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It’s a week I look forward to all year: tour guide summit week in Washington State. So many wonderful people, sharing this lucky career, and an employer I believe in. So I’ll be… Continue reading

Hue welcomes you

  So much rain. Beaded on dragon fruit, dripping off those iconic conical caps, and blending in with the wet scales of freshly caught fish waiting in baskets for today’s buyers. Markets are… Continue reading

Why you should go to Istanbul

“Hello! You walk like an American” said the smiling stranger in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet Square. How was I walking? Having been to the city a few times, I knew where I was going but… Continue reading

What to say about 2016?

2016. Whew. What to say about this year? A year of plotlines that would have made dubious fiction, played out in the newspapers instead. I tried to make a concise list of the… Continue reading

Things got a bit Biblical in Hoi An, Viet Nam

Nobody bombed Hoi An. North Vietnam, South Vietnam, even the Americans in their flying fortresses decided the ancient port city of the Champa Empire with its softly Southeast Asian old town and 16th… Continue reading

What Christmas means to me this year

A friend recently informed me that there is indeed a War on Christmas. “Oh yes,” she said with the utmost gravitas, “They’re making it very hard for us to celebrate it.”   As… Continue reading

It’s all one world

My bus pulled up for a WC break on the way to Phuong Nha, Vietnam. A man drove a truck into a Christmas market in Berlin, Germany. Thousands of miles apart, but it’s… Continue reading

Trekking in Sapa, and a moment everyone who’s done it will remember

“Oh my god, she’s the cutest thing EVER!” cried Megan, one of the two other tourists besides myself following our local guide down the mountainside of Sapa, Vietnam. “I want to take her… Continue reading

Hanoi is many things, let’s start with the loudest

Hanoi is of course many things, but one seems like a logical place to start. And nevermind that two come to mind first. So we’ll begin with the primary denizens of the city,… Continue reading

I’m here

Sometime after that dawn bus ride and before the late night landing in a different country, and on a different calendar page. Somewhere since the home I know and this city I do… Continue reading