How can I convince my wife to visit Chernobyl for our 25th anniversary?

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident. The amount of radiation has been reduced to somewhat manageable levels at the site---allowing intrepid visitors to make a strictly timed visit to the 30-km radiation zone that…
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Book Reviews: North Korea

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives In North Korea by Barbara Demick is a valuable peek behind the curtain of North Korea, a gray land whose monochrome pallor is broken up only by the bright colors in propaganda posters lauding their Great…
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Book Reviews: Lost on Planet China and China Road

Lost On Planet China: One Man's Attempt to Understand the World's Most Mystifying Nation By J. Maartin Troost   Lost On Planet China by J. Maartin Troost is one Westerner's take on the riddle of modern China. The…

What about the language?

A question we are frequently asked by friends and family is how we will handle the language barrier in other countries, particularly in places like China where we won’t even be able to read the street signs. Will we try to learn the language…
Rocky steps Philadelphia Core Fitness

From the Rocky Steps to the world

As the most historic city in America, Philadelphia has nurtured accomplished citizens in all walks of life. But its most famous resident is a fictional movie character: boxer Rocky Balboa. Rocky represents the city’s hardscrabble image.…

Packing for a year: A woman's perspective

Michael has already written a few posts about getting rid of our stuff and how we are going to pack for this year-long trip.  Based on our prior travels I’m a pretty efficient packer.  (Truth be told, this all started when we…

Just go already!

Part of me feels fortunate to be taking a year off to travel around the world at this point in my life. The other part of me can’t believe it took me so long. I see all those twenty-something backpackers out there traveling long-term and…
Vintage luggage Raffles Hotel Singapore
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Packing for a year on the road

One of the frequent questions we get is, "How do you pack for a year?" The short answer is that you don't. It would be pretty burdensome to carry every item we are going to use or wear for twelve months. The last thing we want to do is travel…

What about all your stuff?

When we tell people about our plans for a year-long trip one of the first questions we are asked is, “What are you going to do with all your stuff?” It seems that there are two camps out there: “Pack Rats” and "Tossers.” To determine…

Either here or there

Are you here or are you there?  The answer depends on if you are a traveler or not. One of the interesting things about taking a year to travel is the response you get from the people you tell about your trip.  Reactions tend to fall…

The five "Ss" of beating jet lag: sex, sleep...

Upon arriving after an overnight flight the departing passengers often look like a casting call for the latest zombie movie. We trudge wearily off the plane hoping to make it through the day. Usually I want to fall asleep on a nice soft sofa…