Blown away by Iceland!

Visiting Iceland was never really on my list of must-do trips. A friend of mine in Hong Kong had gone a couple of years ago, and while her pictures were nice, they didn't get me too excited. (Although I am a fan of Bjork and Sigur Ros....) But while I was visiting Berlin, I reconnected [...]

Peace Corps Malawi: PST part 2

One of the most anticipated events for any Peace Corps Trainee is SITE ANNOUNCEMENTS! This is the day that we learn where we'll be living for the upcoming two years. How far am I from a major city/the capital? Will I have electricity? Running water or borehole? Where am I in relation to my PC [...]

OMG! Oman!

I love the Middle East. Like, a lot. Sometime in 2017, somehow, Muscat, Oman, fell across my radar as a place to visit. A bit off the beaten trail, perhaps -- but as I talked with people about it, especially while in Lebanon, Oman began creeping up to the top of my bucket list. Thus, [...]

Lebanon pt 2: The Rest

I made a number of friends during my month in Beirut. One sunny afternoon, one friend Ziad and I took a drive to the ancient city of Byblos, north of Beirut. Part of what makes Lebanon so interesting is its placement as a seat for some of the most important empires in history. Byblos is [...]

Lebanon pt 1: Beiruuuut

I flew into Lebanon WANTING to love the country. I don't know why, exactly; I had been to neighboring Israel (/Occupied Palestine) and enjoyed it, and I spent several years in the Middle East as an adolescent, so I was familiar with the region already. But something about Beirut specifically got me very excited, and [...]

In Search of Greek Gods

Like many Americans (and probably Westerners in general), I grew up reading stories about Greek mythology: the (lecherous) adventures of Zeus and his jealous wife Hera, athletic Athena being distracted by the golden apples, the grieving Orpheus who tried to save his love Eurydice from Hades, the minotaur and cyclops... The world of the Olympic [...]

Christmas is (was) in the Air

Every November and December, Christmas markets pop up all across western, central, and eastern Europe. They're some of the main tourist attractions during the Christmas season, with each city offering variations on local specialities, seasonal dishes, ornaments, and handicrafts. So of course, as I was backpacking around the region, I managed to catch quite a [...]