On impulse, Cynthia Hicks shelled out big bucks at a Chinese pearl factory. When buyer's remorse kicked in, the emotional journey behind it was unexpected.
The morning of a late-night flight from Mexico City to Rome, Ashya Griffin was ready with passport, wallet, and flight information organized in her favorite red leather cross-body purse. So, no one was more surprised than she was to suddenly find herself at the check-in counter unable to put her hands on an essential document and unable to board.
In the weeks leading up to a trip to India, Carolyn Handler Miller imagined all she'd see and experience: elephants, camels, monumental architecture, gorgeous saris and mysterious rituals at the Ganges. What she didn’t envision, however, was an unexpected aspect of the culture that left her questioning her ideas of privacy.
A decade ago, on the tiny isle of Cape Clear off the southern coast of Ireland (pop. 100) Rachel Dickinson found herself sitting next to a man in a pub who graduated from the same small college she attended in Upstate New York. It was such an improbable meeting that it threw her into a magical daze. Today, she recalls a trip filled with birds and quirky characters and a wee bar in a house where everyone drank and twirled to the music of a fiddle, pennywhistle, and bodhran.
Irene Sardanis and her husband love to travel. They disagree, however, when it comes to where to stay. He prefers the basics: a bed and a bath. She wants spacious rooms, fresh flowers, and a balcony with a view. On a trip to Italy, after enduring one too many drab, dark, and dismal hotel rooms, Irene rebelled, took charge, and found the ideal room for romance with passion as her reward.
The "red alert" broadcast email warned anglers, "it's going to be brutal, dress warmly, don't wear runners." Vancouver's weather forecast called for 100% chance of heavy rainfall and high wind. That would translate to a 100 millimeters of drenching rain. The deluge accompanied by 90 kilometer winds would produce horizontal precipitation.
Vancouver Chinook Classic Derby, an annual catch and release salmon tournament shouted out the forecast proclaiming a finality, "The show must go on."
by Dina Lyuber
Being naked in public, for a North American, is the stuff of nightmares. Why? Is it because our bodies are so embarrassing? Perhaps it’s just a social convention; we are expected to hide our bodies, and so we feel awkward in public spaces when we must expose them. Maybe this is why many tourists avoid bathhouses. After all, they have a perfectly nice, private bathtub in their hotel room. And back home, they can wear a bathing suite as they sink into the hot tub at the community pool.
They may have avoided exposure, but they have no idea what they are missing.
by Angela Smith Kirkman
“Meet us at El Embrujo in 30 minutes,” the voice on the other end of the line says in Spanish.
“Yes, I’m here with Marlith. We’re sending a taxi to pick you guys up. It’s your last night in Peru—our last chance to boogie down.” [My translation.]
“Thanks for the invite, Gloria, but I’m sorry, we just can’t do it.” I say, glancing toward my husband, Jason, who’s busy making sure all of our passports are in order.
I still haven’t quite figured out how to dance to Peruvian pop music, but I’m giving it my best shot.
by Ellen Barone
I sit tightly wedged into an economy class airline seat, braced for the long haul — a pashmina hanging from the seat back, a water bottle in the magazine flap, ear pods in the iPhone jack—when a handsome Air France steward stops to stand beside my aisle seat.
“Excuse me, madam,” he says, leaning into my view. “These two are mother and daughter,” he continues, gesturing to an elegant middle-aged woman in the row in front of me and the twenty-something blonde seated beside me. “Would you please exchange seats so that they can sit together?”
Mageru pulls over to the side of the road, parks and idles the Land Cruiser. We are still a few hours away from arriving back in Addis Ababa. He looks over to me, pats the steering wheel and says “I am a little tired. You can drive.”
This does not strike me as a generosity I should accept. Although I am confident in Canada, Ethiopian driving doesn’t exactly rev my engines. “Oh…I don’t think so, honey. The driving here is very different from my experience back home.”
by Angela Smith Kirkman
As far back as I can remember, my life’s goal has been to travel around the world. Now, as I sit in row twenty-two of our Boeing 777, chasing the moon over the Pacific somewhere between Tokyo and the International Date Line, I can feel the book closing on this chapter, on the whole epic adventure. And the same question keeps resonating in the back of my mind.
by Chris Pady
While visiting the town of Derge (rhymes with reggae) in eastern Tibet, my partner, Michele, and I learn of Palpung, the area’s largest and most important Kagyupa (White) sect monastery, locally known as the “Little Potala Palace”.
Yet despite Palpung’s reputation, we have no luck hiring a guide through any of the town’s hotel staff, shopkeepers, or restaurant owners. Finally, we bump into an English-speaking monk who promises to arrange everything for us. “Meet here at 7 o’clock tomorrow morning”, he instructs, pointing to a designated spot. Nothing about the arrangement spells certainty, yet we’ve got nothing to lose.