ESL attracts an interesting cast of characters…Many ESL teachers are lovely, open-minded, hardworking people…but of course, those aren’t the characters you write home about. The ones who stick in your mind are the ones who exist far on the outskirts of social and psychological norms. Below are profiles of some typical characters that you’ll meet in the teacher’s room of an overseas language school.
This morning I heard the news that a blast went off in Marrakech leaving over a dozen killed and more wounded. The explosion happened at a popular cafe, Cafe Argana, located in the city’s main square, Djemm el Fna. The Moroccan government believes the blast to be the result of an attack.I lived and studied abroad in Morocco for a year and passed through Djemm el Fna a number of times.
While every trip has the potential to include a traveler’s moment, it isn’t something that can be forced or expected.Photo by Benjamin OrbachAs I waited for the monorail that would take me to my connecting gate at O’Hare Airport, the sun rose and painted red the lower edges of the Chicago sky.It was the color of the elderly Sikh’s turban in Jaipur, the man who had sold me a bottle of water between handing out change to the pilgrims who passed his shop.
During my first peace walk, walking and living for peace, within a community, each person had their story to tell.I met her years ago. She was quiet, calm, beautiful in a manner of complete respect. There were things about her I knew I would never know, things that were hers, forever hers.I had been traveling for sometime.
Photo above by OldtastyI have never seen a country with a more aggressive tourist industry than Thailand. You emerge from Hua Lumpong station and make your way to the southern exit. It takes a fraction of a second for taxi and tuk-tuk drivers to yell at the top of their lungs, “Hello sir! Taxi sir! Where you go!
Intel is giving away $40,000 in custom vacations along with other sweet, sweet goodies.The Intel AppUp Challenge is awarding the submitter of the best travel photo a $25,000 custom vacation for him/her and three friends or family members. If you don’t take home the grand prize, there is also a chance to win a $10,000 second prize and a $5000 third prize.
Being a history geek, I usually buy at least two books when traveling somewhere new.I need a travel book for getting around and a history book to help me understand what I see. Your average backpacker book provides some historical and cultural explanation.However, the balance of hostel details compared to location background information never sits right with me.
Photo by: midorisyuScientists at UCLA may have found the solution to our fuel problems.Recently, supreme research brains at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science discovered a way to genetically modify a a type of bacterium to consume CO2 and produce isobutanol, a liquid fuel that can be used as a gas alternative.
Is it possible to re-imagine our understanding of dangerous destinations? Natalie Grant explores how to make the shift, though our understanding of risk and reward.Preparing for my trip to South Africa was a blur of warnings, an avalanche of don’ts and watch-outs.Once there, however, my dear friend Jess (born and raised in South Africa) explained the real meaning of the oft used phrase “This is Africa” (TIA) over two cool glasses of Savannah Dry.
Sunshine Village photo by Andy BellWhen it comes to choosing which mountains to ride and ski this year, remember that, “more famous” and “more popular” does not equate with “better skiing.”The following ten ski resorts have been selected based on two criteria more important than any other: consistency of good snow conditions, and quality of terrain.
Check out this blog post on GIGAOM, written in response to claims by Malcolm Gladwell (author of The Tipping Point) that social media is irrelevant when it comes to “real activism”: Gladwell Still Missing the Point About Social Media and Activism. The comments in particular are very interesting.For me, the key paragraph in the post is this:But as sociology professor Zeynep Tufekci argues in a blog post responding to Gladwell — and as we argued in a recent post here — the point is not that social media tools like Twitter and Facebook cause revolutions in any real sense.
A seeker shares her insight from a pilgrimage involving multiple evolutions around the earth, past a cumulative total of seven years.At age 22, I was doing a lot of “grown-up” things; putting in 60-hour work weeks, making timely payments on my student loans, securing health insurance benefits, upholding loyal and loving relationships with friends, family and a partner, managing a stock portfolio where I was investing substantial savings, filing my taxes, early, without the help of parents or accountants, and managing the overall and on-time upkeep of a healthy household, body and life.