Five reasons to be grateful you're traveling now

As I sit here pigging out on leftover stuffing and mashed potatoes, I reflect on how much I have to be grateful for.  I was glad to be home for Thanksgiving this year- it’s one of those holidays that you enjoy more if you have your own kitchen. …
Keep Portland Weird

Portland- It Really Is That Weird?

I was a little surprised when I learned that there are bumper stickers saying “Keep Austin Weird”.  I had thought that the slogan belonged to Portland.  Turns out that it originated in Austin and Portland usurped it.  But in a way, it…
S-21 Security Prison

Traveling to the Heart of Evil

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“Are you going to go?” he asked. I nodded yes, and then warned him that I might cry. I was traveling through Cambodia with a Dutch couple I’d met in Laos.  The destination he was referring to was the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and…
Berber Kitchen

What’s Cooking in the World's Kitchen

“It’s going to be a damned expensive cup of coffee,” my friend admitted. Indeed.  Thousands of dollars.  She was telling me about her kitchen remodel and we were reflecting on the fact that in our travels, we’d both noticed that…

Other Places' Politics

A short, gray-haired man was on the television yelling emphatically in Hebrew.  Of course, I couldn’t understand a word he said, but the news broadcast I was watching had commentators who spoke English.  They explained that he was a member…

Our Lady of Guadalupe

This woman is everywhere. She is more prevalent than the iconic images of Frida Khalo which show up on post cards, Tee-shirts and shopping bags. More prevalent than the ghostly images of Catrina . Even more prevalent than her Son. I know that…

Toilets of the World – My Adventures “Going” Overseas

Happy World Toilet Day! No, I’m not making that up. There really is a World Toilet Day and it’s purpose is to bring attention to the 2.5 billion people in the world who lack appropriate sanitary facilities (ie. toilets).   That’s actually…
Chinese English

Who Speak Worser? – Adventures in Bad English

I was sitting with some Dutch friends by the side of a river in Cambodia.  We were waiting for a guides to arrive with the boats that would take us upstream on the start of a three day trek.  The guides arrived and we climbed into the shallow…
Even street dancers take a lil break

Filipino Fiestas -- it's more FUN in the Philippines

On any given day, a city or a town somewhere in the Philippines surely has a fiesta going on. Colorful and vibrant, Filipino fiestas are always happy occasions for Filipinos. It is a tradition that’s hard to break because its roots go back…
Cervantino Poster

Cervantino Festival

It was a cold October evening, but sitting in my folding chair in front of one of Mexico’s most historic buildings, I was warmed by the excitement in the air.  It had taken more than just the two flights and a nap in the Houston airport to…