A Prisoner in Paradise

This is a story of being caught in a period of uncertainty between three SE Asian countries during the pandemic. The people are kind and friendly, the scenery is gorgeous, but inner turmoil and perhaps isolation keep the mind a prisoner.

In March 2019, Virginia and I posted an account of her teaching experience at one of the most prestigious high schools in China. Basically, she credited her students with giving her the most rewarding teaching experience she’d ever had, but she liked little else about the job or China. (Link)

Virginia and I spoke over Facebook Read More

A French Girl in the Merchant Marine

Thanks to Audrey for the photos. At the end of the interview there’s a brief account with videos of the cable ship, Île de Sein, recovering the black boxes from the wreckage of Air France 447. The video provides a good look at the ship, the personnel on board and some of the equipment. Another video is a documentary about the plane crash in the middle of the Atlantic.

Audrey’s story

Becoming a sailor wasn’t an obvious choice for me. I grew up in Orleans, in north-central France, definitely inland, and I had no seafaring relatives. But I wanted contact … Read More

In Indonesia among the Damudani

In 2015, I interviewed my friend Geri about her life in Korea, first alone and then with Chris, her finance. (Link) The next year we talked about the accident which had taken Chris’s legs off above the knee, their marriage, and his recuperation. (Link) Recently, Chris and I talked via Skype about his first trip to see the Indonesian Damudani, also called Dani, Danidani and Ndani. Chris was in their new home in Okinawa, and I was here in the Philippines. Thanks to Chris for the photos.

Chris’s story

About eight, ten years ago, I … Read More

Following the Plan through Southeast Asia, Part 1

This is a 2014 interview with a man who went to Southeast Asia looking for something. In this first part he’s on the road in India, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand. In the second part he returns to the Philippines. Thanks to Joe for the photos.

Joe’s Story

In 2001 I was living in an apartment in Amsterdam when friends told me about their traveling experiences, meditating in ashrams in India and wats in Thailand. At that point in my life I was earning good money as a contractor, I had a nice car, and my … Read More

Return to Korea

Some people set a goal for themselves to visit one new place each year. I like that idea. After all, travel is about discovery. There has been a lot of that in my life, but there’s also been a lot of going back to places where I’ve lived before—in the U.S., Europe or Asia—to reconnect with the place and to discover the changes in us both. When I returned to Korea briefly a few weeks ago, the main purpose was to meet with friends and friends of friends. I also experienced my old home from the perspective of a tourist.… Read More