.All Trips / California / North America / Southwestern USA

The Living Desert Wildlife and Botanical Park

desert

Unless you’ve driven across them, it’s hard to comprehend how vast the deserts of the American Southwest are.  While at first glance the region seems nearly lifeless, it’s rich in a diverse variety of hardy plant and animal life.  An excellent way to see this assortment of desert life is to stop everywhere and explore.  A much easier and more convenient way is to visit a botanical garden which, while not a perfect experience, is highly educational.  A place I’d recommend is the Living Desert, located in Palm Desert, California (very near Palm Springs), which provides a one-stop chance to explore the flora and fauna of America’s deserts –with an African sampler to boot!

Giraffes, Living Desert Museum

The Living Desert occupies …

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.All Trips / California / North America / Southwestern USA

San Diego, California: A Day at the Zoo

San Diego Zoo 03-2014 (21z) Flamingos

Among my fondest memories as a child are family visits to the zoo.  I was fascinated by it all!  The sights, the sounds, the smells, the people, and especially by the exotic animals.  It seemed a grand adventure and I think may have helped germinate the traveler seed in me — I wanted to see these animals in the places they’d come from.

I’ve since visited many of these animals in their homelands over the years, and as I’ve grown older my perspectives on zoos have changed somewhat, especially after seeing some terrible ones in poorer nations where animals are kept in little more than small square cages (prisons really).  I’ve developed a great empathy for these captive animals and believe …

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.All Trips / Asia / Singapore

The island metropolis of Singapore

The island metropolis of Singapore

Except for the stifling humidity, steamy heat and admixture of tropical rain-forest, Singapore will remind you more of Chicago or New York than most Asian cities.  Its skyline is as packed with modern skyscrapers as its roads are with cars and scooters.  And this small island nation (actually comprised of 63 islands but with one main one) is crowed, having the second highest population density in the world.  It’s located less than a hundred miles north of the equator.

Singapore provides a textbook lesson in how a poor fishing nation can emerge as one of the most prosperous countries in the world, a leader in international trade and finance with an educated and efficient workforce.  It’s a testament to how free market enterprise can work efficiently and generate wealth for its citizens (Singapore has …

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