Why would you go without an umbrella? As a new resident of the Pacific North Wet, I’ve learned that umbrellas are fairly useless in our windy rain. They do, however, come in handy on occasion, as my parents learned while on a fishing trip to Canada in the ’70’s.

Their first morning at Lake Simcoe, which had water so clear you could see the fish below, they jumped into their friends’ boat and set to baiting their hooks. Seven minutes later, my mother noticed a dark shadow pass above their heads. That of the bridge spanning the neck of the lake, hundreds of feet from the safety of shore. It went something like this:

“Hank, we’re moving.”
“Oh, shit.”

They had drifted into a swift current leading them into unknown and possibly dangerous territory. Were there rapids beyond? A waterfall? They searched for oars and found only – an umbrella. Between that and one (?) water ski, they managed to guide themselves back to shore, returning with only a story to tell.

My parents always returned with a story to tell. And while their means were modest, they lived fully, and were my first inspiration to embrace nourishment of the mind, body and soul with travel and food.


Washing an elephant in ThailandTravel doesn’t have to involve a passport. The real adventure is stepping into the lives and experiences of others, whether it’s in India, Ashland or Oysterville. And food is the connection that brings us together wherever we find ourselves, from the tea parlors of Istanbul to the tap rooms in Portland. Everyone I meet on my journey to live more fully teaches me something new – even if it’s how not to do something.

I want to share the places I’ve seen and been, my first times, my last times, things I’ve done that I think you should – or shouldn’t – do. I hope to inspire the urge to try one or two or twenty new things, to light a (safe) fire, to nap under a tree, to serve food you’ve prepared and possibly even killed to friends and hopefully strangers, to dance naked, to dive through fire coral, to chase a peacock across a temple wall, to ride an elephant in the jungle, to climb a crumbling fortress staircase, to eat something unrecognizable, to travel together, to travel alone. And if you ever find yourself up a creek without a paddle — or even an umbrella — that’s the story you’ll tell. Don’t be afraid to get wet….


P.S. I fully encourage you to spend a week reading all my dang posts — but I’ll understand if you don’t. In that case, at least read THIS ONE (my “relaunch” of September 2015.) Thanks for joining me!