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Useful Phrases for Finding Your Way and Making Friends in China

By Sherry Brooks
October 2, 2013
File under: Travel

Before visiting a country, I have found that the trip will go more smoothly when learning or printing out some basic phrases in the spoken language.  This seemingly simple act can be invaluable when trying to find what you need in foreign culture and can also create a magical, spontaneous spark of friendship with the locals.

On our first night in China, we arrived very tired, but not enough to keep us from a nightcap in the hotel bar.  We had heard that the Chinese would be able to speak English, yet we were getting nowhere fast with our sleek, young cocktail waitress in the long skirt with the thigh-high slit.  My father repeatedly asked for ice in English.  She became measurably more frustrated and tried to let us know that she did not speak English.  He was, I must admit, a bit incredulous when she left in a huff.

This was my chance to explain to him the value in the lessons I was taking in multiple languages and that, “A local phrase can create an instant friendship.” …read more of Useful Phrases for Finding Your Way and Making Friends in China here

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Aussie Country Diverse, Dramatic and Delicious!

By Toni Salter
August 27, 2012
File under: Gardening, Travel

Photos: Toni Salter

I love a sunburnt country, A land of sweeping plains, Of ragged mountain ranges, Of droughts and flooding rains. ~ Dorothea Mackeller 1885 – 1968

These immortal words, excerpted from “My Country” by an English immigrant poet to Australia in 1904 that are often quoted to reflect the vastness and unpredictability of the Australian countryside.

Like Dorothea Mackellar, I love the broad range of landscape in my country.  The dramatic variety of flora and fauna amidst vastly divergent countryside attracts almost 6 million visitors to a country with a population of less than 23 million. …read more of Aussie Country Diverse, Dramatic and Delicious! here

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Modern Tibet, Ancient Culture in Transition

By Sherry Brooks
July 5, 2012
File under: Spirituality, Sustainability, Travel

Tibetan prayer flags flutter in the wind outside the 7th Century Potala Palace.

Hardy Tibetans have lived a simple, cost-effective and sustainable lifestyle for centuries. Sadly, this peaceful, planet-friendly way of life is giving way to the occupation of a modern and militaristic China.

This growing world power has a strong need for Tibet’s timber, coal, sparsely populated large land mass and jobs that pay three times the wages that the Chinese can earn in China. …read more of Modern Tibet, Ancient Culture in Transition here

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Cuba Today – The Life and Culture of Forced Frugality

By Sherry Brooks
April 25, 2012
File under: Recipes, Travel

An old Mercury

I just returned from Cuba, where they don’t have car seats, bike helmets, avocados or berries out of season, traffic or much of anything with a brand name, other than the ubiquitous State branded Havana Club Rum.

Dogs run in the streets with nary leash in sight, but these materially deprived citizens did sport a multitude of smiles, lots of music, extremely grand historic, albeit crumbling, architecture, lovely caged birds and longevity.

According to the United Nations, the average life expectancy in Cuba is 77.3 years, ranking 36th in the world along with the U.S and Denmark.


While the mild climate and relatively stress-free Caribbean lifestyle, (most Cubans live rent-free) and free medical care may have something to do with it, the strict rationing of meat may well be a strong contributing factor.  …read more of Cuba Today – The Life and Culture of Forced Frugality here

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7 EcoGlam TSA Compliant Travel Tips

By Sherry Brooks
February 9, 2011
File under: Saving Money, Travel


Have you given up on the idea of traveling quickly and securely with only a Rollaboard suitcase and carry-on tote? Can’t fit all your liquids and gels into a quart-sized plastic bag?

With these seven travel tips, your days of checking and perhaps even losing your bags could be behind you. Women can reduce all liquids and gels to a one-quart bag. Guys may not need a quart bag at all! You can minimize what goes into the plastic bag and instead shift some of your wet beauty products to dry alternatives.

1. Fill a small plastic container with cotton balls drizzled with olive oil. This qualifies as a non-liquid packable for your toiletry kit. Each of the oil-soaked cotton balls becomes a natural way to remove all of your makeup, even those stubborn all-day lipsticks. …read more of 7 EcoGlam TSA Compliant Travel Tips here

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An alternative approach to health, wellness and disease prevention. Marie Oser and her team of bloggers bring you creative natural solutions to issues affecting our health and wellbeing.

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