Suzan Crane's gallery of published travel and inspirational articles.

      Join her as she communes with the remote Huoarani tribe in Ecuador's Amazon, parties at a solar eclipse trance gathering in Turkey, treks into the heart of Malaysian Borneo and the bowels of China's outhouses. Read more about the journey that took her from a high flying life in Hollywood to a humble tent in Wadi Musa, Jordan; from first class travel to four-legged travel, from chic urbanite to adventurous Global Gypsy.

      Read even more tales on Suzan's eons.com blog, GlobalGyspyGirl.

    • True Bollywood Story

      True Bollywood StoryI came to Mumbai to be discovered. Well, sort of. I actually came to India’s most populous city to secure my fifteen seconds of fame as an extra in one of the approximately 1,000 Bollywood extravaganzas—twice Hollywood’s output—that are churned out each year by the prolific fantasy factory. In this three-plus-billiondollar annual industry, Hindi filmmakers regularly seek foreign faces to provide international human wallpaper for scenes ostensibly shot in the likes of London, Dubai or Sydney. And I wanted to be among them. By bizarre happenstance, I’d had a brief flirtation with the fame monster several days earlier in, of all places, Kathmandu when, returning to Thamel district from a hair appointment, I walked smack into the filming of a music video by Nepali actor/comedian Hari Bansha Acharya. Next thing I knew, I was on set alongside four other pale foreigners dancing to a folk-inspired pop concoction lacing the sweet strings of a traditional sarangi with the djimbe’s percussive groove. It was catching. And left me keener than ever to clock additional screen time across the border in India, impending 14-hour workdays for a measly 500-rupee “fee” be damned.

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      Wild West Timor

      Oelekam cultural chief clad in a traditional ikat and bell-anklet

      Oelekam cultural chief clad in a traditional ikat and bell-anklet

      If you don’t mind sliding off the grid,set your sights on West Timor. This region, stretching nearly 16,000 square kilometers in Indonesia’s East Nusa Tenggara province, is not to be confused with Timor-Leste, its independent neighbor. You won’t find über-posh resorts here, although the bustling seaside capital of Kupang has a few comfortable options and enough sightseeing to keep you busy for several days. Outside of the relative buzz of Kupang, the rest of the island is the very picture of peaceful, which suits the 1.8 million inhabitants—most of Malay, Papuan or Polynesian descent—who subsist on fishing, timber harvesting and slash-and-burn agriculture just fine.

      And when you peel back the rugged veneer, you’ll discover a rich heritage that harkens back to antiquity, scenic landscapes dotted with beehive huts, and waterfalls cascading through adventure verdant forests with the fury of an ancient power. The palm-fringed beaches of Lasiana, Gurita Bay and Semau Island promise tranquility while trekking Mt. Mutis, West Timor’s highest peak, delivers views extending to Darwin. Of course uncovering these hidden gems can prove tricky for tourists, so why not recruit royalty to lead the way?

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      A New Wave of Killing

      Masai maraIn silence and solitude we traverse the scrub-specked grasslands of Kenya’s famed Masai Mara in search of an elusive leopard  spotted the previous day.

      The rains have begun and newly formed rivers and gorges pockmark a terrain sketched with the region’s emblematic acacia trees. Shuka-clad Masai tend cattle on conservancy land fringing the national reserve and copious wildlife blankets the expanse. But few of the roughly 700,000 tourists who descend annually upon one of the Seven New Wonders of the Natural World remain. Soon, shuttered camps will reopen and from July through October crowds will return to witness the Great Migration of countless wildebeest, zebra and other game transiting from Tanzania’s adjoining Serengeti National Park.

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      Off-Season Adventures in the MASAI MARA

      Suzan with Masai villagersThe small plane hovers low over the sprawling scrub-pocked grassland’s of Kenya’s famed Masai Mara, a tapestry of grazing wildlife looming ever larger as we approach the muddy airstrip. Flat-topped acacia trees dance under a metallic sky that threatens rain, majestic elephants and towering giraffes shadowed in an endless wave of distant horizons. The few passengers onboard scatter to a few remaining open camps, the world’s “Seventh New Natural Wonder” all but deserted in low season. I’m quite happy, though, to be a Lone Ranger in God’s Wild Kingdom, dodging the crowds that flood the Mara each July to October during the Great Migration of wildebeest, zebras and other plains game to and from Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park.

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      KENYA: Where The Wild Things Were

      Old Tusker

      In 2011 the Mara Elephant Project was established to combat the dual dilemma impacting Masai Mara’s elephant population. Founded by Richard Roberts, owner of two exclusive eponymous tented camps, the non-profit works with such organizations as the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), US-based Escape Foundation, and Save The Elephants to monitor collared elephants and patrol the territory. Although MEP maintains two roving security teams, a network of paid informants, and addresses animal casualties through a veterinarian provided by the Sheldrick Foundation, air coverage and additional units are desperately needed to adequately safeguard the region.  As such, I’m happy to know that my conservancy fees and lodging tariff help support these crucial efforts.

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      Finding my Soul and Losing my Heart in the Equadorian Amazon: A Spiritual Journey With the Remote Huaorani Tribe

      Suzan & HuaoranisJuninto extended a hand and hauled me from the sludge in which I was helplessly sinking as I struggled up the muddy hill from the Cononaco River below. Wearing nothing but rubber boots and a traditional comé (a string supporting the genitals), his lips curled in a curious smile, long obsidian hair billowing down a muscular brown back. “Huaponi” he uttered. “Hello.”

      We are deep in the Ecuadorian Amazon, a world away from the slightly less alien world of the country’s more visible indigenous cultures. After a spine-crushing three hour journey from the small city of Coca in an open-air ranchero, a motorized canoe transported us 150 miles from civilization into the remotest bowels of the jungle.

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      Travel Alert

      Travel SafetyEven a well-traveled tourist can fall victim to crime. Don’t make the same mistake…

      Originally published in Viva. DOWNLOAD

      Rembrandts on Exhibit, for Adults Only

      Rembrandts on ExhibitLong dismissed as dirty little secrets, Rembrandt’s erotic etchings have been known to collectors for centuries but rarely seen by the public. In 2001 the British Museum exhibited several of the prints. Now, the World Erotic Art Museum (weam.com) in Miami Beach is showing the entire collection together — 20 etchings — for the first time.

      Rembrandt depicts sexual encounters in a suggestive but unambiguous way in works like “The Ledikant” (1646), which portrays a couple making love. Right, “Woman With the Arrow (Venus and Cupid?),” 1661.

      By today’s standards, the etchings — inspired by the Bible, Greek mythology and everyday life — seem tame. But in Rembrandt’s time they were scandalous and closely guarded by those who owned them.

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      4 Best Spots for New Years

      4 Best Spots for New YearsWhether your looking for an all-night roving dinner party or an adventure in the desert, one of these international hot spots will provide the unique holiday you seek. Let the festivities begin!

      Originally published in VIVmag, Nov-Dec, 2010. DOWNLOAD

      Bocas del Toro – Past, Present, and Future

      Bocas del Toro“I hear Bocas Del Toro is changing,” a friend warned as I prepared a return visit to the idyllic Panamanian archipelago that served as my home several years ago. The face of Bocas has been evolving ever since the arrival of Columbus in 1502, adapting bit by bit to the barrage of new cultures trying to lay claim to their piece of paradise. But, I wondered, just how much of its quaint reggae ambiance and idiosyncratic character had succumbed to development and burgeoning tourism since I’d last visited?

      As our plane descended from an azure sky, almost everything appeared exactly as I remembered: simple motorized dinghies and traditional hand-paddled “cayucos” scurrying between six inhabited islands; rickety docks abutting the sea; wooden shacks and thatched-roof huts fringing the shores; desolate emerald atolls sprinkled like fairy dust atop the jeweled Caribbean; water so warm and translucent it mirrors your soul; and the oldest marine park in the country silently safeguarding endangered manatees and sea turtles. The biodiversity here is so vital that a Smithsonian Tropical Research Center set its anchor on the main island to study and protect it.

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