When I’m not traveling, I’m exploring Washington DC and beyond for food, culture, and community.

Travel Education

  • Early on, I wanted to learn as much as I could about other countries. In grade school, every book report I wrote was about Denmark, India, or Chile.
  • At 13, I lived with a host family in Queretaro, Mexico.
  • I spent a summer with a French family at La Dune du Pila, France at 16.
  • After graduating high school, my family took a European vacation. My favorite memory of August 1989 was crossing Checkpoint Charlie to enter East Berlin. Watching TV months later, we saw the Berlin Wall crumble. I still have former East German currency.
  • At 20 years old, I traveled to Monte Verde, Costa Rica on a college biology expedition.

Out In the World

  • My real passion developed when I lived in Namibia as a Peace Corps Volunteer. The experience was intense, stressful, and awe-inspiring. I would never trade that time of my life.
  • Returning to the States as a lover of languages, I got an MA in Linguistics.
  • Other explorations through the years have included living in the Czech Republic and Okinawa, Japan.
  • Some of my favorite trips have been to Taiwan, Italy, Turkey, Argentina, Alaska, and Tahiti.

Life Now

  • I currently live in the Washington DC area
  • Despite my experiences wandering the globe, I never take for granted the grand scale of what’s left to explore.
  • Travel successes and mishaps along the way, I continue to be inspired by this curious world.


28 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Mary,

    Your blog looks great, but where is the subscribe button?

    I always like meeting bloggers with adventurous souls, and it looks like we have some experiences in common. The world is a fascinating place!

    • maryrichardson

      Miss Footloose,

      Thanks! I’m always looking for kindred travel friends too… I just inserted a subscribe button on the home page. Still learning my way around wordpress…

  2. Ashley

    I’m wondering how it must be like living in Japan? Visited the place a few times, but never ever thought about living there.
    Your blog is great! I remember when I went to Egypt, I wrote down all the important points you mentioned, and on top of my list was “Go and have fun!” For me, that’s really the way to enjoy any place I visit!

    • maryrichardson

      Dear Ashley,
      I really love living in Japan! It’s taken me almost 2 years to be truly “comfortable” but I know when we leave next year, I’ll miss so many things- the food, the service, and people. Wow! You’ve traveled to Egypt too, girl! A crazy country, right? But really interesting… glad you’re attracted to the exotic places like me.

      • Ashley

        Yep, it is a crazy country! Especially the people who give you camel rides! But that’s another story……

      • Ashley

        Believe it or not, I’m only 19! But my mom and dad haven’t seen the world, and since I turned 9, they’ve been telling me, “10 years later, we’re going to throw you into a plane with nothing but a camera and no idea where you’re going! We want you to see the world!” At that time, I had no idea what they meant! Now when they can’t go with me, I’ll gather the real close group of guys and girls I have has friends and push them on to the plane with me!

  3. You must be a fan of Chris Guillebeau too. Are you? I wrote about his movement, “The Art of the Non-Conformist,” today. I would love to learn more about the Peace Corps work you did. I’m attending a meeting on that next weekend.

    • Larry Sugarmann

      Hello, Mary! I’m so glad to reconnect with you. Wow, it’s been a long time since the linguistics studies at SDSU. As you know, I lived in Japan for 2 years and came back with a souvenir: a wife! I remember you were at Naoko and my farewell party with your friend, Rie, her husband, etc.

      We have a lot in common, Mary. Ever since I was a kid, I was fascinated by other cultures and languages. I looked at my grandparents’ photos and slides of their world travels over and over again. As a teenager, I became a ham radio (amateur radio) operator and talked to people all over the world. I also started having pen pals from many different countries.

      I have made 5 trips to El Salvador, even during the war! I lived in Mexico for 1 year and in Japan for 2 years, as I mentioned above. I have traveled through Mexico, Honduras, and El Salvador. In Japan, I have only traveled through Kyushu.

      I would love to hear from you Mary.



      • maryrichardson

        Hi Larry!
        So happy to hear from you! Wow, it has been years, hasn’t it! I do remember going to your going away party! Where are you living now? Are you teaching? I’ll only be in Japan for one more year sadly, but it’s been a great experience! Have you and your wife gone on any fun trips lately?

    • maryrichardson

      Dear Gutsy writer,
      I’ve never read Chris Guillebeau, but thanks for recommending him. I certainly will now! Feel free to ask anything about Peace Corps. It was years ago, so some details about the program may have changed… but I can tell what I l know. Is there a particular part of the world you’re interested in? I hope it works out for you… it’s been my most meaningful life experience so far. Worth it in so many ways!

  4. Dear Mary,

    I am so glad I found your blog. It’s great to read it, as I am also crazy for traveling. If you have time, please visit mine too :-). I am also currently living in Japan, after having grown up in Romania and gone to studies in Germany.

    Is that you in the Geisha photo?


    • maryrichardson

      Hi Sonia,
      Thanks for stopping by my blog! I will definitely check out yours! Where are you in Japan? Yes, that’s me as the geisha… very fun experience. I recommend it!

      • Hi Mary,
        thanks for visiting my blog and for following!
        I live in the northern part of Tokyo, where it borders Saitama prefecture. Are you coming to Tokyo often?

      • maryrichardson

        Dear Sonia,
        I’d love to live in Tokyo! I lead tours from Okinawa, so I visit Tokyo about every 2 months or so.

  5. Larry Sugarmann

    Dear Mary,

    I’m so happy to have received your reply. I’m very sorry that I didn’t notice your response until now.

    As you may recall, the farewell party was due to my wife and I leaving San Diego and heading for Las Vegas. (Well, actually it was Henderson).

    We remained there for 6 years. I ended up returning to the elementary classroom. I have been an educator for most of my life, mostly teaching bilingual kindergarten through second grade classrooms.

    For the first 4 years in Las Vegas, I taught first grade. During my fifth and sixth years, I was a dual-language (Spanish) teacher. First I taught a second grade dual-language class. During my final year with the Clark County School District, I was a dual-language kindergarten teacher.

    I have a very tragic story to tell you about my wife. It would not be appropriate to tell you it on this board. I would like to send you email or talk to you. I believe you have my email address, right? I want to tell you about my wife.



    • maryrichardson

      Dear Larry,
      Again, it’s so great to hear from you! I hope everything is going okay for you. I’ll send you an email soon, and you can also email me. I posted my email in the contact page. Talk soon!

  6. It looks as if I will be solo in Shanghai for a few days this summer. I was there with friends last summer, so I know a bit about the city. If you can offer any advice, I’d appreciate it. I have some questions that I will try to get answered off-line, if I can find your email address. Thanks, ~Mona

  7. Pingback: Versatile Blogger Award + Blogs I love to read! | The Travel Spotlight

  8. Hi Mary,
    great blog! Im wondering, which part of the Czech republic did you live in and how did you like it? Interesting travel experience, keep it up! 🙂

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