Posts in Travel

18 Travel Tips While They’re Fresh in My Head

I am back from an amazing trip with the boys – truly thought provoking, relaxing, funny, lip smacking foods, awe inspiring.   Stonehenge Tour © 2015, Abe Pachikara (Click for larger image) Know your co-travelers well. Travel is a stylistically specific action. Preferences can matter – – a LOT – – like museums vs. parks, late nights vs. mornings, fancy restaurants vs. street food. Good to know up front. More important than packing, check NOW that passports are valid, and visas are secured. Few things will cause stress like discovering late… Read More

Hand of God – Guiding My Detroit Rolling Iron

I can look back and see explicit examples where nothing other than the hand of God ensured my well being.  Here’s one. I had just finished grad school and had capped off my college days with a late night at the Chicago Blues Festival with my good friend Gunter Frank, who was a med student on a visiting rotation from Heidelberg.  I absolutely needed to drive the 350 miles down to Southern Illinois in the morning, as the next day I had a flight out of St. Louis to Hong… Read More

Polishing Diamonds: Never Order From the Kid’s Menu

How often have you seen the following:  You are at a capable restaurant, with a menu renowned far and wide.  But you notice the younger ones at the party next to you are eating chicken nuggets.  From the kitchen freezer! Prepared in a microwave!  Not the salmon cooked to a delectable nuance.  Nor beef from some remote grassy pasture, or mushrooms good enough for a sitting president. Funny part is that we are at our most malleable when we are young.  Yet we all too often pass on the chance… Read More

Coming to America, (cont’d)

A follow-up to this post… Sometimes one’s pen and paper captures their voice well. All too often what drove the clarity in the writing is a powerful topic. Below is a letter from my dad along with my 1st passport that he dug up and sent to me. The passport was originally needed so I could be chaperoned by an Air India hostess from Cochin, Kerala, India to JFK, NYC in May of 1966. It was shortly before my 4th birthday and it was the 1st time we were meeting,… Read More

Location Certainly Helps

One common observation about the great cities of the world – – more often than not they are located in some notable place, or have made greatness out of that place. San Francisco. Hong Kong. NYC. Paris. London. And Chicago. The shoreline of Lake Michigan is one of the many mesmerizing parts of this grand metropolis. As example: Montrose Harbor, with its dreamy southern view of the skyline – literally miles of towering residential buildings marching off until they meet up with the downtown skyline. Go there on a slightly… Read More

Mystical Land

How often do we live in one locale and actually neglect exploring its environs, only to move far, far away and years later, pay the price of time and money to journey to the SAME ORIGINAL place as an outsider, to finally make that day trip? What an odd behavior, no?Here is a set of images of “Rattlesnake Ledge,” stitched together, that is a mere 20 minutes drive, 2 miles walk, and 1,100 feet in elevation from our house. Just magical. Probably even more dreamy in the rain, mist and… Read More

Uncaged Ideas

Sometimes the only way one realizes you’ve been “seeing the same old thing” is when you finally bump into a completely different, even outlandish, solution to the same problem. The City Museum in St. Louis, MO does this when it comes to children’s museums ( The hum drum children’s museum solution has the same building blocks: train section; water works; kitchen; some manner of playground. The City Museum breaks so many rules! For example: Don’t obsess if what you create will nick / bruise the participant. Many of the exhibits… Read More

Going to America

Going to America- – Malayalam Manorama, Copyright 1966 (click for larger image) Knowing the implications of our very next endeavor can be impossible to know. Which, often, is for the better. Back in 1962, when my mom was 6 months pregnant with me, the University of Edinburgh extended a slot to my dad for their surgical training program. Dad was thrilled to secure a competitive admission to one of the great institutions of the UK. A great adventure began. Deeper into the world of medicine. Far away to a new… Read More

The Moveable Priest

Unfortunately in some respects, “church,” in my head, is something that occurs in a big, fixed, specialized, largely single-use structure that sits out on its own. This notion has been turned upside down (only) twice at this point, and by the same priest. Stephen Uncle, here all the way from Nairobi, ended the wedding weekend by presiding over a quiet reflective function at Asha’s house. 3 years ago, I attended a similar function that he presided over at a family reunion at Sunil’s house. In both instances, I wondered how… Read More

The Wistful Ways of The Washington Coast

We had the treasured opportunity to go to the lush western Washington forests and nearby coasts with my mom and dad. How remarkable. These were forests that felt right out of Lord of the Rings. Trees that had presided over hundreds of migration cycles. Sea spires that had meditated for millenniums and were the wiser. It was humbling to see the excessive beauty of the land. Here’s a few shots from a lazy day at one of the beaches near Forks. Grandfather Tree Watches On – –Abe Pachikara, Copyright 2007… Read More