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 […]

Surf’s Up in Peru


Surf’s up! I’ve been in utter lust with all things surfing as far back as I can remember. However, it was my choice to make ours a long-distance relationship; I worshipped board-carrying athletes from afar. How I wanted to learn! However, the barriers against me were too formidable. First off, you have to do this […]

Cruising On My Couch in the Philippines


I feel free when I am on that brink between exhilaration and contentment. I feel joy when I walk that less than an inch slippery rope under the sheeting rain. I feel excitement when I climb that blue roped wall with splinters cutting through my skin. I feel elated when I am up on air, […]

Freedom by Truck in Canada


The place I feel most free may not sound free’: it’s dark, small, and I do a lot of sleeping there. No, it’s not a room under the stairs, a storage closet, or a woodshed. My place of ultimate freedom beat the lonely waves of the Pacific Ocean, the expansive sand dunes in the Gobi […]

Mountain Girl hits the trail


When I climb mountains on my own, my out-of-the-mountains life melts away. I become a person who doesn’t have a messy kitchen and has no errands to run. While at times I feel like I am going to die from exertion, I also feel years falling off my shoulders. Give me a mountain range, and […]

Lost In the Pacific


There I was, standing among the great rock sculptures that define Easter Island. The giant Moai were in their timeless stance, staring down at me as the ocean waves crashed against the rocky coastline. Horses wandered freely, foraging for nutrients amid the volcanic rocks that dominate the landscape of this island, lost in the middle […]

Hitchhiking in Israel


The names and places in this story have been changed. I’ve experienced several Aha moments, as Oprah likes to refer to them over the course of my now fifty-nine years. Some small, some large, most occurring when least expected and all to some degree having a life defining affect. One memory in particular surfaced recently […]

Macao: the Hardly Seen Portuguese Side


I visited Macao during the cool month of December last year. Staying there for two days, I managed to visit all its historic monuments and properties that make up the UNESCO World Heritage inscription (together with some of its casinos :p). For most heritage geeks, I share the assessment that Macao is largely a “misinterpreted gem”. […]

Hawaii Travels Lead to Career Shift for TV Executive


In August 2013, I had an amazing adventure in Maui with my wife Kathy, our two kids Ben (12) and Leo (10) and my incredible in-laws.  This Hawaii adventure changed my life. I had worked as a TV and digital programming executive at networks like Playboy TV and ABC Family and produced reality shows, like American […]

Somewhere to Sleep: Catba Island, Vietnam

Amber Young

Darkness surrounds me, and I am alone. Rain pounds down around me, and I know that my backpack is getting wet; I lost my pack cover a few weeks ago to a gust of wind. I feel a building sense of dread – will I find a place to sleep tonight? I had left my […]