Ancient GyeongJu

In the historic capital of Korea, GyeongJu, Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto were our third and fourth World Heritage sites on this journey. A steep hike up to the grotto revealed an amazing stone arc-shaped room, housing a magnificent Buddha looking out over the countryside, surrounded by figures in bas-relief. The ever-present Korean street markets wereContinue reading “Ancient GyeongJu”

Busy Busan

In Busan, South Korea, Beomeosa temple climbed up a steep hillside. Legend says that at the temple’s mountain peak, there is a golden well which never dries up, home to a mythical golden fish. Hence the name of the temple, Beomeosa, means “Heavenly Fish.” The temple is home to so many Buddhas—big and small, goldContinue reading “Busy Busan”

Icheon pottery

Having been a potter in my younger days, I often seek out traditional ceramics when I travel. Not to be confused with Incheon, the city with the major airport serving Seoul, South Korea, the town of Icheon is known as a pottery center and is about an hour southeast of Seoul. The area came toContinue reading “Icheon pottery”

The soul of Seoul

The Insa Dong neighborhood in the heart of Seoul was vibrant with activity: tiny shops with gifts in vivid primary colors, goods in bins on the sidewalk, the smell of food from street stalls around every corner, textured handmade paper hanging on racks, tea shops, young couples, tourists, and just life. I was traveling with aContinue reading “The soul of Seoul”

A labor of love (reprise)

It’s time for my favorite local event, Georgetown Plein Air, a couple of days of outdoor painting and a resulting art exhibit. I can’t resist sharing again my post from last year, when I had fewer readers, with some timely updates. The mountain town I live in—Georgetown, Colorado—is part of the Georgetown-Silver Plume National HistoricContinue reading “A labor of love (reprise)”

Fuchū, Japan

My teaching assignment in Japan, in fall of 2008, with a recruiting company that hired and placed foreign English teachers in Japanese universities, came with housing in Fuchū, about a half hour by train from Shinjuku, a major Tokyo hub. It’s a small city in Tokyo prefecture with an urban neighborhood feel, west of TokyoContinue reading “Fuchū, Japan”

Prague

In 2006, I enrolled in a month-long intensive course to learn Teaching English as a Foreign Language at a language school in Prague, where a teaching position was promised to those who achieved the TEFL certificate. Once I started working, I found a small flat with just two rooms, a kitchen and living room withContinue reading “Prague”

Zona Viva

On my first few days in a new place, everything strikes me as fresh and fascinating, then becomes more familiar and taken for granted. So when I travel, I try to venture out early in my visit to immerse myself in the sights and sounds. There is something invigorating about strolling through streets and scenesContinue reading “Zona Viva”

Jigokudani Monkey Park

When a Japanese friend learned that I was planning a winter trip to see the snow monkeys north of Nagano, she told me she had always wanted to see the Hokusai museum in nearby Obuse, so, although she was not fond of cold weather, she agreed to accompany me for a few days. It wasContinue reading “Jigokudani Monkey Park”

World Pride parade, Toronto

Toronto has one of the biggest LGBTQ Pride parades, and in 2014, it was Canada’s turn to host the International World Pride festival. So many organizations marched in support: school districts, companies, non-profits, unions, even the police department. And so many countries around the globe represented. An estimated 2 million people were there, sharing supportContinue reading “World Pride parade, Toronto”