On Gratitude

In honor of giving thanks, the best of intentions underpinning the Thanksgiving holiday, I offer this reflection on gratitude -- the condition, the emotion and the state of being.  Note to Thanksgiving critics, skeptics and cynics: to underscore my awareness of the historical complexity behind the holiday, I point you to this article.  Also, if it appears that I’m … [Read more...]

Tempelhof: The Yin and Yang of an Abandoned Airfield

If you’ve ever known that pang of sadness on the longest day of the year or the faintest glimmer of hope on its shortest, this is for you. If you’ve ever pondered cycles and the tricks of the seasons, that too.It was early August heat wave. Audrey and I were returning home on bicycles from a late-afternoon-turned-evening gathering with friends, a craft brew and … [Read more...]

Channeling the Spirit of the Marathon: Hope Going Forward

Berlin Marathon - Young Fans

Pump your arms, your legs will follow... -- Marathon advice. Life advice?As I struggle to process what happened at the Boston Marathon yesterday, I wonder: “How is it that we humans invest so much energy in our own destruction?”Then I consider what’s at the heart of the spirit of marathons, and the reasons why crowds of people were gathered at the finish line … [Read more...]

Travel and Your Values: The Power of Deliberate Spending

Responsible Travel

A few dollars here, a few dollars there. Does how you spend your money when you travel really matter? Is it possible to align your travel approach and spending decisions with your values?In the first part of this series, The Importance of People in Travel, we explored the relationship between people and the travel experience and we spoke of serendipity and human … [Read more...]

Tourism, It’s the People’s Business

Burmese Mother and Child - Toungoo, Myanmar

In pursuit of the iconic, sometimes we lose the people. Then we need to come back. Here are a few thoughts on the often overlooked importance of people to travel and the connection between travelers’ experiences, their spending decisions and the impact on the communities they visit.So much ink is spilled, understandably so, on the budget aspect of travel -- how … [Read more...]

We Are All More Connected Than We Think

california

This is a short story in the form of a touching email I received recently. It demonstrates how life sometimes comes full circle in odd and delightful ways.When Dan and I recall all the unusual yet universal connections we've uncovered throughout our travels and life experiences, we often reflect on how "we're all more connected than we think." However, each time … [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...]

International Women’s Day Slideshow

Today is International Women's Day. To celebrate, we share an updated version of our Women from Around the World slideshow.You probably won't see any of these women on TV or on the covers of magazines (well, maybe someday). Instead, they are the women we meet in markets, on public transport, in the shops that they run, in rural villages, on city streets. They are … [Read more...]