The Last 3 Months


Moving is hard work.

In honor of the February 2015 release of the movie musical The Last 5 Years (a musical I adore and played in the pit orchestra for in college) starring my favorite actress Anna Kendrick, here’s a brief synopsis of the last three months of my life for those of you who haven’t been in touch with me.  Continue reading


Hitting Our Stride

After a little over two months of traveling, I think we have hit our stride. Things seem to be getting easier. We are more courageous about street food, we confidently order local dishes in restaurants, and we are more decisive about activities and sightseeing. Plus packing and unpacking seems less onerous than before. Maybe I’ll make it six months after all! Continue reading

An Ongoing Tally of Strange Things I’ve Eaten

A great deal of the fun of travel is eating different foods. Maybe foods you never dreamt you’d try or it would never occur to you to eat. Animal, vegetable or fruit, trying new things is, in my opinion, critical to staying happy in life. And what better way to experience another culture than to eat what they do? So here, in this entry, which I will update regularly, I will keep an ongoing list of interesting things I’ve eaten and how I liked them. Continue reading

Goodbye to the Ugly American

Americans used to have a really bad rap. For years, we were the country with the most tourists worldwide, so whether we deserved it or not, we became targets for global resentment. We became the obnoxious Americans: loud, entitled, inebriated, and ignorant, a stereotype that fit well with a foreign policy that was brazen, haughty and destructive. Today, nearly 20 years after I began traveling abroad, things are different. So what’s changed? Continue reading

Our Asian Bus Travel Honeymoon is Over

For the past month, I’ve been writing mostly about how easy it is to get around in Asia. Our experiences with bus travel have been remarkably pleasant. We had heard so many horror stories about buses that we kept wondering what all the fuss was about. Well, after our experience on the tiny bus from Mui Ne to Dalat, Vietnam, we get it. Bus travel is totally a mixed bag; you never know what you are going to get.
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Earplugs: God’s Gift to Travelers

So you are looking to travel. You buy a book about your destination, you save some money, and you head to REI to check out all the gadgets designed to make your life simpler and safer. You tuck your new security wallet confidently into your underwear and pat yourself on the back. You’re ready to go, right? Wrong. Because without a good set of earplugs, you are not ready for a trip. Continue reading

You Can Take it With You: Cultural Interpretations of Backpacking

If you travel, which we have had the luxury to do since college, you will see young people with giant backpacks at every destination you find. If you’ve found it, either from a book or from a friend’s recommendation, chances are a young European has found it, too. Hopefully, you will strike up a conversation with one of these intrepid explorers, and you will find out that he or she has been traveling for months and has another six months ahead of her. Months! What?? Continue reading