On Tuesday, I got hit in the head more than a couple of times with green or silver beads but, unfortunately, not a coconut. Coconuts are what you want the people on the Zulu parade floats to throw at you.
I am not a shopper. But when I travel, I love shopping — not at Zara or Desigual — but at local markets, where members of the community sell what they grow or make. Every market visit is an education in local culture and every market is a place to feel connected to the local community. People are happy — or at least hopeful. And that kind of shopping doesn’t require you to buy anything to make you feel good.
It has been more than two years since I first arrived on the Greek island of Lesvos where overloaded boats brought refugees to the island’s windy beaches. The people in the boats were mostly young and many were children — wet, cold and hungry, escaping war and persecution in their home countries. Continue reading
“Loneliness expresses the pain of being alone and solitude expresses the glory of being alone.”
— Paul Tillich, German Philosopher
For most of the past three years, I have traveled the world on my own and, yes, some days I wake up dreading another day alone. I am a social person. I miss my family and friends at home, and I love traveling as a team. So why do I keep traveling the world alone?
What do you do when, without warning and in a second, you find your life tragically changed? You could travel the world until you found a piece of land that is perfect for a resort with horses. That is what Blue Van Doorninck did after losing her husband and the dreams they shared. Continue reading
This past year, I have been traveling a little more like a normal tourist than I did when I set out on my travels three years ago. Back then, I made a point to use the transportation used by locals, eat at the night markets and food stalls, and visit every kind of neighborhood. I was reminded of this in Managua when my taxi driver took me to the bus station instead of the meeting place for the tourist shuttle. Continue reading
The tour books say there is not much to see in Managua, Nicaragua. This sounds like an invitation. I like to look for what’s beneath the surface, whether the surface is sublime or funky. There are always secrets and special somethings everywhere you go, right? Continue reading
Until I spent a few days on the Amatista, “Amazon” meant big river, impenetrable jungles and dark-skinned men with blow darts. The vision is accurate as far as it goes – except that the blow darts are now mostly found in souvenir shops — but I learned this week how the Amazon is a lot more than a river. The Amazon basin, called “Amazonia,” is one of the earth’s natural superstars. Continue reading