Brazil: Arrival in Rio

As we land in Rio after an uneventful ten hour flight, I pinch myself to make sure that I am not in some strange dream. If you had told me during my formative years that I would one day visit this corner of the globe, I would have said that you’re talking to the wrong… Continue reading Brazil: Arrival in Rio

Norway: The Scandinavian Breakfast

I’ve begun to notice a pattern emerging with regards to my eating habits while travelling abroad. For the first two days of most trips, I will inevitably dine on American breakfast fare such as bacon and eggs, home fries, and pancakes. On the third day, however, my stomach will inform me in no uncertain terms… Continue reading Norway: The Scandinavian Breakfast

Norway: Lost in Bergen

As I arrive at Bergen’s city center after a short bus ride from the airport, it begins to dawn on me that I am not certain as to where my hotel is located. I know the name of it and that it is situated in a fairly central location. However, I apparently forgot to mark… Continue reading Norway: Lost in Bergen

China: Nixon, Green Tea, and Internet Restrictions

  We depart Shanghai this morning and drive two hours southwest to the city of Hangzhou. Known as one of the seven capitals of ancient China, Hangzhou has a population of 8 million people in the city proper and 21 million in the greater metro area. I find it remarkable that there are all of… Continue reading China: Nixon, Green Tea, and Internet Restrictions

China: Airlines, Newspapers, and Car Horns

  I have the unfortunate task today of getting up at 3:00 AM in order to catch an early morning flight to Shanghai. Having never flown on a domestic Chinese airline before, I am not sure what to expect. Thankfully, our plane appears to be quite modern and its crew and flight attendants seem to… Continue reading China: Airlines, Newspapers, and Car Horns

China: Great Wall, Pandas, and Invitations

We travel two hours north of Beijing today to get our first glimpse of the Great Wall of China. The section of the wall we are going to see is not the one usually visited by presidents and Hollywood celebrities. Rather, this section is far less popular with tourists and is considerably steeper to climb. As… Continue reading China: Great Wall, Pandas, and Invitations

China: Pearls, Forbidden City, and Peking Duck

After meeting up with our tour guide just outside the hotel, my fellow tour group members and I board a bus and head to our first stop of the day. As we approach the pearl museum, it appears to be a small independently run establishment. Once inside, we are given various lessons on the history… Continue reading China: Pearls, Forbidden City, and Peking Duck