October – 2013 – Digital Nomad

Archives for October, 2013

The Tiger’s Nest

According to the teenager with a shaved head, two hand tattoos and one bare shoulder, the crossed lightning pendant I just purchased will cancel out eighteen different evils and assist me in overcoming 80,000 obstacles. The IRS comes to mind—but the young Buddhist monk who kneels before me offers no policy with my purchase—no small…

A Night in Kathmandu

From our plane, the city looks as if some fitful child scattered all of his Legos across a blanket of green. Every colored block, some red brick, pale pink, or sea green—is home to a family or two or three, a shop or restaurant, probably cows and goats, too. And all these homes, multiplied by…

Seven Skies

“When you reach an empty part of the desert, if the wind blows from the North, then West, South, and East—if the wind comes from every direction, this means, ‘You are not welcome here’, and you need to leave immediately.” Such is the helpful advice of Mohammed on the microphone, his last-minute lecture—‘Intro to Genies’—right…

Photo Gallery: A Day In Oman

Is it possible to fall in love with a place in just one day? Yes, of course. The answer is yes. After leaving London on National Geographic’s 125th Anniversary Expedition, we flew to Oman, and shifted suddenly from the cooler fall of Europe into the steamy season of the Gulf. In total, I believe we…

Dead Reckoning

“You only know where you are by remembering how you got there.” So says our professor, anthropologist and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Wade Davis, explaining the sailors’ process of navigation, dead reckoning. He stands in the aisle of the plane, gesturing with his hands, while on either side, a dozen flat screen TV monitors all show…

The Expedition of a Lifetime

I just can’t keep it a secret this time–no way, no how. My next assignment is just too big, too spectacular, and too special to leave you all guessing along the way about where I might end up in the world. And so, just this once, I am publishing my travel plans in advance (uh,…

National Geographic’s 125th Anniversary

I love National Geographic. It’s not a secret. Like most of us, I was obsessed as child. I read (or flipped through), every single issue of National Geographic and World magazines. I grew up watching National Geographic Explorer on television, reading National Geographic books, and competing in the National Geographic Bee. I could never get…

Four Seasons of Travel

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: travel is so very personal. Each of us has our own idea of what constitutes a great destination and a great time. Indeed, it’s the beauty of changing seasons is how each one caters to our personal fancies, be it Paris in the spring or Alaska…

The Case of the Golden-Winged Warbler

In summer, the Golden-winged Warbler flits among the thorny blackberry bushes and spiky yellow goldenrod up here, on top of the highest points in the Appalachians. These rounded, stone-strewn humps are the “Highlands of Roan” and as their name suggests, they very much resemble the misty highlands of Scotland—mostly bald compared to the surrounding hillsides…

Why Leaves Change Color

Charles Rennie Mackintosh observed that, “Art is the flower, Life is the Green Leaf,”  but I would very humbly add that after the green leaf dies, all those red, orange, and yellow leaves become nature’s most magnificent work of art. For the past two weeks I’ve enjoyed autumn’s splendor, from the yellow aspens of Grand…