Yep, you read that right: I am now heading up Travel for Yahoo! And I’m beyond excited. So, things at A Broad Abroad will be… a little slow for a while. I got a relaunch to do. Bear with me, and sign up (on the right hand side) for a subscription so you’ll get all the updates emailed to you! But things are about to get real exciting real fast.
This is Candace – to local Afghans, Candace looks like a Hazara man. This let Candace get away with a lot. I was a little jealous.
One of the reasons I travel are the people I meet along the way. In Afghanistan I met Candace – a 28 year old Australian of Chinese origin – who about a year and a half ago decided to quit work and travel… cross dressing her way across the most volatile region in the world .
“I thought I’d only be gone for about six months but it’s been a year and a half so far,” Candace said. She started in India, made her way through Pakistan, China and into Afghanistan. Along the way, because of her hair and her style of dress, everyone assumed she was a man… which let her get away with a lot more than any woman could have. Candace and I met up at the Afghan Ski Challenge in Bamiyan where she agreed to be videotaped and, after the jump, she tells us what Afghans really think of white people and which tribe members makes the worst husbands:
On the edge of Kabul, Afghanistan, framed by the snowy peaks of the Hindu Kush, lies the Darul Aman Palace, the former home of Afghan King Amanullah Khan. Built in the 1920s as part of a modernization campaign by the King, it now sits ravaged by thirty years of war. But it never had a peaceful history. According to Wikipedia:
Darul Aman Palace was gutted by fire in 1969. It was restored to house the Defence Ministry during the 1970s and 1980s. In the Communist coup of 1978, the building was set on fire. It was damaged again as rival Mujahideen factions fought for control of Kabul in the early 1990s. Heavy shelling by the Mujahideen after the end of the Soviet invasion left the building a gutted ruin.
Over the years, the Russians, the mujahideen, the Taliban, local artists and the Americans have all left their mark – and it’s known amongst select few as a sort of gallery of war art. I was recently allowed inside as one of the guys I was with knew the guards (always helpful to have friends in high and low places!) and as I was wandering around, saw the most amazing graffiti art… which looked like something out of the Banksy playbook. I was assured it was just an homage – but… you never know.
After the jump, more amazing graffiti and pictures of the actual palace:
I obviously love to travel… but I love coming home to Karl Froelich even more. Especially as, every time he sees me again he reacts as if we’ve been separated for years behind the Berlin Wall circa 1982 and are reuniting for the very first time. Again. And again. There’s nothing like being really, lovingly missed. In the video above, I ambush Karl on the street after having been on the road for three weeks (in Afghanistan, Dubai, San Francisco and England)… see the adorably awesome reaction of a small dog who hasn’t seen his mother in three weeks.
Recently, I’ve been asked by several people, “So why did you give up your career and dedicate your life to traveling?” And, I point them to my essay, “Controlled Burn,” in the new Kindle Series, “The 10 Habits Of Highly Successful Women.” [Click HERE to buy now - you'll love it I swear!].
In the essay I describe how (according to Amazon):
“[Paula Froelich] was a raging runaway star in the media world. But at the apex of her career, she had to blow up her life and set a controlled burn to learn what real success is.”
Because, yeah – despite looking like a big old success and supah-stah, deep down I hated my life and felt like a fraud. For several reasons outlined in the essay, but too long for this post. It was by taking a hot minute [read: four years] off and traveling that l that I got my bravery, boldness and self back. After the jump are select excerpts from the piece:
In homage to Cher’s new world tour, I recreated her “If I Could Turn Back Time” video … on a Russian Tank in Afghanistan
You can get almost anything in America – except a good old fashioned Soviet era tank in which to fool around on… or a wood handled Kalashnikov to play with. Funny that. So imagine my delight when I saw the abandoned tank field in front of the police station in Bamiyan. It was like I turned into a saucy little head scarved five year old.
After the jump – more fun with tanks and guns… and the original Cher video I was trying to recreate (sadly sans a Bob Mackie onesie).
Someone is confused… “What do you Mean-o You-o Don’t-o Get-o My EYEtalian???? It’s Goddamn perfect-o!”
Last April, pigs flew. I boarded a cruise ship with my 74-year-old father. Let me rephrase that: I, who am terrified of boats and get seasick at the sight of water, went on an eight-day excursion from Barcelona to Monaco with a born-again, gun-collecting Tea Partier who [despite getting his uvula removed] snores like a drunken sow. And we shared a room.
[Ed Note: Seriously, do you know how many people die on cruises? The 2011 Costa Concordia disaster aside, every year during cruise season there’s like a story once a week about someone “accidentally” or drunkenly falling overboard – and don’t even get me started on the Norovirus… or the suicide rate of someone who has sat through one too many floorshows].
But then I was offered a cabin with a balcony (so I could always jump if need be) on the Azamara Cruise from Barcelona to Monaco. And before the Ambien I’d taken the night before could wear off, I was on the phone asking Daddy to go with me. When she found out, my older sister said what everyone else was thinking: “Have you lost your damn mind?”
BUT. Not only did the experience change our relationship for the better, we now have plans to do it once a year. And so, because I now think everyone should bond with their parents on a trip, I offer you some tips for how to travel with a parent: