When I boarded the flight to Nauru, I felt like I was going into exile. The airline that flies to Nauru is called “Our Airline,” which could go down as the most comical airline name I've ever heard. (Runner up: "Jubbah Airways" in Somalia.) I had previously been informed by my visa service that no visa is required to visit Nauru. Unfortunately, that fact turned out to be untrue—pretty much everyone going to Nauru needs a visa. After an earlier failure, I regrouped and made another attempt last week. This time, the visit was successful.Read More
Last weekend, I finally made it to Cuba! It was a significant trip for me, since Cuba was my final country in all of the Americas. I now have only 19 total countries remaining, and this was an especially fun one. During my time on the island, I ran a half-marathon with a friend, spent another couple days walking around Havana, and made sure to sample mojitos from as many restaurants as possible. Keep reading for the full report ...Read More
It’s always a sunny day when you arrive in Frankfurt. You might think this is impossible, but Frankfurt is like Seattle: apparently it rains all the time, but never on your first day. (It helps to arrive in the summer months.) I’ve been here on a dozen stopovers, nearly half of them last year when…Read More
Every Sunday morning that I'm in town, I head out for a long run. Two weekends ago at the waterfront, the weather was glorious. The whole city of Portland took up jogging or cycling. Last weekend at the waterfront, the weather was more to our usual end-of-Spring form ... rainy and gloomy. The whole city of Portland stayed indoors. On the sunny day, joggers and cyclists smiled at each other with a mutual appreciation of our good fortune. The implied message was, “It's good to be alive!”Read More
I stepped outside my hotel room and put my headphones in. Taking the elevator down to the lobby, I looked out at blue sky and sunshine—much nicer than the previous day of cold rain.
Then on the way outside, I did something that brought on instant embarrassment, pain, and déjà vu: I walked directly into a glass door that I didn't know existed. I thought the door was open, but sadly, it was not ...Read More
This video update was recorded live after my recent half-marathon in Forest Grove, Oregon. A tired runner (me) and the sound of cowbells (for someone else who finished the race mid-video) is included at no extra charge.Read More
I’ve been a dedicated runner for about five years now, and a casual one for several years before that. I find that running is the best overall exercise I can do, and the minimalist in me enjoys the fact that running is very low-tech. All you need are some decent running shoes – no fancy equipment or nice clothes are necessary. I like to listen to music when I run, but other than an iPod shuffle, I don’t take anything with me.Read More
The Japanese man sitting next to me looks back and forth between the video and me. Finally, he takes off his headphones and asks, “Wrong movie?”
Yes. Wrong movie.
The wrong movie plays for nearly three minutes before it is turned off by a flight attendant. She comes on the p.a. after another three minutes. “Ladies and gentlemen… sorry… we can’t find the arrival video for Japan. If you have any questions about Japan, let us know.”
Other than that, the 11-hour flight across the Pacific is uneventful. I arrive in Narita and quickly transfer to a Cathay Pacific flight for Hong Kong. Another five hours goes by as I fitfully sleep in the back of the plane.Read More
I do. It gets lonely out there traveling by myself, spending entire days without talking to anyone sometimes, hanging out in countries where I don’t speak the language and am obviously a foreigner. My work suffers and I make a lot less money than I could if I stayed in one place for a while;…Read More