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Thimphu – Bhutan’s “Big Apple”

Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, is by far the largest city at about 100,000 people. It is home to the Royal family, the parliament, international aid organizations, the Bhutan Eleven (national soccer team), a growing business community, and Bhutan’s film industry. We happened to meet Tshewang Dendup on the street in Thimphu. He was the star of Travellers & Magicians, an excellent 2003 film we watched in preparation for our trip. It has definitely been a trip of ‘happy coincidences’ in this happy country.                                   […] Read more

A Royal Encounter, Hiking with the Queen Mother of Bhutan

So, you’re just going to have to trust us on this one because we have no photographic proof, but we did, indeed, hike and share a small lunch with the Queen Mother of Bhutan yesterday. It was truly a serendipitous once-in-a-lifetime experience for us. We thought our new friend and guide, Jigme, was going to achieve Nirvana right on the spot; he relived every moment of the hour-long visit on our 90 minute walk down the mountain afterwards. It was a thrilling and auspicious occasion that most Bhutanese never experience. Let me start at the beginning, which was actually, according […] Read more

Kuzu zangpo la – Greetings from Bhutan

The Kingdom in the Clouds. The Happiest Country in the World. The Last Shangri-la. Mystical. Magical. What a fascinating country. Bhutan is a (virtually completely) mountainous country roughly equal in size to Switzerland. Half the size of Indiana.  Go ahead, Google it; I had to. (Indiana is 36k sq miles, Bhutan is 18k sq miles, Switzerland is 16k sq miles.) This tiny country is bordered by two behemoths: on the north, China (the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China) and on all other sides, India. As one blogger quoted a local regarding its neighbors and politics: “If India sneezes or China […] Read more

Springtime in Kyoto

Springtime in Kyoto – what a magical way to end our time in Japan. From the pictures we’ve seen, the only thing that can compare is possibly ‘Autumn in Kyoto’. Our last post on Japan leaves you with our springtime memories of the beautiful city of Kyoto. Read more

A Baker’s Dozen: Observations on Japan

Here are a few of our observations, based on our very short first visit to Japan: To our outsider eyes, Japan is an unusually homogenous country, due in part to its strict immigration laws. Locals claim vast diversity, but it may be a matter of degree (98% of Tokyo’s population are native Japanese). Another reason for homogeneity: Japan has never been colonized. Kublai Kahn’s Mongols tried to invade twice, and both times were turned back when their fleets were destroyed by typhoons (miraculous occurrences attributed to the kamikaze, or divine protective winds). Most recently, the Americans are largely credited with […] Read more

WHERE ARE WE?

NOW   Dallas, Texas
NEXT   Martinique

ABOUT

Mark & Shauna Trieb

We’re Mark and Shauna Trieb and we live in Dallas, Texas. We are actuaries-turned-adventurers and one of the truisms that guides us is: “Life is not a dress rehearsal.” So, we’re doing our best to see, meet, try, and inspire as many places, people, experiences and adventures, as we can during our one shot at life. Read More

Mark and Shauna Trieb are actuaries-turned-adventurers... Read More

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