Quarantine

Vaccinated and Ready to Break Quarantine

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Unless you’re dead, you really don’t have anything to complain about this year. Of course, suffering being the relative thing that it is, that won’t stop anyone, myself included. Yes, people have lost loved ones, jobs, become disabled and experienced all sorts of tragedy. Many have joined the Sisyphean struggle to dismantle systemic racism and […]

Quarantine

Old Town is a Total Tourist Trap

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Many recommended itineraries have you spending between two or three full days in Old Town. In my experience, even with the throngs of tourists in high season, the whole area can definitely be seen in a single day. The main attraction is clearly the Shinto Shrine that looms large on the hill over the old […]

Quarantine

Wild Dogs on the Loose in Akiba

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Even with all the traffic, both pedestrian and automobile, I would describe the background din as calm today. Even when the streets are packed, driver behavior is extremely polite, rarely necessitating use of the horn. People on the street don’t engage in loud banter. Anything that disturbs your fellow city inhabitants is rude, and most […]

Quarantine

Date Night in Tokyo

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There are many more expensive restaurant options that could be sought out, places with nicer ambience, full alcohol bars, all sorts of conventional options. Nevertheless, Coco Curry House was what we were both craving. One order at spice #4, one at spice #7, chicken katsu, pork tonkatsu, and at least least ten addons between us.

India

A South Indian Wedding Before Quarantine

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Getting a visa validated in New Delhi at the end of January, you already knew that a storm was brewing. Customs officers were wearing masks and gloves. There were bold warnings everywhere about recent travel to China and a few other locations. At the time, there were no (official) cases of Covid-19 in India. It […]

Jordan

Egypt for the Elderly

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Search for ten articles on “bucket list” destinations and you’re likely to find ten different lists. I find it interesting that people think to write these articles modified by year, as in “Best bucket list destinations for 2019” etc. Just wtf is that term supposed to mean then? Do the destinations change annually? It seems […]

Iraq

Roadtrip to Sulaymaniyah

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The mountains, the rivers, the waterfalls… these were not the views that I expected in Iraq. And this was only in a few limited days driving around Iraqi Kurdistan. In the time since, I’ve realized there are some incredibly picturesque towns even further afield in Northern Iraq. My guides did a great job taking me […]

Iraq

Monastery Tour on the ISIS Frontline

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I came to Iraqi Kurdistan with fairly open expectations on what to visit. I certainly didn’t come here on some religious pilgrimage, although it started to feel that way as we visited one church or monastery after another. To be clear, these are deeply historic and beautiful sites, but they are symbolic and meaningful in […]

Japan

Japan Railpass, Unreserved

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I’ll start this post off a little serious, as I can’t be the only person vexed by this issue. What do you do when you love a place, when a place is absolutely dear to your heart, but that place is filled with history with someone with whom you no longer share such feelings (to […]

Singapore

Must See Singapore

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This was another brief stopover in Singapore where we hit up the highlights and acclimated to the time change. Surprisingly, JAL upgraded us to business from Narita. The United business flight was nice, but JAL business class steps it up even further with a mattress insert and multi-course sushi. I guess status on United can […]

St Vincent

Terminus Ultimus

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Well, this wrapped things up, in so many ways. The tour of St Vincent began with a large botanical garden and finished at a rather crowded black-sand beach. This was a pretty unique itinerary…. 12 ports, 7 countries, all in 14 days. Even though this was largely done to “check off” these locations, I really […]

Grenada

Antipathy Outpost

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Grand Etang Lake is a lovely little stop in Grenada… very striking from the air. The tour for the day included a stop at a nutmeg factory and a spice farm. The day was closed out at a nearby beach. The last drone flight for the day was launched from a basketball court were a […]

Trinidad

Trini Bake and Shark

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A loop around Trinidad from Port of Spain included a number of interesting stops… botanical gardens, food stalls with with Indo-Trinidadian sweets & spices, a city tour, as well as some beach time. It’s a charming island… great food, beautiful at ground level as well as from the air. The beaches were gorgeous.

Barbados

Shambling Through the Last Museum

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Another country, another city tour. Barbados was on the home stretch of the cruise and I went on a city tour that included a few historic stops. The cruise terminal has some nice beaches within walking distance and some quiet parks as well that were perfect for a few discreet drone flights. Another uneventful stop: