UkulelesHi! Thanks for taking time to visit.

We’re Malcolm and Peggy Carlaw. In the time we’ve been together, we’ve traveled to almost 40 countries and been to most of the 50 states either on business travel or camping in our VW EuroVan.

We like culture shock! Nothing is more exciting for us than getting off an airplane in a different country, or visiting a state quite different from our home state of California, and realizing that we have no clue what’s going on. How do we buy a ticket for the Shinkansen at midnight in Kyoto when we’re jetlagged beyond belief and the signs on the ticket machines are in Japanese? How do we parse out something to eat from a Cajun menu in a Bayou town? Where do we safely change the US dollars we were told to smuggle into Burma?

The adventure of learning new culture, of meeting new friends, of relying on strangers for assistance helps us grow into better, more understanding people. Through travel, we learn that our way is not the only way and we notice that in some circumstances, our way is not even the best way. We know that every person has a story and we look forward to meeting people and understanding how they see the world. We always come home from our trips kinder and more thoughtful of others (at least we think we do).

And as you can see, we’re also ukulele fans. We picked the uke as our instrument because it’s relatively easy to learn, and it’s small so we can travel with it. And it’ s been a great vehicle for meeting new friends, whether at a uke workshop or just playing in a park or by the creek.

We have three goals for this blog:

  1. To make us slow down. When we write and take photos, we engage more with the current moment rather than rush off to the next adventure.
  2. Through our writing and photography, to show how other people live—that their wants and desires are no different from our own, that they share the same struggles and joys, regardless of their religion or nationality.
  3. To inspire you to become a traveler. Whether you travel to a foreign land or to the next town, you can choose to see the world in a new way, with a sense of curiosity, engaging all your senses.

We hope you’ll follow us on our journeys. And we look forward to your comments.

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