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...]

Ladakh Trekking: A Beginner’s Guide

Ladakh

Every year we try to go on a big trek, one that takes us far far away and high into the mountains. For us, it's not only a way to exercise our bodies, but to clear and challenge our minds. It’s a way to disconnect from all that is part of our daily life — technology, social media, blogging — and reconnect with nature and ourselves.Last year’s trek of the Markha … [Read more...]

Trekking Ladakh: On Top of the World in the Himalayas [360-Degree Panorama]

Ladakh lake

Five days into our Markha Valley Trek in Ladakh, India. We were on our way to Nimiling, a summer hangout for local shepherds (with their flocks of sheep, goats and cattle/yak hybrids called zos) and the overnight base camp for our final ascent to Gongmaru La Pass (5,130 meters/16,800 feet). That morning we endured and enjoyed our share of steep climbs, losing … [Read more...]

Base Flying Berlin: An 11th Wedding Anniversary Jump (Video)

Berlin Base Flying

What is marriage, if not a leap of faith?Fourteen years ago, on or around our second date, Audrey and I went skydiving together. It was, as you might imagine, both terrifying and fantastic. And as much as you also might also imagine that it wiped away my fear of heights, it did not. Perhaps it chiseled away at that wall, but it certainly didn’t tear it down. I … [Read more...]

Climb Kilimanjaro: Equipment and Preparation

At Uhuru Peak at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

How do I prepare for climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro? What equipment will I need?No shortage of digital ink has been spilled on this topic. Even so, every article we’ve read seemed to be missing a little something.Based on our Kilimanjaro climb experience, here are the nuts and bolts of what an average, ordinary hiker will need for a Kilimanjaro climb. We'll … [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...]

Panorama of the Week: Trekking the Annapurna Circuit, Nepal

Annapurna circuit

"What has been your best travel experience?"Often asked, but impossible to answer.However, if we were locked away and forced to choose just one experience in order to get out, the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal just might be it. This uber-trek (we took 17 days, some opt for several-day segments and others take a month or more) combines some of the best of what … [Read more...]