Barrio Guadalupe, San Miguel’s Wild Child

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, is one of my favorite places on earth. The city’s historic center is  gorgeous and walk-able and friendly. On any day, you are likely to find parades and processions and music. But, partly because of its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city’s historic center follows an elaborate set of rules…. how you can decorate your building, the colors you can paint your building, the kinds of signs you can hang, and the kind of noise you can make, among other things. It’s ordered and traditional.

But a few blocks from the historic center in barrio Guadalupe, the rules don’t apply….

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I Don’t Call It “Lost:” 8 Ways to Get More Out of Your Travels

Children dressed for street party in Juchitan, Mexico.

Shortly after I began my nomadic life, I wrote about the difference between tourists and travelers. https://kimmie53.com/2014/09/06/lady-who-lunches-or-lunch-lady/  Four years later, my travels have taught me a little more about how to have a deeper experience, to feel a part of a place, and make connections with people. My strategies don’t all work in all situations or for all people, but you get the idea….

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Bye For Now, Wonderful Asia

On the path of the Temple Walk near Tokushima, Japan

Today is my last day of almost 4 months in Asia. I am feeling sentimental about it….so many special moments, beauty, pathos, fun, learning, unbearable heat and food I didn’t like. Here are a few photos that I haven’t posted previously .

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What I Learned About Taiwan from Yu Peng

A week is not enough to understand anything in depth but, in travel, it’s usually enough to form some impressions. Taipei? The language and the style is Chinese but most Taiwanese don’t think of themselves as Chinese. They are Taiwanese. But what is Taiwanese?

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Taiwan — There’s a Lot Going on Under the Surface

Busy street in downtown Taipei, Taiwan’s capital.

On my first day in Taiwan, I asked a young Taiwanese woman in my hotel what she thinks about Taiwan’s relationship to China. She looked the other way and lowered her voice to a whisper. The next day, my taxi driver eagerly downloaded his decidedly progressive political views until I asked him about Taiwan’s future. Then he paused and lowered his voice.

Because sometimes in life, the best way to deal with disagreement is to just keep a low profile and do what you want.

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Okonomiyaki, Japan’s Slow Fast Food

Street food stand in Fukuoka

Most Americans probably think of Japanese food as sushi, ramen, and chicken teriyaki. But of course, in actual Japan, there is a lot more to it. The small restaurants and street food stands serve various kinds of brothy noodle soups and mysterious pickled vegetables, breaded pork chops and barbecued meat skewers. Sweet and savory stuffed buns and dumplings, and bento boxes full of a dozen things most Americans, including me, probably could not identify.

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Kanazawa and Awazu Kiyoshi

Chillin in Kanazawa’s Kenrokuen Garden, considered among Japan’s most beautiful.

History matters and the Japanese City of Kanazawa has been lucky that way. The city’s good fortune began before it was a city when a farmer found flecks of gold in Kanazawa’s water as he was digging for potatoes. Things went uphill from there. The powerful Maeda family moved in during the 17th century and, for 300 years, invested in the arts, infrastructure, and education, creating a thriving, beautiful city. Also lucky — in the 20th century, Kanazawa was spared the devastation of WW II.

The result of all that good history is a wealthy, modern city with a focus on the arts, parks, historic neighborhoods and local foods.

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Kyoto Re-visited: Raku, Kasuri and Kintsugi

Quirky doll store never seen by tourists in Kyoto

I loved my first visit to Kyoto, which was before the city’s famous Nishiki Market replaced artistic displays of incredible foods and high-end craft shops with plastic-wrapped produce and cheesy souvenir stands. It was before convenience stores were on every street corner, even in the city’s most historic neighborhoods. There were not so many tourists that you felt like a dumb tourist. https://kimmie53.com/2015/02/22/less-is-more-and-more-is-more/#more-3387.  My first visit wasn’t in 1970. It was four years ago.

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