Travel Articles

On Not Owning a Car

November 14, 2017 2:52 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

What do Lena Dunham, Tina Fey, Ricky Gervais, Quincey Jones, Vincent Kartheizer, Dan Savage, David Sedaris and Barbara Streisand all have in common? None of them owns a car. Neither do I, as I said in my last blog Three Tips for a Youthful Body and Mind. My decision to not own... read more

On Nouns

September 29, 2017 12:00 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Every now and then I geek out and have to write something ‘linguistic-y.’ Here it is: We English speakers are sometimes surprised to discover that we split our perspective on how we view things in the universe. As it turns out, we make a clear distinction between count nouns and... read more

What to do if you are pickpocketed while traveling internationally


August 11, 2017 9:41 am Published by Leave your thoughts

It happened. A couple weeks ago I was pickpocketed. I was not in as obviously vulnerable a position as the woman in the title image. In fact, I thought I was doing everything right, and yet …. I had gone to the ATM and made a withdrawal before meeting a... read more

5 Amazing Airports

August 4, 2017 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Believe it or not, I hate to fly. Really hate it. But I do it. The good news is, I actually like airports. I like the energy. I like seeing all the places listed on Arrivals and Departures. Jakarta? Vladivostok? Hey, maybe! There are plenty of amazing airports in the... read more

Kazakh Food

July 28, 2017 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Out first night in Astana. We had good weather so enjoyed eating outdoors. Confession: we’re at a Georgian restaurant here, the Daredzhani, not a Kazakh restaurant. In the middle of the table is a cauliflower dish with walnuts, to the back right a plate of pickled items and on the... read more

The Fascinating Story of Gulnara Karimova

July 25, 2017 12:18 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Title Image: The Beauty herself Linguistic note: the name Gulnara comes from the Persian golnar = gol ‘flower, rose’ + anâr ‘pomegranate’ While walking around the streets of Almaty, Kazakhstan here’s a story I was told. It’s about Uzbekistan, not Kazakhstan – but, after all, Uzbekistan is next door, and... read more

Almaty, Kazakhstan

July 21, 2017 6:50 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Title Image: Almaty (Алматы) against the backdrop of the Tien Shan Mountains Linguistic note: Alma means ‘apple’ in Kazakh. Almaty once flourished with apple orchards. They still exist, of course, but now they’re farther out of town. Confession: Before going to Kazakhstan I had never heard of Almaty. Further confession:... read more

Kazakh Language/ қазақ тілі

July 18, 2017 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Title Image is Signs with both the Cyrillic and Latin alphabet abound – very helpful! In Astana I met friend and co-author Phillip Carter. Our first job was to find a Kazak language teacher. It’s what we do, and our linguistic adventures certainly played a part in writing:

Kazakhstan II/Қазақстан II

July 14, 2017 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Title Image: A painting of traditional Kazakh life. National Museum of History, Astana Not every country with -stan in its name is a scary place. Kazakhstan definitely is not. Kazakhstan Nomadic life Traditional Kazakhs, like their Mongolians neighbors to the east, are nomads. Half of the Mongolian population today is... read more