Culture · Education · Europe · History · Northern Ireland · Politics · Religion · Tourist · Travel Philosophy · Travel Tips & Skills · United Kingdom

Derry: Faith, Violence, and a Hope for Peace

Derry (Londonderry), Northern Ireland I just left Derry yesterday afternoon, well before the violence occurred late last night. My time here was spent learning about The Troubles during the last half of the 20th century. For 30 years, the tragedies of fighting, suppression, revolt, and loss multiplied. Efforts to establish peace were highlighted with the… Continue reading Derry: Faith, Violence, and a Hope for Peace

Adventure · Architecture · Culture · Education · Europe · Family-friendly · History · Italy · Religion · Tourist · tours · Travel Philosophy · Travel Planning · Travel Styles · Travel Tips & Skills · Vatican City

A Travel Angel at the Vatican: Exploring the Papal City-State with the Wife of a Swiss Guard

So often when I travel, I feel like the universe conspires in my favor. Perhaps I’m inclined to be more open to adventure and opportunities that come my way, or maybe, because I seek those moments, I recognize them more readily. Or perhaps there truly is a divine hand at work that guides me towards people and circumstances that stretch and shape me for the better. Whatever the reason, in that chapel and in that moment, I knew precisely how fortunate I was, and I was grateful.

Architecture · Art · Culture · Destinations · Education · Entertainment · Europe · France · History · Politics · Travel Philosophy · Travel Tips & Skills

Remembering Nice

Earlier this year, my travels brought me to Nice. Since my first visit there 15 years ago, I have been under its delightful spell. And now, like so many, I am deeply saddened by the horrific act of terror inflicted on so many in this Riviera city on the 14th of July. And also like… Continue reading Remembering Nice

Caribbean · Culture · Education · History · Tourist · transportation · Travel Philosophy · Travel Planning · Travel Tips & Skills

Bienvenido a Havana: Cuba at First Glance

Weary from 14 hours of travel (in the middle seat of three different airplanes from Seattle to Mexico City to Havana), my body longed for a simple bed to sleep in, but my mind was awhirl with anticipation of a trip of a lifetime. Rick, his son Andy, his daughter Jackie, and I were Cuba-bound,… Continue reading Bienvenido a Havana: Cuba at First Glance

Americas · Architecture · Art · Tourist · USA

Chicago: Travel Shows, Tours, and a Birthday

One of my favorite “side gigs” as a Rick Steves’ guide is promoting our tours at the Travel & Adventure Show every winter. This 2-day event happens in a different major city almost every weekend from January to March. Thousands flock to the city’s convention center, which is jammed aisle after aisle with travel booths… Continue reading Chicago: Travel Shows, Tours, and a Birthday

Adventure · Americas · Caribbean · Cruises · Culture · Food · History · Latin America · Politics · The Great Outdoors · Tourist · transportation · Travel Philosophy · Travel Tips & Skills

12 Hours in San Juan, Puerto Rico Part 2: From Boricua to Mofongo

After Tarzan-ing through Puerto Rico’s tropical forest, we freshened up on the ship and headed back out into the city of San Juan. We opted out of a ship excursion because we craved an authentic feel for the place. But we’d already discovered that the guidebooks we bought were lacking in any real content, context,… Continue reading 12 Hours in San Juan, Puerto Rico Part 2: From Boricua to Mofongo

Adventure · Art · Culture · Europe · Food · Italy · Music · Religion · Tourist · transportation · Travel Philosophy · Travel Tips & Skills

How to Find Great Values in Venice

Centuries-old former palaces crackle and peel away in the thick, briny air. Bottom floors of old merchants’ warehouses sit empty and still cling half-heartedly to their romantic patina of a time long past, slowly but beautifully decaying under the Venetian heat, humidity, and rising waters. As I glide down the canal on a slow vaporetto,… Continue reading How to Find Great Values in Venice