After a number of exciting adventures, I decided to tone it down a notch and spend a few months working again. I don’t want the traveling to become rote, and I also want to keep my technical skillset and my pocketbook in good shape. So, I spent about six weeks working back at Creare in New Hampshire, and then four weeks working for my friends’ company, Whistle, in San Francisco. I learned a ton, made some […]

A Gap in the Gappaticaltirement

Ever since I finished refusing to learn a single thing in my completely free but compulsory foreign language education in high school, I’ve wondered why I was so determined to squander my opportunity to become bilingual. In my travels, I’ve often wished that I could actually communicate with the locals, instead of just pointing cluelessly at menu items in restaurants. And, I’ve been fascinated by people who are fluent in multiple languages: I’ve always wondered what […]

Spanish Lessons at “The Most Beautiful Lake on Earth”.

EuroVelo 6 is in Switzerland for only about 100 km total. Even during that time, it weaves in between Germany and Switzerland constantly. In fact, the only way I could tell which country I was in was to either ask someone, or to buy something and see what currency my change was in (Euros, or Swiss Francs). The border is baffling along the Rhine–the two countries fit together like puzzle pieces, and although the border […]

Switzerland, I hardly knew you, but my wallet sure did.

A few days ago, I rode with Dee to Paris to return her bike so she could fly back to the US. I am so glad that she was able to join me for those 2 weeks–we’ve always wanted to do a long bike trip together, and the Loire Valley was the perfect setting. The roads were safe, the hills were manageable, and the towns and chateaus were beautiful. It was great to have someone […]

Leaving the Loire Valley and saying good-bye to Dee

Since high school, I’ve had a chronic World War Two obsession. I’ve loved historical fiction movies like ‘Band of Brothers’ and ‘The Pacific,’ as well as documentaries like Ken Burns’ ‘The War’, and I’ve read tons of books like ‘With the Old Breed at Pelelieu’ and ‘Iron Coffins’. I just can’t believe the sheer size and horror of the war, or the speed with which the world changed during that period. Of course, the iconic event […]

Beaches of Normandy

SLIGO, IRELAND (Note that I’m posting this a month or two after I wrote it…) The ferry from Holyhead, Wales to Dublin, Ireland seemed more like a repurposed cruise ship than what I picture as a ferry. It had 11 separate levels, one of which was filled mostly by private cabins with beds. It had a cinema, several cafeterias, a small casino, and of course numerous bars. Most of its levels were used to store […]

Sligo, Ireland

Cardiff, Wales  After Oxford we continued onwards to Cardiff, the capital of Wales. I settled in for a nice long trip, but when I was awoken from my nap about an hour later, we were already there. In fact, we were so unprepared that by the time we got our belongings together we had been locked on the train and had to summon the conductor. I guess these high-speed train make quick work of such […]

Cardiff, Wales

Just before visiting Oxford, I re-read Bill Bryson’s chapter on Oxford in “Notes from a Small Island”. Wherein, he complains bitterly about how Oxford has been blighted by ugly architecture and too many parking spaces. It was a nice reality-check for me because upon visiting Oxford I found it to be incredibly well-preserved and beautiful, confirming once and for all that Bill Bryson is a whiner. However, I did get the impression that Oxford focuses […]


The Thames  Our London trip continued with us doing the most touristy and shockingly expensive activities that we could find.  For instance, we visited the Churchill War Rooms – the underground bunker from which Churchill directed Britain’s part in WWII. Admission was around US$30 a piece, and the museum was more of a shrine to Churchill than a museum of WWII history.  It made me curious about Churchill as a person, but the museum was […]

London III

After Dee and I finally gave up trying to get Indian Tourist Visas (only India could screw up the application process that badly), we decided to simply visit the UK for the next two weeks. We have our first few nights booked at a wonderful hostel in Earl’s Court, and after that we are just going to wing it. Scotland may be in the cards, or perhaps Wales, or maybe even Ireland?   The trip […]

London II