How to Turn High Cost Japan into a Cheap Place to Visit

For years, I’ve been putting off going to Japan because I was afraid of how expensive it would be. The rumors I’d heard about the country’s high prices made me hesitant to go. I’ve always loved Japanese culture, and I knew any visit would involve gorging on sushi and ramen, visits to lots of temples, […]

Figuring Out Why Someone Would Take a Tour in a First World Country

There always seems to be a negative attitude among independent travelers about going on group tours. Many view tours as inauthentic travel, while others see nothing wrong with them. Personally, I like tours and am in the “group tours are fine” camp. My first trip overseas was on a tour to Costa Rica. There are […]

13 Reasons Why I Fell in Love with Japan

Last month, I toured Japan for three weeks with G Adventures. As you know, I was very excited. I had high expectations for a country that I had for years dreamed about seeing. And when you have high expectations, you can be easily disappointed. But Japan didn’t disappoint—it exceeded my expectations. I loved Japan. Loved […]

The Beautiful Temples and Gardens of Kyoto

I’ve dreamed of Kyoto and its thousands of temples for as long as I’ve dreamed of Japan. I love Japanese architecture and zen gardens. One day, when I own a home, my backyard will be designed as a Japanese zen garden, complete with pond, koi fish, rock garden, and little waterfall. On my recent visit […]

Why Sex Tourism in Thailand is Not as Black and White as You Think

I can still remember the first time I heard about Thailand. I was around 15 and watching Hard Copy. It was one of those late afternoon “news” shows in the 1990s that focused on “hard-hitting” journalism but were really a precursor to sites like TMZ. Hard Copy was doing an exposé on sex tourism in […]

61 Interesting Facts About Japan

I’m currently in Japan on a G Adventures tour, and I’m loving every minute of it. Japan has far exceeded my expectations, though I’m definitely not eating enough sushi. In four days, I’ve only had it twice. For someone so addicted to sushi, that just feels so wrong. I’ll be rectifying that soon enough, though […]