Pursue the Precious: A Maori Blessing

Emerald Lakes - Tongariro Crossing, New Zealand

Whāia te iti kahurangi, ki te tuohu koutou me he maunga teitei.Pursue that which is most precious. If you should bow down, let it only be to a lofty mountain -- Maori blessingSometimes in life, we find ourselves fortunate enough to be surrounded by so much beauty that we can feel a bit like we are drowning. … [Read more...]

Travel-Reinforced Life Lessons and The Why (Our WDS Presentation on the Short)

WDS 2012

The following is a selection of twelve lessons we shared in our talk at the World Domination Summit (WDS), plus one of those aha! moments.When Chris Guillebeau asked us to speak at WDS about our lives and what we’ve learned, we were beyond honored and excited. Then reality hit.Holy poop. What are we going to say in front of all those people?!In front of … [Read more...]

Keep Tickin’: Life Inspiration from Nonagenarians

Audrey and Grandfather - Black Mountain, North Carolina

Last weekend, I arrived in Asheville, North Carolina to visit family. And boy, was I tired.The last two months have been chock full: traveling from Central Europe to Crete to Istanbul to Iran, back to Istanbul, Germany and finally to a series of family visits up and down the east coast of the United States.But I’ve been feeling a little spent. It’s not only … [Read more...]

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...]

40 at 40: Life Nuggets

Holy Shit, I'm 40

I turned 40 yesterday. Yep, I’m almost hesitant to admit it. Almost. There are days where I’d like to think I’m suspended permanently at either 23 or 33. But that's not the way time, this construct we’ve created to capture the constant state of change in the world around us, actually works."What have you learned over these years?" a friend asked in light of the … [Read more...]

Climbing Kilimanjaro: Life Lessons from the Top of Africa

Glaciers at the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

A few ideas on how walking up a big pile of volcanic rocks in Africa can teach you something about life.For some, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro is another check box on a “to do” list. For me it turned out to be a journey -- in its own way, an epic exercise in achievement.Like any journey of significance, themes emerged. Somewhere beyond Kilimanjaro’s … [Read more...]

Going to Bali: Even Travelers Need a Rest

Yoga at Petra in Jordan

"Wait, isn't your life one big vacation?"I realize that we, as travel bloggers, do our bit to perpetuate this myth by posting fun updates and photos on an almost constant basis. While all these experiences are true, there are also unglamorous bits, challenging stuff that goes on behind the scenes.So here's a bit of the honest truth: I'm tired. Actually, I'm … [Read more...]

Facing Fears, Wiping Out, and Getting Up Again

Family on a Motorbike in Vietnam

Early last week, I was about to write about fears and the process of facing up to them. I would talk about traveling to places that once frightened me, meeting and interacting with large groups of new people, and jumping out of airplanes. Then, I would channel all those fears known and met through a more recent apprehension I'd tackled: riding a motorbike.I … [Read more...]

Udaipur, India: A Photo, A Girl, A Lesson

Girl at the Market in Udaipur, India

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been uploading the remaining photos from our travels through India and Nepal in 2008 (This New Year’s resolution, if you're wondering:  NEVER EVER allow ourselves to get this far behind on photos.)Experiences, emotions, and even memories of certain smells came back to me as I added labels and descriptions.Sometimes a story … [Read more...]