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Category: travelstory

PERSPECTIVE IS EVERYTHING

PERSPECTIVE IS EVERYTHING

Three years ago, I went to Norway.  The best way to see this beautiful country is as the locals do – pick up a car and drive. So we did just that. From Oslo we mapped our way to the North, pit stopping at camping grounds by the many Fjords to rest for the night with unbeatable views. With a bucket list in hand, we drove following the National Tourist Route gawking at the scenery. As we crossed off experiences,…

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THE TALE OF CAMBODIA

THE TALE OF CAMBODIA

Few months ago I met an old friend who wanted to take his 13-year-old on a journey to explore the world. And he was looking for travel ideas. The choices laid down were Milan or Paris to shop and take in a fashion show or two. I asked him to reject both and take her to Cambodia instead. Most people leave Cambodia with beautiful memories of the glorious Angkor. But there is another side to this country. A side with…

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WHEN I WAS “CHOSEN” FOR A RANDOM SECURITY CHECK

WHEN I WAS “CHOSEN” FOR A RANDOM SECURITY CHECK

Three years ago, I very eagerly planned a visit to Norway, Svalbard, and Finland. After waiting 28 days (the longest ever) for my visa and going through a series of mixed emotions from hope to denial to planning a just-in-case-it-all-goes-south trip to Eastern Europe, I finally got the call. My visa was here! Thinking the worst was over, I took off on my trails excited to explore Scandinavia. Svalbard is a no-visa archipelago between Norway and the North Pole accessible…

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LESSONS IN HAPPINESS FROM A CAMBODIAN GUIDE

LESSONS IN HAPPINESS FROM A CAMBODIAN GUIDE

I was introduced to Mr. D in Cambodia as my tour guide by Borei Angkor (fantastic place to stay btw). For the next three days, Mr. D and I were to tour Siem Reap and temples at the Angkor. What I found was a man in his early thirties, all smiles, jazz hands extended up in the air trying his best to pronounce my name. When we met, he said, “I’m Solomon Di. You can call me Mr. D.” With…

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CHINA, CHOPSTICKS AND ME

CHINA, CHOPSTICKS AND ME

As a vegetarian traveling to China, I was prepared for a potential food horror. On my first evening in Shanghai, I was torn between walking into Starbucks for a sandwich or into a small eatery with a smiling man waving people inside. Out of curiosity, I walked into the eatery. After explaining the concept of vegetarian in broken Mandarin to the not-so-smiling man, he pointed to two dishes from a series of pictures on the wall, and said, ‘you eat…

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Terrorism, tourism and life of a Moroccan camel caretaker

Terrorism, tourism and life of a Moroccan camel caretaker

Ahmed is a camel caretaker and tour operator in the Sahara Desert, Morocco. He is 16 years old and loves music. Specifically, rock. He has two camels – Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley. He takes pride in knowing that he looks like a mini Jimi Hendrix. The bond he shares with Jimi and Bob is unique. He loves them, almost as much as they love him. Jimi is 10, and Bob is 12. He wants to cherish his time with…

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MY PSUEDO MOM IS A RUSSIAN

MY PSUEDO MOM IS A RUSSIAN

Every country has its own take on wellness — this is a personal travel discovery. And as a spa bum, it’s imperative that I visit the local spot. From Turkish hammams, Finnish sauna, Khmer massage, Chinese reflexology, every experience is unique (some painful) and a story for later. Russia has a bathing ritual which by far is the craziest I have come across. The “banya” is a detox bath with a series of steps alternating between hot and cold to help…

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THE DAY I WAS CHASED DOWN THE STREETS OF HELSINKI BY DARTH VADER

THE DAY I WAS CHASED DOWN THE STREETS OF HELSINKI BY DARTH VADER

I love the street art culture. In my travels, I prefer to spend most of my time listening to street musicians, watching mime artists do their thing, and if they will let me, jam with some. One day last summer, after a quick breakfast of soupy noodles accompanied by some awesome live saxophone tunes, I walked around the streets of Helsinki taking in the sights and sounds. That’s when I spotted Darth. As a tourist or any regular person on…

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HERE’S WHY YOU NEVER MESS WITH THE CHINESE

HERE’S WHY YOU NEVER MESS WITH THE CHINESE

In China when you go to any park, you’ll come across a bunch of people practicing Tai chi. Age / gender no bar, It’s a treat to watch them execute these fluid movements in perfect harmony, and totally badass!! I wanted to capture this beautiful art and chose this gentleman as my muse. To mess around with him, I held my camera as he struck a pose and continued to hold it for 5 whole minutes waiting for him to…

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How this Canadian traveler lives her unscripted life

How this Canadian traveler lives her unscripted life

They say travel gives you exposure. To me, the people I meet in my trails give me perspective more than anything. Three years ago, I met a lovely Canadian woman on an overnight bus to Cappadocia from Pammukale in Turkey. Let’s call her Ms. S. Once we settled in for a long journey, S and I started chatting. She was a dentist by profession, practiced for a while and realized something was missing in life. So she took a year…

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