Getting Fat in Hanoi

The paths you walk to get through the market are one person wide with shops on either side, the zoning laws appear to be somewhat random with a fish shop next to a grain shop next to a fruit shop…. I explained to them both that if they remember how to put this whole meal together they will score some great points with the ladies when they get older. That was beyond their level of comprehension, but I predict we will look back 5 years from now and one or both of them will use some or all of the skills we picked up to whoo members of the opposite sex…. I had tried to convince them is was a different kind of soy sauce but now they understand that it is made from small fish and not small beans the tenor of our meals has changed.

Give Me a Motorbike Drivin’ Man

In 1978 my family moved from suburban Maryland to New Orleans. Compared to our previously homogeneous environs, the Big Easy was a veritable melting pot, a simmering gumbo of exotic races and ethnicities. One of the largest minority groups I encountered at school was the Vietnamese. As a 10-year-old, I didn’t necessarily understand the significance…

Far Away from Thanksgiving

They are trained enough to make it through KFC or a mellow cafe, but the certainty of a spill, the occasional projectile piece of food, and an inability to sit for more than 20 minutes keep fancy restaurants off our agenda…. Both Koto and Cafe Smile take homeless youth off the street, give them a place to live, and train them in the hospitality industry enabling them to one day get jobs in hotels and restaurants around the city…. We can’t vouch for the efficacy of any money you might choose to donate, but we can assure you we have first hand knowledge of the work they do and attest to the difference they are making in people’s lives. If you have a moment, check them out by clicking on the “Nonprofits” tab above.We hope your Thanksgiving was filled with gratitude and look forward to enjoying our traditional tryptophan-induced stupor next year.

Finding My Inner Patriot

10 years younger than we are (as most of our fellow RTW’ers seem to be), Jon and Lisa sold their house and left jobs and befuddled friends behind. I must admit there are still days when my competitive, type-A side sweats the financial and career sacrifices we are making in order to do this, but Jon summed up the justification for our adventure succinctly: “Unlike many of the people here (in Vietnam), anything I had before, I can have again.” It might take a while and his new home might be smaller than his last, but he feels the experience he’s gaining now is more valuable than an extra bedroom or a year of career advancement.Since Jon and Lisa have been on the road for four months, they’ve met a lot of other travelers along the way…. Tom joked about doing this to say safe in a post before we left the States, but it was more a commentary on our nation’s unpopular foreign policy than an actual survival strategy.

I’ll Jump If You Jump

Prologue As most of my friends know, I’m not much of a adrenaline junky. Well, as of this weekend, I’m more than I used to be. My fear of adrenaline rushes started when I was 10 and one of my long-time best friends, Austin McBride, asked if Dax and I wanted to go to Lagoon,…

Halcyon Days in Halong Bay

Upon hitting Asia, we quickly discovered that despite many travelers’ intentions to get off the beaten path, it is difficult to do so. The well-trodden road exists for a reason: it contains a majority of the world’s most breathtaking and exciting destinations. Even the die hard backpackers we’ve met seem to follow firmly established routes…