The Angels in the Details

Sculpture in Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia

I love taking photographs when I travel, but I am selective about it because cameras can make you an outsider, an observer instead of a participant. One thing I like about having a camera is that, even if I don’t use it, I pay a little more attention to the details.

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Home Sweet Wherever It Is

My “real” home in California

In traditional cultures, where you live is a big part of who you are.  Many Americans, on the other hand, tend to view our communities as way stations to somewhere else. Most of us leave home at an early age and don’t return to raise our kids in the communities where we grew up.  As we age, many of us move again for economic reasons or to be with the grandchildren our children are raising  somewhere else.        Continue reading

The Other Ethical Travel



Every year, the Berkeley-based non-profit, Ethical Traveler, announces its Top Ten most ethical places to travel in the developing world.  This year, the winners include Uruguay, Micronesia, and Mongolia.  The goal of Ethical Traveler is “to use the economic clout of tourism to protect human rights and the environment.” Its Top Ten countries get high marks for these attributes and it encourages us to visit them for that reason.

Wow, I am down with using travel to protect human rights and the environment.  But I am not convinced the best way to do that is to go to the places that have good human rights and environmental records.

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