"A Grasshopper's Travel Pages" Callavetta's Profile

Peeling the onion in Thailand

Several blind men were in a room with a large elephant. "What does the elephant look like?", I ask. One, standing by his tail said, "He looks like a rope."

"No", says the one standing by his trunk, "He looks like a large fire hose."

"I think he looks like a thick tree trunk", says the one standing by a leg.

"No", says the one standing along side of him, "He is a big rough wall"

Thailand is like the elephant. It's many things to many people. One week was only enough to discover what an onion it is (although, come to think of it, while I did see strange and wonderful produce, I don't think I ever saw an onion in Thailand!) I can't wait to return to peel back more layers and learn more about this exotic, gentle, chaotic, gracious, spicy, steamy country.

Food for thought

Sometimes you plan your life, sometimes it just happens. Oh what surprises can find you just because you get up in the morning!

I am so lucky to have a job that allows me to travel the world. When I think about some of the amazing places I have been in the last year, and almost all of it on a Company expense account, I don't know what I did to deserve such a fate. (Not only that, but it's a really great company with absolutely wonderful colleagues who have become so dear to me, like family!)

A hectic week in Malaysia with really unique, real life experiences (met with the village heads in a small village in the state of Perak to discuss hiring their young people and were hosted to a fabulous lunch of local fare) earns me a relaxing weekend at the Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa in Malaysia.

Past trips to Stockholm and Tel Aviv afforded me a weekend break in Istanbul and a side jaunt to Petra and Amman. My last trip to Asia gave me a free weekend in Hong Kong. Time off between Singapore and Australia? How about a week in Bali?

I don't know what I did to deserve such Karma, but I am grateful every day of my life.

Once a journey is designed, equipped and put in process, a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.

John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley

A Bit of Perspective

I think of how many days I've woken up and whinged... "I don't want to go to work!" Next time, I will think about this lady I met at a rock quary on the island of Bali. This wasn't part of a show. She wasn't there for my entertainment. She positions these stones on her head and climbs a slippery muddy path up hill to the road. I asked her if she would allow me to take her photo and she obliged me with a smile.

I had a spare week at last falling between A business trip to Malaysia and a return business trip to Australia. I looked at the map and my bucket list and Bali seemed like a no brainer!

Bali is nothing like I expected it to be. After a short week, I have such conflicting thoughts about this interesting and unique place. I hope that I can convey, on my Bali page, some of the patchwork of things I have found.

I am staying at the Orient Express's Ubud Hanging Gardens Villas. I have my own pool, a beautiful lanai, the most glorious room ever, and I feel as thought I've died and gone to heaven.

A sojurn in India

A recent trip has left me without words. India. How to capture the sounds, the sights, the smells, the feelings in a few well articulated paragraphs escapes me completely.

People told me you either love India or hate it. I don't agree. Do I love it? Noooooo. Do I hate it? No. Well, sometimes. But it is compelling, eye popping and a must see.

And more that, there is something I must do.

Once a journey is designed, equipped and put in process, a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.

John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley

Roma (April 2004)

Easter Week in Roma! It's a good thing that airplane travel and labor have short memories! Otherwise the human race would come to an end and we'd never travel.

9 hours from Rome to NYC followed by 6 hours from NYC to San Francisco. Ugh!

But I'm gradually building my Rome pages so if you're interested in a Grasshopper's perspecitve of Roma, stay tuned.

March in California (2004)

This year, my March has been spent exploring much of my own state, California. And what a remarkable state it is.

I began the month with a drive down the famous Big Sur Coastline to LA to watch a friend do her first Marathon. We ate crab sandwiches on a cliff at Rocky Point, marvelled at elephant seals in San Simeon, and enjoyed dining on wonderful Italian food in Manhattan Beach.

Then I took a trip to the Mendocino Coast to visit friends from the East Coast at their rented house on a cliff overlooking the Pacific, tasted wines in the Alexander Valley, and raced a BMW driver around the curvy roads on Highway 128. Coming home, over the Golden Gate Bridge on a gloriously sunny day gave me a view of the City that was simply unparralled!

I LOVE traveling and seeing all the amazing things the world has to offer. But California is truly a miniature of some of those very same amazing things.


Sir, when a (wo)man is tired of London (s)he is tired of life, for there is in London all the life can afford.’ – Samuel Johnson

I don't think I will ever tire of London. Just plunk my tired old bones down in a key park and let me watch life proceed around me. Or give me wings and let me explore.

Why Travel?

When I was growing up, my father dubbed me "Grasshopper". "You never think about tomorrow", he said. "You are always thinking about today!"

Then I grew up and became a Mom, a single Mom, and I became an "Ant". One day I realized that I had lost my Grasshopper. And I missed it.

Today I cherish my Grasshopper. Travelling is one of the ways that I have learned to nurture that part of my spirit. The world is so large. It is so easy to see only the smallest part, that is right in front of us. My goal is to see as much of it as I can. And to embrace the differences that make us a Universe.

Travel and other worldly tests

How big is your footprint? Take this test and see how much of your share of the planet you are using up. Also interesting is The Story of Stuff.

Test your toilet knowledge around the world.

From the Vagabond puppeteers: Jetset Chaussettes

I'm hooked on webcams. I have the bookmarks for bunches them on my "favorite places" on my computer and check them regularly. Leaning against the fence in this picture is my friend, Suzann, who just moved to Germany and agreed to stand in the view of the webcam near the Christmas markets in Garmish Partenkirchen at a given time.

Here are some of my favorite webcams.

Tubingen Daughter Lorna stood in this one once while we talked on our cell phones to eachother, 6000 miles apart.

Paris Bakery I've spent a rediculous amount of time watching a guy make bread here.

Keystone, Co. I check out the snow level when I'm in California

Eiffel Tower Webcam Click until the lights are twinkling.

Hotel Aminta This webcam lets you watch the Bay of Naples and/or the town of Sorrento. When I stayed at the Aminta I never tired of the view.

Falcon Cam In Spring a falcon couple comes here and builds a nest, lays eggs and you can watch them hatch.

Chicago Skyline We're going to Chicago for New Years. Brrrrrrr!

What are your favorite webcams?

  • Intro Updated Aug 4, 2013
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Comments (383)

  • johngayton's Profile Photo
    Jan 31, 2015 at 6:36 PM

    Which reminds me; I really must buy another copy of "Travels with Charley". The next one will be the sixth. I suffer from "Compulsive Throwing Books At People Syndrome" - a little-known, but fortunately benign disease.

  • Parisforless's Profile Photo
    May 28, 2014 at 4:48 PM

    It's never late to wish a happy birthday to a friend. Hope you've had a great time and wish you many more happy moments in your life!!!

  • Tripack's Profile Photo
    May 12, 2014 at 2:53 AM

    Bon anniversaire Katherine! Greetings from the Swiss Alps ;-) Patrick

  • kathymof's Profile Photo
    May 11, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    Have a wonderful birthday! Hope the next year brings lots of travel.

  • DaHongHua's Profile Photo
    May 10, 2014 at 9:03 PM

    Greeting happy birthday to you, I wish you good luck and good health.

  • rosata's Profile Photo
    May 10, 2014 at 11:47 AM

    Wishing you a very Happy Birthday, Katherine!

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    May 10, 2014 at 8:15 AM

    Hi, Katherine! Happy birthday!)

  • johngayton's Profile Photo
    May 10, 2014 at 7:20 AM

    Happy Birthday from very windy, today, Lundy Katherine. I assume a decent meal and a glass or two will be involved?

  • CEP1863's Profile Photo
    May 10, 2014 at 7:03 AM

    Katherine, hope you have a terrific day celebrating your birthday!

  • Dabs's Profile Photo
    May 10, 2014 at 6:41 AM

    Happy birthday Katherine! Hope you have a great day :-)

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