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Kalinga to Banaue, Philippines

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After spending two days in Kalinga, a remote village in the mountains of the Philippines, watching Wang-Od (the oldest known tatoo artist) hammer her ash covered thorn into the flesh of other travelers, Marius and I decided to descend the mountain path. The slope was steep but the farewell was steeper. With a heavy heart […]

Pattaya, Thailand: Down-to-earth

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The rain has finally stopped. As Hannah helps me with my harness, she turns to the stormy sky, smiles and says, “Lucky you. It’s a beautiful weather to skydive.” Indeed it is. Weights of grey clouds hang high in the sky of Pattaya, but the lustrous blue sky behind them are yearning to break through. […]

PRAMBANAN TEMPLE COMPOUNDS: IN HUMBLE DEFENSE TO HINDUISM

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Prambanan temple compounds came in as one of the first world heritage sites of Indonesia in 1991. This site was inscribed under two criteria: as a masterpiece of human creative genius, and as an outstanding example of an architectural ensemble that represents a significant stage in human history (i.e., spread of Hinduism in the East). It happens to […]

Marvelous Malaysia: Housesitting in Langkawi

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While sitting in our guesthouse in Fortuna, Costa Rica last Fall, I was imagining our upcoming trip to Volcan Arenal when I found a housesitting assignment in Langkawi, Malaysia in the Caretakers Gazette. After nearly a year and a half on the road, staying in one place for three weeks sounded like heaven.  I wrote […]

Finding Heart In Borneo, Indonesia

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The rally had gone late. It was dark and raining hard. Two tiny women crouched in the bow of the narrow canoe with a headlamp, peering into the darkness. Every few minutes one would holler and pound the side of the boat with an open palm, helping our host, who was driving, to avoid the […]

Hunza, Pakistan: The Lady Finger Peak

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  “Pakistan is one of the most plundered countries whose riches and potential yet awaits to be discovered”, remarked my driver-cum- guide as we took leave from Eagle nest- the hotel where I had spent the night. I had traveled all the way from Islamabad to Gilgit –Baltistan, the newly formed province in North Pakistan […]

Finding My Soul in Yokohama, Japan

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As a pessimistic, nine-year-old kid that doesn’t travel much, I was nearly blown away with the news that we were going to visit Japan. I was so excited! It was December of 2008, and we were leaving in just two weeks. We arrived to Japan at the airport terminal. As soon as we got off […]

Couchsurfing around the world

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If you’ve ever thought of backpacking, or you have backpacked, or are currently backpacking, you most likely have heard of Couchsurfing. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about – Couchsurfing is a travel community of sorts where people all around the world, in many different countries, open up their homes, […]

Tawi-Tawi, Philippines: A trek up a mountain

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I was thirsty and hungry by the time my companions and I reached the peak of Bud Bongao in the Philippine province of Tawi-Tawi. The trek up this sacred mountain is supposed to be an easy, one-hour climb perfect for mountaineering newbies, but ours easily dragged to two long hours, largely because of my own […]

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Impulse

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I had been visiting London on business when I decided to move from my hotel, the Thistle Marble Arch, in Central London to the Airport Hilton near Heathrow. To confirm my departure ticket I found the courtesy hotel computers in an alcove near the bar area on the main floor. One of two computers was […]