Deciphering Tea Leaves

The fragrance of the teas was overwhelming. Pungent leaves of brown, black and green, speckled with dried fruit and herbs. The leaves had been dried whole and rolled—humbled in their shriveled, preserved state. Comforting scents of dirt and new grass whispering of promises they might keep. If only it would rain. Abruptly, sharp citrus notes…Read more Deciphering Tea Leaves

May Superiority Give Way

I read an incredibly heart-wrenching story in the Atlantic yesterday about the life of a modern-day slave, Eudocia Tomas Pulido. The front-page article was written by, of all people, the son of the family who “owned” her, Alex Tizon. (I have included the link to the article here.) Eudocia or Lola, as she was called…Read more May Superiority Give Way

The City in the Clouds

In 2008, at age twenty-eight, I quit a reliable desk job, sold my car and most of my possessions, and set out to backpack across Europe alone. Having read so many stories about life-changing walkabouts (Eat, Pray, Love and On the Road, to name a few), I know this is hardly rare, so at the risk of…Read more The City in the Clouds

Inspiration for a Permanent Tourist: Pico Iyer

Growing up in the US, I often found myself caught between two worlds: my somewhat traditional Filipino upbringing and the dominant American culture of my teachers and peers. Later, after traveling the world and relocating to Germany as an adult, I felt even more conflicted in terms of cultural and national identity. What am I? An American?…Read more Inspiration for a Permanent Tourist: Pico Iyer

A Birth in the Winter

This is my first blog post!!! Yes, a new beginning in the dead of winter. The major holidays are over, there is no longer a festive buffer from the freezing cold. The once pristine snow has worn out its welcome, it is now a dirty, semi-frozen mess and once easy paths have become icy, muddy traps.…Read more A Birth in the Winter