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The Leaving Journal

Trip: Switzerland+

There are [16] stories from my trip: Switzerland+


Bali Silent Retreat

INDONESIA | Wednesday, 10 Feb 2016 | Views [882]

Retreat.  It’s a word that makes me think of summer camps: a big lake, a canoe, tug-of-war and capture the flag. Or company team building: ice breaker games and trust falls. But it also has another meaning, a verb: to back away from something.... Read more >

Tags: bali, indonesia, meditation, relaxation, retreat, silence, yoga


The Perils of a Temporary Passport

INDONESIA | Tuesday, 2 Feb 2016 | Views [259]

As I approached the passport check, I realized I was scowling. I’d been up since 3am with only two cups of coffee and I felt grouchy. Simultaneously, I realized grimacing wasn’t going to get me anywhere. I’ve been operating with a temporary ... Read more >

Tags: awkward encounters, discomfort, emergency passport, mishaps, passport check


The Famous Full Moon Party? Depressing

THAILAND | Friday, 29 Jan 2016 | Views [400]

The full moon party on the beaches of Haad Rin in Koh Phangan was a blatant, disturbing display of hedonism and blithe disregard for the planet.  I’m sad to have been a part of it but feel it worth recounting, if for no other reason than ... Read more >

Tags: beaches, ecology, environment, festivals, full moon, full moon party, music festivals, oceans, parties, trash


Night Market in Pai, Thailand

THAILAND | Sunday, 24 Jan 2016 | Views [470]

Markets remain one of my favorite ways to experience a place. From the chaotic  Jemaa el Fna  in Marrakech, to the hip Saturday market in Portland, Oregon, to the genteel  weekend markets  of Europe, the community that gathers around ... Read more >

Tags: cuisine, food, markets, night market, noodles, pai, rivers, thailand


Bangalore: Vidyarthi Bhavan

INDIA | Tuesday, 12 Jan 2016 | Views [262]

 The clock struck 2:25 and the crowd swelled behind us, fifteen more people pouring into the waiting area from the sidewalk and joining our relaxed group of twenty. They brought an energy with them, an urgency, and many of the previously calm families ... Read more >

Tags: bangalore, cuisine, dosa, food, india, restaurants


Varanasi

INDIA | Saturday, 26 Dec 2015 | Views [284]

   Our boat was surrounded by others just like it: rickety, in a word, with peeling paint and shoddily assembled wooden planks. I could feel my whiteness in the empty space between us and our boatman, where the other boats were packed to the ... Read more >

Tags: culture, delhi belly, developing world, india, puja, river ganges, varanasi


Delhi

INDIA | Monday, 21 Dec 2015 | Views [311]

The chaos of the developing world, all of its stark contrast, reigns here. A child's grimy hand tugs my skirt. I hear the tap-tap-tap of a woman's fingernail on the taxi window, and turn to see her kissing gathered fingers to her mouth in a begging gesture, ... Read more >

Tags: chaos, culture, delhi, developing world, india, india


Luzern, Switzerland

SWITZERLAND | Tuesday, 24 Nov 2015 | Views [473]

Well, the inevitable has happened. I've lost my passport. I am one of those people who constantly loses things. Important things like keys, wallets, and IDs (just ask my brother and sister-in-law, whose house keys, car keys, and credit cards I lost ... Read more >

Tags: german switzerland, lucerne, rivers, switzerland


Beyond the "Wild Beauty"

MONTENEGRO | Sunday, 8 Nov 2015 | Views [389]

It felt unbalanced to post about Montenegro's glorious natural spaces without mentioning my experience with the cuisine, people and history, as these factors shape a place as much as geography, if not more. It's worth mentioning the powerful factor ... Read more >

Tags: cuisine, culture, food, history, montenegro, people


Montenegro's "Wild Beauty"

MONTENEGRO | Saturday, 7 Nov 2015 | Views [377]

The tourism organization in Montenegro uses the tag line "Wild Beauty." After living in Colorful Colorado and the Pacific Northwest, and traveling in New Zealand, I consider that a tough title for a speck of a country like Montenegro to live ... Read more >

Tags: beaches, fortresses, montenegro, old towns, road trip


Cascades du Dard

FRANCE | Tuesday, 20 Oct 2015 | Views [351]

The trail turned sharply left, away from the highway. Within moments, the roar of passing trucks was muted, then swallowed by the heavy fog that engulfed the Chamonix Valley. The forest floor was a carpet of wet moss over boulders, an undulating sea ... Read more >

Tags: fog, forest, france, hiking, mountains, outdoors, waterfalls


The Crown Jewel of Chamonix: The Aiguille du Midi

FRANCE | Monday, 5 Oct 2015 | Views [353]

In a shining moment of mature glory, I drank two cups of coffee on an empty stomach and raced up to freezing temperatures and thin air at an altitude of 3,842 meters, where I promptly started running up flights of stairs, fueled by excitement and adrenaline.... Read more >

Tags: altitude, cable car, france, hiking, mountains, outdoors, snow


Féchy Fête

SWITZERLAND | Tuesday, 29 Sep 2015 | Views [318]

When I think wine, I don't think Switzerland. I think Italy, France, and California. But, lo and behold, the vineyards of France are just an arbitrary political border away, and grapevines know no such bounds. The climate that produces globally lauded ... Read more >

Tags: europe, grape harvest, party, small towns, switzerland, wine, wine festival


Lyon, France

FRANCE | Tuesday, 22 Sep 2015 | Views [408]

 Lyon was not a city on my (long) list of travel destinations. Were it not for the easy, cheap train from Rolle coupled with the easy, cheap flight from Madrid for Chris, I doubt I ever would have found myself here. In looking for a place to meet ... Read more >

Tags: cities, europe, france, markets, surprises


Rolle: Inauguration de la Grand-rue

SWITZERLAND | Sunday, 13 Sep 2015 | Views [292]

There is a lot to be said for the size of a place. Rolle is small - not a city, but not a village, either. It is situated between the much larger, cosmopolitan cities of Lausanne and Geneva. With a population of 6,000, Rolle is best known for its placement ... Read more >

Tags: europe, small towns, swiss pride, switzerland, wine


Yvoire, France

FRANCE | Sunday, 6 Sep 2015 | Views [207]

Last night, as I strolled through Lausanne with Sarina, Craig and Baby Malia, I felt the blissful, sudden on-set of euphoria that always appears shortly after I begin a new adventure. These moments are precious: the early stages of travel when bonds ... Read more >

Tags: castles, ferry, france, freedom, languages