Oh, Switzerland: A Night with Cheese Fondue

The first question that goes around the table as the seven of us sit down to eat is whether or not I am lactose-intolerant. This is a question that the Swiss always ask their foreign friends when they come to try fondue, they tell me, because we’re about to collectively consume and then digest two very large ceramic bowls of thick, creamy cheese … [Read more...]

Bronze Award: NATJA Travel Media Competition!

PASADENA, CA-- The North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA) recently announced that I won Bronze place in the 2013 Annual NATJA Awards Competition in the Personality Profiles category! (My submission, Becoming Mahout, was originally published in Perceptive Travel, and came out of my experience working with mahouts at the Maetaeng … [Read more...]

Photo Wednesday: Langkawi, Malaysia

For those of us who are getting married in, oh, 10 days, here are some nice, tranquil photos to get us through the rest of the week. I'm thinking a set of nice, summery, island pictures of boats lapping against the shore, of children playing in the water, of sandy stretches of beach....of everything and anything that doesn't have to do with … [Read more...]

Photo Wednesday: Singapore City

This week, I decided to try my best at improving my night photography. But why pictures of Singapore? Well, having arrived at 9 p.m. with less than 24 hours to explore the city, I didn't really have time to do anything other than wander around the streets at night. We flew Singapore Airlines (which, yes, was every bit luxurious as I'd heard), … [Read more...]

Photo Essay: Colours of 1 Malaysia Festival

The Colours of 1 Malaysia festival, which was held on May 25th, 2013 at Dataran Mederka, Kuala Lumpur, is hard to describe in words. Founded in 1999 to reflect and celebrate the cultural, racial, sexual, and economic diversity of Malaysia, the event has become an enormous parade, complete with thousands of dancers, costumes, floats, props, and … [Read more...]

24 Hours In: Reflections on Kuala Lumpur

Some cities are hard to get to know--people are unpredictable, the weather can make a huge difference, and depending on where you go, you might get a cranky waiter, a tired taxi driver, a leering comment by an insensitive man on the street, or (insert annoying or frustrating travel experience here). Conversely, at first glance, some cities are … [Read more...]

Travel & Writing Post-Comprehensive Exams

As I sit here thinking about how to start this post, my first reaction is, well, to stare at the keys and wonder where the past two months went. I feel so out of practice that I'm not even sure where to begin. So where did these past two months go? In a word: comprehensive exams. (Ok, two words, but who's counting?) For those of you who know … [Read more...]

What I’m Reading: The World’s Cheapest Destinations

As someone who is just starting to research honeymoon options for her upcoming wedding, my friend and mentor Tim Leffel's new book couldn't have come out at a better time. (Seriously--two artist-teachers trying to get married while still inviting the family is expensive enough--add on a honeymoon and, well, let's just say we're not exactly hoping … [Read more...]

Solas Silver Award – Legend of the Betelnut Princess

Last week, Travelers' Tales press announced the winners of the 2013 SOLAS Best Travel Writing awards, and to my delight, one of my essays took home the silver in the Travel and Food category. Of course, I'm most humbled to be included among a number of other excellent travel writers, some of whom  I've had the immense pleasure of interviewing on … [Read more...]

Bringing the Sampran Riverside Cooking Class Home

Every time I travel somewhere, I make a promise to myself that I nearly always break: that I am going to attempt and prepare the delicious cuisine from the country I traveled to for my friends and family so that they, too, can share in all the delicious tastes of our world. After all, I've always believed that there is nothing more intimate and … [Read more...]

The World’s Top 5 Most Unromantic Places

In the mood for something a little different from the usual holiday fare of "most romantic places in the world" this Valentine's Day? To honor the places I've been that I find weird and, at first glance, oddly unsettling, here is an honorary round-up of my top five picks for most unromantic places I can remember visiting. Of course, any place can … [Read more...]

This Benjarong Ceramic Came a Long Way

I never thought I'd see this piece of pottery again. This is a terrible admittance, as I spent all day learning how to paint this exquisite piece of ceramic and thought for days about how much I'd enjoy making oolong tea and sipping it in the mornings after returning home from Thailand. But I honestly didn't think I'd ever see it again after … [Read more...]