Once upon a time, there was a young maiden who had very itchy feet (she suspects it’s a gift from a wise and adventurous fairy-godmother). She had trouble staying still, often daydreamed about far away places, and ogled longingly at maps. One day, she asked her prince, “Can we go away, to a place we’ve never been before?” The young man knew it was futile to discourage her. Luckily, he had easy access to an enchanting and very useful tool people called “Google Maps”.
“Hmm,” he pondered, “since we’re near anyway, do you want to go to — Montenegro? There’s a small city here called, hmm, Kotor. Maybe it’ll be nice. What do you think?” The young maiden had no idea what they would find there, but she could hardly keep her heart from bursting with excitement. Continue reading A Fairy Tale Land Named Kotor
Me: So let’s take that bus to Girona, then hop on to the connecting bus to Andorra for an overnight —
Fate: Nope, stay put! No effing way you’re going to miss Girona. Continue reading Oh My, Girona!
I’m not quite sure how the universe has conspired to get me here, but I am here. In Champagne! Champagne, the land of the one spirit to rule them all, the spirit best known for opulence, indulgence, and most of all, exclusivity. You can imagine how bewildering this is for a backpacking, bordering hippie like myself. But, as I’ve said, I finally found myself here. Let’s drink to that! Continue reading Breaking Out the Bubbly in Champagne
The sound of chimes ushered me in, as if on cue, as I approached my first temple in Bagan. I hesitate a bit, unsure if I was even allowed to go inside; there were hardly any other people around. I take a step forward. Then another. I take off my slippers and walk into the brick arch that revealed the temple of Sulamani. If this was a movie, there would be a gust of wind and a grinning shaman, bathing in heavenly light, waitingon the other side to bestow on me eternal wisdom. But there was no shaman, only a small family on their way out. There was still a hint of mystery in the air, nonetheless. Continue reading A Pagoda Safari in Bagan
It might be apt that the city to capture your heart in Vietnam is in its center. My first visits to the S-shaped nation were to its opposite poles, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. While there was definitely more than the pho that kept me warm inside in the bigger metros, it was hands down Hoi An that swept me off my feet. Continue reading The Radiance of Hoi An
Peaceniks, flares, and boogie ruled the 70’s, but for the men in idyllic Xian, it was just another quiet day. It was the type of day when you joshed with your buddies in the farm, trying to overlook the arduous task of digging up a communal well. It was all good old fun — well, until someone discovered a head. Continue reading The Terracotta Warriors: A Battle Royale