Your Papers Please!

Your Papers Please!

The Dreaded Syndrome!

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This has happened to me more times than I like to remember. It is the single most dreaded authoritarian command you just don’t ever want to hear. You’ve just crossed the border into this next banana republic country and you’re very anxious and tense because of all the scary stories you’ve recently heard about this place.

Planet Earth
Almost Anywhere

You really just want to turn yourself right around and go back to where, minutes before, you just came from, but it’s far too late for that or regrets. You are now caught between a rock and a hard place–in a no-man’s land of sorts–a damned if you do and damned if you don’t scenario.

Your palms are wet, your armpits are soaked with sweat, your mouth is dry, your knees are knocking, your cheek is twitching, your eyes are darting, your face is fraught with guilt, and der Herr Comandante–actually a low-level functionary working his way up–is not only leering at you–but he is actually looking right THROUGH you!

You may be a smuggler or you may be completely innocent. Or you may be hiding something as innocuous as a white lie, or you cannot know or imagine what, even. YOU ARE GUILTY OF SOME THING! You know this, but you know not of what. Again, this is the one command that you and all other travelers fear with a passion and loathing, and now you just have to deal with it! 

Whether innocent or guilty, YOU KNOW HE KNOWS! And, if there’s really nothing at all for him to know, you must realize this: he knows you know he knows, anyway! And you can be sure the he WILL FIND SOMETHING. You are sure he is operating on a well-developed sixth sense!

You’ve heard that perhaps you should slip him something, maybe a $10 bill inside your passport, or maybe just a $5 bill to grease his palms to ease his pain. But you know it’s wrong for him to expect something like this. And who knows, maybe you could land in jail for attempting a bribe, a far worse scenario than you ever expected. 

[You’ve tried this once before with a cop who stopped you for a burnt-out taillight in New Jersey. You offered to buy tickets to the Firemen’s Pancake Breakfast. But you failed miserably at it. ]

He stood there silently and sternly for seemingly an eternity, and then he gave you a severe tongue lashing, how that bordered on being a felony.]

What to do? Attempting to bribe simply goes against your grain. It’s just not done in America (hah!). Call it being headstrong or self-righteous. You just won’t do it; you stand on circumstances. You later are told it was naive of you!

This is true and happens all the time. The difference between you, the tourist, and all the others–the more seasoned traveler-adventurer types?–is that, for some unknown reason, they always seem to just walk right on through without the least bit of a hassle, while you will waste dreadful hours of blatant, fearful bureaucratic threats, perpetual bickering and cowering, and finally, anyway, winding up forking over the ultimate, inevitable cash, baksheesh pay-off!

Like this story?

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A Hint of What’s to Come


A Spooky Excerpt from  
Travel Tales Monthly No. 10 April 2015

[Travels of the ‘Spy’]
East Berlin, East Germany, 1964
by Michael Brein

Checkpoint Charlie

I’m about to complete a new ebook and audiobook in my Travel Psychologist Travel Tales Series on the best of the best of my collected travel stories so far. It’s interesting as hell! I’m so proud of this ebook. Why not have a looksee or a listenhear? I even have a monthly special this month to help pave the way for you.

Continue reading A Hint of What’s to Come

Travel Tales Collections Bookazine

Travel Tales Collections
No. 9 April 2015

Airplane  Stories

TTC 9 Cover

My new Travel Tales Collection, issue No. 9 for April 2015, Airplane Stories, a monthly book-of-the-month bookazine, is now available in my eStore. Go to for more information and to purchase or subscribe. And if you are looking for something unique for your traveler-adventurer friends, my travel tales ebooks will fill the bill!

Travel Tales Collection, Airplane Stories, No. 9, April 2015, is part of Michael Brein’s ‘Collections’ travel tales series and contains among the best travel stories from Michael’s huge collection of travel tales that he has gathered in interviews with nearly 1,750 world travelers and adventurers during his four decades of travel to more than 125 countries throughout the world.

Continue reading Travel Tales Collections Bookazine

Crowdfunding Projects in the Wind!

Crowdfunding Projects in the Wind!

It seems almost as if everyone’s doing it: Crowdfunding!

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I have a few new ideas on this and am wondering if anyone has any thoughts about them. Once upon a time I could have been able to fund one or more of them myself. Now, unfortunately, I am not able to. So, therefore, enter crowdfunding. Maybe one or more of these projects is worthy of a crowdfunding attempt? Any thoughts? Thank you.

For instance:


Harebrained? Crazy-Stupit? Clever?
What do you think?

And here’s another for instance:

Folks, I’ve invited people to hear about “Who Are You?” This is one of my own travel stories included in my book, “Travel Tales of Michael Brein: My Best 100!” which has been out in a couple of years already.

A group of tourists to Hawaii in 1994 lost their camera during their visit. I found it, developed their film, and tried to find them. Now, I am trying to go viral with it in a variety of ways.

Hey, we are connected by six degrees of separation (or fewer!) to everyone on our planet. So, what with the advent of the Internet and all kinds of synchronicities, who can say?

One day we’ll say, “Who’da thunk?” I want to toast these people in a personal visit to Hawaii one day!

So, if you can think of kewl ways to spread this virally, please let me know.

And, BTW, I am going to make this one of my seven ‘buried’ mysteries in a special version of the ‘My Best 100’ book: “The Global Treasure Hunt’” edition.

I’m going to grow a reward pot maybe via a crowdfunding project (note: I didn’t say that I was going to grow pot! –rather, a ‘reward pot’) to help fund both the quest for these people as well as 6 other buried mysteries that also remain to be solved. Solve ’em and reap the rewards!

Know anyone who loves treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, geo-cashing, searching for buried treasure, and the like? Please let ’em know! See the 1 minute video on YouTube of the Who Are You Project.

To view these crowdfunding projects please select “Crowdfunding Projects” from “CATEGORIES” on the sidebar on the left below.

A Hint of What’s to Come

The Peterhof Fountain

A Hilarious Excerpt from
Travel Tales Monthly No. 9 Mar 2015

[Travels of the ‘Fool’]
St Petersburg, Russia, 2001
by Michael Brein


The Squirting Fountains of the Peterhof

I’ve just completed a new ebook and audiobook in my Travel Psychologist Travel Tales Series on funny travel stories. It’s funny as hell! I’m so proud of this ebook. Why not have a looksee or a listenhear? I even have a monthly special for April to help pave the way for you.

Continue reading A Hint of What’s to Come

in the News Today: AXS

The Travel Psychologist Is in the News Today

[Website & Blog]

What to do with 72 hours in London

Michael Brein’s Travel Guide to
London by the Underground logo

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Michael Brein, aka ‘The Travel Psychologist,’ Is in the News Today: AXS: What to do with 72 hours in London (featuring Michael Brein’s Travel Guide to London by the Underground.)…

The Travel Psychology of Laughter

 The Travel Psychology of Laughter

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The Travel Psychologist’s Take

Funny is funny no matter what the reason, who is involved, or what the consequences are. Whether at your expense, or due to your intentions, when people have a laugh, it matters not at all, the who, the  what, the why or the how. If it’s funny, people will laugh. Again, no matter if they are laughing at you, because of you, or in spite of you, the effect is the same, for better or for worse, the experience becomes memor-able. It becomes etched in stone and never, ever really and truly forgotten.

Continue reading The Travel Psychology of Laughter

Spring Sale: Buy 1 Get 1 Free!


Travel Tales eBooks

The Travel Psychologist Travel Tales Series



“You wouldn’t believe the incredible stories people have told me about their travels!”

I’ve got collections of phenomenally interesting travel tales waiting for you. In case you’ve not yet sampled one of my ebooks, let me make you a terrific offer!

Buy one of my travel tales ebooks for as little as $2.99 and get another ebook or audiobook in my series for free! Simply email me your confirmation of your purchase at that you’ve purchased one of my ebooks from my eStore on my website and let me know which ebook or audiobook you’d like to have for free, for either yourself or as a gift for someone else.

I’ve put together so far some terrific travel story ebooks on the subjects of: Mexico, Turkey, Russia, African wildlife, food & drink, drugs & substances, women traveling alone: sexual hassles & assaults; close calls & great escapes; cons & scams; ghosts; the paranormal, even toilets! and most recently the funniest stories so far (March 2015). Why not visit my eStore and have a look around!

More great travel stories on a host of different subjects, themes and countries are soon to follow.

Again, for as little as $2.99 I’ll gift you with my ebook, Travel Tales of Michael Brein: My Best 100 ($7.99). Or I’ll give you another one of your choosing. Got Audible? I’ll gift you with a nice audiobook of your choice in my series.

I’ll be very appreciative if you’ll take me up on my offer, and this will be extraordinarily helpful to me as well.

If you’ve ever thought about ordering one of my ebooks before but haven’t yet so far, this would be a good time to take that step. I need your support and will be very grateful for it.



  • 1 Go to,
  • 2. Choose eStore,
  • 3. Order an eBook of your choice
  • 4. Pick another one as your free gift
  • 5. Let me know. Send me a copy of your order confirmation via email to

I’ll gift you with another ebook of your choosing in my eStore or an audiobook in my series on Audible.

NOTE: Buy 1 ebook; get 1 ebook or audiobook for free (lower, equal or greater value). Does not apply to ebook subscriptions. Purchase must be completed on the eStore at Month of April only.

Travel Tales Monthly Bookazine

Travel Tales Monthly
No. 9 March 2015

Travel Tales of Humor: Funny Travel Stories

TTM 9 Cover

My new Travel Tales Monthly issue No. 9 for March 2015, a monthly book-of-the-month bookazine, is now available in my eStore. Go to for more information and to purchase or subscribe.

Michael Brein’s Travel Tales Monthly Bookazine Issue No. 9 for March 2015 contains among the best travel stories from Michael’s huge collection of about 10,000 travel tales that he has gathered in interviews with nearly 1,750 world travelers and adventurers during his four decades of travel to more than 125 countries throughout the world.

This issue is all about travel tales of humor: the funniest travel stories so far! Why not laugh yourself silly with this collection of funny, hilarious, gut-wrenching, LOL (laugh out loud) travel humor. Oh yeah, we do our fair share of ridiculous, raucous, belly-achingly funny things when we travel. And, I ask you: is this NOT one of the most important goals of travel—to laugh ourselves stupid?

Thank God, the funny happens more than the horrific; the ludicrous more than the lame—travel is never boring and never lacking in wonderful, memorable funny causes célèbre that stay with us for the rest of our lives.

Whether falling through someone’s roof on a horse in Afghanistan; whether getting soaked by taunting the ‘fountain gods’ on a lawn at a castle; whether being thrown out of a restaurant in Buenos Aires for dancing on the tops of tables; whether chilling your wine in a bidet, the funniest travel moments that make you laugh are a welcome counter to those rare horrible travel events that make you cry. And it is also these memorable stories that remain with us, isn’t it, after all is said and done, in our travels?

Feel free to laugh out loud with these travel tales of humor presented here in this current issue of Travel Tales Monthly.

For many people, life is all about getting laid, lauded or loaded, but for many of us, it is more about sampling the lives, the cultures, the oddities, the sights, the sounds, the foods, the drinks, and the humor of the peoples of other lands.

For me, it is all of the above, but it is also about laughter. I like to laugh much of the time, and probably would ALL the time if I could. Laughing abroad is what makes travel especially memorable. Of course, we remember the times that we cry; but we do, indeed, also remember the times that we laugh.

Introduction to Travel Tales of Humor: Funny Stories.

Part 1

Travel Tales of Humor: Funny Stories is divided into two parts simply because there is so much material. Part 1 appears here in the current Travel Tales Monthly issue No. 9 Mar 2015 and serves as a general introduction to this subject matter.

Part 2

The unabridged, expanded forthcoming ebook Travel Tales of Humor: Funny Stories,  part of The Travel Psychologist Travel Tales Series, is a larger volume and includes both Parts 1 and 2.


The travel stories in Part 1 consist mainly of the funniest personal travel tales of Michael Brein (me), the author. The travel stories in Part 2 are, largely, the funniest stories of world travelers and adventurers whom I’ve encountered and interviewed throughout my travels over the last four decades to 125 countries.

Mostly, your travels will typically be exciting and interesting, but funny things can and do happen to you at almost any turn along the way. The freedom from the typical constraints of home that travel offers us allows us to act and behave in ways that are often atypical and different from how we normally behave at home.

Thus, in travel, we can take a few more risks and chances and do a few more silly and funny things that we might not ordinarily do at home. With this expanded propensity for more silliness, of course, comes the opportunity for more funny times, more laughs, and more great memories.

For me, I’ve found that I’ve reveled in acting out the ‘Fool’ or the ‘Clown’ in my travels, very often making people laugh at my own expense. It is all in good fun. I’m not typically like this at home but more so in my travels.

I hope laughable events happen to you a lot. I sincerely hope that the funny travel tales of humor that appear in these pages make you laugh and give you a hint of what lies in store for you in your own travels.

If something fantastically funny happens to you, you deserve to also be in these pages!

Got a funny travel tale for The Travel Psychologist Travel Tales Series?

Please contact Michael Brein at