I'm leaving for the Philippines in a week. I'll be there for fifteen days, on the island of Samar, in Eastern Visayas. This will be interesting since I don't even speak Tagalog!
I realize that this simple fact may come as a surprise to some of you, as I am more or less half-Filipino on my dad's side, but to be honest, it has taken me a long time to really understand the Filipino half of me.
On the Edge of Reality
Here is the fifth chapter of a 5-part series chronicling our "Trek Through the Wilderness." This story is about three friends, all globe drifters with a love for life, who stepped out of their comfort zones and into the wilderness for a three and a half day hike through the rainforest of Corcovado, Costa Rica. It turned out to be a trek that took them from the edge of civilization and back.
I've come up with a general technique when writing each "Days Go By" article. While the votes are being tallied and the time gets near, I will sit and stare at the pictures that are up for nomination, letting random images and phrases flash through my mind. I knew that 'Manila Laundry' would probably be this week's winner, so in preparation I decided to load the page and stare at the picture. After a moment, one clear phrase stood out: "Good things come to those who wait."
Food Stall at a Taiwanese Nightmarket [SOURCE]
In order to truly understand a culture, you need to taste its food. A country's cuisine has always been an important part of cultural identity, and Taiwan is no exception. In this installment of ourFood in Four Courses series, we'll share with you three of the most beloved Taiwanese dishes, a starter, main course and dessert. And to keep things interesting, we'll add on a dish that's definitely not for the faint of heart.
The Chinese have had acultural influence in Hawai'i since the 1800's. The language that we speak at home, called Hawaiian Pidgin English (HCE), is heavily influenced by the grammar and vocabulary of Chinese dialects. The Chinese were one of the the first immigrant populations to intermarry and quickly assimilate with the Native Hawaiians, and many of us today can trace our genealogy back to at least one Chinese ancestor, if not more.
You see the craziest things in Asia. Like the time I got home, late at night, and I almost slammed into a giant pig! The most bizarre thing was what was going on behind it. I know that the picture above is of a dog, but for the sake of storytelling, I will begin this tale with a pig.
I had just turned the corner into the alley where I live, a dimly lit backstreet lane in a suburb on the outskirts of the second largest city in Taiwan. It had been raining all day and night, so the atmosphere was foggy and gray, the road was slippery wet, and the wind blew cool. As I pulled my motorbike up to the front of my house, ready to turn in, I could see, silhouetted by the flickering streetlights, a huge shadow lumbering towards me from a distance.
Scott and I go WAAAAY back. We've been through a lot of experiences together, like RVing through New Zealand, road tripping across USA and Canada and chilling out in his backyard watching the chickens and ducks lay eggs. If there's ever been a drifter so seriously bit by the travelbug it's him. Lately, though, Scott has been building a life for himself in the far eastern city of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. I caught up with him somewhere between a cup of fermented mare's milk and a place named TalkTalk English. I asked him to share with my readers some insight into what life is like living in a foreign country. Here's what he had to say...
What were you doing before you decided to move to Mongolia?
I was living on the island of Lanai, Hawaii, working at the Four Seasons Lodge at Koele. I'd been working there for 15 years before I came to Mongolia.
How did you choose Mongolia?
In 2009, I traveled around Asia. I flew to Seoul, Korea and then to Mongolia...and then traveled overland by trains and buses through China, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. In 2010, I decided to return to Asia. Most of my friends thought I was just going off on another trip, but the truth is I was searching for a new home, a new chapter, a new adventure. I have close friends in several countries in Asia that teach English. So my 2010 trip had a secret agenda, and that was to see what it would be like to live in those places, and how easy getting work would be. I visited Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, and finally Mongolia. I love each of these places! I had an incredible trip. But there was just something about Mongolia that fit me.
I'm pretty new to the travel blogging scene, so while perusing through the latest travel tweets last night, I was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon the hashtag#TNI, an apparently popular interactive tweet session between drifters, expats and armchair travelers alike.
The subject of the night was on the evergreen topic of 'solo travel'. This was question #10:
I'm JR. I come from a long line of adventurers, some were nomadic explorers of the sea and others wandering cultivators of the earth. Ultimately, this legacy of drifters has deeply affected my view of travel. Read more...