through the traffic and dust and darkness of Nairobi streets… Continue reading
China, Kaifeng, Jewish, travel, globalHistory of Confucian Synagogue in Kaifeng, China
Kaifeng, China. As Irene hurriedly writes, Esther, a Founder and Director of the Kaifeng Jewish History Memorial Center, tells the story of her forebears. On the wall, is the 18th- century rendering of Kaifeng synagogue… The synagogue rendering reminds of the country’s typical residential or religious compounds.  Continue reading this blog post.
Rome history musicMaestro Enzo Samaritani and his Arciliuto Theater
We were advised by our new Roman friend Marco, the owner of Arco dei Tolomei B&B in Trastevere, to celebrate Alex’s approaching milestone birthday at L’Arciliuto Teatro near Piazza Navona. “A very non-traditional place, “said Marco. “You will be enchanted.”  And we truly were. Continue reading this blog post.
Forbidden City, Beijing, China.Meeting Aisin-Gioro Yuming, the nephew of the last emperor of China
Persuaded by his royal family, Yuming has been studying traditional calligraphy and painting since his childhood.  Presently, Mr. Yuming teaches calligraphy at the University and on certain days, you can meet him working in the Forbidden City. Continue reading this post.








Recent Events

Book event featuring Irene Shaland and her new book “The Dao of Being Jewish and Other Stories” at Beachwood Library on July 10th, 2016.
Presenting at the Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies Annual Conference, Santa Fé, NM.
Dates: June 26-28, 2016. On June 28, Irene will deliver a lecture “Redefining Crypto-Jewish Identity in the 21st Century Sicily and Sardinia.”
Irene Shaland’s Lecture: “Scandinavia through the Eyes of a Jewish Traveler” sponsored  by the Men’s Club, JCC. Presented at the Beachwood Library. Date & Time: June 20, 2016 at 11:00 AM
Author Event at South Euclid-Lyndhurst Library: Irene Shaland will talk about her new book The Dao of Being Jewish and Other Stories. Date and Time: June 15, 2016 at 7:00 PM.
Irene Shaland’s Lecture: “The Return of the Jew: Rediscovering Jewish Sicily and Sardinia” at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, Beachwood, OH. Date & Time: June 8, 2016 at 7:00 PM
Irene and Alex Shaland are panelists at the Self-Publishing Roundtable Panel organized by the Writing Center, Cuyahoga County Public Library, South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch. Date and Time: June 2, 2016, 7:00 PM. To register call: 216-382-4880.
Photography Show: Wildlife Photography by Alex Shaland at New City Public Library, New City, NY. Dates: April 3 through April 30, 2016. See details:  April 2016 Africa Photo Show Flyer
Irene Shaland presents her new book “The Dao of Being Jewish and Other Stories” on April 24, 2:00 PM at the Coffee Phix Cafe 4485 Mayfield Road, South Euclid, Oh 44121.
Irene Shaland’s lecture “In Search of a Jewish Story in China” at Park Synagogue, Beachwood, OH. Date & Time: February 9, 2016 at 10:45 AM. Open to Park Synagogue members.
Irene Shaland’s Lecture: “Stones Fill the Void: Visiting the Murdered Jews of Vienna” See Vienna Flyer Date: December 16, 2015 7:00 PM at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage.
Photography Show Face-to-Face with Africa and other Wildlife by Alex Shaland Nov.5 – Dec.1 2015 at the Cuyahoga County Public Library, Orange Branch.  See details: Flyer Wildlife Photography
 Irene Shaland’s lecture “In Search of a Happy Jewish Story in India” at New City Library, New City, NY. Date: Sunday, October 18 at 2 PM  See detailsIndia Lecture Flyer
Irene Shaland’s lecture “Face-to-Face with Africa” at Detroit Public Library. Date: Sept. 12, 2015 at 1 PM. See details: Detroit Africa Lecture Flyer.
Irene Shaland’s lecture “In Search of a Happy Jewish Story in India” at Orange Branch, Cuyahoga County Library. Date: Thursday, August 13, 7 PM. See details: India Lecture Flyer
Irene Shaland’s lecture “Scandinavia Through the Eyes of a Jewish Traveler” at New City Library, New City, NY. Date: Sunday, June 21 at 2 PM  See details: Scandinavia Lecture Flyer
Irene Shaland’s lecture “In Search of a Jewish Story in China” at Fairmount Temple, Beachwood, Ohio. Date: May 12 at 1:00 PM. See details: China Lecture Flyer
Art Show: Wildlife Photography by Alex Shaland  at Fort Lee Library, Fort Lee, NJ. Dates: April 19 – May 23, 2015.  See details: Art Show Flyer
Irene Shaland’s lecture “Face-to-Face with Africa from the Jewish Perspective”  at Fort Lee Library, Fort Lee, NJ. Date: April 19, 2015 at 2 PM  See details: Africa Lecture Flyer
Irene Shaland’s lecture “Scandinavia Through the Eyes of a Jewish Traveler” at Mandel JCC.  February 11 at 10:00 AM.
Irene Shaland’s lecture “In Search for a Jewish Story in China” at Mandel JCC.
February 25 at 10:00 AM.
Irene Shaland’s lecture “Scandinavia Through the Eyes of a Jewish Traveler” at Maltz Museum of Jewish History, Beachwood, OH.  This lecture is free. March 4 at 7:00 PM.

Read Irene’s Jewish stories from Europe, Asia, and Africa.








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