Fire and Ice

Iceland; the┬áland of Fire and Ice. Although I had travelled to Iceland two years earlier, when the prospect came up as a way for me and my college bffs to begin celebrating our respective 40th birthdays (by taking a trip for each), I was more than willing to go back. I had warned my friends…

Bye Bye Sins…Hello Pandas

The holiest mountain in Asia, Mount Kailash holds spiritual significance for over a billion Hindus, Buddhists, and followers of the ancient religion of B’on. Believed to be the source of the Karnali (feeds into the Ganges), Indus, Sutlej, and Brahmaputra rivers, Mt Kailash is considered the source of human civilization and the home of Gods….

High Altitude, High Expectations- Tibet Part 2

The prospect of washing away the sins of a lifetime immediately drew my attention. Although I’m not a Buddhist or a Hindu, when I read about Mt. Kailash, I instinctually knew I wanted to go there. Deemed as the holiest mountain in Asia, Mt. Kailash draws thousands of pilgrims from all over who make the…

In the Land of Snows, Part I- Lhasa

The smell of yak butter and incense combined with juniper sifts through the streets of the old city of Lhasa, with brightly colored prayer flags blowing in the wind. This is how I envisioned Tibet long before I traveled here, and although yak butter, juniper, and prayer flags are an integral part of the sensory…

Leaving Nepal

We traveled back to Kathmandu yesterday and visited Bhaktapur; a medieval city that dates back to the 7th century. Afte the earthquake, much of the city was damaged, but the old squares are still very much filled with local life. We paid a local “student” to give us a tour, then enjoyed some amazing people…

Of Mountains and Magic

The last few days were spent exploring the lakeside city of Pokhora; adventure capital of Nepal and startingpoint for many treks into the Himalayas. We departed Kathmandu on Saturday, taking what wound up being an almost 8 hour bus ride across the country. Even though, when looking on a map, Pokhora is only a short…

The Best Part of the Day

As far as I’m concerned, everyday spent traveling is an extraordinary day. Of course, some days are better than others. And every once in a while, you have a day where everything falls into place and its pure magic. Friday was one of those days. After a rooftop breakfast at the Avalon House, we ventured…

Embracing the Present in Kathmandu

“Without first encountering the depths of hell, the gates of heaven will never be open”- Ian Baker Into the Heart of the World Although calling my hitherto summer “hell” may be a bit hyperbolic, I certainly was ready for a change of scenery and a shift in perspective. Without getting into too much detail, I…

Semana Santa in Antigua

Outside of Spain, Antigua is said to have the largest Semana Santa celebration in the world, and certainly in the Americas. Being in Sevilla a few years back for Holy Week, I was a bit nervous that restaurants would be impossible to get into, the roads would be blocked by processional traffic, and the hordes…

Mayans, Hippies, and a Smoking God

If Cinque Terre (Italy) and Lake Inle (Myanmar) were to somehow have a lovechild, it would be Lake Atitlan. The lake sits in the crater of a massive volcano and the surrounding areas that dot around it are made of tiny Mayan villages, alonside larger towns where Mayans and 21st century bohemians seemingly coexist. A…