A 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat with Noble Silence, 4 a.m. starts and 10 hours of meditation daily was never going to be easy, but combining it with communal living and random explosions probably made it even harder.
Every year offers a unique set of challenges and opportunities. By following the guidance of the five elements in 2013 we can learn to ride the water wave and avoid being scorched by the fire. Have a happy and healthy year of the serpent.
During my eight years in Taiwan, I learned to adore Chinese food in all its permutations. One sweet snack I loved in particular would start showing up in the local pastry shops as Chinese New Year rolled around.
Budget travelers fear not. In a country where a brand new 2012 Toyota Camry costs $146,000, and million-dollar Ferraris and Lamborghinis are driven on the roads daily, there are plenty of alternatives that won't send your checking account into cardiac arrest.
Restaurants and bars in Washington, D.C. are turning up the heat with special menus for the season. Some celebrate the inauguration, some celebrate the New Year (Chinese and otherwise), and some simply celebrate the quiet bounties of winter.