“Every house not a home, but dare do I roam, there’s a light on the porch here for someone. Once upon a time in a border town, the war was over, the guns laid down, the women, the men, the children say, that it’s hard to remember it any other way. When the law acts as though, there’s nothing to show, there’s compassion and depth in a neighbor.” Continue reading
In our three plus years living in Myanmar we’ve had opportunities to travel to most of the climbing bubbles in the South/East Asia region. We’ve ticked Green Climber’s Home in Laos, Ha Long Bay and Cat Ba Island in Vietnam, Tung Lung in Hong Kong, a crag or two in South Korea, a few zones in Myanmar, and I’ve been to Chiang Mai twice and Tonsai in Thailand 6 times. The only major climbing hub remaining in this corner of the world was the karst jungle of Yangshuo, China. The ominous sounding visa process was the main culprit of our China procrastination, and it turned out to be much worse than we had anticipated, Continue reading
Our annual trip to the states in the fall of 2017 was preceded by a turbulent series of events in Myanmar that are still defying my best efforts to mentally sort into neat little boxes. At the core of our trip, KT and I were seeking rejuvenation. What we got is what we needed; desert vistas, big granite walls, long road trips, canyon ranches, hot tubs, fireplaces, and rocker/recliners, all with the best people. Continue reading
A week of spectacular climbing in Bulgaria. David came out for an off-the-beaten-track brother adventure, and Bulgaria blew away our expectations; it is stunning.
Earlier this year Katie and I travelled to Greece for some climbing and culture. We were welcomed by our gracious host, enlightened guide, and zealot of all things Greek, Dimitris. Dimitris was our oracle, enlightening us by explaining how extra virgin olive oil was different, how the ancient Athenians were the most YOLO people of all time, and how Cretians essentially won WWII for the allies by losing the Battle of Crete to the Germans. For the following three weeks, tidbits of Dimitris knowledge would float through our heads as we explored the Aegean. After staying with Dimitris for a day in Athens, we travelled to the island of Santorini.
Although they are highly enjoyable, holidays in Italy aren’t really conducive to interesting storytelling. Perhaps this is because every single person’s Italian holiday gush sounds exactly the same. If you’ve ever fallen victim to one of these recountings, you know the glazed over look in the eye as the holidaymaker retreats into their visceral memories of gelato and pizza, the enthusiasm in their voice as they recite the notorious buzz words. . . The Vatican. . . The Colosseum. . . The Pantheon, and the eager hand gestures, channelling the inner Italian spirit with the thumb pressed securely to the index finger.
I’m guessing that some of you feel the same way. Some of the recent comments of a powerful political leader glorifying sexual assault have been hard for me to shake over the last couple of weeks. Continue reading
Like any other country at the moment, Myanmar has mixed feelings about their expats and immigrants; feelings ranging from stewing xenophobic tension to glowing admiration. Myanmar’s current policy towards foreigners on working visas mandates that we leave the country every 70 days. For some this is an annoying inconvenience, for me it’s a regular forced vacation to an exotic location every couple of months. Due to our regular visa runs over the last two years, Katie and I have been running low on Asian countries to visit (it’s a tough life). We decided to stretch our visa run distance and length to hop over to Western Australia for something novel. Continue reading
Bagan, plane of endless temples; it is Myanmar’s transcendent cultural icon. It’s the Cristo Redentor of Brazil, the Angkor Wat of Cambodia, y’all it’s the freaking Statue of Liberty 🗽! Along with any location given cultural icon status, Bagan caters to hordes of tourists, of which I reluctantly accept membership. Nothing like standing on top of a temple meditatively watching the sun set across a beautiful temple plateau dotted with 475 people taking selfies. Continue reading
Summer is here in Myanmar, and summer means Thingyan (the Myanmar new year), and Thingyan means it’s time to go on our second annual 10 day sport climbing trip. Thailand has traditionally been the destination for sport climbing in SE Asia, but the karst wonderland of Thakhek in neighboring Laos is the up and coming new crag on the block. As devout Thingyan climbing pilgrims, Katie and I decided it was time to cut our teeth on Southeast Asia’s newest rock mecca. Continue reading