Seoul

Studying Tae Kwon Do in high school, I got my first introduction to Korean culture.  Decades later, having the chance to do business there, I learned much more intimately about the people, their music, their castles and beautiful countryside.  Voyage with me along the peninsula!  https://leapingaroundtheworld.wordpress.com/seoul-south-korea/

No tinted windows please!

I used to have an odd sense of discomfort when I would ride buses that had tinting in their windows.  It stemmed from the irritation I felt that I wasn’t seeing something accurately.  I’d see something outside the bus that looked particularly picturesque, but nudge myself that it wasn’t “true”.  And when I’d see a…

Morocco

Africa’s musical traditions have been a great inspiration for me for decades.  A friend of mine inspired me to take a journey through Morocco by bus along the coast and by car into the high Atlas mountains.  This was my first of many journeys to Africa.  It was amazing to see the diversity of landscape…

Portland

The Cascade mountain range along the west coast of the United States forms a barricade for moisture moving in on the Pacific ocean winds.  The rising winds dump much of their rain in a fertile valley called the Willamette, yielding excellent farmlands where vineyards and hazelnut farms sprawl across the hills.  I spent much of…

Beijing

In 1994 I took a long bicycle trip starting in Kanazawa, Japan, traversing the Korean Peninsula from Pusan, to Seoul and finishing from Tainjin, China to Beijing.  (With two ferries between the countries.)  It was one of the greatest adventures I’d ever attempted.  I was well greeted and well rewarded along the way.  Here was…

Howdy, Pilgrim!

One of the things that always amazes me when I travel is that I often feel more welcomed and appreciated abroad than I feel in my own home.  What could be behind this? In Muslim cultures the wanderer is to be welcomed and treated as a guest.  It’s part of the cultural philosophy of parts…

Chicago, Illinois

The great lakes region of the United States is a glorious destination in its own right.  If you’re planning to take a cross country train trip, Chicago is the northern hub you’ll route through.  It’s has a bevy of valuable museums, a treasure trove of music and food, and some of the friendliest people you’ll…

Kyoto, Japan

The “spiritual heart” of Japan is a place I’ve journeyed to many times when I lived in Japan.  The importance of this city lies in the fact that Kyoto and Nara were the previous capitals of Japan during the era that Buddhism arrived and became a mainstream philosophy for the country.  Visit one of my…