Barcelona: City of Chocolate

Fargas Chocolateria, Barcelona, Spain

I have to admit, when I planned to stop in Barcelona, I was looking forward to rediscovering the city I first visited back in 2003. I wanted to visit La Sagrada Familia, stroll along Las […]

My Soviet Sojourn Bucket List: How Did I Do?

St. Basil's Cathedral, Moscow, Russia

Early on in my career break, I came up with a list of “must-do” activities or experiences for my travels through the former Soviet Union. These were some of the things that had been floating […]

7 Things I Love About the ‘Stans

Samarkand, Uzbekistan

By the time I boarded my flight out of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on September 16, I was ready to say goodbye to Central Asia. My three months in the region left me physically and mentally exhausted […]

Feeling at Home in Riga: The Funky Hostel & Apartments

Riga, Latvia

It was like déjà vu all over again. I arrived in Riga, Latvia in mid-September – after three months of travel in Central Asia, visiting some of the most remote places on my itinerary and […]

Reverse Culture Shock? Not So Much.

Shoreview, Minnesota

“Well, it looks like you’ve been gone for a while,” observed the officer sitting behind the passport control desk at the Atlanta airport. “Yes, 13 months,” I said with a smile. He looked at me […]

It’s a Bazaar Life

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

In some ways, walking down the streets of Tashkent, Shymkent or Bishkek  doesn’t feel all that different from a stroll through the center of any city in the United States or Europe. You pass a […]

5 Reasons Why You Should Take a Career Break to Travel

Lake Issyk Kul, Kyrgyzstan

I recently wrote a post for about why a “gap year” should come to America.  I explained how, as I traveled around the world during my recent career break, I often encountered travelers from […]

A Morning at the Karakol Animal Market

Karakol animal market, Kyrgyzstan

Visiting countries like Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan tend to take you back in time. Life in the small villages is so much simpler than our life today in the United States – but I suspect it […]