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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

Kristin, Meet Your New Passport. Passport, Meet Kristin.

The picture you see here is  *almost* the reason that I couldn't accept this incredibly awesome gig in Thailand this week. My passport, you ask? Yes, my passport. And no, I hadn't let it expire, I hadn't lost it in the move, and I hadn't accidentally taken Ryan's to the airport instead. Instead, I'd been invited to come and see a country that … [Read more...]