Memorable Travel Experiences

Beautiful Travels

  • Full moon over pagodas in Bagan, Myanmar: This was impossible to capture and impossible to describe. The full moon, low on the horizon,  centuries-old pagodas outlined against it. Unbelievable. With Haksing, Karn, Eric, Ma.
  • Worthington glacier hike, Valdez, Alaska: Just a nondescript ridge hike, until you turn around at the top. It was so beautiful I just started laughing. With Jesus.
  • Incahuasi island, Salar di Uyuni, Bolivia: It’s a 20 minute scramble to the top but the view is marvellous. Photographs cannot capture this. Wth Jesus, Evan.
  • Glaciers on Kilimanjaro: The glaciers appear to disappear into thin air, as if segueing into the clouds tops below. I choked up looking at their majesty. With Jesus, Tommy.
  • Galleries of Angkor Vat, Angkor, Cambodia: The carvings on the massively-long galleries of Angkor Vat. Just go see them. With Haksing, Karn, Eric.
  • Laguna Verde & Licancabur, Bolivia: There was something indescribable about this place. It was where something ended, a place in of itself. With Jesus, Evan.
  • Sunrise on the last day of Inca trail, Peru: I wager that this was more beautiful than Macchu Picchu itself. The soft golden rays stroking fluffy clouds above distant glaciers while the Andean montane rainforest awoke around us, and fog gently uncoiled from the river valley far below up the majestic mountains. With Jesus, Evan, Lynnie, Armin, Blair, Greg.
  • Milky Way from the Grand Canyon: Night hiking into the Grand Canyon as the Milky Way looms overhead. With Jesus, Ahmar.
  • Cone Peak, Big Sur, California: Stunning views of miles of coastline, cliffs, surf, velvet-draped mountains. This is Cone Peak. With Michael, Grace, Kevin, Alex, Brian.
  • Stormclouds over Borrego badlands, Anza Borrego: Storm clouds filtered over the mountains north of Anza Borrego to the Borrego badlands, as we climbed out of a slot canyon onto the badlands. We were greeted with a stunning view of eldritch storm clouds somehow filtering the Sun’s rays into some sort of unbelievable mirage of greys and oranges. Where were we? With Rachel.
  • Beartooth highway, Wyoming: In late May, we drove the highway from alpine meadows to an icy-bound plateau at 11,000 feet with stunning views of jagged peaks dominating the horizon. Literally jaw-dropping. With Evan, Jesus, Henry, Lisa, Rishi.
  • Taj Mahal, Agra, India: Photographs do not do this justice. The sight as you enter the doorway you will not forget.
  • Manhattan skyline at night: Is there anything more visually arresting, more futuristic, more “this is something different” than Manhattan’s skyline at night?
  • Dead Horse Point, Canyonlands, USA: Canyons upon canyons upon canyons. The wind, the sky, the canyons, and you. This is the West.
  • Mulie Point, Utah, USA: This is where the West ends. The first time visit it alone. Watch hawks fly. The Goosenecks meander. Dust devils dance. Monument Valley on the horizon. Mulie Point. Waiting to be discovered.
  • Walking 8 miles along the Denali Highway, Alaska: I checked out of a backpacking trip mid-way and walked back to the car. It was 8 miles of lonely walking, tired with sore legs, with absolutely nothing for miles except the boreal forest. Every 5 minutes a car would pass, ignoring my outstretched hand. I could see the cars approach half a mile away and disappear slowly into the distance. The road was unending in its monotony, ahead and behind. I was alone, in the middle-of-nowhere. That fatigued walk was memorable in its oddness.
  • Running down Tunupa volcano, Salar di Uyuni, Bolivia: Running down the Tunupa volcano at 5000 meters was absolutely exhilarating. The scree meant you took massive bounds with little regard of injury, half sliding down the mountain with mind-numbing views ahead.
  • Tutankhamen’s golden mask, Egyptian Museum, Cairo: An artifact that captures power, glory, history, destiny in one mask. The mask has a powerful magnetism. Your eye slowly parses it, trying to divine the source of that power. But it is the gestalt that the mask stands for, the result of thousands of years of history coursing down the Nile. Here, in one artifact.
  • Fannaraken, Helgedalen, Norway: Eating brunøst while gazing upon Store Skagastølstind from the slopes of Fanaråken: Brunøst is soft, chocolate-ey cheese. We hiked partway up Fanaråken, ate our brunøst sandwiches packed from our B&B and were content.
  • Watching clouds blow over St Volodymyr’s Cathedral, Kiev: The perfect mild summer afternoon in Kiev, Ukraine sitting on a bench watching fluffy, cotton clouds blow over the vivid blue and yellow cathedral of St. Volodymyr in Kiev.
  • Driving past fields of sunflowers in Romania between Sibiu and Timisoara.
  • Murals at Boyana Church in Sofia, Bulgaria.
  • Statue of Luigi and Mokyrna in Kyiv: “It was in 1943. He an Italian PoW she a displaced Ukrainian worker. Luigi Peduto and Mokryna Lurzuk met in an Austrian war camp to spend two years together. The war bonded them, and the war did them apart. Luigi will remember the Ukrainian beauty with dimples on her cheeks for all his life… And he will find her after 60 years. They will meet in 2004, on InterTV Channel’s show “Zhdi Menya” to reveal to the world that love conquers distances, overpowers time and out-fights wars!

Memorable Experiences

  • Bri’s Big Island Barbecue: Talking to Bri, his experiences studying environmental law at UC Berkeley, as an environmental lawyer in NYC, and finally settling in Big Island.
  • Psytribe gathering in Apple Valley: When finding the Psytribe gathering in Apple Valley, I asked a farmer for directions to the dirt road at 2:30am. He pointed, and then asked “Do you have a gun?”. I said no. He said,”You’re like Lucifer wandering lost in the darkness”. Then I drove too far, and met a bunch of jeeps. Folks said this dirt road went to Big Bear and no way my Ford Focus could go further. I cut my engine and listened for the bass drums to find the gathering.
  • Zugui-do Hall, Kiyomizu-dera, Kyoto: Walking into Zugui-do Hall unprepared.
  • Car stuck in Nabesna, Alaska: Driving past the road closed sign on the dirt road past Nabesna, AK, and get stuck on the U-turn when the car slipped into the mud.
  • Ciudad del Este, Paraguay: Walking over the border into Ciudad del Este and back from Foz de Iguacu. Such a strange city.
  • Memorable walks: Walking through Osaka, running around Vancouver’s Stanley island, running along Montreal’s Lachine canal.

Saddest Travel Experiences

  • War museum, Siem Reap
  • Melting glaciers, Kilimanjaro
  • Jallianwallah Bagh, Amritsar
  • Auschwitz, Poland
  • Hiroshima, Japan

Favourite Museums

  • Isabella Stewart Gardner museum, Boston, USA.
  • Nubian Museum, Aswan, Egypt.
  • Tiskiwin Museum, Marrakech, Egypt.
  • Morgan Museum, New York City, USA.
  • Japanese National Museum, Tokyo, Japan.
  • Museo de Anthropologica, Mexico City, Mexico.
  • Regional Archeological Museum, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

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