“Renewal” typically has positive connotations: new beginnings, hope…etc, things that inspire optimism. Except in Egypt. “He/she got a renewal” means that their indefinite, illegal prison sentence has been extended 45 days. Then what? Another 45 days that typically add up to years. Tens of thousands of Egyptian families, mine included, live with loved ones behind … More Renewal
Growing up with Middle Eastern food made eating in México an exercise in acceptance and tolerance. Food components are almost identical to Middle Eastern food, but the taste is worlds apart. It seems like when the Spaniards came over, they brought the ingredients but forgot the recipes 😔. There’s even a faux shawarma dish, called … More La Comida Mexicana!
There’s something magical about them. The fascinating rock formations. The silence. The constant comfortable temperature no matter what the weather is like. Most of all, the feeling of being in the belly of the mother: Mother Earth!I love caves. They invoke a plethora of feelings and images: Peaceful. Contained. Humble. Awe! Curious. Mystery. Exhilaration. Connected … More In the Belly of the Mother
She was about to do a backflip into the Cenote*. Her friend yelled at her “be careful”. After a few hesitant seconds, she changed her mind and didn’t jump.How many times do you find yourself in her shoes? You’re about to push your edge and challenge yourself when a well meaning friend calls in the … More “Be C@#€fuk”
It’s perfectly normal to be eating in a restaurant in Mexico, simple or fancy, and a street peddler or beggar walks in and begs/offers their wares among tables. No one bothers them and a simple “No. Gracias” will send them off. When you walk into a business, expect to meet the whole family; kids, relatives, … More Se Feliz!
“You’re water. Water takes the shape of the container it’s in. You too, you adapt easily to circumstances around you”. I had just met Pi for the first time a mere 10 minutes before he made this observation. That was the best compliment! Water resonates with me on many levels.My karate teacher used to say … More Soy Agua!
“What’s the biggest difference between here and Egypt?”, a friend asked me when I moved to the USA, (North Carolina) a long time ago. She expected some sob story about the plight of women, who need to be rescued from male oppressors by enlightened western minds. I could see the disbelief and disappointment on her … More Believing the News
My host’s face suddenly changed to an expression of panic when we heard the horn. He grabbed Negra, his dog, and said “C’mon! Sismo!”. My Spanish isn’t that good yet, but I certainly understood ‘sismo’ (earthquake). He lived on the first floor so it didn’t take long to be in the street with lots of … More Pacha Mama shimmies…
Dancing is playful, flowy, spontaneous, sexy and creative. What if we let the flow carry us away? What if there were no limits except those that we feel in the moment and express as we feel them? We have mutual respect, trust, honesty and self responsibility. No big brother to protect, control or guarantee. No … More Touch&Play
“But it smells like rotten eggs!” I said. “If you can get over the smell, it’s good for your stomach” my friend said. “It’s burning hot!” I said. “Wait till it cools down a little. Drink it warm”. So I waited, inhaled, held my breath and drank the sulphur spring water. It tastes OK if … More Golden Eggs
“What will you gain if you gave up consumerism?” Achim posed this question to us at the end of Zegg Summer Festival. Freedom, connectedness, more time with loved ones, slower pace of life, more love, deeper connections with oneself and others, simpler life…etc are some of the answers that came up. Then it dawned on … More Zegg
You know how when you’re traveling in Germany, and someone asks: “what brings you to Austria?” and it dawns on you, for the 10th time: “Right! I’m in Austria, not Germany. Austria, Austria, Austria” (hoping to remember this time)? For the locals, I’m sure Germany and Austria are worlds apart. But the dumb tourist in … More Slov-enia/akia
We didn’t have shampoo, conditioners, sun screen, shower gel, moisturizers, shaving cream or any other so called beauty products. Yet we were beautiful, happy and healthy. No detergents, fabric softeners or even dryers. No microfibers in our food, water or bodies. We used olive oil soap and loofahs to wash our bodies. The same soap … More Who’s Rich?
Berlin is the San Francisco of Europe; diverse, international, colorful, cultural hub and each neighborhood is its own microcosm. One can find anything under the sun; from corporate chains to a very vibrant alternative culture and everything in between. It’s the European melting pot complete with homeless people, leftist movements claiming their own neighborhood, visible … More Ich bin ein Berliner
Walking the quiet streets of Dahab in Egypt, we saw a Bedouin woman milking a goat… onto the street. No receptacle to collect the milk, no kid (baby goat) to drink the milk, just letting the milk spill on the street and soak into the dirt. “What a waste!” I thought, “that’s very unlike the … More Ancient Wisdom
We all know what to expect from McDonald’s, Starbucks…etc. There is comfort in uniformity and knowing what to expect. Someone far away decides the contents and form of your food and you trust and accept. #Franchising is as old as #religion ; you see a religious image and know exactly what it means. I saw … More Metamorphosis
Earlier in the day, I was sleeping under a tree in a park. 2 trees away, a guy who looked like he works there, was napping during his break. Later the same day, I was getting a 1.5 hours massage by a gorgeous hunk in a fancy spa after a crab dinner. Earlier in the … More Traveler or Tourist?
Is travel all fun and adventure? No, of course not. There are a few stress factors. Deciding what to pack, where to stay, what to do…etc. All these decisions get easier with time and practice. However, the number one stress factor that never gets any easier, and often gets more painful and complicated are the … More Who makes up this sh!t?
In addition to all the amazing places I experience, one of the most enjoyable aspects of traveling is meeting like minded people. Tucked under all the mainstream ways of living, there’s a huge and ever growing subculture of travelers who have ditched their fears and the illusion of safety, said yes to their passions and … More The other side of Fear
It takes a whole village. Not only to raise one child, but also to grow rice. It’s very labor and time intensive. A rice field is an eco system in its own right. It sustains many different life forms: from reptiles (eels, worms, snakes) to fowl (ducks, chicken, birds) to animals (cows, pigs, humans). Each … More It takes a village…
As a devout atheist, one tree has a much higher spiritual content for me than all the temples, churches, mosques, synagogues and other human made holy guacamoles. However, my consumer trained mind sees a price tag on something and it thinks “it must be worth seeing”! That’s how I end up visiting special holy guacamoles … More Holy Guacamole!
They work in pairs. The younger one distracts me with his looks and cuteness, he’s all over me, caresses my face, plays with my hair, his soft skin against my face feels so good. While the older, more experienced one goes straight for my backpack. Monkey business, the real deal! #monkeyforest #monkeybusiness #monkey #bali #indonesia … More Monkey Business
“We cannot erase people’s traumas, but we can give them positive memories to overcome the effects of negative ones” Jeroen taught us in his freediving coach training (diving without scuba gear). And that: lots of positive memories, he delivered! In 10 days, I got over a long list of fears, some I didn’t even know … More Embracing the shadows
Somewhere in the middle of nowhere, my body is convulsing, uncontrollably, on the floor of a bamboo structure in the jungle. My eyes are closed. I hear music; a hand twitches, a leg shakes, an arm shoots up in the air. That’s not what I expected when I decided to meet my friend Jenny in … More From outer to Innerdance
What’s the difference between heaven and hell? The same moment, circumstances and environment can be either heaven or hell depending on what we choose to focus on. I have been practicing switching back and forth to increase my capacity for choosing my reality and living consciously. It’s very simple and never fails: think of past … More Heaven and Hell
The Philippines consists of 7641 islands, many disappear in high tide. So if you are on one of those, forget about the multiplication tables, memorize your tide tables. Apo island doesn’t disappear in high tide despite being very small. It’s basically a couple of pointy rocks jutting out of the ocean, with a village on … More Apo Island
“Are you traveling alone? Why?” “Where’s your husband?” “Why isn’t he with you?”… are some of the questions people keep asking me in the Philippines. They might as well be saying:”Where’s your owner? How come you’re not on leash?” The concept of a free unattached woman traveling by herself seems to be alien to them. … More Traveling Sola
Filipino guy:”You ride me. We go wonderful. Eat the bitch. Then we come back 5″. Me:”Yes! Let’s go!”. Translation: “You ride with me. We go to the waterfalls. Eat at the beach. Then come back at 5 pm.” My fellow travelers and I were in stitches before we explained to the guy the importance of … More Filiplish
“No Smoking” is not just a sign in the Philippines, it’s national law. You’re allowed to smoke in your private property but not in public. Unfortunately, there are lots of European tourists here and they ALL smoke. I have to run to the street to escape their stink. The alcohol tax (aka sin tax) is … More “No Smoking” is the law!
Two liquids of different densities don’t mix, like oil and water. But when two slightly different variants of the same liquid touch each other, you would expect them to blend together and produce a new homogeneous liquid. Right? Not in the Amazon! El Río Negro meets the Amazon River near Manaus, Brazil, they share a … More Cancer of the Earth