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yerevan-armenia

Journey to the Caucasus | Part 1: A Wisp of Armenia

“Here’s where they train the stupid police,” our taxi driver informed us in angry, broken English. It was 3am and still dark. We were tired but curiosity and good manners won out over sleep. Arriving in the middle of…

Packing

Profile of a Bag

Rollie backpack: nerd Monogramed luggage: princess REI pack: American Jack Wolfskin: German Lafuma: Frenchman Black suitcase: vacationer 55L rucksack: low-budget traveler Stereotyping sucks, but all of us do it — from the trust-fund jerk to the buddhist. Yes, the…

yoga teacher training

Weird & Wonderful: A One-Month Yoga Training in India

I stared up at the ceiling as the howling laughter intensified around me — demonic cackles, warm chuckles and everything in between. Should I run? This was nuts. The girl next to me shook uncontrollably and tears rolled down her…

Kyrgyzstan-Bishkek

The Misfits of Crossroad Inn

In Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, 45-minutes from the Kazakh border, lies a compound run by a Japanese family whose gates only open to those at a crossroads. Travelers who find themselves within its walls are not swinging by for a night…

Amsterdam

Amsterdam: Kings, Windows & Cats

A cafe with a resident cat is simply better than a cafe without one – a fact one learns in Amsterdam. Some questions are impossible to answer, like what is your favorite band or favorite food. Favorite city should be one…

Railay Beach

Railay Beach: A Climber’s Escape

As the cliffs grew closer, we saw the outline of large, lithe creatures scurrying beneath the overhanging rock, their skin shiny and firm. I gasped as one fell, caught just feet above the sand by an attached rope, a…

The Taj Mahal

Three “Must-sees” Worthy of the Hype

I have never laid eyes on the Mona Lisa, despite having visited Paris numerous times. My childhood home is 40 minutes from San Francisco, yet I have never stepped foot on the Golden Gate. In New York City, “Top…

The City of Cologne

Cologne: Where Cool Meets Authentic

One of my favorite cities of all time is also one of the easiest to overlook. Is it a must-see? Probably not. Is it beautiful? Not particularly. Is it packed with sites? Eh, maybe a few. It’s kind of…

Manali-highway-feature

The Manali–Leh High(way)

Google Manali–Leh Highway and the first couple of hits you’ll find include dangerousroads.org and thrillophilia.com, the sort of websites whose hyperboles I tend to take with a grain of salt. As I noted the rusted underbellies of the vehicles…

Horse-drawn carriages in Bagan, Myanmar

Myanmar: The Good, The Bad & The Paradoxical

“How was Myanmar?” Pause. Awkward pause. Four years on and I’m still not sure how to answer that question. The country? Beautiful. The locals? Welcoming. But the trip itself… Sometimes the stars align and you take a vacation where…

parisfeature4

The Beauty of Doing Nothing in Paris

Angela Carter once said that “Cities have sexes. London is a man, Paris is a woman, and New York is a well-adjusted transsexual.” There’s no doubt about it — Paris is svelte, sophisticated, captivating, provocative and drop-dead gorgeous…and she…

norwayfeature2

“The Light” and Other Reasons to Visit Norway

The summer light in Norway is like nothing I’ve ever seen. It’s different. It’s a half awake, dreamy kind of light — soft, with a lazy hue. Blue at midnight, yellow at midday, but always fuzzy and indecisive. It…

Dinant Belgian Beer Tasting weeekend

Belgian Beer Bliss in Wallonia

I’ve never heard of a sweepstakes offering plane tickets to Belgium as the grand prize. No one is anti-Belgian of course — what’s there to hate? But Spain, Greece, France, Austria, Italy and a number of other countries fall…