Mystical Varanasi – the heart of India

There’s nothing else like it anywhere in the world. Varanasi is not a place so much as it is an experience of complete immersion into the heart and soul of India. It is an encounter that defies definition. Varanasi simply must be experienced. Varanasi is called the heart of India because of it’s geographical location…

India in Detail

As I write this, I’m on a plane heading to India, where I will be working for the next couple of weeks. Since I will likely be too busy to post to my blog, I’ve scheduled this post to keep you, and my blog, company while I am away.  Enjoy. India is incredibly photogenic, however,…

Happy Chinese New Year! Year of the Dragon 2012

The Chinese New Year is upon us, and 2012 is the Year of the Dragon in Chinese Astrology. The dragon is the only mythical animal in the Chinese zodiac, and is a symbol of good fortune and power. According to legend, the dragon body is made up of nine other animals. Since I don’t have…

Reading with Purpose

 Earlier this year, I had a very powerful experience that has stayed with me, and the story of which ties in beautifully with the focus of this year’s Passports With Purpose fundraiser. It all happened in Calcutta, India, when I went to Mother Teresa’s Ashram.  No words can describe the overwhelming emotional impact of visiting…

Travel Photography Nirvana (illustrated with images from Bhutan)

Buddhists in Bhutan believe that when a circle appears around the sun, an incarnation of Buddha is born. Nirvana is a destination for some, but not a specific place. It is loosely defined as a state of being free from pain, worry, and the external world. I have never reached nirvana, and frankly, I’m quite…

A Taste of Darjeeling

So, if you’re like most people, you hear Darjeeling and you think tea. As well you should! Darjeeling is best known for the tea, and also known for the best tea. The finest tea, in fact, whose flavor is not replicated anywhere else in the world. Darjeeling tea plants cover the slopes of this Himalayan…

Darjeeling for the Daring

It takes some effort to visit Darjeeling. Getting around on the roads in this Himalayan region of West Bengal are a real challenge, but the visitor is greatly rewarded.   Most travelers to Darjeeling will fly into the nearest airport, which is Bagdogra, about 52 miles away. However, the difference in elevation from Bagdogra to Darjeeling…

Calcutta the Beautiful

When you think Calcutta, do you think slums, poverty and filth? Or do you imagine art, joy and beauty? A visitor to Calcutta will see what they want to see, but the camera never lies. It’s all there. Open your eyes.                Children of Calcutta Upon landing by air…

Calcutta the Beautiful

When you think Calcutta, do you think slums, poverty and filth? Or do you imagine art, joy and beauty? A visitor to Calcutta will see what they want to see, but the camera never lies. It’s all there. Open your eyes.                Children of Calcutta Upon landing by air…

Fall in Japan: Food, Festivals, and Foliage

The fall season is evident everywhere in Japan, so here I’ve picked three elements and three places to experience them. FOOD – Tokyo For the Japanese, food presentation is as important as quality and taste, and everything looks so incredibly good! Here are some tasty pictures from the food halls in the basement floors of…