An Ode to Haggis

Haggis, Neeps and Tatties - Edinburgh, Scotland

This is a story about making peace with a squishy edible ball of sheep innards, and a song I rewrote to help me through the process.I have a confession to make. I was afraid of haggis, almost deathly so. You could say I harbored an irrational fear of the stuff. Yes, haggis. … [Read more...]

Zen and the Art of Laundry on the Road

laundry

This is story about five-sided underwear, a laundry detergent named BARF, socks that smell like goat cheese, and jeans that have never been washed. Oh, and it's an answer to "What do you do about laundry while traveling?"The other day, Audrey and I walked into a laundry service here in Oaxaca, Mexico and after a confounding exchange we discovered that they don’t … [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...]

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...]

The Bad News Barber of Kuala Lumpur

Inside an Indian Barber in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

This is a story about a haircut, some bad news, life in Kuala Lumpur, and crocodile poop.Before I set off for my first trip abroad to India many years ago, I harbored visions -- visions of mystical women in colorful saris who would place their hands upon the crown of my youthful head and say, “I see great things in your future.” Through osmosis, I would absorb … [Read more...]

What’s Missing From My Hotel Room

When I was a management consultant and clients footed the bill for my travel expenses, I had a colleague with a knack for milking his four- and five-star hotel stays for all they were worth. For example, he would request turn-down service multiple times in one night.  "For the chocolates," he'd say.  Then he'd take a walk down the hall and raid the maid’s cart for … [Read more...]

Dating Advice from Galapagos Birds (or, When Charles Darwin Meets Cosmo)

I've been out of the dating game for exactly 12 years, so maybe I'm not the best person to write about how to snag a man. However, during our recent trip to the Galapagos Islands, I observed the behaviors of various birds and something struck me: their mating habits reminded me of those dating advice columns I used to read in Cosmo.If memory serves, it's a cruel … [Read more...]