All posts filed under: Laos

Coming Full Circle

Photo courtesy of BiiG Travel Laos I’m standing in front of the door of the place I’ve always wanted to be. Less than two inches of wood stands between me and my dream. It took awhile to get here but I finally made it. The journey has been turbulent and full of twists and turns. I’m thinking back on when it all truly started. It’s the summer of 2012 and my family and I are in Laos. I have this strange feeling my dad is conditioning us to the Lao life: Everyday is filled with wonder, every alley a chance for exploration, and every new face an opportunity for casual exchanges to reflect on the wonders of life. One day, my aunt, an associate working for a non-profit in the city, asks me if I want to go with her. I agree, having had enough of my old routine of meaningless meandering. We hop into her white, Chinese compact car and make our way to her workplace. The drive is short, as the destination is …

Culture vs Converse: Shoo to All Shoes or are your Jimmy Choo’s Exempt?

Entering a house with bare feet is second nature to us Lao. We wouldn’t dare walk through someone’s abode with our street shoes on. But there are many Americans who disagree. In fact, it can be a controversial topic! Removing your shoes might ruin a carefully curated outfit, make you cold, or worse, expose your mismatched socks and smelly feet. And who can forget that Sex and the City episode where Carrie took off her Manolos and someone else went home with them?! Have you ever wondered why we take off our shoes? Or do you need some fuel for the “shoes off” side of the debate? Follow along. Removing shoes is a common practice in many parts of the world. You’ll find footwear by the front entry in Japan, Vietnam, and South Korea. And this isn’t just common in the East. Some people in Germany, Switzerland, Finland, and Turkey cringe at just the thought of hanging out inside with your shoes on. Here in Canada, most of us leave our shoes at the door, …