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Kashgar: Behind the Façade

Kashgar: Behind the Façade

The sweet smoky odor of grilled mutton and cumin saturated the surprisingly cool summer breeze as I walked along Aizirete Lu near the famous Yengi Bazaar in the ancient city of Kashgar. The crowded streets were lined as far as my eyes could see with brightly colored umbrellas shading large bags of spices, carts filled with fresh fruit, and butchered meat hanging precariously above crude scales on fragile makeshift tables. ...read the full story

Naked by Choice: Owning the Bushmen Myth

Naked by Choice: Owning the Bushmen Myth

We marched for hours through the high grass and endless scrub of the central Kalahari. The “Old Man,” as he is known in the village, stopped only briefly to examine a small dent in the sandy soil or inspect the trace of a passing animal. He moved gracefully over the inhospitable land with a confidence that comes from centuries of accumulated knowledge. We followed at a distance as he scanned ...read the full story

Pushkar: Gypsies, Gods & Dromedaries

Pushkar: Gypsies, Gods & Dromedaries

I hopped off my camel cart on the outskirts of the fairground, opting instead to walk the sandy corridors between tents and animals where thousands of India’s desert nomads were welcoming a new day. From a distance, it looked like a Rajput-era military encampment with hundreds of tents erected in endless rows. The movement of animals, carts and countless people dressed in traditional tribal colors created a bustle of activity. ...read the full story

The Sacred City of Shiva

The Sacred City of Shiva

It was only my first full day in India but I was already beginning to appreciate the beauty and rhythm nestled amidst the seeming chaos that surrounded me. As the last bit of daylight surrendered to eerie pockets of neon illumination, I mounted a cycle-rickshaw near my hotel and was quickly swept through a narrow meandering maze of tiny alleyways. Cars, rickshaws, scooters, bicycles, pedestrians, and sacred cows all competed ...read the full story

The Lure of Tibet

The Lure of Tibet

For years I longed to visit Tibet. Maybe it was a fascination inspired by romantic movies or the powerful lure of a distant land of myth and legend that few western travelers have ever seen, but I could barely contain my joy as I crowded at a portal window to steal a momentary glimpse of a magical snow-capped mountain as we made our descent into Gongkar Airport. I was traveling alone ...read the full story