If I were to ask you to close your eyes and picture the Greek Islands, what image would you see? White sand? Feta cheese? Brad Pitt as Achilles?
Yes, you may see Brad, sand and cheese, but if you are anything like me, the first image that will pop into your head will be of whitewashed walls and bright blue rooftops — the classic buildings of Greece, and the subject of posters plastered all over the walls of travel agencies around the world.
But, why are they painted white and blue?
In Thailand approximately 95% of the population is Buddhist, which means that the country is chock-full of breathtaking temples (wat in Thai), elaborately carved statues of the Buddha, and saffron-coloured-robe clad monks (approx. 460,000 of them!).
It is an expectation across the country that EVERY Thai male will become a monk for at least a short period in their life.
But if you see one, make sure you don't touch them!
Social greetings can be hard enough to navigate when in a different country (do you shake hands, hug, bow... ) but when social kissing gets thrown into the mix (especially when kissing is not the norm where you come from) things can get VERY confusing.
When do you kiss? How many kisses? Left cheek? Right cheek? Both? Ahhhh!!!! (You can see why social kissing can lead to serious social anxiety!)
Italians consume over 14 billion espresso drinks each year (!) making the country’s coffee intake the highest in the world. That’s A LOT of caffeine. Baristas in the boot shaped peninsula take great pride in their ability to extract perfectly flavored espresso every time, so much so that it takes 2-3 years of training before they are even allowed to work in a cafe. The average age of a barista is around 45 years and you can literally taste their 10+ years of experience in the white porcelain cup placed in front of you.
When I was first asked by some fellow foreigners in South Korea if I wanted to get naked in a public bathhouse on my first weekend in the country, I looked at them like they were nuts.
Somehow though, they managed to talk me into it (I blame severe jet lag), and it was one of the best decisions that I have ever made.
A trip to Cambodia can be pretty intense.
Monkeys run through ancient temples that seem to grow out of the jungle. There are no conventional traffic rules. In fact, sometimes it seem like there really aren't any rules at all — at least not the ones that we follow in North America.
It isn't rare for an elephant to try and steal your lunch while you dine on an outdoor patio, and there are still land mines everywhere making it unsafe to wander off beaten paths.
It's amazing how just a few words can make you smile, persuade you to book that flight, and have you ready to tackle the next adventure!
These are some of my favourite quotes from fellow travellers, famous figures, writers, and artists.
No dictionary has been able to adequately explain the difference between the words "complete" and "finished."
However, at a linguistic conference attended by some of the best linguists in the world, a single man changed that.
Ring Around the Rosie (or Ring-a-Ring o'Roses if you are from the UK) is a nursery rhyme that many of us have recited on the playground at one time or another. Though it has been part of the Mother Goose collection of folksongs since 1881, this rhyme may have been recited as early as the 1790s all over Europe, and has a pretty dark history.
Though some scholars disagree, legend says that the song describes either the Black Death of 1347 or the Great Plague in 1665.