Confusing weather patterns were something I got used to while living in Boston, although the mercurial weather of New England could not prepare me for going to sleep in a Japanese spring and waking up in a New Zealand fall. It was odd, one day smelling flowers on the breeze, the next seeing trees with dead leaves dispiritedly waving, then falling in the wind. … More New Zealand: good on ya!
Every spring cherry blossoms erupt all over Japan, to the extreme delight of locals and tourists alike. The blooms last about 2-3 weeks, and the nightly news has bloom forecasts (which are uncannily accurate, like their weather reports – Japan, please share your secrets with the world). … More Japan: where to begin?
In Hong Kong, people were strutting around in designer labels and driving Ferraris, and everywhere I looked there was a Chanel store with people lined up outside. It was like The Capitol in the Hunger Games, and I greedily lapped up the luxury after six weeks of roughing it in India. … More Hong Kong & China: one hundred days in!
Sometimes, wonderful experiences have horrible beginnings.
Two weeks ago I was on a bus from Mysore, Karnataka to Ooty, Tamil Nadu in India when the ticket taker looked at my ticket, and started speaking rapidly in Kannada. ‘Madame, ನೀವು ತೆಹ್ ತಪ್ಪು ಬಸ್ನಲ್ಲಿ !’ … More India: started from the bottom, now we here
During the past few weeks people’s continued polite kindness has been the grease that keeps me going, as most of my days look like this:
4.¯\_(ツ)_/¯ … More India: spiffiness is next to godliness
So far I’ve seen carvings of gods so huge, I only came up to their shins. I’ve driven alongside badass women in headscarves zooming around on motorbikes. I stood next to the magnificent Taj Mahal (I stared for hours, only leaving because I got hungry — there’s no food allowed inside). I’ve ridden trains through lush landscapes, and spotted resplendent peacocks chillin’ in the wild. I watched a Bollywood film with people so attractive that I might never been able to watch an American rom-com again. … More India: you’re most welcome, madame!
The other day I was telling my mom about possible future destinations and she said, ‘It makes my heart skip a beat to hear you talking about visiting these places.’ That in turn made my heart skip a beat, because I heard the excitement in her voice and stopped to consider that traveling like this, unencumbered by responsibility and with the world at my fingertips, was a privilege that was never available to her. … More Thailand: ‘The Land of Smiles’
Happy New Year! Four weeks ago I had three separate, life-changing conversations that set in motion a series of irreversible events: I quit my job, found a replacement for my apartment, and decided to travel without a return date. … More Cambodia: Je suis arrivée!