why i travel

Fog and Light

California

“Time to fly!” the surprisingly friendly shuttle driver says as he grabs my backpack and places it in the trunk. His cheerfulness overrides the fact that he’s early and that I have to scramble to get out of the house. I close the door temporarily on my regular life and exhale the tension of trip […]

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When in Vietnam…

Cambodia

“What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? It’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.” – Jack Kerouac There are some countries you leave with indifference. In […]

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Photo Essay: Sunrise to Sunset at the Temples of Angkor

Cambodia

As the sun rose, I noticed that the pictures hadn’t really told the story. They didn’t explain how watching the sunrise at Angkor Wat meant arriving in the dark, completely unaware of the temples nearby, hidden in the darkness. They didn’t tell of someone selling sunrise viewings from an air balloon and how tempting it […]

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The Raw, Consuming Beauty of Namibia

d.i.y. travel
Desert scenery in Namibia

Namibia is not a place to take a vacation. It’s a place to delve into beauty, undoubtedly—an alien beauty arising from dust and sand. It’s a place to have the boundaries of your mind expanded by nature’s lack of boundaries; by the great absence of anything or by the presence of something in the most […]

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Photo Essay: Mountains of Sand and Otherworldly Landscapes in Sossusvlei, Namibia

captured on memory card
The Deadvlei, Namibia

In a country overflowing with surreal scenery that pushes the boundaries of what you think the earth can look like, Sossusvlei is perhaps the most peculiar. There, sand is piled at its greatest heights and trees that have been dead for centuries still stand in a dried up marsh. A surprising amount of animals survive […]

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To Know Emptiness: Stories of Driving Around Namibia

d.i.y. travel
Crossing the Tropic of Capricorn in Namibia

One time while I was traveling, I felt like I was exploring a potential future. It wasn’t in some angular futuristic metropolis of Eastern Asia — it was in Varanasi, India, one of the world’s oldest cities. I remember the crowdedness, sitting in cars while drivers tried to move through masses of humanity, the buildings […]

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An Ode to Exploring Markets in Other Places

eats and drinks
A market vendor poses with one of his peppers at the Tlacolula market in Oaxaca state, Mexico

You step inside the market, the condensed and uncensored microcosm of the town, city, or neighborhood you’re visiting. Your awareness of your foreigner status is heightened. Vendors call out to potential customers and each other. There’s a stand selling undergarments next to a fruit stand next to a handicraft stand. Families squeeze past you as […]

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On Rhinos and Lions and Other Elusive Creatures

Namibia
Springboks and Lions in Etosha National Park, Namibia

There were times in Etosha National Park when it felt like we were driving through an episode of BBC’s Planet Earth. At other times, it was like, “Hello! Are there any animals out there?” It quickly became clear that we were not in a zoo, nor in a nature documentary. Humans are used to manipulating […]

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