Jan 072012
 
Colors of European vs. Asian Royal Palaces and Weddings

I just got a call that my wedding dress has arrived and is ready for my fitting! Ahhh!

Not only is this thrilling, but it is also highly relevant to this article about royal palaces around the world. Why? Because my dress is white-ish, and so are most royal and governmental buildings in Europe and America! This is in sharp contrast to the bursting rainbow colors of Asian royal buildings and wedding [...Read More!]

Jan 112011
 
8 Great Cities of RTW Travel to Actually Move To and Live

I had a lot of reasons for leaving my career and home to travel around the world in August of 2009, and one of them was a vision of starting a new life abroad.  For the first eight months of my voyage, I was convinced that (after rockin’ out Asia and Africa) I would find the endpoint of my dreams in Barcelona, Spain.

When I arrived in Spain, however, I realized Barcelona [...Read More!]

Dec 242010
 
Illegal Thai Fruit, Odd NYC Veggie, and Ghana Intensity

Exactly one year ago, I was almost arrested in Bangkok, Thailand for bringing an illegally smelly fruit onto a public train.

You can read the whole dramatic story by clicking here, but the short version is that durians (giant, monstrously spiky fruits common in Asia) smell so horrifically bad that there are signs all over public transport in Southeast Asia warning against carrying them.  And I did.  And a Thai policeman nearly [...Read More!]

Dec 272009
 
Bangkok to Rome, Via Dubai!

I have just woken up in a drafty high-ceilinged room in Rome, surrounded by five fifteen year old Italian boys and one sweet college lad from Hong Kong named Himmy. Did you know that “Mixed Gender Hostel Dorm” actually means, “Lots-a Boys”?

The Italian fellows are gesturing wildly as they explain to us how they are traveling for ten days and will need loads of presents to make it up [...Read More!]

Dec 262009
 
Bangkok Signs to Make You Smile While I Fly to Italy

Happy Holidays, all!

Right now I’m freaking out. In exactly twelve hours, as this article is auto-published, I will be flying through the air from Bangkok to Rome, via Dubai. This will be a CRAZY shift after nearly five months in Southeast Asia!

How to take this in?! How to process this?! Here’s how I’ve tried:

1. Acknowledged: I AM ready (and even super-psyched!) to move on to the next [...Read More!]

Dec 252009
 
X-Mas Eve: Stopped by Police for a Fruit

It was Christmas Eve in Bangkok when the Skytrain policeman strode up to me and pointed to the plastic bag I held.

“NO,” he commanded.

So it was true! It IS illegal to carry durian fruit on the train!

After some protesting on my part, the policeman finally took four plastic bags and wrapped them tightly around the already saran-wrapped carton of durian.

Yet… the smell still reeked on. The cop glared at me [...Read More!]

Dec 242009
 
Ways to Meet Other Solo Female Travelers, and Why it's Essential

Beverly Daniel Tatum’s book, “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria,” is a standout text in teacher training courses. In it, Tatum argues that self-segregating with members of our own “groups” is not always so bad.

Sometimes self-segregation is positively essential in maintaining our sanity!

I realized last week that I’d started talking with my male travel buddies as if they were women. Really, this is just dumb. [...Read More!]

Dec 232009
 
Bangkok Hospital: Quality Vaccines and Sex Changes!

I currently have in my tummy: papaya, persimmon, and Polio vaccine. Yum!

This Polio vaccine was the one remaining thing my pincushion-ed self needed for West Africa travel. To obtain it, I moseyed to the West of Thailand’s capital to famed Bangkok Hospital.

Of course, by “moseyed,” I actually mean I got really lost, ended up in an area with no breakfast options and turned to street fruit, and ultimately walked [...Read More!]

Dec 222009
 
Geographically Un-Chained: Could YOU Work on the Beach?

Luigi had a revelation as we watched Ko Lanta’s azure ocean behind the “Free Wi-Fi” sign.

“I only need to be supervising the sausage company in person for six months of the year, during festival season…” he murmured slowly, putting thoughts together, “and the other six months I’m just behind a computer, coordinating sausage marketing and production.”

My British sausage-making friend gazed out at the white sand stretching luxuriously to our right and [...Read More!]

Dec 212009
 
The Bus Breakdown Without a Mental Breakdown!

We had a bus breakdown en route to Bangkok from Ko Lanta, and not a single tourist had a mental breakdown! I’m so proud of our kind.

Indication number one that something was wrong with our bus: the temperature inside was worse than a sauna.

I’m prone to exaggeration, so my brother is likely shaking his head right now, scoffing: “Yea right! It was probably seventy degrees Fahrenheit in there, you wimp!” [...Read More!]

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