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...]

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...]

Liebster Award – 11 Questions About Me

Thanks to travel bloggers Jeff and Erin at AWeekOrAWeekend, I've been nominated for a Liebster Award. This doesn't really mean I've won anything, technically--it's more of  a fun way for bloggers to spread the word about other blogs they like (kind of like a word-of-mouth blog-tagging game). I'm not sure exactly what the criteria are (Number of … [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...]

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...]

A Photo Essay of Thai Street Markets

When you're visiting a Thai street market (especially the Damnoen Saduak floating market, which you'll find about 100 miles south of Bangkok), leave your notebook at home. It's a camera and a nose you'll want to bring with you on this trip. Enjoy this photo essay of some of my favorite shots from our trip to Damnoen Saduak, which is, of course, … [Read more...]

Xiao Liuqiu and a Seafood Medley

If you ever find yourself traveling in rural Taiwan, you might want to bring someone who can tell you what you're eating. Let me clarify: if you ever find yourself on the lovely little tropical island of Xiao Liuqiu (off the coast of Donngang), and you'd like to know what you're eating, you'll NEED to bring someone who can tell you what you're … [Read more...]

Learning Mandarin…And A Slip of the Tongue

I have just discovered, after a full day of being so proud of myself for jumping in and attempting to speak Chinese from the very first moment I arrived in Taiwan, that I have actually been telling everyone I meet, everywhere, that I have to urinate. You can imagine my mortification, especially since I didn't realize this until I'd already … [Read more...]

28 Hours Later….and Dumplings!

My watch is telling me it's 8:15 a.m. My cell phone, however, which just performed its automatic update, is telling me it's 11:14 p.m. This means, if I'm calculating correctly, that except for an accidental twenty minute nap while watching a hopefully pointless romantic comedy on the airplane, I have now been awake for 28 hours. I can't remember … [Read more...]