To step through the maroon and gold-plated entrance of Udayagiri Ayurvedic Retreat Centre in Wayanad, Kerala, is to step into another world. A dreamlike haven of peace and stillness, harmoniously constructed with minimal disruption to the forest that surrounds it…Read More
When dark Balinese spirits come out to play…
It’s 3:30am January 10th, 2018 and I’m wide awake. I’ve been lying in bed absolutely wired since a little after midnight, and this is not normal for me. My normal is: once my head hits the pillow, I’m out like a light. On rare occasions when I have trouble falling asleep, it’s because I drank coffee after 1pm, but today I didn’t drink any coffee. ..Read More
I didn’t come to Bali with plans to become a connoisseur of Balinese healers – it just kind of happened.
The word “healer” has always had a seductive appeal for me, and you put “Balinese” in front of anything and it becomes doubly enticing, but I didn’t go looking for Balinese healers...Read More
A climb up 724 stairs takes you to the top of Mt. Tapyas, in Coron, Palawan, on one of the Philippines' most picturesque islands. (A great workout!) I was told it was nice, so I went, without high expectations. I got to the top, looked out at this view and...Read More
“You’re building a fire out of coconut shells?”
That was my astonished reaction to Mohamed the chef, who was calmly preparing the backyard grill for tonight’s dinner, which would be grilled jackfish. He had assembled a pile of dried halved coconut shells on the grill and was dousing them with lighter fluid.Read More
There are angels all around us, there’s no doubt about it. Maybe they sometimes masquerade as humans, or maybe they whisper in the ears of real humans, or both, I don’t know. However they operate, they are definitely here. How can I be so sure?, you might wonder...Read More
For any travelers who’ll be taking the train in India for the first time – especially for anyone who’s totally freaked out by the idea!Read More
It’s 2:30pm on August 9, 2017 in Haryana, India. I’m in a quiet, peaceful place: a large room with white walls, an octagonal vaulted ceiling and beige meditation cushions placed in evenly-spaced rows across the floor, but at the moment I feel nothing that remotely resembles peace. I’m glaring at the meditation cushion in front of me as if it were a torture device...Read More
Heading to India? Some things you should know first...
These are the tips I would want someone to give me if I were about to visit to India for the first time, compiled after my 4 months there.Read More
The villages that make up Upper Dharamsala are home to some amazing restaurants and cafes, and these are my favorites. Not only do these places serve beautiful, delicious, nourishing food in cozy, inviting spaces with friendly service, their prices will make your jaw drop in disbelief. You realize you’re absolutely spoiled rotten when you come to feel that $5 for a lunch is overpriced.Read More
In Dharamsala, it was the clouds that first enchanted me.
The ocean of clouds that stretches out below the city as far as the eye can see, always moving, shifting, changing, forming an ethereal buffer between this mountaintop sanctuary city and the rest of the world. The clouds that occasionally ascend to envelop the streets of the town and its colorful buildings in a thick fog...Read More
A little after 8:30am the Dalai Lama entered, surrounded and supported by his security detail. As he walked slowly through the pathway among the seated crowds, stopping to smile at people, shake their hands, sometimes talk with them, something unexpected happened...Read More
Hot, crowded, sprawling, throbbing with hordes of people and scooters in constant motion at all hours of the day: that is Saigon. As though intent on snatching the title of City Who Never Sleeps from New York, Vietnam’s largest city never rests...Read More
Gina amazed me.
I met her via a phone call in November 2010. When I called Pacific Island Sea Planes, she was the person who answered. I was calling from somewhere on the Sunshine Coast of Australia, and I was in a quandary...Read More