An around-the-world traveler’s guide to diarrhea, malaria, altitude sickness, motion sickness, headaches, birth control, eggy burps, cuts, scrapes, and green snot.
During my first journey outside of North America in 1997, I flew from India to Australia. On that flight, courtesy of some of Mumbai’s most phenomenal street food, my bowels turned to liquid, so much so that the flight attendants officially changed my seat from 24G to Lavatory Aft. Continue Reading »
“Wait, isn’t your life one big vacation?”
I realize that we, as travel bloggers, do our bit to perpetuate this myth by posting fun updates and photos on an almost constant basis. While all these experiences are true, there are also unglamorous bits, challenging stuff that goes on behind the scenes.
So here’s a bit of the honest truth: I’m tired. Actually, I’m exhausted. Continue Reading »
Ever wondered what sawdust carpets have to do with Good Friday? Continue Reading »
Once upon a time, Buddhism was the prominent religion across the land that is now Bangladesh.
Although Buddhists only make up around 1% of the population today, you can find pockets of of Marma, Chakma and other ethnic communities practicing in the Chittagong Hill Tracts in southeastern Bangladesh. There are even a few Bengali Buddhists about. Continue Reading »
Oh, Bangladesh. To unpack this country is the stuff of lifetimes. But let’s begin with this: Bangladeshis are a curious lot. And there are a lot of them, as in 150 million or so, all living in a country the size of the state of Wisconsin.
Bangladesh doesn’t get many foreign visitors, either. So if you do drop in and take a walk just about anywhere, chances are that you’ll be swamped in humanity. (God forbid that you actually stop moving, for you might not be able to move again.)
Audrey in the role of the Pied Piper at a village school.
And people will ask many questions — that help them learn about us and that we believe say much about their culture. So we offer images of a few of the people we’ve met, the questions they’ve asked, and the way they’ve asked them. Continue Reading »
Open the panorama below and you might be wondering, “Is that really Bangladesh??”
In scenes like this one at the indigenous market in the town of Bandarban, it’s easy to forget which country we’re visiting. Bandarban is part of an area known as the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT). CHT’s rolling hills in southeastern Bangladesh are home to over fifteen indigenous groups, many of which have their origins in far eastern India, Burma and Southeast Asia.
While the market had some unusual features for one in Bangladesh — a monitor lizard butchered to bits at the river’s edge, a huge pig sawed in half mid-market, massive sting rays hanging on hooks, and sacks jumping with plump frogs — something else stood out. Women. Continue Reading »
OK, great photos and stories from Jordan but what exactly was your itinerary? Where did you go, stay, eat? We’ve been answering a bunch of “I’m thinking of going to Jordan” emails and need a place to put all of our answers.
So here it is: the details of where we stayed, where we ate, what we saw and experienced. The whole scoop for one final go-round.
Continue Reading »
Have you ever set off for a destination not really caring whether you actually arrive?
The other morning, we hopped on rented single speed bikes (they looked like racing bikes, but rode like penny farthings) and headed off into the tea plantation hills of eastern Bangladesh. Our destination: Madhabpur Lake, 25 kilometers outside of our base of Srimongal.
We thought the lake would be nice, but figured the bicycle journey there and back would offer some interesting experiences and a new perspective on the people who lived in the villages and amongst the tea plantations.
As often happens, getting to the lake was far more interesting than the lake itself. And this got me to thinking: What was the purpose of the lake – the destination — in the first place? Continue Reading »
During the harvest in the desert hills outside the northwest Argentine town of Cachi, you can find scattered carpets of red hot chili peppers drying in the sun. Although we haven’t mastered the technology to deliver the sensation of what their aroma and heat feel like as you approach, we can at least share what they look like.
Oh, and if you are wondering if there’s a connection between Argentina and Bangladesh (where we are now) — there is. Continue Reading »
It’s just about impossible to imagine Bangladesh without the bicycle rickshaw. With colorful artwork on the back, hard-working drivers in front, bicycle rickshaws are not relics of the past, but the dominant form of transport throughout the country. The atmosphere of riding in one alternates between the peace of a slow ride above it all and the mania of a bob-and-weave in the thick of it (of the sorts that can make India look positively tame).
Besides its driver, what makes a rickshaw really stand out are its colors and artwork. In one Bangladeshi town in particular, Rajshahi, we noticed a theme in its rickshaw art: Dollywood*-style scenes of buxom women and brawny men.
Here’s a sample of what we found. Continue Reading »