Speaking at Conferences, Hiding in Yurts: An Update

Mt. Rainier on a Clear Day - Seattle

This is a story about crisscrossing North America, speaking to audiences in Vancouver, Miami and Denver, recharging in a defunct hippie commune outside of Seattle, preparing to speak to 1,000 people in Portland, and apologizing for withholding a few pages of our story from you over the last couple of weeks. … [Read more...]

Panorama of the Week: Fushimi Inari Shrine and the Vermillion Gates — Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto fushimi inari shrine

Walk through the tunnel of ten thousand vermillion torii (gates) snaking their way up the mountain at Fushimi Inari Shrine outside of Kyoto and you’ll soon realize that no two are exactly the same. Look one way and you’ll see bare, unadorned orange posts. Turn the other and you’ll see the names of all the businesses or individuals who donated each gate as a sign of … [Read more...]

From Remote Control Toilets to Konbinis: Japan First Impressions

Remote Control Toilet in Japan

When I first set off on the road many years ago, I did so to countries whose toilets were mere holes in the ground. I’ve come a long way – this time to Japan, a country whose toilets are virtual thrones of electronic feature-laden splendor, including some which make music, many which feature remote controls, and most whose seats are heated.But I digress. (Why I … [Read more...]

Panorama of the Week: Daisho-in Buddhist Temple — Miyajima, Japan

daisho temple

When you enter Heniyokutu Cave at Daisho-in Buddhist temple, pause for a moment. As your eyes adjust to the darkness, details begin to appear — prayer offerings and written wishes tied to the base of Buddhist statues, Japanese characters tracing the bottom of the lights, faint smiles on many of the icons. In the dim light, there’s a feeling of peacefulness amidst it … [Read more...]

A Mother’s Day Slideshow and Message of Peace from Hiroshima

Children

For this Mother's Day, we are in Hiroshima, Japan, the site of the dropping of the first atomic bomb. Although the city was once a site of death and destruction beyond what we could ever imagine, the message here now is one of peace.Michiko, our volunteer goodwill guide at the Hiroshima Peace Park, explained how her mother was a survivor of the atomic bomb. Her … [Read more...]

Panorama of the Week: Hurghada Fresh Market, Egypt

Hurghada egypt

When most people think about the Red Sea resort town of Hurghada, Egypt they likely imagine relaxing on the beach, scuba diving, adventuring in the desert, golfing, and lounging at a big resort. Hurghada does have all of that.Rarely, however, does one think about fresh markets and a taste of local Egyptian culture. It's there in Hurghada, if only you look hard … [Read more...]

Next Up: Going Big in Japan

Japan Geisha

I have never been to Japan.Audrey has, but she enjoys the distinction of having eaten a hamburger there. In fact, she requested it. Insisted even. Forgive her though, she was only seven, it was her birthday and she was tired of noodles. But she did wear a blue kimono to make up for it.No, this is not Audrey. … [Read more...]