It's News to Me

It's News to Me

I had to switch hotels today. I didn’t want to as the Estelar Blue is wonderful and equal to what would be a four-star hotel in the U.S. And no, I’m not a rockstar who got drunk, smashed the headboard, threw a TV out the window and was banned from the place. I got a...
The Bizarre Bazurto

The Bizarre Bazurto

I’m excited about today’s plan of a more local experience as I’ve found Cartagena’s concentration on tourists overwhelming. Each time I ask a local what I should do and where I should go in Colombia, everyone lists the same activities and offers to book them for me....
Viva La Revolucion

Viva La Revolucion

Immediately after landing at José Martí Airport, the main international airport in Cuba, and after waiting in the VIP lounge while are bags are loaded onto carts by porters – it sounds fancier than it is as the VIP lounge only really offers a place for the group...
An American in Cuba

An American in Cuba

Hola Amigos! I’ve just returned from Cuba and thought I should tell you a bit about it. I know you’re wondering, ‘Did I miss a vote?’ The answer, in Spanish, is “no.” I’ve started earning some money by getting back into a field I worked in fifteen-years ago – tour...
We Must Travel in the Direction of our Fear

We Must Travel in the Direction of our Fear

Hello my Virtual Travel Buddies. This is not the article I’d planned on publishing today. I’d planned to tell you about my latest adventures in Vancouver, Canada, and maybe give you an idea of a non-traditional activity to enjoy while visiting a destination. That will...
A Big Drink

A Big Drink

After much fussing about, searching for CD’s (never to be found), I teach Janette about placing your iPod in a cup-holder for instant speakers the MacGyver way. We decide which one of us will be Thelma (Janette) and which is Louise (me, as I’m the...
Farmer Jane and Kongy

Farmer Jane and Kongy

It’s always strange seeing someone you’ve known in one set of surroundings, in a completely different scenario. As I mentioned I know Kira from my time onboard Disney Cruise Line, when we both wore white adjustable pants and gold stripes on our shoulders. This week...
War Memorials and Wineries

War Memorials and Wineries

Today, I hop on good ol’ bus #20 to head to the Auckland War Memorial Museum. I’m not positive of the best route, but I know the general direction I want to go in and I just love leaving time to get lost as that’s when I tend to find the best...
To See the Sea in Auckland

To See the Sea in Auckland

After arriving in Auckland following what might be the worst road-trip I’ve experienced, I spend the next day in, catching up on work, checking out what fun things there might be to do in Auckland (remember, I don’t plan, so I haven’t researched), and...
Māori and the Man

Māori and the Man

We awake this morning in a warm and toasty Camper van Beethoven as “Peter, the Heater” has worked much better than the one in the hotel. It was a bit of a challenge turning the dining table into a bed, but quite cozy in the end. After a coffee for me and a tea for him...
Communism and the Common People

Communism and the Common People

After returning to Hanoi from my overnight in Halong Bay, I grab my suitcase and move to the Tu Linh Legend Hotel, which was recommended to me by a couple I met on the airport shuttle in Hoi An. I’ve found the personal recommendations much more reliable than the...
Happy Birthday in Halong Bay

Happy Birthday in Halong Bay

Today I fly from Da Nang to Hanoi. It’s about the same distance as the train I took from Saigon to Da Nang and, although the sleeping accommodations on the train weren’t bad, I just can’t look another Vietnamese train restroom in the eye. And while...
Motorbikes and Mountains

Motorbikes and Mountains

Today I’m taking my life into my hands and renting a motorbike. It’s easy to do through my home stay as Blue Clouds rents them for $5.00 per day and there’s no muss or fuss. In fact, it’s not until half-way through the day that I realize I haven’t...
Turn Around

Turn Around

Today I leave Da Nang and, while I’ve enjoyed it more than Saigon, the challenges with dishonesty remain stumbling-blocks in the way of me actually liking Vietnam. What helps are my young friend Yen and her family. (I met them yesterday. Read about it in...
Welcome Home

Welcome Home

I was a child of the 1970’s. During my young childhood, in Oak Park, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, while race-riots were erupting around, and protests about a war far, far away were turning violent, my parents, and most of those of my friends, kept us protected...
Pho, Paradise and Pedicabs

Pho, Paradise and Pedicabs

I finally arrive at my hotel, Hong Vy 1, and check in. I’ve booked two nights via Cheap Tickets. I like to book one or two nights prior to arrival so that I have a place to drop my luggage after a flight and a chance to get my bearings. I generally don’t...
I See Dead People

I See Dead People

It’s another beautiful Bali morning and I’m up early with big plans. Dewa, my guide from the other day, has agreed to do a private tour for me on the back of his motorbike. We walk out to the bike, he hands me a helmet (both the law and a good idea here),...
Rice Paddies and Coffee Poo

Rice Paddies and Coffee Poo

We’re up early today as we’ve a big day planned. After a great, somewhat traditional American breakfast, substituting watermelon juice for orange juice (a new yummy favorite), Gina, Barbara (a new friend Gina made here in Bali while working), myself, our guide,...
Jungle Spice

Jungle Spice

The plan for today is to tour Old Goa with Elvis (the friend of the friend) and his brother Elston. I believe I’ve mentioned that I used to work on board cruise ships, and Elvis and Elston both currently do (as do many Goans). They’re from Goa and both...
These Streets Were Made For Walking

These Streets Were Made For Walking

After two great days in Jaipur, I awake cautiously optimistic. The plan for today is to grab a tuk-tuk, go back to the area of the Amber Fort to visit the Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing, wander around Jaipur for thirty or forty minutes, and wait at the Ajmeri Gate...
Bollywood in Jaipur

Bollywood in Jaipur

I wake today, renewed. I’ve had one day without fear, frustration and disappointment. Can I possible make it two in a row? After another filling breakfast at Jaipur Friendly Villa, truly the nicest guest house or hotel I’ve so far stayed in while in India, I head out....
The Long Road to Rathambore

The Long Road to Rathambore

I’m up at 8:00 this morning. I saw sunset at the Taj Mahal so I see no reason to get up to see sunrise. I have a quick breakfast, and I mean quick as, when they asked the table of five what type of eggs we wanted and I ordered an omelet (they’re very basic...
A Day at the Museum

A Day at the Museum

Please note: This article should come before Training Wheels chronologically. With lack of Wifi and, sometimes, electricity, they’ve been written but are not necessarily posted as timely as I would like. Still, I hope you enjoy Following my rickshaw and Sikh...
A Serious Day and a Cabaret

A Serious Day and a Cabaret

Today I head over to the House of Terror Museum, which, if this were October, would sound like one of those Halloween haunted houses, but this is a museum which has one has been in operation year-round since 2002. It explores the two terror regimes which controlled...
The Jewish Quarter

The Jewish Quarter

Today I head out to explore my neighborhood. The apartment I’m renting is about two blocks from the Dohány Street Synagogue, the largest synagogue in Europe, and the second largest in the world (Temple Emmanuel in New York is the largest). While I stopped by the...
Lost in a Tacky Tunnel

Lost in a Tacky Tunnel

I’m up today with a few changes. First, I’m happy to be alive. Okay, that’s not a huge change as I’ve been fairly satisfied with life lately (though a bit scared). But after the terrible flu I came down with the other night, happy to be...
Bath Time

Bath Time

This morning I catch a bus to Buda and check out the other side of the Danube as I’m thinking about renting a short-term apartment there. Everyone has told me it’s a good deal, especially as Buda is the ritzy side. I’ve taken the subway but not the bus yet so the...
No Fires, No Foes!

No Fires, No Foes!

After a tasty dinner at the brewery, I walk over to St. Lamberti’s Church. Built between 1375-1450 (with another originally in the same spot prior to this), The history of this church, is like no other. In 1534 the city of Münster was seized by radical...
I Want to Ride My Bicycle

I Want to Ride My Bicycle

Today I wake up in Münster, Germany. I didn’t sleep all that well as the fierce thunderstorm and flood of water sloshing down the balcony drain woke me. I’m told that winter thunderstorms are a rarity here. I’m also told they’ve had three so...