Wandering Wunkers

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Before you arrive: a VPN app, either Betternet or Express VPN. Particularly if you use an Android phone, you’ll need a VPN to search or use any Google functionality unless you’re able to use a proxy or a router with VPN attached. Download Google Translate and download/enable Chinese for offline use. You can save phrases as well and have a custom phrasebook. In-country: WeChat: Even if you’re just visiting and don’t have a SIM… Read More

After packing up the house and all its accoutrements – and throwing out a lot, and giving a lot to our ayah Asa – we performed a miniature migration of reminiscence. My mother in law is a Woodstock alumna and she remembered trips to Kashmir as a child (teen) as well as Varanasi; thinking this will be her last trip to India, she wanted to go to Srinagar and to Varanasi again…. Read More

This topic came up frequently in January and February – what is it like traveling with kids? Why would you travel with them? You can’t travel AND have kids! What makes a good vacation with kids? So… here’s a compilation of some thoughts from Adam and I on it. 1. Pick your routing intelligently. We’ve had good luck with direct flights or with long (6+ hour) layovers – enough to get out and… Read More

Indonesia and Singapore From Georgetown on Penang we headed to Indonesia – and very specifically, to an island called Palau Weh, Weh, or Sabang (depending on who you talk to). The island boasts Indonesia’s Kilometre Zero, the starting point for the road system (… despite being an isolated island with no bridges…), and was an invasion point by the Japanese in 1942. We went to Palau Weh at the recommendation of friends… Read More

We returned from three weeks in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia to find Mussoorie in the midst of monsoon – one that has been, we’re told, fairly light and mostly raining in the nights rather than during the days. This is a grateful reprieve from the daytime rains we were expecting – but monsoon’s been here for less than a month, and isn’t due to recede until September-October, so we’re enjoying the sunshine… Read More

We are often stuck for where to go, or what to do, on our long weekends or quarter break. Here are a handful of ideas – some we’ve done, and some we’d like to! – for short trips from Mussoorie. These are all one week or shorter options. An asterisk next to one of the trips is one that we have done ourselves. Weekend Escapes (leave Friday after school, come back Sunday… Read More

I bought a Thing with my birthday money from my mother-in-law, and I want to show it off. It’s an El Camino bracelet – they are a travel-specific sort of ‘charm’ bracelet. The blue glass bead is a ‘region bead’ to represent Asia; the smaller beads (they call them ‘steps’) are for countries. I started with places I’ve lived the longest – US, India and Denmark, and there are punched oak/mahogany wood… Read More

Having recently had a home leave back west, here’s an idea of the things we brought back with us (and are, generally, what are on our ‘restock’ lists when we do come back). Adam said that he thinks – out of all of our home leaves/trips – this is the happiest he’s been with what we brought back. We frequently find we are maxed out on weight before we are on space,… Read More

Just like a prompt in elementary or middle school, it’s tricky to decide how to write about summer vacation without making it a laundry list or a scheduled play-by-play. It’s a challenge, no matter how long or short the post, to capture everything that happened – especially when it’s just four weeks and a bit! Anti-meat-eating marches and nude bicyclists; “The Great Canadian Cruise” with poutine and Tim Horton’s… we missed you,… Read More

Leave it to Mussoorie: monsoon is moving slowly, and scheduled to start in early to mid-July, where we are… naturally, just as soon as we get back from our summer break! The realistic start of summer is March, here – but my brain still thinks of ‘summer break’ rather than ‘monsoon break’, which would be a more accurate term. This break is always a time of mixed emotions: no work for Adam… Read More

Several weeks late… but getting photos proved to be the tricky part! We had a lovely quarter break, with a friend of ours visiting from the UK. We went down to Jim Corbett National Park for a few days to go on a few tiger safaris, and then off to Rishikesh, Delhi and Agra before coming back up to Mussoorie. The heat of the plains made us appreciate the cool of Mussoorie… Read More

I had a really nice, photo-filled, post saved… and then my laptop got tea’d, and we’re evaluating if we can afford to repair it  now or if we’ll be waiting til June or later to pick me up a new laptop. I’m working with my Asus EEE netbook (5 years and still going strong!) for the foreseeable future. We spent 21 days traveling through South India, with no more than 2 nights… Read More