Archive for March, 2007

Cricket and culture

The 2007 World Cup of Cricket is currently being played in the Caribbean. The sporting event is not getting much coverage in the U.S., not surprisingly, especially with March Madness going on. Shashi Tharoor, a diplomat and writer who recently published an op-ed column about his passion for cricket, says he is resigned to the […]

Chinese classes a challenge in U.S.

Suddenly, it seems, U.S. students are clamoring to learn Chinese. In the past seven years, according to this article in the Christian Science Monitor, enrollment in Mandarin classes has jumped tenfold among primary and secondary students. Of course, it’s still a mere pittance compared to the huge numbers of people in China who are learning English. […]

Discovering Victoria Falls

Michael Joseph Gross loves waterfalls. So when he heard that a group was planning a short hiking expedition to Victoria Falls in honor of the 150th anniversary of its discovery by the Scottish explorer David Livingstone, he had to go. Later, he wrote about his experiences on the Zambia-Zimbabwe border in this travel article. On […]

A tale of Ghana and Africa

If you are interested in understanding more about Africa, there is a fascinating story in Time Magazine that traces the history of Ghana over the past 50 years, along with some of the successes and failures of the African continent in general. The story achieves this by focusing on the lives of three generations of a single family – […]

1,000 places to see on a sabbatical

First came the book, 1,000 Places to See Before You Die. Then the Travel Channel decided to base a television series around the concept and selected a Denver couple, Albin and Melanie Ulle, to embark “on a 14-week excursion across 13 countries.” The Ulle’s experiences were filmed for the series, which premieres March 29, according […]

Japanese respect comes to American baseball

The Japanese are known to have a polite and respectful culture. When two people bow in greeting, the younger or lower ranking individual traditionally bows lower. This week, even the world of American baseball glimpsed an example of this formality. I was amused to see this Boston Globe article, which describes the first on-field meeting between Yankees […]

Travel to Africa, change your life

In his NY Times column, Nicholas Kristof has been a longtime proponent of the benefits of travel, particularly as an educational tool. Now he’s at it again and, as he puts it, “putting my company’s money where my mouth is.” He announced in yesterday’s column that he is running another “win a trip” contest and, as he […]

Tony Horwitz talks travel

Tony Horwitz, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Confederates in the Attic and several other popular travel books, stopped by Rolf Potts’ website recently to talk about travel and travel writing.  Some excerpts from his interview: As a traveler and fact/story gatherer, what is your biggest challenge on the road? Wearing down, mentally and physically. Travel […]

Somalia and Somaliland

There is a fascinating article in yesterday’s NY Times about the differences between Somalia and Somaliland, which shows some of the ways in which culture and history can influence societies. If you’ve never heard of Somaliland, don’t worry. It’s likely that many people have never heard of the place, since no one recognizes it a country even though it declared […]

Cycling the Silk Road

There is an interesting sequence of travel articles online at, written as a series of dispatches from a bicycle trip that three friends embarked on across Central Asia.  In the first story, Greg Grim described the goal of their journey: Last spring, I flew from Washington, D.C., along with two college friends, to Istanbul, […]

The kites of Afghanistan

There is a fun little article in Time Magazine about the sport of kite flying and the art of kite making in Afghanistan, where kites are something of a national passion. As anyone who has read the best-selling novel The Kite Runner knows, springtime in Kabul is heralded by flocks of dipping, looping and diving […]

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