Vastness all around! Silence, you hear the blood flow in your ears. Spaciousness beyond reach. Stillness. No electricity. No phone reception. No running water. Clean fresh air. It’s very harsh yet welcoming. You disappear like a spec of dust. Horizons ever expanding. A serene calmness engulfs me as I stare at the vast open desert, … More Camping in the Sinai
When you enter from one side, they stamp your passport. When you enter from the other side, they just wave you in, no stamps. Because they don’t consider it a country. When you’re in one part, you feel like if you cross the divide, you’ll fall off the face of the Earth. No information is … More Riviera to Ghost Town
I woke up sneezing and sniffling. Couldn’t breathe without blowing my nose every few minutes. It was under 10°C (50°F) at 9am in Brno, Czech Republic. I was looking forward to exploring the city with my friend. Bummer! At least I still had my energy, enthusiasm and I could borrow warm clothes from my friend. … More Brno Prescription…
Up the zig zag trail, through the forest, gaining elevation one step at a time. It was a beautiful sunny day and the trees provided the perfect protection and scenery. After about 1 hour, I was up at the big “Brasov” sign that towers over the city announcing to the universe the name of this … More Friend in Brașov
Can an intercountry bus station be at the locomotive museum? I checked, double checked several times and the directions on the bus ticket always lead to the same location: the Steam Locomotives Museum. Never mind that it says “McDonald’s” on the ticket. Whatever. It’s only a 20 minutes walk so I’ll head out early just … More Last Romania Woes…
Bran Castle in Bran, Romania, used to be a fort, turned castle and the royal residence of Queen Marie in the 1920s. Fascinating building with beautiful views, interesting architecture and fairy tale ambiance. For tourism purposes, it’s marketed as “Dracula Castle”, even though it has very little to do with anything related to the story … More Bran Castle Romania
What do 2 Rainbow Gathering hippies do when their vehicle gets stuck? It’s 2 pm near Varna, Bulgaria. We’re happily driving this converted bus into the woods, looking for a place to camp. I’m in the back getting tossed around by every bump in the unpaved roads (what seatbelts? That’s for sissies). A narrow uphill … More 2 Hippies go Camping…
Our first encounter was scary, tense and confusing. I found myself on the dark deserted streets of Bucharest at 2 am in what seemed to be an industrial area of town. The only cars passing by were street sweepers and big trailer trucks. I definitely don’t want to be here till 8 am when my … More Travel Tribulations…
I have a feeling Bulgaria exists to mess with the Western mind and remind us not to take anything for granted because everything is arbitrary anyways. The Cyrillic alphabet was invented in Bulgaria, just to mess with us. They use the same letters, but pronounce them differently:H <- this is n. В <- this is … More Bulgaria
The first couple of days were very difficult: I didn’t know anyone, had no idea how things worked, or didn’t, had to fight my city-girl instincts every step of the way. But I hiked up the Bulgarian mountains for more than an hour with all my luggage to get there. I wasn’t going to give … More My first Rainbow Gathering!
What if we welcome all parts of our humanity without fear, shame or guilt? What if we allowed space for everyone to be seen and heard? Can we make decisions based on love and abundance? Is a New Culture of cooperation and inclusion possible? These are inquiries that 120 of us dove into for 10 … More A Different Culture!
California! I remember why you are my home of choice. A big piece of my heart will always be in you. Places change, faces change, minds change, I change too. But you’re still the one that shaped who I am today. You witnessed my most profound growths, joys, tears, pains and laughter. I owe it … More You can check out anytime you like…
Tears. Lots of tears. Overwhelming sadness, emptiness and despair. I lost my sense of purpose and humor. What used to make me happy ceased to do so. I felt confused and didn’t know how to kick this dark night of the soul. Existential angst came on unexpectedly and for no apparent reason. I am living … More Dark Night of the Soul!
“If I had 10 coconut palms I wouldn’t need anything else”, said my Filipino friend. “I could eat, drink, build a house, dress myself, make utensils, instruments and tools. All from the coconut palms!” I could totally see his point of view. Bedouins in the Sahara desert relate the same way to date palms. Coconuts … More One person’s trash…
“What would you like to tell your parents?” When I got this question in “Big Talk Game”*, my Mom came to mind. She was a woman of few words. As her daughter, the few words I got were motherly in nature; checking on my wellbeing, giving advice, family news, health tips (she was a medical … More A Different kind of History
We laughed, cried, danced, hugged, withdrew, celebrated, shared, broke down, broke through, held space, played “Big Talk Game”*, welcomed all parts of us in love and acceptance. We were present! Something transformed, shifted for good in our souls. There’s no going back. No settling for less. Once the soul tastes that connection to its true … More “YES” to Being Alive!
You know that feeling when you look for your glasses all over the place but you can’t find them anywhere. Then you pass by a mirror and there they are, on your face, the whole time? I had that feeling at “Fekra” ecovillage south of Aswan, Egypt!In my open ended journey around the world, which … More What a great “Fekra”!
How can a piece of stone say so much? It’s just a random faceless rock. Add human imagination and creativity: it cries, laughs, inspires, scares and amuses. With their magic minds and hands, sculpters make the stones speak. The process is not very glamorous; it’s hard, dirty, dangerous and takes a long time. But the … More When Stone Speaks…
This is messy and long because I’m emotional about the subject. I can totally feel both sides. However, this is my truth which I had been holding back for fear of upsetting many loved ones. “Pardon my dust!”Cats! Leave them alone! They’re not your toys, babies, ornaments or responsibility. If you love them, treat them … More Cats: Let the Meow Roar!
We started climbing at 1 am. I was wearing 2 layers of socks and closed shoes, yet my feet were cold. I labored with every step but the thought of stopping was scary because of the cold. No moon night. The sky was shimmering with stars but I had to look at the ground to … More Mount Sinai
We took a taxi, boat, another taxi to get there. It took us 2 hours (5 hours if you walk). There were a few Bedouin camps, some kite surfers and the beautiful light blue, clear water of the Blue Lagoon (North Eastern Red Sea). As soon as we sat down on the carpets by the … More Cat Wisdom
Etosha National Park in Namibia is huge and sparsely populated. Most of the big animals we saw were far away. We would get excited upon seeing a silhouette of a giraffe or an elephant from a distance. I had a bad headache that day and I really wanted to close my eyes but I didn’t … More Leopard Encounter…
“WHAT! Don’t do it! You’ll get attacked by hippos and crocodiles. Whoever offered you this trip is desperate for money. They’ll sell you anything. It’s not safe”. People started recounting dangerous encounters with wildlife (one was very recent) and the conversation deteriorated fast into fear mongering. They were obviously scared and I could feel the … More Dodging Hippos
In 40°C (104°F), we walked, took a collective taxi (a sardine can of people), another taxi to finally arrive 3 hours later at Sichilonge; a small Zambian village of 110 people near Victoria Falls. No electricity. No tap water. No (gasp) internet and no paved roads. Wait, it gets more interesting: want to pee? Go … More Village Life
Mosi-oa-tunya! (The smoke that thunders). Sacred waters where the gods live. For countless generations, the Tonga people who lived on the Zambezi river, worshipped and prayed to Nyami Nyami, the mighty God of the river. He protected them and gave them sustenance in difficult times. The river was sacred, the falls were sacred and there … More The Smoke that Thunders
“Watch out for the elephants” she yelled from her car as she slowed down and passed me. It was dark and I was walking home to my lodge in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Up until then, I was worried about getting mugged (after my bad experience in South Africa). But now, elephants entered the picture! Instead … More Mighty Mind-Falls!
How do you travel in a place where your phone doesn’t work, your ATM card doesn’t work, they use 3 different currencies and exchange rates change daily? With a lot of help from friends!When I landed in Zimbabwe, Zim for short, I had no idea about the economic sanctions, their financial meltdown or any of … More In the absence of money…
We all learnt about it in geography class. It fascinated me for some reason. I would see, in my mind’s eye, ships sailing around it, feeling triumphant and hopeful about the rest of their trip. When I finally made it to South Africa, I had to go see the Cape of Good Hope. I wanted … More Deadly Spices!
Even the taxi driver warned me against doing it alone. “Why is it dangerous?” I asked. “You might slip and fall”, he said. “Is there a chance of robbery?”, I asked. “Very unlikely. But you should go with someone. They can take pictures of you”.I checked in with myself and I really wanted to do … More A Table like no Other!
I didn’t expect to stay that long, but South Africa sucked me into its charm and intensity. It’s a fascinating country with probably the most diverse pool of human genes. People from all over the world came here, willingly and unwillingly, interbred, often through rape, and found a way to make this part of the … More South Africa