Apr 15

The Best Way to Go Trekking in Sapa

I hunched over for Mae to put the final touch, a heavy silver chain necklace, over my head. She brought her arms back down to her tiny four-foot frame and smiled up at me with a pleased glimmer in her eyes. I was now decked out in her clothes, the traditional garb of the Black …

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Apr 11

What It’s Like to Arrive in Vietnam

  The first thing I noticed about Vietnam was the smell. I hadn’t even stepped outside yet, but as I drug my suitcase out of customs the unmistakable scent of pho wafted across my nostrils. At least I thought it was pho. But then it dawned on me that it was merely the same smell …

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Apr 02

Island Hopping in El Nido, Palawan

Crammed for 6 hours into a 10 person van with 14 other people and their luggage as we bumped over unpaved roads and careened around mountainous corners, I wondered bitterly why I had wanted to go to El Nido, anyway. These had better be the best damned beaches I’ve ever seen.   Luckily, they were. …

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Mar 31

Monthly Recap: March 2015

I have literally been across the world and back again in the last month and a half. Because my round the world trip is going to have me visiting lots of new places and going on all kinds of adventures I’m going to start doing a monthly recap of where I’ve been, what I’ve done, …

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Mar 25

Palawan’s Underground River (Tourist Trap)

In planning for Palawan, an island on the west side of the Philippines, everything kept pointing to the famed “Underground River”. It’s the 7th wonder of the natural world! It’s the most amazing thing you will ever see! It’s cooler than ice cream and better than sliced bread! So, persuaded by the exuberant advertising, we …

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Mar 13

Professional Beach Bumming: The First Week of my RTW Trip

  Floating in water clear as glass, palm bordered white sand stretching into the distance on either side of me, I lay back and eye the clouds billowing across the azure skies. I have to remind myself that this is my life now. It’s not a vacation, it’s not just a temporary respite from the …

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Feb 26

Announcing My Round The World Trip Itinerary!

I’ll be honest, I never thought the time would come. Everything I’ve been working toward for the last few years is finally about to happen and it doesn’t even feel real. Two weeks ago I got on a plane and left behind my life in Korea forever, and I haven’t even wrapped my head around …

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Feb 19

Saying Goodbye to Korea After 2 Years

I’ve never been good at goodbyes. How can anyone be good at them, really? One goodbye never makes the next easier. What I struggle with most in saying farewell is how much emotion to put into it. Some people break down sobbing, or at least tear up and give that long, emotional gaze to show …

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Feb 05

Korean Temples: The Beauty in the Details

Walking along our local hiking trail I pointed out a tiny bug on the ground and commented on its interesting shape. My friend gave me a strange look and exclaimed, “How on earth did you see that?!” I laughed and explained to her that I am a details person. Where others see a vast landscape, …

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Jan 30

Deskwarming: The World’s Most Dangerous Job

Mine remover. Firefighter. Lion tamer. Nuclear bomb builder. While those jobs all sound dangerous, nothing compares to the world’s most perilous job taking place right here in Korea. And I don’t mean being Kim Jong Un’s hair stylist. What could possibly be more life threatening, more harrowing, more death defying even than wrestling alligators and …

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Jan 26

The Chicken Feet Incident

Just another day in my Asian life.   I stopped at the chicken lady’s table in the market near my house and pointed to the raw chicken I wanted. I was going to make bone broth with the carcass and cook a delicious chicken noodle soup. The man held up a blade and seemed to …

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Jan 25

What I Loved About Taiwan

Until recently, the only thing I knew about Taiwan was that toys were made there. I’d seen the ubiquitous “Made In Taiwan” sticker countless times, but I couldn’t point the place out on a map and I envisioned it as one big factory of a nation. Does that make me a stereotypical ignorant American? Probably. …

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