Top South Africa Safari Sightings

Country 27: South Africa | This post is part of my 30×30 series. Read more here! Our sweeping South Africa trip took us from Johannesberg to Cape Town and then back again. We finished in the Vredefort Dome, a lush and dramatic area about an hour and a half outside of Jo’Berg. We’d seen some animals in…

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Going Horse Crazy in Vienna

Country 24: Austria | This post is part of my 30×30 series. Read more here! “What does Vienna smell like?” The words hung in a crowded bar in the middle of the Tenderloin, thousands of miles from the city in question. My friend had just opined that Vienna smells worse than San Francisco—and I found it unfathomable…

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Visiting the Jardim Botânico in Rio de Janeiro

Country 19: Brazil | This post is part of my 30×30 series. Read more here! Rio de Janeiro is perhaps the most awesome city I have ever visited, with heavy emphasis on the awe. It is the very definition of urban jungle, with plenty of concrete and plenty more greenery. But tucked between the beaches and…

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Postcard from “Back Home”, the Philippines

Country 17: The Philippines | This post is part of my 30×30 series. Read more here! One of the things I love, in principle, about America is that you can be any kind of American. Filipino-American, Swedish-American, Afro-American, Chinese-American. In theory, you keep the country of your heritage looped in with your identity as an American. My…

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Venezia: Handle With Care

A throwback post for Long-form Friday. April 2009 — Venice, Italy In the blackest hours, a train snakes its way through the darkness of the Czech Republic, through the slumbered quiet of a dozen Austrian towns. It rises like the sun over the Alps, descending like a sigh into the Italian dawn. It coasts into the…

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London Day Trip: Stonehenge and the Cotswolds

When you’ve walked the walk and shopped the shops, it may be time to expand your London trip to include some out-of-town sights. On our last visit, we took the plunge and rented a car to do a day trip out through countryside, stopping over in the Cotswolds and finishing at Salisbury Plain with a…

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Touring South African’s ChaZen Reserve

Joe’s bright eyes pierced into mine. “If he charges the fence,” he said, “You need to stand your ground. Don’t run away. You got it?” I nodded. We were standing knee deep in the bush, alongside a thin wire fence where, just beyond, a massive male African lion was thoughtfully sniffing the air. But this…

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Discovering Pilanesberg National Park

The car in front of us was stopped next to a huge acacia thorn bush. Behind them, we looked impatiently at each other. What could they possibly be looking at when parked next to a bush? The question answered itself not two seconds later, when a gigantic horned head swung out in front of the…

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Visiting the Dunes at Sossusvlei

“Tim, I give you permission to drive up to 100 km/ph. If anyone stops you, they’ll see you’re with the big boss of the park.” We were on what must be the nicest tar road in Namibia. In front of us, the heat warped the perspective of the road. On either side, flat yellow ground…

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Throwback: An Unexpected Weekend in Riga, Latvia

An old dear friend from my study-abroad days stayed here in Berlin with me last week. Over the course of the weekend, we traded turns teasing each other over our naive, first-time-in-Europe stories. Speaking of, did I ever tell you about the time I meant to fly to Rome and wound up in Riga? No?…

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