Kalin’s Chronicles: World Travel Etiquette – Japan

It seems that women have more rules to adhere to than men when it comes to world travel.  This can be very frustrating — especially for women from the United States.  I’m a fan of Sex in the City, but I was appalled by Samantha’s disrespecting the culture of Abu Dhabi in the Sex in City 2 movie.

So you won’t get dubbed “The Ugly American,” I’ll provide a few tips throughout the year on cultural etiquette in international destinations.  We’ll start with Japan…

I love Japanese culture – especially their emphasis on spirituality.  But I had a bit to learn about their cultural etiquette while reporting on tourism in Tokyo.  I noticed that the Japanese were always speaking to the male members of my crew instead of to me.  I was the only black member of the crew, so I thought it was my race.  But then I found that in the Japanese culture women always defer to the men in the group. It’s customary to bow when you greet people.  And if you’re doing business, you should also present your business card to the person – always with both hands. Continue reading Kalin’s Chronicles: World Travel Etiquette – Japan

Christine on: Turning Forty

Christine Malloy“Life begins at forty.” – W. B. Pitkin

I am going to be 40 years old tomorrow. By the time you get to 40, it seems like many people are dreading having another birthday. Not me.

To start with, to have a birthday means to have made it through this world another year and be fortunate enough to be looking forward to another one. That right there is enough cause for joyful celebration. I was diagnosed with cancer nine days before my 25th birthday; that can change your perspective on the whole birthday thing quite a bit. So can getting to the other side of heart surgery, chronic autoimmune illness, and severe depression. When you are a survivor of anything, whether it be illness, death of a loved one, abuse, the list goes on and on; birthdays are an opportunity for us to celebrate ourselves and what we have endured. It is a chance to say “Yes I have gotten here”. It also is a chance to be hopeful that maybe, just maybe, the next year can help us realize some of our hopes and dreams. (Photo: Christine Molloy)

Continue reading Christine on: Turning Forty

Kalin’s Chronicles: Weddingmoons

MP900422990When all the hoopla over the Royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton first started, I thought I was over it before it even began. However, when I saw the replays of the wedding later that day, something happened that I didn’t expect – I cried. Yes, I have to admit that though my own marriage didn’t last, I still get mushy at weddings. I always have so much hope for the newlyweds.

In the United States, the most popular months for weddings are June through September. A couple of generations ago, Niagara Falls was the most popular honeymoon destination. But that’s changed, and today’s brides are choosing to have their wedding in the same location as their honeymoon – it’s what the tourism industry calls a destination wedding, or “weddingmoon.”

Weddingmoons are popular for various reasons, including saving money. According to HoneymoonsBySunset.com the average wedding can cost more than $15,000, while the average weddingmoon can cost as little as $3,000. They’ve become so popular that most resort destinations now have an on-sight wedding planner.

Continue reading Kalin’s Chronicles: Weddingmoons