Why the hell does everyone love Bali?

I mean, the planet is big enough, right? Why does everyone keep talking about Bali? Bali Bali Bali... It's not that clean, you get harassed by people trying to sell you drugs, visas or anything else, it's polluted, the traffic is terrible and it's packed with Australian surfer....more

6 Simple Rules For Enjoying A Tokyo Sojourn

My family and I spent the summer in Tokyo, and the experience was a real jim-dandy.  On top of being a kick-ass new cultural experience for the kids, the whole trip was one colossal brain teaser for me [something my semi-atrophied, middle-aged melon could use, albeit in smaller doses.]In hindsight, I could've benefitted from a bit more advanced planning and research.  So here I am, to share some tips about getting the most out of an extended Tokyo stay.DO:...more

Culture Unshock. Moving from Peru to Southeast Asia

I wrote this piece a few years back and just found it again on the ExpatsBlog.com site.  By: Orana Velarde in 2012 I have been thinking a lot lately about culture shock....more

My Experience of staying in a Hostel

Picture by Dallaskhl...more

Jungle Living In Thailand (What I Learned When I Gave Up Running Water)

In the summer of 2005, I packed my bags and boarded a 747 bound for Bangkok. At the tender age of 20, I signed up to spend a summer in Thailand, teaching English among the Kui people of Northeast Thailand.What I learned went far beyond the teeming streets of Bangkok and touristy beaches of Phuket — it was a lesson truly realized only when I abandoned my perception of comfort and fully embraced my new home. In a nutshell, it was soul-shaping.Here are a few of the lessons I learned from my time living in Thailand’s Sisakaet Province....more

Exploring the markets of china

I've been living in china for almost two years now, but never really explored or fed my curiosity of my soroundings. Since it's been my holidays i have had the opportunity to travel around and walk into streets i've always been curious about. ...more

New Years In Vietnam

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a great time ushering in the new year and have had time to recover. Personally, I slept through it.I know! How boring can I get?I really have no excuse other than we had a long day of traveling in Vietnam and I just could not keep my eyes open until midnight.See what I mean? B-O-R-I-N-G.OK, so not the Vietnam part but definitely my snoring through New Years Eve.Did I say snoring?  Ummm, I meant, silently sleeping with perhaps just a whisper of a sigh. ;)There was absolutely no snoring....more

Snowflower and the Secret Fan

I wanted to hate Snowflower and the Secret Fan. Really, I did. Lisa See, I owe you an apology. When I first heard that Lisa See’s bestselling novel Snowflower and the Secret Fan was going to be made into a major movie, I had no desire to watch it. After all, I have managed to avoid See’s series of historical novels, set in ancient China, with their misty titles and Shanghai poster girl cover art. I braced myself for tired old Asian stereotypes to be reinforced to a new generation....more

I seemed to be one of the few people who read the book and didn't like it. I'd probably enjoy ...more

Weekend Market: Asian Version!

Asian weekend markets, I think, are very different from US or Europe.  Take for example the famous weekend market of Bangkok:  Chatuchak, which sits on a 35 acres and has about (between) 8,000 to 15,000 stalls!   And there are about 200,000 people of both local and tourists that come here every weekend!  Now beat that.  ...more