Romantic Rhine Travel: On and Off the Beaten Path

Rhine Valley

Through sunny days and fog, famous towns and little known ‘burgs, wine cellars and village vintner festivals, this was our time on the segment of the Rhine River known as the Romantic Rhine.Half-timbered homes sit as the foot of cobbled streets. Vineyard paths wind into the hills. And foggy moments as castles disappear and re-emerge on hilltops hint at history. … [Read more...]

Aachen and Cologne: Instagramming a European City Break

Cologne Cathedral

Upon a recent visit to the German Rhineland cities of Aachen and Cologne and the surrounding area, we realized there’s a lot to experience and unpack — that is, to comprehend the full picture of what we’d seen and how astonishingly complex history can be.From Roman beginnings, to medieval ascendency to industrial superiority, Germany’s Rhineland seems to have … [Read more...]

The World Doesn’t End With The Blue Sky

maasai woman

“You can call me Airport,” Esupat said, laughing.She sat atop a Maasai hut with her legs crossed, straddling a half-built chimney. Small piles of bricks surrounded her; wet cement fell from her hands.She was dressed colorfully, ornamentally. But this is how she goes to work. When she smiles, it is wide. Wide from unforced practice. Wide with pride, wide with … [Read more...]

Next Up: From Mines to Wines, Germany’s Rhineland

Rhine Valley

As we set off for Germany's Rhineland this weekend, I think back to an exchange I had with a tourist from Stuttgart the other night.“It’s been really fun visiting Berlin this week. It’s like traveling to a different country from Germany,” he said.We laughed. We understood. This is often what we tell people when they ask us how we like living in Germany. We've … [Read more...]

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda: A Beginner’s Guide

Kakona, the Silverback Gorilla - Bwindi National Park, Uganda

I followed just behind our lead mountain gorilla tracker. In the hush of the moment under the canopy, I remembered our guide’s advice earlier that morning: “On your way to the gorillas, don’t forget to enjoy the sound of the jungle. There’s nothing like it.”My focus had been on climbing through the tendrils, on getting there. I could feel the heat around me, … [Read more...]

Travel to Rwanda: First Impressions

Fishing Boats on Lake Kivu - Kibuye, Rwanda

Rwanda.  A country where the first thing that comes to mind when people hear the name: the horrific, tragic genocide of twenty years ago. When we mentioned that we were looking forward to visiting Rwanda, we weren’t entirely surprised by the confused looks and cocked heads: “Why?” … [Read more...]

Should Travelers Give to Kids Who Beg?

Young Students in Rural School - Nalbata, Bangladesh

We paused along the side of the road in what seemed like the middle of nowhere for a view over the hills outside of the Ethiopian town of Lalibela. Moments later, a boy of about four years ran up. He was shepherd to his family’s goats on a nearby hill. His clothes were torn, he poked curiously around us foreigners, using our guide as an interpreter.One of the … [Read more...]

Travel to Ethiopia: First Impressions

Ethiopian monk

When I was growing up, I remember Ethiopia having a long run on the nightly news. Unfortunately newscasts all pointed to the grim. Newsreel images featured fly-ridden babies with distended bellies, drought-ruined landscapes and a ravaging famine made only worse by civil war.Sounding familiar?Prior to our visit, we figured some distance between the Ethiopia … [Read more...]

Up Next: A Journey to East Africa

Simien mountains

Our journey to East Africa, just about underway. What follows includes not only our itinerary and a call for your recommendations, but a personal note and a couple of back-stories including $100 given to us with a purpose on a ship in Antarctica.As you read this, we're on our way to Ethiopia to begin a six week journey through Eastern Africa. We expect the … [Read more...]