I have a piece of Pele in my house. It’s a large lava rock that was too tenacious to be removed when they were building the house. So the house was built around it, and they left the rock in the corner as an accent piece.

To me, it’s become so normal to have this rock inside the house. But inevitably when someone comes over, they exclaim, “There’s a lava rock in here!” And then I ruminate again about the impermanent and willful volcanic nature of the Big Island and how in so many ways, you can never separate the outdoors from the indoors here. At home, most people would rather be on their lānais than inside, and at any given moment, there is probably a gecko in your house.


The calm at this beach belies a fiery past, one where lava grew an underwater volcano until its peak pierced through the top of the sea. And after the peak emerged, the lava and the ocean worked together to create this beach and continue to commingle in beauty as rocks and waves.

After a long day of weekend work in February, I came to this beach to finish a good adventure book, sit in silence, watch the sunset, and be nowhere but here. If you were to look at the pictures in my phone since I moved to the Big Island, you might come to the conclusion that I spend a significant amount of my free time observing the sun as it sets over the Pacific. There’s no such thing as watching too many sunsets.

I read the last few pages of my book and sighed with the satisfaction and wistfulness of completing a good story for the second time. And then I stood, taking in this moment quietly, with reverence for the way land builds itself; for the way the haze accents the big orange ball of a sun; for the way the wind, currents, sun, moon, and earth make the lucid ephemeral curvature of the waves; for the way the world keeps on spinning to create moments like this.

Lava rocks and ocean at a beach in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Tree at a beach in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Wild at a beach in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Sunset at a beach in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

View of Mt. Hualalai from a beach in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii


On Teaching, Doing, and a New Published Article

March 7, 2015 Hawaii
Hawaii - Mini apiary demonstation at Big Island Bees

Lately, I’ve drifted from my writing. I have so many stories stored in my mind, ready to escape through the tips of my fingers to be written and rewritten and published on this blog. I have photos to pore through and reminisce over the moments they’ve captured as I organize them into photo essays. But […]

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Eating in Ghana: Reinventing Airplane Food

January 8, 2015 eats and drinks
La Tante DC 10 Restaurant in Accra, Ghana

On my adventures, I’ve eaten countless meals on planes. Typically, they’re TV dinner-like mains with a motley and often incomprehensible assortment of sides. But eating on a plane doesn’t always have to be like this. In December 2013, I had my first meal at a restaurant inside a plane. In Accra, Ghana, along the way […]

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Photo Essay: Snapshots from Los Angeles

December 13, 2014 California
Aerial View of Los Angeles, California

On my way back to San Francisco after Colombia, I spent a few days in Los Angeles. On my short trip there, I experienced a wide range of the city — from fancy restaurants to late night taco trucks, from the crowded freeways to the metro system (yup, you read that correctly), from gritty streets […]

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When You Go Back to Bogota

October 12, 2014 Colombia
Leaving the Tatacoa Desert, Colombia

This is what it looks like to leave the Tatacoa Desert. Take it all in, because today you’re going back to Bogota. Back to the city, out of nothingness, back to the urban sprawl. Then back to California. But wait, before you go home, there’s gotta be one more crazy Colombian overland trip. First, there’s […]

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Photo Essay: A Cathedral Carved Out of Salt in Colombia

September 28, 2014 captured on memory card

About an hour away from the bustle of Bogota is the placid little city of Zipaquirá. At first glance, it looks like an unassuming place. That is, until you go underground. Inside the town’s old mine lies a cathedral carved out of salt, all psychedelic and glowing with perpetually changing jewel toned lights. Here are […]

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Songs for the Road No. 23: When the Sun and the Music Disappear into the Colors of the Dusk

September 15, 2014 Hawaii
Big Island, Hawaii Wallking Trail

Every evening is perfect at the walking trail. There are flowers everywhere and the sea breeze keeps you cool as you work up a sweat. When the sun blends with the clouds that often hover near the horizon, everything glows luminescent saffron. One day, I finish my walk and cross the street to go to […]

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Photo Essay: A Sunday Stroll in Bogota, Colombia

August 24, 2014 captured on memory card

In Bogota, Sunday is the most festive day of the week. The day begins with Ciclovia, a weekly event where large portions of city are closed off the car traffic and people are free to bike, rollerblade, walk, or run in the streets. In plazas, you’ll find free aerobics and dance classes that are available […]

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