Wonderful in the Middle of Everything If you had told me a year ago that I’d be eating breakfast every morning while watching herds of giant bison meander around my yard, I would’ve rolled my eyes and wondered what bison looked like. If, five years ago, you had told me that I’d be living somewhere … Continued

The Peaceful Thinking Cabin in the USA My beloved calls it “The thinking cabin,” or sometimes, the “writing shack.” I had meant to name it “Le Cabanon,” after my professor’s private space in the South of France. Behind his home in the hills, he directed me down a path through the lavender to a little … Continued

I was Gloomy in Amsterdam, The Netherlands The food on my plate tasted the way my soul felt: grey and flavorless. “I’m going. I have to go. I cannot not go”, I told my boyfriend while my tears dropped into my pasta. I hadn’t eaten properly in days. As always, sadness goes straight to my … Continued

The Amazing Wolf Howl in Yellowstone It had been more than 20 years since my husband and I had gone tent camping in the West. And while we hadn’t specifically planned to visit the world’s very first national park during this centennial-year celebration of the National Park Service, that delightful coincidence, and the fact that … Continued

Gaining a New Perspective on Freedom in Bolivia Despite the lung-emptying absence of air at 2,700m above sea level, a steep 20 minute climb and I was crowning the peak of the hill. From there, the views were panoramic: cloud-tipped mountains signalling the road to Sucre in the east and before me, the ring of … Continued

The Ecstatic Meaning of Malaysia Day It struck me while squatting in a dank outhouse in Borneo’s rainforest, clenching my iPhone flashlight between my teeth while desperately avoiding large spiders below, that my father had been right—I should have bought diarrhea pills. “You may not need them,” he’d written me days earlier, “but trust me, … Continued

The Wonder of an Optimistic Child in Peru The smarty-pants Spanish majors were getting on my nerves. I dawdled in the back of a ramshackle classroom in a girls’ orphanage in Cusco, Peru. After two weeks as a volunteer, I was a complete flop. I had signed up to be an assistant to an English … Continued

Cycling on the D-day beaches of France We were cycling in France and became obsessed with trivialities – the next puncture, whether the waiter had given us enough jam to go with our croissant or whether we’d get sand in our chains if we cycled over the beach. These were the important things, we thought. … Continued

The Sounds of Inspiring Silence in Slovakia Do you ever wonder which one of your senses you would miss most and would destroy the independent pleasure of travel – take away that freedom? Well I guess most people would say sight, but I disagree. Freedom lies within the sounds which have made my travels in … Continued

Freedom in an Italian Blood Orange I balanced a blood orange in the crook of my arm as I fumbled noisily with the lock. So much for trying not to wake my friend, Emma. I slipped out the door, and made my way to…well, I wasn’t really sure where I was headed. Except that I … Continued