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Cabins of the Smoky Mountains

The Florida Keys: Funky, Fantastic, and Fun (as in, “Lots of”)

Lighthouse

Remember when you were a kid and the carnival would come to town, and there would be one great ride after another, gooey kid foods, a happy crowd and a sense of being somewhere special? The Florida Keys are like that—but with better rides (things to see and do) and definitely better food. I recently spent five days in the Keys, and packed in a whirlwind of sightseeing goodness (and packed in sumptuous plates full of fabulous food). Top to … [Read more...]

Where is Amelia Earhart’s Plane? Colin Cobb Knows…

amelia-plane

“Never interrupt someone doing something you said couldn’t be done.” -Amelia Earhart Check out the video at the end to solve the mystery." A couple years ago while visiting Belfast I took a Titanic walking tour, run by a charismatic chap, Colin Cobb. He took me to the edge of the 880 foot-long Thompson Graving Dock, where RMS Titanic was hauled to check and clean its hull and fit the propellers. It was the last place she sat on … [Read more...]

Fiji: Still the Cannibal Isles

Fiji

My strange fascination with cannibalism began while I was studying history in graduate school. In a book whose title I have since forgotten (which might indicate why I quit grad school altogether), I read that Nelson Rockefeller's son Michael Rockefeller disappeared when he was 23 years old and that he was possibly cannibalized in Melanesia. At the time, I didn't know which came as a bigger surprise: that the young Rockefeller was most likely … [Read more...]

The TV Farm Kings and Their Freedom Farms are What Reality TV should Really Be

USA-PA-Butler-Freedom-Farms-King-Family

We drove through a green rolling countryside as we made our way to Freedom Farms for the final meal of the day to end our tour of Butler County - an hour's drive north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I was looking forward to our last meal of the tour in the rural part of the state with its wholesome and hearty home-cooked farm food. The Freedom Farms family is led by their outstanding mother, Lisa, a divorced mother of ten. She is the … [Read more...]

‘Someday’ – When Europe called

It was sometime in early 2011. I was having a chat with a couple of friends centered on a quote from the Tom Cruise starrer ‘Knight and Day’. Not exactly the kind of movie to throw up quotes worthy of discussion or much thought. But surprisingly, it did have one particularly special quote– moving, thought-provoking, enigmatic and slightly frightening if I may say so. “Someday. That's a dangerous word. It's really just a code for 'never'. … [Read more...]

Halifax Highlights: Old, New and Deja Vu

One of many Halifax highlights -- Boats and buildings along The Halifax Harbourfront, Nova Scotia

Lush greenery and countless bodies of water dominated the serene view I saw as my flight descended into Halifax Stanfield International Airport, providing evident contrasts to the dryness of my drought-ridden state of California and the bustle of making a connection in Detroit. I was excited about my upcoming road trip through part of Nova Scotia, but first would be a day in this Maritime province’s capital city of Halifax -- a return to a place … [Read more...]

Living the Search for Peace

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Probably the biggest lesson that has shown itself to my wife and me since our launch from material life into a wanderlust spin is, simply, peace. We thought we were setting out to explore the world and, on a deeper level, to shed attachments to the lives we had individually created, which were then brought into our new marriage. Not that those things haven’t happened. It’s just that the higher purpose seems to have been what Gandhi notoriously … [Read more...]

Stepping off the path + A train ride to Hampi, India

En route to Hampi, women construction workers walk along the train track

"Chai chai chai!" "Pakora! Samosa! Pakora!" I'm on a train heading east from Goa to Hampi. Food hawkers jump on and off at every stop rushing through the cars shouting, selling refreshments. I want to taste everything that passes—samosas served from a worn cardboard box, crispy masala rice snacks in a giant plastic garbage bag, fresh mango lassis carried in a tattered milk crate. Yet I cringe as the vendors grab food with their bare hands, … [Read more...]

Constant Motion: Ghana, West Africa

Ghana dirt path

Part One: The Edge I walk out the gates that creak in the colour orange. I don’t know if its the rust binding the brackets or if its the ever present sand that causes the creak, or causes the colour I hear it in. My sandals land over the rocks that have emerged from the worn down path. It’s not the sun, but the air, that causes me to sweat. Drips instantly begin to build along my shoulder blades, and the nape of my neck. Soon, my hair will … [Read more...]

Helsinki, Finland – a Quick Introduction

helsinki-nuuksio (24)

With approximately 600,000 inhabitants Helsinki and the surroundings comprises about a fifth of the countries' entire population. It is an International destination yet not large enough of a city to feel overwhelming; it retains a feel of a much smaller community and is fairly easy to get around with a well developed system of tram cars. During a recent visit a mix of using the tram cars and exploring on foot was the perfect recipe for getting to … [Read more...]