Dec 172011
 
Mansions and Danger at the Cliff Walk in Newport, R.I.

One of the most dramatic tourist attractions in New England is totally free: the 3.5-mile Cliff Walk in historic Newport, Rhode Island!

Just make sure, as this sign pictured to the left politely points out, not to hurtle off the “cliff” aspect of the whole “Cliff Walk” thing.

Here’s what makes the Cliff Walk so amazing: it’s a marriage of nature’s glory with the most opulent human-made mansions imaginable.

On one side, you have [...Read More!]

Dec 012011
 
The School Toilet in China That May Make You Gasp

Never in my life have I been more dizzied from cultural differences than the afternoon I saw the Girls’ Bathroom in a 4,000-student school of Yunyang, China.

It wasn’t that the bathroom was rather run-down and dirty that shocked me. No– I’ve been a teacher in large urban schools in Boston for seven years and have seen (and smelled) my share of dirty school bathrooms. I’ve also squatted in all sorts of [...Read More!]

Nov 262011
 
My First Vegan Thanksgiving Was Delicious!

If you’ve read about my new fiancé Colin eating duck feet and pig tails in China, you may be shocked to learn that his family is vegan!

For maximal heart health, Colin’s parents, Diane and Estes, follow the Doctor Esselstyn Diet: no meats, fish, eggs, oil (even olive oil), processed grains, milk products, or avocados, and very limited sugars and salt.

You may be gasping now, especially if you are a meat-and-oil-loving American, but [...Read More!]

Nov 072011
 
Loving Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts in Shanghai, China?!

As a hip, world-traveling American, I am supposed to run in the other direction when I see a chain store from my native country, especially if that chain is a monster like Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts.

Buuuuut… it’s not that simple. You see, rather than being disgusted by the tentacles of imperialism in corporate garb, I’m frequently fascinated and impressed.

For example, check out the lead photo of this article. Dunkin’ Donuts of [...Read More!]

Oct 102011
 
A Group Tour of Famous Boston TV and Movie Sites

The first  hint, around 2009, that Boston is becoming a hub for filming big movies was that our Charlestown High school announcements started filling with casting calls for “teenagers with strong Boston accents.”

The next hint was last year when seven giant movie trailers set up shop down the street from my apartment and flocks of locals gathered to catch a glimpse of Mila Kunis filming “Ted.”

But it took a guided group [...Read More!]

Oct 062011
 
Give Me an Easy, Free Birthday Gift With a Big Impact!

Tomorrow is my 30th birthday!

Want to make me REALLY, REALLY happy with a free gift? Here’s what I most desire:

1. Show some love to my two websites, AroundTheWorldL.com and TeachingTraveling.com by: reading, commenting on, and reposting/sharing/emailing articles, “Liking” the Facebook pages (currently near 1,400 fans!) and using the “suggest to friends” button, “Stumbling” articles (if you’re advanced like that), and generally bringing as many eyes as possible to these 500+ articles I [...Read More!]

Oct 042011
 
The Funniest Restaurant Food Menu of My China Travels

Let us preface this by saying, humbly, that if I attempted to translate an American menu into Mandarin, what would result would look like stick figures doing a conga line. Now, with that humility out of the way, please sit back and laugh as hard as I did, perusing this dinner menu from a Chinese restaurant in the Bund district of Shanghai.

So which dish would YOU order? 🙂

Sep 292011
 
A China Travel Tip That Could Save Your Life

You know that Green Walking Man icon that indicates (in most countries in the world) that it is safe for pedestrians to cross the road at a designated crosswalk, because oncoming cars must stop?

Take this China travel tip and save a life: In China, the Green Walk Signal actually means… absolutely nothing.

Unfailingly, in the two weeks I traveled through China, I would start to stride across the crosswalk, the Green Walk [...Read More!]

Sep 172011
 
A Vegetarian Trains to Eat Meat in Prep for China Travel

If you are a vegetarian, you are either going to be inspired or disgusted by this article, but either way, you will likely have pondered a similar quandary: What is the best way to deal with vegetarianism during travel to a very different (read: “meaty”) culture?

Colin is a vegetarian and has been for years, chiefly for health reasons: veggies are healthier than meat, especially processed meat. Then we bought our China [...Read More!]

Sep 132011
 
Men in China Tie Up Their Shirts to Show Their Bellies?!

It’s become a game now. A belly-spotting game.

“BELLY!” I shout in delight, and Gareth and Colin turn to look and smile.

“BELLY! DOUBLE BELLY!” hollers Colin, jerking his head towards two different naked-bellied men within fifteen feet of us on the crowded street.

You see, it turns out that in China (especially during the scalding hot summer months), it is perfectly acceptable for men to tie their shirts halfway up their chests and [...Read More!]