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Adventures for All

Introducing the “Kick Myself” List

Whenever I travel, I come away with a list of things I wish I’d done. These are things that make me think “I could kick myself for not … (fill in the blank).” So, I’ve created a “I Could Kick Myself” list. I want to see this list supplant the cliched “Bucket List” people seemContinue Reading

Why Do You Mountain Bike?

Marketing geeks love to show mountain biking as an adrenaline sport. They’re not completely wrong … but there’s more to it than bug-eyed, stimulant-addled, body armor-wearing, bro-speaking dudes plunging off 50-foot drops on engineless motorcycles. Even early on in my 20-plus years as a mountain biker, I found something different in my mountain bike experience.Continue Reading

All Nippon Airways Review: San Jose Mineta to Tokyo

Before my recent flight on All Nippon Airways, I’d only flown two Asian airlines before: Asiana Airlines and Jeju Air. Jeju Air was a perfectly nice hour-long flight. Asiana, though, was the first Skytrax 5-Star airline I’d ever flown. It completely reset my expectations about how pleasant an economy-class trans-Pacific flight can be. Recently, IContinue Reading

A Visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels

Plenty of writers like to call the Cu Chi Tunnels “an underground city.” But that’s just a facile throwaway phrase that trivializes nearly aspect of life in the Cu Chi Tunnels during a time of war. Out of every site I’ve visited in my travels so far, I rate this as the most thought-provoking ofContinue Reading

Thoughts on the North-South Divide in Vietnam

Ask people in Ho Chi Minh City, and they’ll sing you the same song about Hanoi in a multitude of keys and time signatures. “Hanoi is 15 years behind.” “You’ll feel like someone is watching you all the time.” “Watch out for the people. They cheat you.” “They’ll steal from you.” “They’re mean.” We evenContinue Reading

787 Dreamliner – My Travel Highlight of 2013

I usually get just one big international trip every year. So it seems too obvious to name my recent trip to Vietnam as my Best of 2013. I mean, that means my big trip would score the top spot every year. Alright, then – if we go beyond the trip to Vietnam, what’s my most-interestingContinue Reading

One Old Photo and an Avgeek Mystery -SOLVED

UPDATE: Consider this avgeek mystery solved. See the italicized text at the end for the thrilling conclusion. I have an aviation geek (avgeek, for short) mystery on my hands. It’s this photo. Believe it or not, that’s me. I’m pretty sure I’m 5 years old. I’m definitely making my first visit to Phoenix from Chicago.Continue Reading

Cat Diplomacy

p5rn7vb OK, so this post has nothing to do with travel. I think you’ll laugh, anyway. I felt guilty about leaving Noir at home for two weeks, even with a good friend’s supervision. So I let him out in the front yard for some lounging under my watchful eye. Noir spots a cat from aContinue Reading

Humanity Versus Hostility – Thoughts from a Jam-Packed Asian City

It’s a head-on collision in the making. Two fast-moving motorbikes, a mountainous road slick with rain. The riders see each other at the last second. They slam on the brakes, fishtail, come to a stop inches from each other. They smile, shrug, get back on their bikes and putter off. If this happened back inContinue Reading

Getting Around Vietnam – Tips and Observations

If I had any artistic skills, I’d draw a cartoon about trying to cross a street in Vietnam. It would show a skeleton in a Hawaiian shirt leaning against a street sign. Two locals would be next to it, and one would be saying “Looks like another tourist tried to wait for a break inContinue Reading