Monthly Archives: March 2016

AtW Podcast, Episode 12: Kade Mascarella

Picture of Dan, Taliesin and Kade.

Dan, Taliesin and Kade.

For this episode of the podcast, I talked with Kade Mascarella. He and his wife Stacie have lived in Beijing for the last eight years. They traveled extensively before they had kids, and they made a conscious decision to continue traveling after their kids were born. Kade and I talked about many parts of the world, but the focus of our discussion was on traveling with children. I learned that not only is it possible to travel to exotic places with your kids, but in some cases, you'll actually open doors to more genuine interactions.

Kade's advice is simple: plan more, go slower.

Are you excited yet? Here's our discussion:

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Show notes:

  • I mentioned the book Freakonomics, specifically the chapter that talks about how our childrens' names can affect their lives. Here's a Freakonomics podcast episode where they discuss a similar topic.
  • I also mentioned an episode of the Radiolab podcast that talks about music. Part of the episode mentions that speakers of tonal languages, such as Mandarin, are much more likely to have perfect pitch than speakers of non-tonal languages, such as English.

Kade told a story about his visit to the DMZ in North Korea. Here's a picture that I took from the building he was in (the Panmungak building), facing south. The center of the blue buildings marks the border between North and South Korea. The military in this picture are all North Korean.

Picture of North South border.

Here's Katie sitting at the table where the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed on July 27, 1953.

Picture of Katie.

And finally, here's a picture of the North Korean military guarding the Joint Security Area. Technically, they are standing in South Korea.

Picture of soldiers.

Have you ever traveled internationally with your kids? Let me know in the comment section below.

Hiking on the Great Wall

Picture of Katie and Dan.

Katie and I at the wall.

The Great Wall is a highlight of any visit to China. What a lot of people don't know is that the wall doesn't exist in one continuous stretch. Instead, the Great Wall has many sections, some totally restored, others original. In many sections, you can walk for hours without seeing anyone. You can even camp on the wall. Beijing (my current home) is less than two hours from the wall, so I've had many chances to go, to different sections and in different seasons.

Picture of wall.

The Jiankou section.

Picture of wall.

Parts of the wall are crumbling.

Picture of down climb.

Some of the down-climbs are dodgy.

Picture of tower.

One of the famous guard towers.

Picture of people on wall.

Hiking the Jiankou section.

Picture of wall.

The wall tends to follow the top of hills and mountain passes.

Picture of Katie.

Katie is making her way down an unrestored section.

Picture of actual wall.

Humpty Dumpty.

Picture of wall.

The scenery is spectacular.

Picture of hills.

A particularly hilly section.

Picture of group.

On another weekend, we went to a different section.

Picture of wall.

Our goal is to get somewhere back there.

Picture of tower.

A really nice guard tower.

Picture of side of wall.

From a tower overlooking the valley.

Picture of rest.

Sometimes it's good to take it all in.

Picture of tent.

We camped on top of the wall.

Picture of tent2.

Find a nice spot and stop for the night.

Picture of wall.

The wall seems to go on forever. You can't see it from space, though.

Picture of relaxing girl.


Picture of Mom.

I went back in the winter with my mom.

Picture of window.

Looking out over the wall.

Picture of tower.

From inside a tower after getting a few inches of snow.

Picture of tower.

Climb to the top... if you dare!

Picture of wall.

The wild wall in winter.

Click for my complete photo set from the Great Wall.

Beijing's Summer Palace

Picture of boats.

Lake Kunming, with the Summer Palace in the background.

The Summer Palace undoubtedly is one of Beijing's highlights. It has nearly 900 years of history, during which many emperors have used the park and its fabulous pagodas as a summer retreat. I've been to this UNESCO World Heritage Site a few times, and have always found something new to see. Now that spring is here, I'm sure to return for another visit. Until then, here are some of my photos from the Summer Palace:

Picture of Hall.

The Hall of Virtuous Splendor.

Picture of lion.

Guardian lions protect the palace.

Picture of calligraphy.

Calligraphy is on display.

Picture of musicians.

If you're lucky, you might get to see a musical performance.

Picture of palace.

Beautiful forests surround the palace.

Picture of tree.

Trees must be important. They are held up with these chains and poles.

Picture of welder.

Never mind the construction.

Picture of foundation.

The palace sits on a 20-meter foundation.

Picture of temple.

These traditional buildings are at the top of the hill.

Picture of temple.

The Tower of Buddhist Incense.

Picture of hallway.

These ornately decorated halls surround the Buddhist temple.

Picture of roof.

The roofs have intricate designs.

Picture of lake.

Kunming Lake is next to the palace.

Picture of boats.

You can rent one of these boats to drive around the lake.

Picture of boat.

Perfect for trolling around by yourself.

Picture of boat.

You can also ride in these cool boats.

Picture of people.

And meet the friendly locals.

Picture of bridge.

17 Arches Bridge takes you to Nanhu Island.

Picture of people.

Avoid public holidays, when the crowds are overwhelming.

Want more?
More Summer Palace photos
Still more Summer Palace photos

AtW Podcast, Episode 11: Wang Ye

Picture of Wang Ye and Dan.

Wang Ye and Dan.

In this episode of the Around The World Podcast, I talk with Wang Ye. Originally from Xian, China, Wang Ye moved to California and went to school at Berkeley, before dropping everything to take
on the life of a digital nomad. We sat on my balcony in Beijing to discuss his life story and his future plans.

[Download] [iTunes] [Stitcher]

During the podcast, we talked about the Terracotta Warriors.

Picture of warrior.

One of the Terracotta Warriors.

Picture of head with hair.

Another warrior.

Click for more of my Terracotta Warriors photos.

We also discussed the Xian's Muslim Quarter.

Picture of guy.

They blow on the meat to cool it off.

Picture of stretching.

A candy maker. He's stretching his candy on a hook.

Click for more of my Muslim Quarter photos.