Category Archive: Destinations

May 10

Falling in Love Under the Lanterns of Hoi An

Colorful lanterns swayed in the warm evening breeze above and around us, lending a warm and inviting glow to the crowded streets below. “All these lanterns make me want to fall in love,” my friend, Anne, quipped. We laughed and joked at how ridiculous that sounded, but she had a point. Every evening under the …

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May 02

Monthly Recap: April 2015

April has been a month of stuffing my face and adventuring through the country of Vietnam. I worked my way north to south, from trekking in the highlands to lounging on the beaches and everything in between. My body has inflated like a balloon and I’m like a walking cup of jiggly jello, but every …

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Apr 21

A Vietnam Food Tour: Photos To Make You Drool

I’ll be honest: My expectations for the food in Vietnam weren’t high. Although everyone had raved about it as an incredible place for foodies, my experience with the food had been limited to pho, the simple noodle soup dish that, while delicious, did not inspire in me a hope of brilliantly varied and spiced dishes. …

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Apr 15

The Best Way to Go Trekking in Sapa

I hunched over for Mae to put the final touch, a heavy silver chain necklace, over my head. She brought her arms back down to her tiny four-foot frame and smiled up at me with a pleased glimmer in her eyes. I was now decked out in her clothes, the traditional garb of the Black …

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Apr 11

What It’s Like to Arrive in Vietnam

  The first thing I noticed about Vietnam was the smell. I hadn’t even stepped outside yet, but as I drug my suitcase out of customs the unmistakable scent of pho wafted across my nostrils. At least I thought it was pho. But then it dawned on me that it was merely the same smell …

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Apr 02

Island Hopping in El Nido, Palawan

Crammed for 6 hours into a 10 person van with 14 other people and their luggage as we bumped over unpaved roads and careened around mountainous corners, I wondered bitterly why I had wanted to go to El Nido, anyway. These had better be the best damned beaches I’ve ever seen.   Luckily, they were. …

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Mar 25

Palawan’s Underground River (Tourist Trap)

In planning for Palawan, an island on the west side of the Philippines, everything kept pointing to the famed “Underground River”. It’s the 7th wonder of the natural world! It’s the most amazing thing you will ever see! It’s cooler than ice cream and better than sliced bread! So, persuaded by the exuberant advertising, we …

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Mar 13

Professional Beach Bumming: The First Week of my RTW Trip

  Floating in water clear as glass, palm bordered white sand stretching into the distance on either side of me, I lay back and eye the clouds billowing across the azure skies. I have to remind myself that this is my life now. It’s not a vacation, it’s not just a temporary respite from the …

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Jan 18

The Day I Became a Surfer

I clutched the back handle of the scooter and ducked my head behind the Swedish boy’s back to protect my face from the pelting rain. We whizzed through the jungle, carefully weaving around the landslides and dodging the lazy dogs in the road. Wearing only a bikini and t-shirt, I let the wind whip through …

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Jan 15

Siargao: The Philippines’ Secret Island Paradise

Tucked away amongst the thousands of islands in the Philippines is a place where travel lore comes to life. It’s the kind of place that jaded backpackers dream of: off the beaten path, untouched by tourist development, with clean and pristine waters, where the visitors and locals still mix. It’s a place I’m afraid to …

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Dec 14

Kitties, Kindness, and (Disgusting) Cream Puffs in Kuching

Trekking through the jungles of Bako National Park, Borneo in a constant downpour of tropical rain left me feeling (and looking) like a nearly drowned cat. Although I had loved my two days exploring the rainforest in search of monkeys, I was more than ready to relax and dry out in the nearby town of …

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Nov 21

What a Phone Booth in Panama is Reminding Us

  A few years ago I wandered through the cobblestone streets of the historic Casco Viejo neighborhood in Panama City, Panama. In the midst of gentrification, the area was an eerie juxtaposition of old and new. You could pass by a hipster cafe with a facade painted in vibrant shades of pinks and blues, and …

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