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...]

Bangladesh Village Homestay: Becoming One of the Family

bangladesh homestay

This is the story of a homestay experience in rural Bangladesh -- and a young woman who hopes to be Prime Minister one day.There I was in a traditional courtyard kitchen in a village in Bangladesh. Dirt floor, earthen oven. Mrs. Ali, our host mother, stoked the fire and minded several hot pans. It was time to slice the onions and my turn was up. … [Read more...]

Panorama of the Week: Jerash Roman Theater, Jordan

jerash theatre

Just a few hours outside of Jordan's capital city of Amman lies Jerash, a city playing host to a rather impressive collection of Roman ruins. No "ruin fatigue" here: the history of Jerash - layer upon layer of civilizations, from Greek to Roman to Umayyad, keeps you wondering about the cycles of cultures and religions -- and all the people who walked the same streets … [Read more...]

The Travel Apps of Our Dreams

MacGyver Toolkit

It seems like smartphones can do just about anything these days, from waking us up in the morning according to our sleep cycles to translating foreign language signs we’ve just photographed. But our iPhones and Androids still can’t do everything.As we put together travel plans for this coming fall, it occurs to us that some travel apps are still missing. Here are … [Read more...]

Panorama of the Week: Great Synagogue in Budapest, Hungary

budapest synagogue

The Great Synagogue (aka, Dohány Street Synagogue) in Budapest is the largest synagogue in Europe (and 2nd largest in the world). We stumbled upon it while strolling around Budapest on an autumn day and were taken back by its architectural design and unusual colorful exterior.Originally built in the mid-19th century, the synagogue was destroyed by Nazi and Allied … [Read more...]

Travel Jeopardy: What Is Bangladesh?

Bangladesh Kids in Dhaka

What comes to mind when you hear the word Bangladesh?When we talk about our travels in Bangladesh, the mere mention often evokes a reaction that says, “Bangladesh? What is it? I'm curious."For good reason.People don’t know what to make of Bangladesh. They know the name, but often only because they’ve caught a short blip news cycle item like a natural … [Read more...]

Panorama of the Week: Blue Sky Quito, Ecuador

quito church

Quito, Ecuador -- at 2,800 meters (9,200 feet) in elevation, it's just a bit closer to the sky than most capital cities. Walk around Quito's old town and you'll feel it -- not only because of the slight shortness of breath you might experience, but also because of the inimitable cloud-popping blue sky overhead. It's so surreal that you sometimes feel you can reach … [Read more...]