Just Keep Going

So … I’m home. It is virtually impossible to wrap my head around the idea that my 6-month journey is in my rearview. That said … the title of this blog – Onward – is still apt. Because of course forward movement continues regardless of the fact that I’m no longer flitting around Africa and Asia. Which … Read More

Bali Part Three – Marveling at Mother Nature

Tomorrow, March 9, will mark one of the most sacred holidays in Bali – Nyepi Day. Also known as the Bali Day of Silence, it will be a time when all of this beautiful land’s Hindus follow a ritual called the Catur Brata Penyepian, roughly the ‘Four Nyepi Prohibitions’: no fire, no travel, no activity … Read More

Bali Part Two – Falling Out of The World

I learned earlier this week that a woman who played a significant role in inspiring this journey passed away last Sunday. Sitting at an open air restaurant in Ubud, I opened my iPhone for a quick peek and saw the words “Our lovely lovely Lisa” in the title of an email from my friend Debra … Read More

Bali – Journeying Inward

On my last evening at the retreat, I finally tore my eyes away from the huge black butterfly who was trying mightily to fly away – despite the wall of glass he continued to bat his beautiful wings against. I was torn … do I help him or let him figure out that he just … Read More

Thailand Finale – All Creatures GREAT and Small

I’ll admit it – it is difficult to focus on writing here at the elephant sanctuary. Perhaps it’s because this is, sadly, my final volunteer gig of this amazing journey and my head is spinning a bit. More likely it’s because every time I open this document to jot down a few notes, my attention … Read More

Myanmar Part 2 – The Comfort of Strangers

I left Myanmar this morning with a flurry of mixed emotions and feelings. Sadness, gratitude, relief. This land was at once welcoming, confounding, beautiful, tragic, and generous. Allow me to try to explain. In my last post I wrote about how I found Myanmar’s challenging environment to be in such contrast to the beauty of … Read More

Myanmar – Opening Up

I arrived in Yangon yesterday afternoon and was immediately treated to a sunset drink and early evening stroll around town with a lovely woman from Buffalo Tours. While I didn’t fall hard and fast for this city as I did for Hanoi, our walk amongst its dusk-covered pagodas and Catholic Churches and old, colonial buildings … Read More

“Home”

I booked my plane ticket “home” today.  I won’t land in California for a few months yet … still… GULP. The word “home” is in quote marks because, at this point, I’m not sure exactly where that will be. When I left last September, I sublet the adorable California bungalow I was renting in Oakland … Read More

Thailand: In A Fog

So sadly … I’m sick again. Thankfully this time I’m not staring, bleary-eyed, into toilet bowl full of tiny frogs. This time – just an annoying head cold brought on, perhaps, by dramatic changes in climate and elevation as I traveled up and down the mountains of northern Thailand. Or maybe my body is simply … Read More

Laos Part 2: Loving Village Life

Without question, these past two days have left me with my favorite memories of Laos. Which I was not expecting as I climbed into the van with my guide Song yesterday morning – heading to a remote village about which I knew little. I hadn’t really done my homework this time – researching the region … Read More

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