A Day of Hope in Tiananmen Square

Finally getting caught up on video work shot, but not produced.

We are very fortunate to have many great interactions with people as we circle the planet. Often the best days are surprises that take on a magic all their own. November 19th, 2017 in Beijing was no exception. What follows is a collaboration between Nicky and Stacia filming, Nicky editing, Alexander and Annika playing, dad writing and narration by Alexander.                                                    Hoping you enjoy our message of hope.


Quick Travel Update: Life on the Road

Some ask,  “How’s it going? Is the experience what you expected? Gimme the truth.”

Truth, “It’s more exhausting than Stacia and I could have imagined.  The kids absolutely love the process of learning just because…and having a say in topics and subjects that interest them and voting on what they and we do that matters to them.  You learn a lot about your children listening to them.

With the late decisions that arise from more local information and greater flexibility comes logistical difficulties and concomitant tradeoffs.

Stacia spends far too much time on travel crud for her liking but she has nailed the landing on where we go and what we do. I still do not know how she does it. Stacia =Magic. British Airways sucks. Japan is incredible.

We haven’t killed each other yet. Getting sports organized is much harder than expected, but other energy activities like hiking are more possible, and better, as a family. (ie. The many temple visits are really hikes with temples attached.)

Professor Gugick has done a terrific job of mixing it up, doing advance research on places and topics, as well as remaining calm in the face of uncertainty. For a structured guy, he has been able to hang loose with the Traveling Wilburys and “trust the force.” Plus he rode a tram, white knuckles and all.

With more time in places, and our eyes open as part of our daily lives, the process becomes observing, noting and capturing cultural differences. The absorption becomes second nature..and understanding profound.

It’s really hard watching events at home in the U.S. Please let’s not kill the goose.

With distance comes perspective.

Alexander said it best a few posts ago, “The world is going to be really small at the end of this year…heck, it already seems a lot smaller.”



Japanese culture: Geisha

 Growing up with only brothers, I’m not quite sure what exactly is the definition of “a little girls best day ever”, but I suspect heading out in Kyoto with Maman to get kitted up in full makeup as Geisha is pretty darn close.

I believe the story will begin, “Once upon a time…



They strolled…

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And rode in a Rickshaw…

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And had a jolly photo shoot that I imagine they will both remember for a very long time. My two beautiful Geisha princesses…

“The highly accomplished courtesans of these districts entertained their clients by dancing, singing, and playing music. Some were renowned poets and calligraphers. Gradually, they all became specialized and the new profession, purely of entertainment, arose.” – Wikipedia

Annika’s Musings on the Subject

“Geisha and Meiko by Annika Balog

I went to the Geisha salon. Then I went to the back room.  We sat in chairs while the workers put on the make-up. And then we put on the dresses and took our pictures. Then we went outside and took more pictures and went in a rickshaw. I enjoyed it very much. Everyone was waving at me and taking pictures of my mom and me. I hope to do this again someday. And I hope I will enjoy it that day too.”