Although I associate Vietnam more with tourism and digital nomads than with war, unlike my dad, it's still impossible to not think about the war while you're there. American troops withdrew from Vietnam only six years before I was born, so I'm old enough to have grown up feeling its impact on American culture and … Continue reading In the Trenches
When I told my dad I was going to Vietnam on vacation, he couldn't believe it. As someone born in 1950 and coming of age during the height of the Vietnam War (though luckily never having to serve), he was baffled that the country was friendly toward American (and all Western) tourism. I can see … Continue reading I See White People Everywhere
When I returned from China in January 2019, I had a flu the likes of which I'd never had before. This was a year before COVID, but it had to have been some crazy bird flu, SARS, Asian flu, swine flu, influenza killer death combo. There was no way I was getting trapped over there, … Continue reading Asia is Not My Friend
As I look forward to all the adventures 2023 has in store for me, it's time to share another post of one pic from everywhere my nomad life took me in the previous year. So long, 2022 - I've loved every minute of you! Galápagos Cuenca, Ecuador Argentina Life Patagonia Vacation Santiago, Chile New York … Continue reading Another Full Calendar Year As A Nomad
Holy moly was China ever cold. So, so cold. My first day there, my tour guide looked at what I was wearing and said she didn’t think I’d be warm enough. I was wearing all the usual winter clothes: knit hat, scarf, gloves, boots, and heavy wool coat. I laughed it off. I was born … Continue reading On the Twelfth Day of China: Not Just Cold, China Cold
I'm going to start this post by saying that I was blown away by all my tour guides' English abilities. Seriously blown away. As tour guides, I expected their English to be good, but they all had vocabularies far beyond what I expected. They understood everything I and the other guests asked, they understood all … Continue reading On the Eleventh Day of China: Who Speaks Chinglish?
One thing I noticed fairly early on in my trip is that the Chinese use the word "new" to talk about anything from the Qing dynasty onward. The Qing dynasty started in 1636, just moments after the pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock. The thousands of years of dynasties before that are the real history to … Continue reading On the Tenth Day of China: History’s History
When I lived in Russia, I felt incredibly safe as an average citizen (that is, someone not involved in politics or oil or big business or journalism). The sheer volume of people in places I lived and the large police presence made me feel more secure than I generally do in cities in the United … Continue reading On the Ninth Day of China: Safety First
Prior to my trip, I learned a bit of Mandarin, including the essentials like basic food and drink. So I knew how to read and say different kinds of meat, noodles, water, beer, and a few other key words. But what I didn't know were the words for the hundreds of different types of vegetables … Continue reading On the Eighth Day of China: What Am I Eating?
With 1.4 billion people and 15 cities with over 10 million people each, transportation in China needs to be a well-oiled machine. And it is! All those people are on the move every day with bicycles, scooters (many of them electric), cars (many of them also electric because China has understood that you have to … Continue reading On the Seventh Day of China: Move It, People!