This tag is associated with 60 posts

Cartagena, the jewel of the Caribbean…

After Villa de Leyva, we all flew to Cartagena, whose old town is a Unesco World Heritage site for its well-preserved Murallas, or stone walls that were originally built in the 16th century to protect the city against marauders. Within the walls is a charming mix of narrow roads, vibrantly painted stone buildings in shades … Continue reading

War and peace

In the 90s, when I was much younger and dreaming of all the places that I would travel to one day, I remember someone asking me if there was a place I wouldn’t go. I didn’t hesitate in my reply: Colombia. Back then, it was considered one of the most violent countries in the world with … Continue reading

Of dust, deities, and trekking…

I’ve returned to Kathmandu and things seem back to normal here (to the untrained eye, anyway)—it’s just as loud and chaotic as when I first got here. It’s also very dusty. Face masks are popular in many Asian countries, but in places like Taiwan they’re mostly used for the purpose of protecting others when one … Continue reading

Limestone, water, and time…

Yesterday we took a refreshing day trip to Yeliu, a fishing town in the north that was a refreshing reprieve from the bustling city of Taipei. Aside from fishing, Yeliu is most known for Yeliu Geological Park—a site with interesting limestone rock formations that were created by the eroding powers of water and time. I … Continue reading

Of haunted hotels and serious sightseeing…

I confess that aside from the thrill I felt after booking my plane tickets, my first jolt of excitement came when I heard we’d be staying at the Grand Hyatt in Taipei on the first part of this trip. The Grand Hyatt is one of the top-10 most haunted hotels in the world. Imagine: a … Continue reading

A Thanksgiving in paradise

We are now in Benoa, a little place in the south of Bali. On our first day we had our first true taste of the rainy season when a thunderstorm thwarted our morning beach plans. Thankfully, it ended in time for us to get in a few hours of kayaking at a nearby beach. Yesterday … Continue reading

A day in the life of a tourist

Author’s note: Now that I actually have a traveling partner, I have someone present who occasionally reminds me of the things I don’t write about in my blog. Such as mundane day-to-day details that I normally reserve for when I’m volunteering and only for the purpose of describing what it’s like to volunteer in a … Continue reading

San Jose, the ultimate urban art gallery

As my guidebook says, “San Jose isn’t a pretty city.” Unlike other Latin American capitals I’ve visited, the architecture is relatively new and unremarkable. But there are a few things that stand out to me about San Jose. First, there are several lush and lovely inner-city parks that are delightful to stroll through in the … Continue reading

Bidding Ecuador hasta luego

  The time has finally come—our last full day in Ecuador. The day after our excursion to Isla de la Plata, we flew back to Quito so we could catch a plane the following day for home. Flying from Manta to Quito is a difference of over 9000 feet, which takes a bit of acclimatizing. … Continue reading

Whales, boobies, and sea turtles (oh my!)

After enjoying a week playing on the beach and in the surf, we opted to spend our last day on Ecuador’s coast in Puerto Lopez, a sleepy fishing town about two hours south of Manta. It wasn’t really the town we were interested in, but a trip to Isla de la Plata (“Silver Island”). Isla … Continue reading

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