Travel to Haiti: First Impressions

Fishing Boats at Pointe Sable - Port Salut, Haiti

Haiti. It’s a country that most people today still associate with earthquakes, coups, and unrest – a sort of irretrievable chaos. Before traveling to Haiti, we knew very little about the country. Even after performing our own research -- let’s face it, there’s little information on Haiti beyond the headline news – we weren’t quite certain what we would find, … [Read more...]

Next Up: Exploring Haiti

Waterfalls of Bassin Bleu near Jacmel.

Why we’re going to Haiti later this week. A view to a different side of the country, including its re-emergence -- and we hope, a path to sustainable tourism development. It’s also about our pursuit of Haitian culture, landscape and cuisine – and the unknown. … [Read more...]

Uganda Beyond the Gorillas: From Boda Boda to Bunyonyi

Lake Bunyonyi

While mountain gorilla trekking is the big draw and anchor experience for many people visiting Uganda, the country offers a lot more in terms of atmosphere and experiences. Prior to our trip to Uganda, we’d heard from other travelers that the country was among their favorites in Africa due to its friendly people and laid-back feel. Beyond the critical human element, … [Read more...]

Romantic Rhine Travel: On and Off the Beaten Path

Rhine Valley

Through sunny days and fog, famous towns and little known ‘burgs, wine cellars and village vintner festivals, this was our time on the segment of the Rhine River known as the Romantic Rhine.Half-timbered homes sit as the foot of cobbled streets. Vineyard paths wind into the hills. And foggy moments as castles disappear and re-emerge on hilltops hint at history. … [Read more...]

Aachen and Cologne: Instagramming a European City Break

Cologne Cathedral

Upon a recent visit to the German Rhineland cities of Aachen and Cologne and the surrounding area, we realized there’s a lot to experience and unpack — that is, to comprehend the full picture of what we’d seen and how astonishingly complex history can be.From Roman beginnings, to medieval ascendency to industrial superiority, Germany’s Rhineland seems to have … [Read more...]

Aachen Cathedral: Just Look Up [360-Degree Panorama]

Aachen Cathedral

Some cathedrals -- with their fanciful gargoyles, detailed carvings and elaborate flourishes -- are best admired for their exterior. For others, it's all about appreciating what's inside.What makes Aachen Cathedral so special for me, despite the beauty of its imposing Gothic exterior, are the mystical elements within. … [Read more...]

Next Up: From Mines to Wines, Germany’s Rhineland

Rhine Valley

As we set off for Germany's Rhineland this weekend, I think back to an exchange I had with a tourist from Stuttgart the other night.“It’s been really fun visiting Berlin this week. It’s like traveling to a different country from Germany,” he said.We laughed. We understood. This is often what we tell people when they ask us how we like living in Germany. We've … [Read more...]

Travel to Rwanda: First Impressions

Fishing Boats on Lake Kivu - Kibuye, Rwanda

Rwanda.  A country where the first thing that comes to mind when people hear the name: the horrific, tragic genocide of twenty years ago. When we mentioned that we were looking forward to visiting Rwanda, we weren’t entirely surprised by the confused looks and cocked heads: “Why?” … [Read more...]

Should Travelers Give to Kids Who Beg?

Young Students in Rural School - Nalbata, Bangladesh

We paused along the side of the road in what seemed like the middle of nowhere for a view over the hills outside of the Ethiopian town of Lalibela. Moments later, a boy of about four years ran up. He was shepherd to his family’s goats on a nearby hill. His clothes were torn, he poked curiously around us foreigners, using our guide as an interpreter.One of the … [Read more...]

The Ancient Rock-Carved Churches of Lalibela, Ethiopia [360-Degree Panorama]

Lalibela churches

The story goes: almost 900 years ago in Ethiopia there lived a visionary king named Lalibela.Lalibela traveled far and wide, including an extended pilgrimage he took to Jerusalem, after which he brought back home to Ethiopia all he'd seen and learned.When Muslims conquered Jerusalem in the late 12th century and it became too dangerous for devout Ethiopian … [Read more...]