Browsing All Posts filed under »World«

Joan Larsen Introduces Friar Moustache: The Stray Dog Adopted as the Newest Friar in a Bolivian Monastery

May 17, 2017

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From Joan Larsen, a story to delight you ! Meet Friar Bigotón (Friar Moustache), the stray schnauzer, who just became a member of the St. Francis Monastery in Cochabamba, Bolivia. The saint, after which the Franciscan order was established, is known as the patron saint of animals there.  So it is only natural that the […]

Jeanne Henriques: Lounging on a Private Longboat – A Woman’s Extraordinary Photo Journey In Gorgeous Laos

May 3, 2017

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A most special treat this week for all of us . . . and the warmest of introductions to our guest blogger, Jeanne Henriques – someone I call a very dear friend from afar, writer and photographer extraordinaire. Jeanne not only writes like a dream, but leads and writes about the most extraordinary life I have […]

Vitas, the Man With the Five-Octave Voice

May 1, 2017

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His name is Vitaliy Vladasovich Grachyov, but you can call him Vitas.  He was born in Latvia, raised in Ukraine, sings in Russian, and is wildly popular in China.  When I say “wildly popular,” I mean, he draws crowds of fainting girls worthy of the Beatles’ heyday.  Here is a video of crowd reactions, shot […]

Joan Larsen in Canada’s Wildest Places: Very Close Encounters With the Rutting Elk

April 26, 2017

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By Joan Larsen The shriek started off like the creak of a rusty hinge and shifted to a cross between a whistle and a screaming jazz horn – with the volume set on 11.  A group of geese hurried into the air, scared skyward.  We almost levitated, too, the first time we heard it. It […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Here Comes the Sun… Living a Charmed Life on Marlon Brando’s Private Island

March 29, 2017

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By Joan Larsen A lifetime ago . . . or so it seems . . . romance was said to begin and end in the paradise of French Polynesia.  And so, with the help and encouragement of then famed author James Michener – a friend who made us believers, my love and I found ourselves […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Living in the Clouds – Reaching Guoliang, China on One of the World’s Scariest Roads

March 22, 2017

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By Joan Larsen   Before the road was built in the mid-1970s, the only access to the village of Guoliang – high in the Taihang Mountains of China – was a very precarious path called “The Sky Ladder” – 720 mountain steps cut into a very steep cliff.  It definitely kept visitors out.  In fact, […]

Joan Larsen’s High Adventures: Deep In Australia’s Jungles – Learning to Love a Frilled Dragon

March 15, 2017

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By Joan Larsen Still young and very adventurous on our first month-long journey to Australia – travelling on unpaved dusty roads to be one of the first to discover the wild places of the country’s Top End – had been dreamed about for years. It was a bit more rugged than we had been told […]

Joan Larsen Remembers: Leaving a Piece of My Heart in Patagonia

March 8, 2017

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By Joan Larsen I am so sure that I speak for all of us when I say that we come to a point when we need a change of scene… and we need it now.  “Please,” I will say, “let the world go away!”  Whether we go far or near, we need time and we […]

Joan Larsen’s Secret Wonders – In Photos: Africa’s Mighty Victoria Falls, One of the Seven Wonders

March 1, 2017

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By Joan Larsen Sometime in your life, you should stay at a grand British colonial hotel befitting of the grand old days.  And sometime, too, you should see one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World,  the stunning Victoria Falls in southern Africa. Tranquil, shaded, with a chorus of frogs in the courtyards, with […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Ghostly Remains – Drama On The Ice

January 18, 2017

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By Joan Larsen   Each time I return to Antarctica, it is, of course, an ever changing panorama of breathtaking beauty – always, always with unexpected encounters with animals and nature that seem to touch my heart. Only there have I come to expect the unexpected. A largely unreported story of the sinking of a […]

Joan Larsen Presents: The Most Magical Holiday Season

December 21, 2016

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by Joan Larsen The years spent in our lovely decorated home waiting for Santa to make his magical, glorious appearance are long past.  The close-knit family of our childhoods seem to have scattered in all directions now. Changes in tradition never seem to be easy.  But after more thought, more talk than you might believe, […]

Not Your Average Holiday Movie… “Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale”

December 19, 2016

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In the mood for some Christmas entertainment that isn’t all gooey-saccharine-sweet?  How about a Christmas horror movie? If you don’t mind subtitles and can take it as the silly comedy-horror show that it is, check out the Finnish movie, Rare Exports:  A Christmas Tale.  You don’t want this Santa coming down your chimney. There are […]

Joan Larsen Presents in Photos: The Call of the Wild – the Unknown Story of Jack London Lake in Eastern Russia

November 16, 2016

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By Joan Larsen Among the world’s hidden secrets, the one that has only now been found in the Russian Far East — in the country’s little-known Magadan region – stands out for a unique beauty rarely seen on our Earth.  Its unusual name:  Jack London Lake.  Imagine its waters crystal clear and very cold – […]

Joan Larsen’s Special Places: A Floating World – Breathtaking Images of Antarctica’s Summer

November 9, 2016

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By Joan Larsen I believe I speak for all of us on this planet when I say that – for far too long – we have been stirred daily with a world in turmoil.  .  . a situation not likely to end anytime soon.  We are not the carefree people we once were.  .  . […]

A Halloween Treat: Robbie Burns’ “Tam O’Shanter”

October 31, 2016

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Perhaps you are familiar with Cutty Sark Scotch Whiskey, with the ship on the label.  You may know that the liquor is named for the Cutty Sark, a clipper built in 1869 for the tea trade, and later used in the wool trade.  She was fast, holding the speed record from Australia to Britain for […]

Joan Larsen Presents: In Photos – Searching for the World’s Most Unusual Trees

October 26, 2016

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By Joan Larsen I admit. . . searching for trees usually is way down the list of things we plan to do in life. Way down. But then – then – I actually spent the night in a nest, a so-called human nest lodged in a tree in Big Sur, California. If you are “into” […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Living Through a Rogue Wave in the World’s High Arctic

October 19, 2016

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By Joan Larsen ee ee Even now, more than a decade later, that wave – a wave coming out of nowhere, heading toward our ship with such incredible speed out of nowhere –will forever remain indelibly in our minds. All of those passengers on our ship that were with me that day were seemingly mesmerized by […]

Joan Larsen Presents Wayne Ranney: Kingdom of Bhutan – Hike to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery

October 12, 2016

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Paradise.  Eden.  In all of south-east Asia, Bhutan remains the secret sanctuary of sanity and peace.  I have been reluctant to share my secret as, frankly, I have wanted it for myself – and managed to keep it that way for some years.  The beautiful quotation from the master, P.G. Wodehouse, is one I find […]

In Honor of Columbus Day: That Yummy Columbian Exchange

October 10, 2016

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When I lived in Europe, I once had the chance to stay in one of the older homes in Zurich.  The keystone above the doorway was engraved with “1402.”  “Oh, was this house built in 1402?”  I asked, impressed with its age.  “No,” came the reply, “It was renovated in 1402.”  Wow!  As I lay […]

In Honor of Oktoberfest: Trachtenmoden!

October 3, 2016

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This weekend marks the final days of Oktoberfest 2016.  Who hasn’t heard of this annual German festival, with its beer and bratwurst, its oom-pah bands and fest tents, its dirndl-clad women and lederhosen-clad men performing traditional Bavarian dances? When we were in Germany, we never did go to the “big Oktoberfest” in Munich.  What many folks […]

No, We Are NOT All Getting Taller or Growing Bigger Feet

September 19, 2016

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Hey manufacturers: remember that there are plenty of us still around who haven’t grown much in the last several decades. Lila is a mere five feet tall with size 5 feet, a situation that has not changed since… oh, probably about age 13 or so. So when headlines trumpet that we are getting taller, or […]

Joan Larsen’s Caribbean Adventures: Touching Down on the World’s Shortest Landing Strip

September 7, 2016

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By Joan Larsen Some things in our world never seem to change.  That tiny volcanic island of Saba, only 5 square miles in size and actually hidden in the vast Caribbean, lies only a beautiful 20-minute plane ride from the wondrous isle of St. Martin – but still remains caught in another time. For years, […]

Lauriate Roly Remembers: The Big… Balloon?… In the Sky

September 5, 2016

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Lauriate Roly recalls a strange phenomenon. By Lauriate Roly In 1952 I lived in the Town of Mount Royal, a sub-division of Montreal. I had just left home at about 8 o’clock in the morning for my drive to work. It was a lovely clear warm day. I drove a convertible in those days and […]

Joan Larsen’s Quest: North America’s Ultimate Escape – The Uncharted Wonders of the Bugaboos of British Columbia

August 31, 2016

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By Joan Larsen In the uncertain world that we find ourselves living in today, we find that we long for a change of scene – and yes, escape – a bit more often than we once did.  But travel can be costly.  .  .  and the last thing we want to do is arrive at […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Living With Giraffes

August 17, 2016

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By Joan Larsen Enchanting. . . and as you glide up to Kenya’s Giraffe Manor, you will find that your breath is actually taken away by the sight of a stunning estate – made of bricks from long ago — with beautiful vines covering it. But your eye is actually caught by a bevy of […]

Joan Larsen’s Life Stories: Sharing Life’s Special Moments With the Women of Iceland

August 10, 2016

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By Joan Larsen Life comes down to a few great moments.  I think I can speak for all women when I say that the intensity, the immensity of those times that we, as women, have had together – has brought to each of us the laughter, the tears, the joy …  those precious things that […]

Wayne Ranney Experiences Life on the Edge: Hiking Vancouver Island’s West Coast Trail

July 20, 2016

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By Wayne Ranney   It is with delight – and a truly great sense of envy – that I want to introduce you to one of the great travel writers, author, and world traveler extraordinaire, Wayne Ranney.  We met – well, closer to home – as each of us can be found whitewater rafting the […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Alone in Australia’s Outback

July 13, 2016

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By Joan Larsen Mysterious.  Remote.  A faraway place of endless wonders.   Another world – all its own – lies in the direct center of Australia, just waiting to be explored.  Australians call it The Outback — but surprisingly few of them have visited.  Fewer still have explored it from its bottom to The Top End. We did. […]

Joan Larsen: Dipping Our Toes into Summer – the Dream that is Canada’s Vancouver Island

June 29, 2016

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by Joan Larsen   “Let the world go away” became our song this spring .  .  .  I am sure we all understand the feeling this year.  When summer arrived, we wanted to be “lost” in an idyllic destination that would feel as far from civilization as it possibly could.  And yet, yet, it could […]

Joan Larsen Presents: A Second Look at Tippi of Africa, the Child Who Lived With Wild Animals

June 22, 2016

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By Joan Larsen “Fascination” has to be the word so many of us have for that little French girl, born in Namibia (with photographers as parents), whose photos taken with African wild animals – who actually looked tame in her presence – were both beautiful and – yes –  mind-boggling !   Many new photos of  […]

Joan Larsen’s Life Stories: Life and Near Death – On the Edge in Patagonia

June 15, 2016

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By Joan Larsen Death.  If we are to be honest, passing that midway point in our years, the subject of dying, of death, drifts into our thoughts a bit more often than we might wish.  Before this time – well – we felt pretty invincible, didn’t we?  Many of us took chances — often more than a little bit […]