The Importance of Saying Thank You

Thank you in different languages

This is about saying thank you: why we do it, the ways we do it, the cheapening of it, the deepening of it. And why, when you're traveling, it's one of the most important words to know in the local language.Thank you. For travelers, it's no wonder those words are among the first our guidebooks suggest we learn. With such a simple expression, satisfaction is … [Read more...]

Panorama of the Week: Antarctica Zodiac Ride

zodiac antarctica

After three nights on the infamously rough waters of the Drake Passage, we arrived south of the Antarctic Circle at Hanusse Bay. Our ship's equipment room buzzed with excitement (and a tinge of nerves) as we donned our boots and heavy winter gear for a first taste of Antarctica's icy blue waters.What did we see on that first zodiac ride in Antarctica? Open the … [Read more...]

Bangladeshi Food: An Overview

Sabzi - Dhaka, Bangladesh

Bangladeshi food in a home is the best – it’s cooked with the care and love of a woman’s hands. In restaurants, food is cooked by men for quantity. -- A Bangladeshi friend captures the crux of Bangladeshi food.Although you may not have realized it, it’s quite possible you’ve eaten Bangaldeshi food. … [Read more...]

ExOfficio Travel Clothes: From Backpacking to Business

ex officio

This is a story of what we wear -- and how, when you pack so little, you’d better make it count.When all your clothes need to fit into a couple of packing cubes, every item seems precious. Multi-purposed too, like a Swiss Army knife. Easily layered, sink-washed to dry overnight or even in hours, and good-looking when it needs to be. Sturdy enough to hold up … [Read more...]

What is American Food? A World View

Photographing American Food in Berlin

"We would like to eat American food. You know, you are American, so it would be great if we could try American food with you." -- A dinner request from our Iranian CouchSurfing guests a few weeks ago in Berlin.Dan and I looked at each other, deer in headlights. American food? What's that? … [Read more...]

Panorama of the Week: Mayan Ruins of Tikal, Guatemala

tikal ruins

Stand in the middle of the Grand Plaza between Temple I and Temple II at Tikal, Guatemala and imagine what life must have been like in this Mayan city over 1,200 years ago when Tikal was at its peak. The size of the temples and surrounding acropolis indicate that this must have been a rich and sophisticated city-state. Yet the ruins are only partially exposed and … [Read more...]