03 Jan How to survive a 17-hour flight

[caption id="attachment_2339" align="alignnone" width="660"] Only 16 hours to go![/caption] Yesterday a college friend called and asked me to attend his wedding. It takes place in less than two months. It wasn’t the short notice that surprised me. It was where the wedding is to be: a ceremony in Kyoto, Japan, with a party of sorts a week later in Tokyo. And then selfish thinking entered, and that constant biting of the travel bug began. “Well, I have always wanted to order sushi from its original source,” I mused to myself. “And at the first location I could act as ‘dignitary attaché’ and sign the environmental Kyoto Protocol the U.S. refuses to.” The trip was quickly turning into a productive one even before I decided whether or not to go. And then I remembered the flight. The time on a plane from the east coast of the United States to Japan is nothing short of 17 hours. One-way. Next to a crying baby in the lap of a mother who seems to have neglected it since birth, the child’s face red and full of runny snot. This thought led me to wonder what to do on a plane for so many hours. Initial reaction, like many seasoned flyers, is to drink as many miniature Absolute vodka bottles, and as quickly as possible. Then pass out, hoping to reawake when rubber hits tarmac upon landing. You then smile at the sleeping baby who only minutes before passed...

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09 Nov Why NAFSA is worth it

[caption id="attachment_2318" align="alignnone" width="660"] Maps, the original travel inspiration.[/caption] My colleague Paul Green and I returned this morning from attending two regional international educators conferences; one in Champaign, Illinois, the other in Louisville, Kentucky. I had a great time. It’s like dating a great person but only going out once a year. NAFSA is to the international higher education field as Consumer Reports is to the homeowner/car owner/microwave purchaser. It has a mission of guiding us all in international higher education to a higher purpose. A purpose of connecting people with unique opportunities fostering debate and comradely in all aspects international education. NAFSA’s online resources of how best to prepare a student for life abroad and how better to work with faculty are quality publications and resources. Their “best practices” guidelines put organizations like Panrimo, parents of students, universities abroad, faculty and college administrators on the same page. And tips from colleagues in the field, great conversations over luncheons, and evenings during conferences when ties are loosened and high heels stepped out of—the human side of each person seen—is appreciated. Director of University Relations Tony@Panrimo.com...

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12 Oct Castles and ales, a fine Saturday in Czechy land

[caption id="attachment_2294" align="alignnone" width="660"] Such a nice little weekend castle.[/caption] Built and enjoyed by King Charles IV of Bohemia from 1348 A.D. until his death in 1378, the Karlstejn Castle was only known by men. Men and men only were invited by the King to the weekend lodge of sorts to hunt fox, drink beer, and talk dirty. Think of it as his Man Cave, but a gargantuan one with secret passageways and guards, spreading many acres. King Charles made the castle pilgrimage from his usual castle in Prague (one can’t have too many castles) to bring his revered crown jewels—en tow by dozens of nobles on horseback and carriage—to Karlstejn for safe keeping. Picture a cross between the pomp and circumstance of the palm waving Queen Elizabeth in limousine, and the hooting and hollering of a circus entering town. That was the summer trip from Prague to Karlstejn that King Charles made. You’ll take it too, but on train and with locals. The train chugs along and drops you, your Panrimo coordinator and fellow Panroamers off a little less than a mile from the castle entrance. What simplistic joy and connectivity to nature the mile walk to the castle elicits. I’ll leave visualization of the gargantuan rooms and the stunning crown jewels’ display to your own Internet searching. But trust me, this is a must see. --- “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy,” Ben Franklin is known to...

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04 Oct Out West in Argentina

[caption id="attachment_2270" align="alignnone" width="660"] Gauchos, the original cowboys.[/caption] Buenos Aires is comparable, some say, to New York City. Fast-pace lifestyle coupled with a “work hard, play hard” mentality make days zoom by as quickly as los colectivos (city buses). It’s very easy to create a routine of attending class or internship duties, only to see the semester over, the afternoon sun pushing temperature past 95 degrees Fahrenheit, and you missing all moments to breathe. I unknowingly crave peaceful serenity when hustle and bustle of Buenos Aires seems all but suffocating. I find my breath of fresh air—literally—in la pampa. Known for gauchos, cattle, and maté, la pampa is the area out west from the capital city in Argentina. It’s farm and soy fields, free-ranging cows and asados. Delicious asados—the Argentine bbq. It’s savory smells of a charcoal grill lined with freshly chopped green and red bell peppers, pork, beef, cornhusks and quail if you’re lucky. And that’s where you find your personal time. You soak poolside in the sun, the only sound nearby a colorful bird chirping to her friends. Or the lunchtime bell ringing. After homemade, oven-toasted empanadas, dulce de leche pours over homemade flan. Lunch alone takes more energy to consume than combating crowded sidewalks in central Buenos Aires. But it’s a different energy needed, that of natural food digestion and letting your mind wander through the quiet of the flatlands. What little entertainment there is in a 2,000-person town in Argentina is...

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