Bahar Dar, Ethiopia: LIKE MANY MARRIED couples, my husband and I have very different ideas about what constitutes a fun vacation. Last February, for example, while he took off for a week-long European skiing trip with his friends, I opted to spend two weeks traveling solo around dry and dusty northern Ethiopia. Read more
I see that Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will be taking their Democratic roadshow to Flint, Michigan—my hometown—on March 6. They will be holding a debate there (location TBD), invariably to do grandstanding and waxing lyrical about what a tragedy has befallen Flint. Read more
KIKINDA, Serbia-It’s a familiar sight to the residents of Kikinda, Serbia: people of all ages and descriptions standing under the trees that line the town’s large square, looking ridiculous as they cock their heads back, mouths agape, fingers counting in the air. I dubbed it the “Kikinda stance,” and my husband, Vladimir, and I perfected it recently on a visit to the town.
What is everyone counting? Birds. A picturesque town of about 40,000 people less than 10 miles from the Romanian border, Kikinda is home to the planet’s largest roosting population of long-eared owls. Every year from early November until the middle of March, hundreds of them roost each day in the trees of the square. Read more
VIENTIANE, LAOS— Lao Textiles is a must-stop for visitors to Vientiane, the lovely, if somewhat sleepy capital of Laos. It offers everything from gorgeous silk weaved scarves to tablecloths and silk tapestries to frame or hang on the wall, and it employs more than 40 local Lao women, who create the exquisite pieces on weaving looms in a workshop at the back of the shop. Read more
LONDON–BETSIE, MY ADORED and spoiled black Labrador, has just come back from wintering in Serbia. A proper Londoner, she was born in Hampstead and spent the first nine months of her life traipsing around north London, learning to swim—avoiding those territorial swans and ducks—in the ponds on Hampstead Heath. But when my husband had to go back home to Serbia for several months, while his spousal visa to the U.K. was being processed, he refused, point blank, to leave without Betsie.
I was hesitant about taking her, because I knew that transporting pets in and out of the European Union could be stressful—though, luckily, the U.K. got rid of its archaic six-month quarantine laws in 2012. However, he was insistent, so we started looking into all the requirements for both getting her out of the U.K. and across the EU to a non-EU country, and then for getting her back to London. Read more