Taking a Timeout in a Tennessee Version of Walden Woods

Yesterday at Dickens of a Christmas in Franklin  with my sister and brother-in-law, I ran into Edy, our wonderful Airbnb hostess last summer. She asked why I haven’t been posting on the blog.  To her and other readers, I apologize. Reentry into the US over the last six months after three years abroad has been an…

Las Terrenas: DR Destination for Business and Pleasure

When I told US friends I was moving to The Dominican Republic, several said they’d vacationed there and loved it.  Most, like many of my coworkers and school community, enjoyed seclusion at Punta Cana’s resorts where they received five-star treatment.  I get it; I loved this stay at Barcelo Bavaro Grand Resort last fall.  Perfection…or at least…

Knoxville & Smoky Mountains: Great Escape and Journey Home

Though I am writing this on a Dominican Republic beach a couple of hours from Santo Domingo where I’ll return to work on Tuesday, I’m reliving the mountain escape I had while home for the holidays.  I’m sorry I missed the snow in Tennessee that arrived just after I flew back to the Caribbean on…

Samana Road Trip: Day Two

After a Domincan breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, beans and rice, papaya, mofongo we were  back on the van following the blue bus above deep into the jungle. It is estimated the Dominican Republic has 1.5 billion USD in marble, most of it mined in the Samana province.  When we explored  Mina de Marmol I…

10 Must Dos When Going Solo To a Caribbean Resort

1) LET YOURSELF GO… Long before Pinterest prodded us to create virtual vision boards, Instagram insisted we share in-the-moment bliss, and Facebook fostered travel posts of happy places far, far away, I cut out and saved a magazine photo of a couple walking in the surf of the Caribbean Sea. I was single again, sad,…

Of Seeing and Believing: The Three Eyes

Yesterday I went spelunking. I was excited when my friends, Sana and Steve, invited me to join.  Though newlyweds, their kindness and inclusiveness from the day we met blessed Taylor and me.  Trusting them as history teachers and adventurers, I did no research but quickly scanned a few photos online and took off.  As I’d…

Farewell Brunch at The Selman

Leaving Marrakech was like leaving Oz– a technicolor, over-the-rainbow dream that brought together traveling companions from faraway places who became lifelong friends. Like me, Kate from Australia, Jasna from Canada, and Synovve from Norway discovered within us unexpected courage, wisdom, and heart.  I learned so much from these three Baby Boomer single ladies about reinvention,…

Branson, Beldi, and a Birthday

Before moving abroad, my friend, Dana, told me how important–how vital–my expat community would be.  She and I were part of the same school family  in the US, and she had a network of close friends at church.  Still, having already taught in Morocco and having lived in France, she said the way friends live…

Four Seasons Marrakech: Pool Days for Tourists and Expats

  Last Monday the temperature in Marrakech reached 108 Fahrenheit/42 Celsius making it the hottest day so far this year. Here pools can be enjoyed year round, but in May when temps typically range in the 80s and low 90s, the burning question expats and tourists are asking is where to find a cool pool….

Jazzed about Josephine and Riad Star

Play Me When people ask How? Why? I moved to Morocco sight unseen, I think to myself, I didn’t.  Though I’d never been to Africa, my soul brimmed with vivid images from exotic Arabian tales my grandmother read to me from my dad’s childhood book. I was lured by sultry desert tents, regal riads, and secret gardens where princes…

Authentic Home Stay in Atlas Mountains

Last Saturday I was home for my son’s graduation and my daughter’s birthday. We had lunch with family in the Tennessee hills and watched The Kentucky Derby, traditionally toasted with Mint Juleps. This weekend I was back in Morocco where I had lunch with friends in the high Atlas Mountains and road mules to the…