Deserts and dictators. Yurts and nomads. Silk Road cities, staggering yet underrated mountain ranges, Soviet detritus, and one of the world’s greatest road trips.
This is Central Asia. The ‘Stans. Never well understood, but absolutely worth an attempt to understand.
A glimpse of Pik Lenin (23,000+ feet) along the Pamir Highway near the Kyrgyz-Tajik border.
Stay safe in this post Bin Laden world. There is sure to be some backlash; work on your Canadian accent
– A friend offers us some advice in light of recent events.
We’ve lived outside of the United States for almost 10 years, with more than four of them on this around-the-world journey. In that time, we’ve consumed our share of U.S. State Department travel warnings.
So what do those advisories mean to me? Do I pay attention to them? As an American traveling abroad, am I frightened? Continue Reading »
Keep your eyes open as you walk down the streets of Ubud, Bali. Tucked in between all those trendy cafes and shops, you’ll find wooden doorways — sometimes plain, sometimes intricately carved — built into brick and stone archway gates.
Take a peek and you’ll find these doorways serve as portals to other worlds of green and tranquility. Continue Reading »
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 »