Monthly Archives: November 2013

How Much Does Long-Term Travel Cost?

Originally posted on Everywhere Once:
Wannabe wanderers initially have just one question on their minds: How much does long-term travel cost? The classic response to this question may be informative, but is not completely helpful. The web abounds with the personal budgets of folks who have taken off to explore the world. Through the magic…

MacBook Air vs. Acer: Beauty and the Beast

Have you ever gotten something new, loved it for a month, then absolutely despised even just looking at it? Believe me, I sure have. It was Christmas morning 2008, and Delaney and I were opening our last present. “It’s for y’all to share, okay?” Mom told us. We ripped open the box, and saw a […]

Thai Doc-in-the-Box

It’s 4:30 in the afternoon. I’m lying in bed for the third day in Khao Lak, Thailand, and my fever continues to rise. It’s almost 103. I’m definitely getting worried because 1) I’m on my second antibiotic, and 2) I haven’t run a fever in close to a decade. Then it dawns on me: maybe […]

Celebrating Loi Krathong

In the ninth grade, my dad took a career aptitude test that told him he had great potential as a florist. Who knew that it would come true almost 40 years later? A round slice of banana tree trunk sat in front of us and flowers and banana leaves lay everywhere. We picked out exotic […]

Snorkeling the Similan Islands

“Jump, Riley!” I closed my eyes and heaved myself off the boat, plunging into the crystal clear water below.  I bobbed up to the surface and swam around the edge of the boat.  Delaney came around a few seconds after me. Just minutes earlier I was complaining about the rough 75 minute boat  ride.  “Ugh, […]

Italy: The Land of Frowns (Part 2)

If you read One Bad Day in Italy, you know that our first impressions of Italy were pretty dismal. Being the rational people that we are, we decided to reserve final judgment of Italy until we finished our 2 1/2 week visit. So here it is: Despite fantastic food, spectacular architecture, and rich ancient history, […]

The First Jewish Ghetto

If you were asked, “Who started Jewish discrimination?” would you say Hitler, or maybe the Nazis? Both the answers are, in fact, wrong. When I learned Jews have been persecuted for centuries past, I was very surprised. I thought anti-Semitism was a concept Hitler came up with to solve Germany’s problems in WWII, just another […]

Foundation Problems in Pisa

292, 293, 294! I had finally made it up all the stairs and was overlooking the town of Pisa. When I looked at the Leaning Tower of Pisa I knew that the pictures I had always seen were true: It really was leaning. Why is it leaning? Well, when the tower was being built, there […]

Cathedral Crashing at St. Peter’s Basilica

I walked in a packed parade of singing Italians, dying to escape. Two wooden barriers trapped me in line as I was swept through the center of the church, trying not to look so out of place. Tourists were snapping pictures of this surprise parade, yet I wondered how I got stuck here. Italians stood […]

Gladiator School: Where Fighting is Allowed

“Fight!” We ran at each other like barbarians. Whoever got this last point won the match. I used the advice of our teacher, and lunged for her leg. “5-4 Riley!” I had won the match against my sister! Wa-bam! Walking up to Gladiator school, I realized that we were just out in the middle of […]