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September 16, 2017 – 2:31 am

In this insightful gem, journalist and life coach Wanda Hennig writes wisely, hilariously and sometimes poignantly about sex and food; living for three-and-a-half years at the San Francisco Zen Center; moving solo from one continent to another; meditation; creative mindfulness strategies and more. Cravings: A Zen-inspired memoir about sensual pleasures, freedom from dark places, and living and eating with abandon (Say Yes Press). Edition Two (Mouth Orgasm edition) published August 2017 (ISBN 9780996820523 paperback; ISBN 9780996820523 eBook).

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Welcome to Berlin: now beware the U-Bahn station bandits

October 22, 2016 – 12:10 pm
Berlin Welcome Card pictured.

At the risk of inserting a spoiler at this point, my yoga friend’s Berlin Welcome Card didn’t serve as a lifeline when she was robbed — of her passport, credit cards, debit card and entire stash of cash — the first time she used it. Embarrassing as it is to admit, it was ‘streetwise’ and travel-wise me who fell prey to pickpockets. On the ‘up’ side, getting back on track was not the train-smash I imagined it might be.

Thailand Travel 37: The Doha market bus tour and home

October 3, 2016 – 6:34 am
Two cooks set up outside at Doha old market.

I sign up for the free two-and-a-half hour Doha bus tour; the 4pm run. The 100-year-old market is the highlight. The women encouraging us to try spoons of their brayani and other cooked food offerings — in heat that could probably melt my Crocs if I left them out for half an hour. Offering me tissues to dab at my face. Alarmed that I am sweating because they don’t seem to.

Thailand Travel 36: Blast… and Thailand’s worst breakfast

October 3, 2016 – 5:56 am
Nai Yang Beach Resort boxed breakfast.

The text messages about the bomb blasts come after I conclude that this dry whiter-than-white unbuttered bread with a couple of withered brown tears of lettuce and about eight minute slices of what I presume is chicken and a dry small roll and a wizened small citrus fruit of indistinguishable nature must be the worst brekker ever served in food-loving Thailand. Thanks Nai Yang Beach Resort.

Thailand Travel 35: Nai Yang late night massage surprise

October 3, 2016 – 5:30 am
Nai Yang Phuket

“Mam” comes out and we chat. I ask her why she’s so busy when the others are empty. “I’ve been here a long time,” she says. She’s refined. Warm. Probably 50. I tell her I want a good strong Thai massage and had a bad one yesterday. She goes inside. Chats to someone. Comes back out…

Thailand Travel 33: When in doubt, take the road less traveled to Nai Yang Beach

September 30, 2016 – 8:24 am
Nai Yang Beach Phuket

In the morning I read in my Lonely Planet that Nai Yang Beach is exceptional and part of Sirinat National Park. It is 15 minutes from the airport, but no plane noises to be heard. To quote: “This is one of the sweetest slices of the island.” Lucky me!

Thailand travel 27: Wat Plai Laem, Mr Pong and the Big Buddha

September 10, 2016 – 5:44 am

My outsize shibori scarf is the most useful item in my luggage. You can use it to cover your shoulders at the Big Buddha temple in Koh Samui, sit on it on grubby bus seats, keep the sun off your arms and shoulders with it, don it in the evening to add a touch of elegance, dry yourself with it, wipe your hands on it when you’ve eaten, use to to keep you warm when the breeze comes up of an evening and lots more.

Laos travel 18: Mekong two-day slow-boat and Pakbeng

August 6, 2016 – 12:08 pm
Slow boat mom and kids.

In Laos on the Mekong slow boat to Pakbeng, there’s a boy of maybe eight. His mom makes sure he has an afternoon nap and later, it is he who helps his dad with the landings. This is their life. Their business. Their survival strategy. We are passing through, each of us on our own paths, living our lives; ours dissecting theirs for this brief intersection of time. The engine putters. We pass inpenatrable jungle and hide-away settlements.

Thailand travel 17. Life and death in Chiang Khong by the Mekong

August 5, 2016 – 8:59 am
Temple Chiang Khong, Thailand.

We leave Chiang Khong for the Laos border crossing. By the time we get on the tuc-tuc buses, backpacks on the roof, a little group of three French women journos, a Japanese man who will join me for buffalo for dinner at the Pakbeng overnight stop, a French pair, a Dutch pair, an Australian couple, a Mexican man and myself have all done some bonding.

Thailand travel 16. Chiang Rai to Chiang Khong and the Mekong

August 4, 2016 – 11:25 am
Chiang Rai flower market scene.

Snap some shots at a Chiang Rai flower market. Head back to pick up bags from The North hotel. Then 90 seconds to the Chiang Rai bus depot. A red bus this time. Local “milk train” bus. Three tiny ceiling fans. I head for the long back seat so I can put my backpacks in the large open area between me and the regular double row of double seats.

Thailand travel 12. Solo travel for women and boomers

August 3, 2016 – 10:15 am
Chiang Rai coffee shop.

Many people travel with someone who is not fun to be with because they feel they cannot travel alone. And many people don’t travel because they don’t have the right (or wrong) person to travel with.

And that’s a real shame…