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shuri castle

Stranded in a Japanese Parking Lot

One of our first adventures on the island of Okinawa was to Shuri Castle. Although it is unknown exactly when the castle was constructed, the castle was in use from 1322-1429 when it housed King Sho Hashi. The castle was burned down several times, captured by foreign Satsuma armies in 1609, and was subject to three days of shelling from the USS Mississippi during WWII before finally being captured by U.S. forces. After the war, the castle housed a university...

International Driver’s Permit — Do I Really Need One?

In preparing for our RTW trip, I decided to get an international driver’s permit. In all my research, an IDP was mentioned over and over as being important to have, although no one went into any great detail. Getting an IDP made me think I was like a secret agent and I would get a booklet of my driver’s license information translated into 15 different languages. I romanticized the whole thing really....

Bagan temples

Images from Bagan, Myanmar

Bagan, Myanmar, is one of the most picturesque places I have ever seen. Around every bend is another temple — maybe large with several levels, maybe small with only one or two levels, sometimes flocked with tourists, sometimes without another soul in sight. You can make your way around the temples by e-bike (moped) and explore for days never seeing the same place twice. You can even take a hot air balloon ride at dawn for a completely new perspective of...