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A White Christmas in North Korea

I had first visited the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) in October 2016 as a day trip from Dandong in China. I’ve always liked to explore places where few others dare to go, so I was very excited about my first trip (not to mention a little...

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China: Fiery Foot Massage!

Scorching the Tootsies in China! A Different Kind of Massage I once associated massage with relaxation – the smell of sandalwood incense; meditative sitar music; healing hands kneading tension away. However like most things I encountered during my time in China, my...

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Slow Boat to Bagan, Myanmar

I always enjoy using different modes of transportation when exploring new places. Today I was taking a riverboat, leaving Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma) and heading southward to Bagan. Most travelers make this journey by bus, but I chose to take the MGRG Boat instead....

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A Shooting Star Over Baghdad

Tonight's flight to Doha is a bit different than last night’s flight to Istanbul from Toronto. Nine out of ten passengers are men over the age of 50 and I’m one of five women. There is a lot of snoring happening compared to this morning's cries of small children. The...

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Inspiring Istanbul

A chill breeze makes me shudder as I sit atop a cruise boat sailing down the Bosporus River towards the Black Sea. The difference in architecture between the buildings on my left side and the buildings on my right side are truly remarkable. This is mainly due to the...

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Florentime in a Tel Aviv Neighborhood

Florentine, the Neighborhood The rooftop where I currently reside is of a shop that I walk past nearly every day, a woodwork shop which, like all of Florentine’s numerous manufacturing outlets, is small, covered in graffiti, and open for viewing of these artisans...

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Following the Footsteps of the Beatles in India

Back in 1968, music sensation “The Beatles” visited an ashram in Rishikesh, India. During their time there, they wrote over 50 songs and brought Eastern influences to the mainstream like never before. Fifty years later, in September, I had the chance to visit some of...

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Sailing over the Myanmar’s Plains of Bagan

Bagan Archaeological Zone More than 2,200 eleventh to thirteenth century temples and stupas pepper the forty square miles of Myanmar’s plains of Bagan. Why are so many of these graceful, exotic structures clustered in this Southeast Asian country once known as Burma?...

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The Experience of Walking Beside Laotian Monks

One Buddhist morning with the Laotian Monks. The colour of the air is infused with orange and pomegranate. And still, it is before dawn. Nothing can be heard except for the quiet barefoot steps of two dozen monks dressed in deep orange robes. And the morning song ( a...

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