In Search of Nirvana On the Island of Java

Frankly, I had expected more than this from Buddha.

I was teetering at the top of the Eighth Wonder of the World.  My journey to Indonesia had been long and the heat of the Javanese plains was oppressive.

I expected at least a subtle arc of light when our fingers touched, a brief flash of enlightenment, perhaps the ultimate, a swift peek at Nirvana.

Read more


Social Media for Business Travelers

Fifteen-or-so years ago when Facebook king Mark Zuckerberg was probably still in high school, I shared a luncheon table in San Francisco with fourteen other hotel guests who had agreed to take part in a “community meal.”

My lunch partners didn’t know me, and I didn’t know them.  Our paths would likely not cross again (except perhaps at the checkout desk) and that was just fine with all of us. We were there to eat, chat, exchange any clever or inane thoughts that came to us, and move on to the rest of our lives.

Read more

Travel apps: Tools that streamline travel

I love to track and recommend travel apps, especially those that streamline (as much as that’s possible) the frustrations of business travel. Of course, these can be handy for vacation travel too. Check them out!

Read more


Historian with a Mission Brings Ancient Turkey to Life

The pewter gray sky, awash with early morning mist, did nothing to dampen our spirits as we left the sprawling city of Antalya on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast.

Our search for antiquity would take us northwest into the imposing Taurus Mountains, through fragrant pine forests, steeply upward along twisting switchbacks, then nose-diving in sharp descents and flattening into broad fertile valleys on our trek toward the Aegean Sea.

Read more


Guatemala is a Tapestry of Religious Beliefs and Artistry

The rough-hewn stone steps to the whitewashed Church of Santo Thomás were covered with stacks of pottery, wood carvings, towering piles of richly-colored textiles, and perfect flowers. Graceful calla lilies, gladiolas, flame-colored feathery ornamentals and exquisite roses in tight-budded bunches perfumed the warm morning air.

At the top of the steps incense billowed from low pots, filling the air with a resiny scent and smoky haze. Across the square, a bonfire blurred the stairs of its companion church, El Calvario. The two edifices appeared poised in a stony face-off, adding to the surrealism of the scene.

Read more

Travel risk: It’s time to be proactive

Global business travel is predicted to ramp up dramatically in the next couple of years as more companies broaden their search for new markets. Along with opportunity comes increased risk for travelers who are in distant environments, making a corporate risk management program for travelers a business essential. Here are a couple of resources that can be useful in developing your company program:

Read more

Risk Management Skills

A Fast-Track Approach to Risk Management Skills

When they handed me the helmet and fire protection gear, I knew this would not be an ordinary car ride.

I’m strapped into the passenger seat of a powerful 6-speed race-ready Corvette C5 coupe at the Bondurant School of High Performance Driving in Phoenix, Arizona, waiting for driving instructor/pro race driver Mike Speck to slam the rumbling machine into gear.

Read more


Corporate Golf Gets Creative

Today more than ever, the adage that “time is money” guides budget-strapped meeting and convention planners to search for ways to retool and pack more agenda into fewer days.

Mostly missing from meeting schedules are the purely “at leisure” time blocks that were common before the latest economic meltdown. Now, agendas are fine-tuned and tightened. Morning sessions start earlier; breaks are shorter. Light-fare luncheons are quick-turnaround events, and then it’s back to work until late afternoon.

Read more

Steinhatchee, FL

Finding Old Florida in a Forgotten Gulf Coast Town

Not many travelers know about Steinhatchee, an unpretentious little town on the Gulf Coast of Florida where the state bends south from the Panhandle and swoops toward the bustle of Tampa.

That part of the state is sparsely populated, networked with hundreds of miles of country roads sheltered by cypress and cedar trees draped in Spanish moss and crisscrossed with rivers that meander lazily through vast reaches of sea grass toward the Gulf of Mexico.

Read more

Meet in Mobile, Alabama, Y’All

Occasionally, in my search for different, affordable, and not-so-mainstream meeting destinations, I come across a gem.

This happened when I visited Mobile, Alabama on the Gulf Coast, an unexpectedly inviting, friendly and downright pretty city where residents routinely ask, “How y’all doin’?” and extend genuine southern hospitality to visitors and locals alike.

Read more