FALL 2014 GRATITUDE TRAVEL WRITING CONTEST, $650 USD to be Won!!

Hidden Treasure: Ambialet, France

2014-11-23_5472634730bdc_Ambialet.jpg

In the heart of France’s Midi-Pyrenees lies a secret gem, a tiny town, a fairy tale. Ambialet. Here, on a September evening, the sunlight’s rays are Midas’ fingers, transforming the mountainside into a tiara that puts the Crown Jewels to shame. Leaves of emerald, topaz, and ruby adorn gilded branches; at the mountain’s summit, an eleventh-century […]

To Delhi with Love

2014-11-22_54710f6df2eaa_nepal507.JPG

  Just hours before I took my flight to India, a friend told me a story of a woman who’d been abducted in Delhi. She’d gone to use the bathroom in a restaurant, her friends had waited for her to return, but she never did. This was my friend’s way of warning me. I was […]

First Taste of Travel in Europe

2014-11-16_54691825520cf_Swedenferry.jpg

After months of planning, the trip was finally happening. I was thirteen years old and excited to be traveling outside the U.S. for the first time. Things did not exactly go as expected. Our first destination in eastern Europe was Estonia. We had friends who invited us to their little countryside village, and would pick […]

Whirling Dervishes, Turkey

2014-11-16_546904c3d4871_Dervish.JPG

             A curtain was pulled back and figures emerged from darkness in a shaft of light—a half dozen cloaked musicians with medieval instruments. They arranged themselves on rugs, the light faded out, and the sounds of reeds, drums and unfamiliar string instruments filled the dark confined space. It was surprising how these primitive devices […]

A Sea of Serenity in Oman

2014-11-10_5460de9a7cdbf_imagesCA87P9B3.jpg

           With closed-eyes and an open mind, my mind takes me back to a time where strength and hopefulness overwhelmed me. The  silk-like sand tickled my toes beneath me, the faint sounds of the waves crashing into the rocks and the birds singing beautiful melodies echoed, creating the most soothing music to my ears. I […]

A Night to Remember at Failaka Island, Kuwait

2014-11-10_5460ddac6fdd9_images.jpg

Failaka Island, an island that was once busy and full of life, was deserted in 1991 after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. It is now rumoured to be haunted with the souls of the people that died in the war and they are forever stuck there haunting the island’s visitors. I decided to go to […]

Abra, The Philippines: The Tingguians, Bamboos, and the Art of Dyeing

IMG_20130720_132209_1

Abra is a province in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) that is notorious for its records of election-related violence more than any other thing. Development is slow in this province and not much is really happening inside. It is, therefore, not at all surprising that this place is not one of those that would be […]

The Majestic Pond in Saudi Arabia

2014-11-10_5460d2bd6326a_colepond.jpg

A remote pond sits in the midst of mint green luscious tall trees, filled with little beautiful songbirds singing the sweetest of tunes and gingerly hopping from one intertwined tree to another. The pond, pregnant with cool, crystal clear water pouring out from a young spring in the creavases on the grey, old, burdened mountain, […]

Humboldt Peak – A Destination of Relief in the USA

2014-11-25_5473cae4b9ac5_2014-07-1911-edited.jpg

When I was 17 and living in Northern Virginia, I ran around suburban bars with a friend two years my senior. She and I would chat it up with the regulars and make up stories based on whatever age they thought we were. I was always the English major at Virginia Tech on my way to be […]

A Visit to the City of Fog: London

2014-11-10_5460d14ad632a_London.jpg

A gloomy sky hung above, clusters of clouds moved and rain poured ever so slightly. The murky water of the Thames accepted the droplets of rain, and a concoction of languages were floated throughout the crowded street behind me. It was an experience from a tourist’s point of view; the continuous hand waves to halt […]