living abroad (6)

The Plan: Our Six Years Abroad

We returned to our home exactly six years ago to the day, on June 1 2016, when Linda and I packed up or donated our possessions; sold our cars; and caught a plane to Chiang Mai, Thailand. Our plan was to hang out there for a while; then spend a few months in Vietnam; and finally move on to Bali for a long stay. We thought we’d return to the United States in 2019 after three years away.

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai was great fun for our nine-month stay. Back in 2016 it was the epicenter of the digital

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The Art of Learning a New Language


Sitting on the beach in a Brazilian bikini with the vocabulary of an infant, I could not help but feel like the epitome of a contradiction. At the age of 33, I was not thrilled to feel like a toddler again.

I loved to fantasize about myself at a fabulous Rio rooftop bar, making a charming joke about a local cultural nuance. But the agony of the years that stood between me and this image was overwhelming. This was definitely not the first time that I was trying to manifest the magazine image in

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Hidden deep inside another one of French designer Phillipe Stark’s hotels is the Spa at the Fasano Hotel. This hotel, built with core materials such as wood, glass and marble overlooks life-guard stand Posto 8 on Ipanema Beach. With its spirit of sophisticated casualness- in Havaiana flip-flips or Kenzo espadrilles- you will fit in no matter what your footwear. 

Albeit it is a warm 77F (25C), autumn is full swing here in Rio de Janeiro. I enter the lobby of this beachfront property after a morni

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I'm Not Running Away - I'm Traveling

I have been traveling for the good portion of a decade and a half. Often I traveled alone, sometimes with friends, sometimes the partners, but always with a passion for the road. You can say back 15 years ago, the gypsy wandering lifestyle was much less trendy. This is before the start of travel blogs and at the time when people still bought actual books about countries to learn where to go. We went to internet cafés to send emails to our parents, took photos with film, and bought plane tickets

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Mari and I in Morro de São Paulo

My friend Mari and me in Morro de São Paulo

I came to Brazil for the first time alone in 2014. I love to learn languages and I had made several attempts at Spanish that never furnished the skills I had hoped for. So, I filled a backpack and headed to South America for a six-month trip. I had a rough idea of where I wanted to go, but the overall idea was to be alone so that I could be immersed in Spanish and return home with the capability of being charming at a dinner party in Mexico City (if tha

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“You don’t choose where you are born, but you can choose where you live” wisely states the message from the town hall of Atenas, Costa Rica for its 147th birthday celebration this past August 7.

This pastoral coffee town in the mountains just west of the capital city of San José, is known for its ideal location and great weather. That, plus its location and small-town ambiance that make it a special place to live for its 15,000 residents (27,000 including outlying neighborhoods).

Everyone is

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