Cultural Expectations of Family

When I reflect on my last trip to Nepal, one of the most interesting days was the one when I taught English to a group of young adult Nepalis who were studying for their IELTS certification (a set of courses that shows prospective colleges…

Tell Me Again

What was your purpose for this trip? Why do you keep going? Let me say, as the self-appointed Princess of Purpose, I love this question! You should usually have a purpose when you take off to the other side of the world for a…

Cultural Perceptions

I’m intrigued with the idea of being able to see my own culture from another culture’s point of view. It’s something that seems like it would be easy, but in truth is takes mental gymnastics and being honest with yourself and your upbringing enough…

But the Stories!

If you think my stories are interesting, you should hear the stories of people I’m talking to everywhere I go. Today for the first time, I took a Kathmandu city bus from the neighborhood where I’m staying (Gokarna Chowk) to Boudhanath. It costs 15…

Slide Show and Thoughts

Time for photo catch up! I’ve averaged 750 photos per day and probably 20-50 video clips (because the sound and motion is really helpful sometimes! – I wish I could offer smellovision – there are curries and incense floating randomly throughout the city). I’ve…

Magic Cloth

Traveling to Nepal shows me, in stark contrast, all the quirky things we do in our culture. I love how the contrast and realization cracks open my thoughts and breaks me out of my routine, rote way of life. We have everything here, yet we…

Culture in Art

  Growing up in the Upper Midwest, my art experiences included studying Native American art and craft work of the Sioux Nation tribes. As the child of an art major, I didn’t realize or appreciate the depth of art culture that was shown to me…

What’s in a Symbol

One of the things I love about my travels to Asia, is that they remind me of how many little bits of knowledge and learnings have been packed inside my head over the past 40 years. For instance, color association: we associate red with…

The Origins of American Excess And Enoughness

I was visiting New York for the first time since the 1980s. My friend Gambu is an immigrant from Nepal living in Queens, so he picked me up and took me to his flat for a warm Sherpa welcome complete with multi-family homemade meal,…

Blinders Off

I almost titled this “There is too much, let me sum up…” but that’s actually counter to the point I am about to make. There is so much to read now, so many people casting words and videos and snaps into the ether, that…