When I began writing about my personal experiences abroad, I promised myself I would be as honest as possible. The main reason I wanted to write was to provide insight into the myriad of unexpected ways in which a person’s life is impacted by moving to another country. As someone […]
Two and a half hours from Christchurch, New Zealand lies a hidden gem called Kaikoura. Actually, I should say it was fairly well-hidden until it made headlines when it was struck by a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake on November 14th of this year. Just after midnight, a calamity was unleashed […]
One million visitors come to Salem, Massachusetts annually, mainly for one reason—witches. I admit it. The first time I came to Salem in 2000, my friends and I were drawn by the salacious stories of the Salem Witch Trials famously held here in 1692. We visited the Witch Museum. […]
Striking colors and steep hillsides packed with historic neighborhoods, Valparaiso is in a class by itself. I didn’t think we would manage to park the car without major drama. San Francisco has nothing on these steep streets that are often more like sidewalks and space is difficult to […]
Two weeks ago, I returned from my longest stay in my home country since moving to Germany in 2001. I was there to promote my book and to do so, I needed an extended presence across the U.S. in cities I don’t normally have the chance to visit on shorter […]
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“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.”
- Mark Twain
Singapore, shining example of modernity and development in Asia? Or “Disneyland with the Death Penalty”?
I was ready to leave Europe, but knew nothing about Asian culture. Landing in Singapore was a crash course. Learning the difference between North Americans and Europeans was kindergarten compared to East meeting West. I’d left my job just before the grand entrance of the Global Financial Crisis, and Singapore was fiercely protecting its own. I was no longer branded with a corporate identity and I wasn’t anyone’s mother. Not only did my external landscape undergo a radical transformation, my internal one was left in ashes. I had to go looking for it in Tokyo, Cambodia, Vietnam, and New Zealand − places I never expected to find myself. When I did, no one was more surprised than I.
“You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”