Thanksgiving, an American holiday fueled by family gatherings and gratitude, came and went last Thursday. Unfortunately, we were away from home this year so we couldn’t spend this occasion with our family. But this was borne of our own choice, circumstances of our own making.
In contrast, many people in this world do not have this choice. Simply put, they cannot go home. Because of their political or religious beliefs, they face persecution and the threat of injury or death if they do.
We met two such families this past weekend in Bangkok. While speaking with them and getting a glimpse of their lives, we began to comprehend what it really means to be a refugee: a life in fear, a life of prolonged uncertainty, and a life of fighting for survival. Continue Reading »
Lake Titicaca, big stuff. South America’s largest lake, the world’s highest commercially navigable one. And if you take it all in from Bolivia’s Isla del Sol, something beautiful. Deep blue skies hang above inky fresh waters, clouds pop over a lonely landscape, and the whole scene is wrapped by the 20,000 foot snowcapped mountains of the Cordillera Real.
It’s one thing to admire the lake from the shores of Copacabana, Bolivia’s main outpost on the lake, but it’s another to hike the length of Isla del Sol. Breath-taking, quite literally. Continue Reading »
Sunday was one of those days when misfortunes were set aloft and misdeeds adrift.
That is, in Bangkok at least.
It was Loi Krathong, a Thai holiday where young and old come out in force. They send their wrongdoings afloat on colorfully adorned lotus leaf rafts down the Chao Praya River and they fire up paper lanterns to carry their misfortunes into the sky.
Then they party like it’s 1999. Continue Reading »
For those of you who’ve visited Bangkok, the name Pantip (or Panthip, if you like) probably rings familiar. If you’ve never traveled to Bangkok and wondered what shopping for gadgets, computers and electronics might look like, here it is: one part modern shopping mall, another part chaotic Asian street market. Continue Reading »
Has anyone ever told you how lucky you are regarding something for which you’ve worked so hard? Even when they’re trying to pay you a compliment, it stings a bit, doesn’t it?
After a visit to a family winery in the Bavarian region of Lower Franconia this past October, I imagine that’s how winemakers sometimes feel.
During a weekend crush event at Bickel-Stumpf winery, we helped pick the season’s Cabernet Sauvignon. We enjoyed the blazing autumn sun, we ate heartily, and we tasted far too many wines. And like any roundly fulfilling experience, one of life’s lessons was reinforced along the way: the best in life is often less about glamour and more about hard work, mettle, and passion.
Continue Reading »
Buy a ticket. Win a prize. Help build a village in India.
Here’s the story.
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Istanbul is like Kreuzberg, but less Turkish.
– A Berlin cabbie puts the city’s Turkish neighborhood in perspective.
Take a walk down any street in Kreuzberg, Berlin and you’ll find scads of döner shops offering shaved, spiced meat (usually lamb) served inside rolled flatbread or in a bread pocket. At a distance, all döner shops look similar – meat sears away on a giant spindle, colorful salads await, and a few guys of Turkish origin zip around putting it all together.
Panorama: Inside Tekbir Döner, in Berlin’s Kreuzberg neighborhood
For best panorama viewing results, press fullscreen (four arrows) and navigate around with your mouse.
But looks can be deceiving: every döner shop – and indeed every döner – is unique. Continue Reading »
Over the weekend, we alluded to the fact that we had been selected as inaugural members of the Gap Adventures Wanderers in Residence program. We were introduced on stage, we called it out on Facebook and Twitter, people congratulated us.
Then the phones started ringing. The back channels lit up. So did the front channels. Everyone was asking, “Sounds cool. Now what does this mean again?”
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We are excited to announce that we have been selected by GAP Adventures for their Wanderers in Residence program. In preparation for the official announcement today, we answered a few questions about our journey, including the age-old travel writing and travel blogging query, “Why do you travel?”
In doing so, we ticked off a list, gazed at our navels and stumbled onto a stickier query: Is travel merely an instrument to achieve a set of objectives or is travel an aim in itself? Continue Reading »
Antarctica. The word still brings smiles to our faces and a jolt of experience adrenaline. It triggers emotions and evokes images of our journey south of the Antarctica Circle earlier this year.
Antarctica excites others, too. We receive a lot of emails about it: asking us about our tour, details regarding how to book, what to bring, when to go.
But earlier this week we received an unusual email. Continue Reading »