• Lifestyle & Relationships

    11 Years After I Moved to South Korea, I Embarked on my Most Memorable Stay in a Korean Temple

    Two monks about to ring a bell in a Korean temple

    “It’s going to snow,” my temple tour guide, Seokun, told me. The grey clouds covered the sun, and the wind picked up, causing chimes to sound in the distance. Seokun looked back at me and asked, “Can you help the monks shovel snow tomorrow morning?”  Naturally, I accepted. I had been waiting for this moment, expecting it, for the past eleven years since South Korea became my home. It became my tradition to take time off to refresh in one of the many beautiful Buddhist temples across South Korea.

  • Lifestyle & Relationships

    The Magic of Lake McCarrons

    Hand touching the surface of lake water

    When I first discovered Lake McCarrons in my home state of Minnesota, I was around 17 or 18 years old. It was a holiday, and my mom, sisters, and brother were gathered around the barbecue tables, waiting for the food to be done. Lake McCarrons was right up the street from where I lived at the time. I liked the atmosphere and how the sun always sets where you can see it.

  • Lifestyle & Relationships

    Adventure Hostess: Making My Home a Global Community

    Family cooking and sharing dishes

    Several people passed by my house this year. Many of them just passed by temporarily, but other people stopped by and stayed as long-term friends. For me, being an adventure hostess meant that everyone who needed a place to stay for some days, weeks, or months could come to my house. Welcoming people at home for over a year was my “specialty.”

  • Lifestyle & Relationships

    Finding Beauty and Ourselves in the ‘Devil’s Footprints’

    Aeriel image of the devil's footprints in Italy

    Those who don't know Italy well should know that there is no country or village–however small–that doesn’t feature a church, monument, scenic landscape or other remarkable  attraction that deserves to be visited. I would like to tell you the story of how I discovered the extraordinary Ciampate del Diavolo, or “Devil’s Footprints,” palaeontological site, an area with fossils of great scientific value.  It is tucked away in a little village, Tora e Piccilli, in the southern Italian area of the Roccamonfina extinct volcano. It preserves the oldest known footprints of Homo Heidelbergensis, one of the earliest extinct species of human beings who lived around 350,000 years ago.

  • Lifestyle & Relationships

    Welcome to Japan: The Island That Has Everything

    Scenic image of Golden Temple

    From the rolling hills and countryside of North Carolina to city skyscrapers illuminated with neon signs and the ever-crowded streets of Tokyo, Japan, my first step out of the airplane felt like the entrance to another world. With the convenience of airplanes, traveling around the world is just a matter of money and dedication to adventure.

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