Come explore the wander-love

For My World Book 1 and 2, please visit the neighboring World page.

A short trailer about To Belém & Back: Backroads Brazil with my Black Lab, a travel adventure in which Man & Dog explore a love affair with Brazil, where emotional and physical attachments are fraught with risk

To Belém & Back

(published by EARTHDOG PRESS)


Have you ever wondered how to travel with your favorite pet in a huge tropical country, where footloose foreigners are suspect?

The author abandons his cozy expat life and, instead of returning to the U.S. like a normal re-pat, moves deep into the interior of Brazil.

Here he drives his two-wheel drive station wagon into the Amazon, on the notoriously dangerous Belém-Brasília highway, and back along Brazil’s endless Atlantic Coast, on roads few if any Brazilians brave.  Hence the need for such a ferocious breed as Labrador: for protection.

Along the way, humorous encounters with locals help him to plumb Brazilian culture and history, in so many aspects the flip-side of the American experience, and reveal how he fell in love with Brazil’s beguiling warmth in the first place – along with black Labs. 

Praise for To Belém & Back: Backroads Brazil with my Black Lab


“An insightful and poignant account . . . . As in the very best travelogues, the author seamlessly combines the personal, the political, and the cultural . . . . ”

– Publishers Weekly,  Star review

“Watch out for the potholes!  Enough of an outside to succumb to fearless wanderlust in a dangerous land, enough of an insider to know better, Batchelder is that rarest breed of travel narrator: part intrepid adventurer, part cultural interpreter, full-time storyteller.  Taking the reader on a rich, at times startling odyssey of modern Brazil, To Belém & Back is told with consummate verve, a sly wit, and sumptuous detail of character and place.  You’ll find yourself booking a flight – and a car rental – before the tale ends.  The writing is such a pleasure: vivid, witty, evocative, and erudite.  A rare combination!”

Zach Wallmark PhD, Musicologist and Editor, Neil A. Kjos Music Publishing Co.

“If you are looking for a primer on big, brash Brazil, this lovely book is for you.  In it, Batchelder takes a journey of discovery with his black Lab, traveling the country’s interior and encountering its culture, history, and colorful people.  I don’t know of another travel essayist on Brazil who knows the country so intimately. His wry and funny encounters, often provoked by the novelty of a pet dog, remind one of Steinbeck and his Charley.  Saudades!”

– William deBuys, author of The Last Unicorn and The Walk

“Batchelder enriches this lively journey through Brazil with his deep knowledge of the history, culture, politics, flora and fauna – not to mention his fine writing and understanding of dogs.”

– Tom Swick, author of The Joys of Travel , A Way to See the World, and former Editor, Fort Lauderdale Magazine

To purchase:







Want to preview the book?  Click on the cover above.




Already read the book? Whether you liked it or not, please review it!
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{To view the author’s newest release, My World Book 1, click here.}




Borderlands USA

(previously published by EARTHDOG PRESS)


A short trailer about Borderlands USA: or, How to Protect the Country by Car, a travel essay & travelogue on the meaning of being American post-9/11


When 9/11 struck, Ben Batchelder was living overseas. Dumbfounded, he wondered: How could he help?

After leaving his marriage and corporate career in Brazil, he returns to the U.S. with an outlandish plan: to protect the country by car, driving a silver-plated VW Beetle as close to the remote borders as possible, without getting arrested.

Along the way he gets to know his beloved country again and meets many unheralded borderlanders, whose stories of hard work, patriotism, and perseverance go beyond the usual headlines. Instead, he finds that the nation’s edges reveal much about its core – and in the process comes home to an overwhelming sense of gratitude.



Praise for Borderlands USA: or, How to Protect the Country by Car


“This is a thoughtful, poetic book filled with droll humor and wry observation.”

– Michael Cannell, author of The Limit and former editor at The New York Times

“The American highway is rotten with writers – Kerouac, Steinbeck, Henry Miller, William Least Heat-Moon – who have tried to capture the spirit of this immense and perplexing country. Ben Batchelder has joined the illustrious crowd with a book that is entertaining, enlightening, opinionated, frequently funny and always heartfelt.”

– Tom Swick, author of The Joys of Travel, A Way to See the World, and former Editor, Fort Lauderdale Magazine

“What truly sets this circumnavigation of the continental U.S. apart is Batchelder’s kindness, which exudes through every experience. Readers will benefit not only from a new understanding of the borderlands but also the example of how to negotiate daily life with a benevolent heart . . . . [A] great book with beautiful writing.”

– Lesley S. King, author of King of the Road and All In for Love

To purchase:

Paperback version


Color eBook version


B&W eBook version


Want to preview the book?  Click on the cover above.



Already read the book?  Whether you liked it or not, please review it!

Barnes & Noble



To continue the journey: