"Like A Rolling Stone"
Ever since I was a young child I always dreamed of traveling overseas. And, ever since I left for Europe back in 1990, that's exactly what I've been doing: Traveling, living and working abroad. But the Big Trip, the one these travel writings are all about, is the 4-year trip I made earlier this decade together with my wife, Sonoko.
After an incredible year spent driving in a big 20,000-mile/30,000-km circle around North America, we headed back to Asia, where, over the next three years, we slowly made our way from Hong Kong to Istanbul. Dubbed "The Bob Basketball and Beer Tour", the trip was never anything less than fascinating.
Whether wrestling with a top cop in Tibet, riding camels through the deserts of Rajasthan in India, trekking through the Himalayas in Nepal, going out for drinks and dinner with local friends after playing some basketball and/or soccer in almost every place we visited, or, best of all, being invited to stay in a number of local people's homes, it was always quite an incredible experience. And always quite a blast too. Well, besides contacting dysentery and giardia and food poisoning and scabies, of course.
Spending weeks, or even months, in one place at a time really allowed us to get a good feeling for the culture and people wherever we went. Not to forget the food and beer. Because, hey, the simple reality is this: The combination of good food, beer, local friends and sports always equals a great time. And, as you'll see, we really had a great time!
Featured Story from Travel: China:
So I'm sitting here topless, like the locals, at an open-air internet bar at close to 2 AM when these 2 guys sit down next to me and say hi. They're nice young guys in their early 20's. I continue reading my emails as they peer over my shoulder attempting to read them too. They start to touch the hair on my upper arms and we all have a little laugh. Next they start to play with the hair on my chest. I keep reading my emails.
Featured Story from Travel: Mongolia:
MERRY X'MAS from Mongolia, the land of salty mutton butter tea, the two Frog Rocks, extremely cold days and nights, and so much more. Last night I had one of the best X'mas Eves of my life.
Featured Story from Travel: Tibet:
How to deal with a hung-over Chinese PSB cop asshole: Wrestle the prick!
Featured Story from Travel: Nepal:
Of all the great experiences we've had here in Nepal over the past few months the 2-day wedding we attended on December 13th-14th has got to be the most special. This wedding was definitely the most interesting thing we've witnessed here. As a romantic event it was sorely lacking, but as a cultural experience it was simply amazing.
Featured Story from Travel: India:
Imagine a whole town of stoned people, half of whom are running around armed with big long sticks beating on all those who aren't... and everyone's having a blast.
Featured Story from Travel: Sri Lanka:
OK, let's get one thing straight right from the get-go, Sri Lanka is simply the greatest place I've ever visited! Seriously! A month after arriving here it was as if we'd already been living here for years, with our own soccer friends, basketball friends, drinking friends, Beach Club friends and "come stay at our place" friends too. And not to forget Bunny and Dr Seuss.
Featured Story from Travel: Abu Dhabi (in the U.A.E.):
Flying into Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), we knew we were heading into a very different world. After 19 months of traveling around South Asia we were about to begin a brand new adventure through West Asia (A.K.A. The Middle East). We knew Abu Dhabi was very (oil-) rich, clean and expensive, but we had no idea just what a contrast it would be compared to India.
Featured Story from Travel: Turkey:
Right now we're in a village called Kemaliye, located in a remote, isolated valley in eastern Turkey and there's not a foreigner in town besides us. Most of the Turkish "tourists" here are people in town to visit family. This is an amazing place. And we're not even supposed to be here! Our train ticket said "Final destination Erzurum", and Erzurum, near the Armenian, Georgian and Iranian borders, was where we were heading. But, when a really friendly 65-year old man named Hilmi invites you to get off the train 5 hours early and take an hour-long mini-bus ride over the mountains on a dirt and gravel road to visit his hometown with him, you simply do not say "no".
Featured Story from Travel: Syria:
When you think of Syria what do you think of? Whatever may come to mind, I bet it's not basketball. But basketball is exactly what Syria has become to us. Well, that and Mohammed.
Featured Story from Travel: Japan:
And now for the EVEN BIGGER NEWS: Son is now 5 months pregnant with our Made In Istanbul baby.