Travels

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” -Saint Augustine

Southern Spain ~ Andalucía

The unrelenting Spanish sun beat down on me as I wiped the sweat from my forehead for the umpteenth time, wondering what in the world 44*C was in Fahrenheit. [It turned out to be 110*F.] So this is why they have the siesta, I thought. My brother and I were the only ones walking around … Continue reading Southern Spain ~ Andalucía

Black Sands

THE SADNESS rolls over me in waves, intermittent pulses gradually washing away the shoreline. I reach down for a handful of the volcanic black sand, and marvel at its odd grainy texture. Farther on, the sand turns pebbly—small, smooth stones pepper the ground mosaic. It is difficult to grasp how this ash was once part of a … Continue reading Black Sands

Winter in Brussels

The flakes fell fast and heavy, quickly transforming the city skyline into an incomprehensible, wintry blur. She stood still inside the moving tram, watching silently; there were no words in her mind; she was absorbing the scene into her being. Icelanders called this, “window-weather” (gluggaveður)—beautiful from a distance, provided the distance was indoors, adjacent to a … Continue reading Winter in Brussels

France/Spain

The Camino de Santiago is a 500-mile hike across northern Spain. It takes about 30 days to complete on foot. You carry everything you need in a backpack, and follow the arrows and shells so you don’t get lost. Scroll down for photos of my adventures. For more details about the pilgrimage, see HERE. PART 1: The first summer, … Continue reading France/Spain

NYC

Highlights: Ice-skating at Rockefeller Center, Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square, Central Park, chancing upon Mandarin speakers!, eating the best Avocado Benedict I’ve ever had (at Little Collins), five-hour NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the Waldorf-Astoria, and the Empire State Building.

Belgium

Highlights: Ghent, dragons, Christmas Markets, roasted chestnuts, went via Metro to the Atomium–an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times–during a snowstorm with huge flakes, saw beautiful light and sound show in the Grand-Place de Bruxelles, heard Mongolian street band, ate a lot of gaufres, found the Musical Instrument Museum, signs all in Dutch but many … Continue reading Belgium

Iceland

Highlights: Blue Lagoon, Hallgrímskirkja, Jökulsárlón, Þingvellir National Park, Icelandic Symphony Orchestra at Harpa, Reykjavík Food Walk, Polyglot Conference (playlist), free walking tour, Northern Lights, Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, glacier hiking, geysers, waterfalls, troll and elf legends, volcanoes, lava fields, whale-watching, snowstorms, one-way tunnels, exploring around Reykjavík, fermented shark, Skyr, Pylsa með öllu (hotdog with everything), … Continue reading Iceland

Ireland

Highlights: Saw Northern Lights from plane at eye level-wow!, Dublin Castle, absolutely loved the Chester Beatty Library, saw Trinity College, Book of Kells and Long Room, attended a beautiful Irish River Dance show, National Leprechaun Museum (myths), delicious breakfast at Avoca Café, visited St. Patrick’s Cathedral, took a day trip to visit Malahide Castle and Howth, … Continue reading Ireland

Costa Rica

Highlights: Surfing, hot sand, snorkeling, ATV’s, Volcán Arenal, Hot Springs, yoga classes, Tortuga Island, Banana Boat, Montezuma, more surfing, more yoga, lots of Spanish. *NOTE: Not as many photos here because I managed to break my camera on this trip…

Argentina

Highlights: Flying over the Andes Mountains, riding under Iguazu Falls in a speedboat, observing the ever-present coatis, Teatro Colon, Café Tortoni, dulce de leche and smelling freshly baked bread in my apartment building every morning (was above a bakery), crossing a 16-lane highway on foot, traveling to Córdoba, getting chills at La Recoleta, ferias every weekend, seeing Reik in … Continue reading Argentina

China

Highlights: Famen Temple, Xi’an City Wall, Terracotta Warriors, Tang Dynasty Huaqing Hot Springs, Daming Palace, Musical Fountain Water Show, Xi’an Jiao Tong University, boating, hot air balloon, badminton, amazing food, amazing people, amazing language, amazing country! 我非常喜欢中国! Resources: Learn Chinese With Emma, MDBG Dictionary, Pocoyo in Mandarin, Danny and the Dinosaur (Mandarin), Songs in Mandarin … Continue reading China

Bahamas

Highlights: Ballroom dancing on a cruise ship, conch shells, dancing, food, dancing, tattoos of Chinese characters that are of the sticker-variety, and more dancing.

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