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...]

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...]

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...]

Falling in Love with Fruit: A Thai Love Story

At home, I am generally not a fruit person. If you know me, you would know the following to be true: put a strawberry, watermelon, grape, cantaloupe, or banana  in front of me, and I’m likely to bat it away with my fork and refuse to eat it. For some reason, melons, strawberries, bananas, and I just don’t get along as much as I'd like. In … [Read more...]

Life Lessons at Wat Po Monastery

I did something forbidden today simply because I’m clumsy. Ask anyone who knows me (Ryan, my fiancé, could certainly attest to this): come near me and I’m bound to bump into you. It’s like I have some sort of people-radar (or wall-radar, or door-radar, or anything-else-radar). If I’m walking next to, toward, behind, or in front of something, I will … [Read more...]

The Seeing-Eye Girl Sees Bangkok for the First Time

I am doing something I know I should feel shameful about, but I'm not sure how to remedy it. This has been happening a lot, actually, since I started reading critically about the practice of travel writing. So what am I doing that seems so shameful? Well, I'm merely looking outside the window of my hotel at the beautiful, haunting Chao Phraya … [Read more...]

Champagne, A Massage Chair, and Fuzzy Slippers

I am actually kind of uncomfortable because I am entirely too comfortable. I am sitting in a big purple seat with plush pink pillows that reclines all the way down into a bed, and because I realized about twenty minutes ago that my seat has a massage option, I have been getting a nice, firm backrub for about nineteen minutes. I am sipping a glass … [Read more...]