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Travel Tales

My first trip that required a passport was to New Zealand in 19-something-something. I recorded that six-week trip carefully in a beautiful journal, faithfully recording each day’s events in neat block print in erasable ink.
I recorded my journey to Tanzania and my trip around Europe in similar fashion. While they look lovely lined up on my bookshelf, it’s a little hard to share them with the masses.
By the time I visited Ireland for the third time I was packing a laptop and happily blogging and sharing my adventures with the world. Or at least my family. I have since written travel blogs in Korea and Armenia. Rather than direct you to those pages I have taken some of the highlights of each blog and present them here for your reading pleasure. To read the full story click on the highlighted link at the end of each post.

Ireland 2007: The Mature Hosteler

Renvyle Castle is the perfect backdrop for a Connemara pony. ©Marcie Miller

Renvyle Castle is the perfect backdrop for a Connemara pony. ©Marcie Miller

It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut. We all have our patterns and set routines, some to get us to work or to school on time, others just to get us through the day. It’s also easy to get bent out of shape when our routine is upset – the alarm doesn’t go off, the toast gets burnt, someone takes your seat on the bus. Grrr!
Travel changes that. While you may make the most detailed travel plans since Columbus, well, like that fateful voyage, things don’t always work out the way you planned. Sometimes they work out better.
Full post: The Mature Hosteler

Ireland 2011: Silent Sentinels of the Beara

The Ballycrovane Ogham Stone on the Beara Peninsula, County Cork, is the tallest in Europe, at 17 feet. ©Marcie Miller

The Ballycrovane Ogham Stone on the Beara Peninsula, County Cork, is the tallest in Europe, at 17 feet. ©Marcie Miller

The Beara peninsula, jutting out in the Atlantic on Ireland’s southwest corner, bristles with stone circles, wedge tombs and other megalithic stone monuments left behind thousands of years ago by prehistoric people. Most of them are estimated to be at least 3,000 years old. Many are just a short walk from the road, but the Beara Way walking trail yields many more.
I had the rare privilege of having an expert on the subject give me a personal tour of sites that are not marked on maps at all, plus I visited a few that are off the tourist track, but well worth the effort to sleuth out.
Full post: Silent Sentinels

Korea 2008: Thanksgiving with Buddha

A Buddhist hermitage on the slopes of Mt. Halla, Jeju-do, Korea, welcomes visitors of all kinds. ©Marcie Miller

A Buddhist hermitage on the slopes of Mt. Halla, Jeju-do, Korea, welcomes visitors of all kinds. ©Marcie Miller

Thursday, Nov. 28. Thanksgiving. Or, as they say in Korea, “Thursday, Nov. 28.” Of course they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here. No turkey. No stuffing. No pumpkin pie. Sniff sniff.
Oddly, today’s sixth grade class started a chapter on giving and accepting invitations, with “Thanksgiving Day” as an example. The teacher asked me to talk about the uniquely American tradition, and the kids were really curious. So, with the smell of cow bone soup (really) drifting into the classroom from the cafeteria, and a cold, driving rain outside, I regaled them with tales of juicy roast turkey, freshly baked pumpkin pie and all the trimmings. I skipped the watching football part, because I don’t like football.
Full post: Buddhist Thanksgiving

Japan 2009: A Study in Contrasts

Japan's largest wooden Buddha is in Fukuoka. ©Marcie Miller

Japan’s largest wooden Buddha is in Fukuoka. ©Marcie Miller

Tocho-ji Temple in Fukuoka, Japan, is home to Japan’s largest wooden Buddha. Photo copyright Marcie Miller
I am in Fukuoka (Foo-koo-OH-kah), Japan as I write this, sent here on what is fondly known among foreign teachers in Korea as a “visa run.” How it works: fly to Fukuoka, being the closest port from Jeju, drop off your passport and new visa application at the Korean embassy, shop and eat in lovely Fukuoka for a day, pick up your passport with the shiny new visa stamp the next day, fly back to Korea.
I got here Sunday afternoon and dropped off my application at 9 this morning (Monday), so I’ve had all day to look around. I gotta say, it’s pretty cool here. Compared to Jeju, the sidewalks are wider and in better repair, traffic is quieter, with almost no honking and I haven’t been nearly run over at all.
Full post: Study in Contrasts

Writing Portfolio

As a professional, award-winning journalist with years of experience in print media, I am available for assignments on a wide variety of topics, from personal profiles to travel features. I can provide SEO content for your website, or a bio of Granny for your family album. No job is too small or too large. My writing is accurate, engaging and always on time.

Please see my résumé here. I can be contacted at marcie.miller11@gmail.com to discuss projects, rates or employment.

A list of my previous blogs:

Under the Volcano — On life as an ESL teacher on Jeju Island, South Korea

Is this the way to Knocknagorraveela? — Ireland, 2007

Guinness and Haggis — Where else? Ireland and Scotland

Please click on the links below to view online clips:

Island teachers’ march, Whidbey News Times

Muslims host reunion, Whidbey News Times

Salmon habitat restoration, Whidbey News Times

J Mulligan Bar, Celtic Life International

Shooting aftermath, Everett Herald

Ovation! Musical Theater, Bainbridge Island magazine

Bankrobber’s wife, Peninsula Daily News

Jeju Mountain Climber

PDF Download: Incomes-Abroad-June FINAL

NOTE: Sadly, none of my stories for the Kitsap News Group, as Features Editor, are online anymore. Buy me a cup of coffee and I’d be glad to share old school print versions of What’s Up, the A&E section I ran.

Global Gallery

Here is a selection of some of my favorite photos from my travels, which are available for purchase. I love capturing this amazing world in digital media, and hope that you will enjoy them too.

All photos are high resolution digital images, in an 8×10 format, either vertical or horizontal. The photos will be professionally printed to order on 100-year archival quality paper in a matte finish.

All photos are $14.99 each, non-refundable. Shipping and handling included for U.S orders. Please ask for prices if you prefer a different size or are outside the U.S.

All photographs are copyright Marcie Miller and are watermarked as such. (Purchased photos will not be watermarked.) They may not be reproduced or reused in any form without Marcie Miller’s written consent. Besides, stealing is bad karma.

Please click on each photo individually to see it full sized. Thank you.




Welcome to Passport and Pen, the travel site where you’ll find advice on how to travel wisely, informative blog posts covering locations such as Korea, Japan, Ireland and Armenia, and a selection of travel photos which are available for purchase by request.

You can also follow my adventures as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Armenia here, and read about my summer in Ireland here.

This site also serves as a showcase for my skills as a professional writer and editor for hire. Please click here  to view my résumé and work samples, or on the Portfolio tab above.

At the Kilrush Horse Fair, County Clare, Ireland

At the Kilrush Horse Fair, County Clare, Ireland. Photo copyright Marcie Miller

I also welcome your questions regarding travel. Every trip is unique and has its own set to challenges. I’m happy to help with your travel issues. Click here to contact me today.

Click on any of the menu tabs above to get started, and happy travels!


Hangin' with the Buddhas, Jeju, South Korea

Hangin’ with the Buddhas, Jeju, South Korea

I’m Marcie Miller, an American journalist, traveler, photographer and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Armenia 2015-2017. I have lived and worked as a journalist and teacher in Africa and Asia, and traveled throughout Europe, including eight visits to Ireland. I have written for print and online newspapers and magazines for more than 15 years. I have a bachelor’s degree in communications with a minor in international studies from the University of Washington.

I established coverage of women’s issues and wrote a column for the Arusha Times in Tanzania and was the inaugural managing editor of the Jeju Weekly in Jeju, South Korea. It was the first English newspaper on the lovely volcanic island off the southern tip of the Korean Peninsula.

I am a lifelong learner and am always up for new challenges, whether it’s learning Armenian or finding an affordable apartment in Seattle (Armenian was easier).