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Monday, 05 May 2008

The Art of Travel

For those who are addicted to travel – who plan their next vacation as soon as they return; who look for a plane, train, boat, anything to move from A to B – one constant underlying question pervades: Why?  Why do we love travel?  Why do we feel the need to escape our comfort zone and dive into the foreign?  Most importantly, what do we expect to get out of it?
Published in ink

Literature has always been a portal into the foreign. The exploration of lives that do not belong to you in a place you have never been is what a reader hopes to encounter page after page, from beginning to end. And for those who can only discover a new country from the seat of an armchair, travel literature is the holy grail of experiencing the unfamiliar.

Published in interview
Friday, 29 February 2008

Budapest's Thermal Baths

My first encounter with a hot spring spa occurred four years ago when I was living in Budapest, Hungary – a city renowned for its numerous bathhouses. Two large outdoor pools lay before me, with slowly rising steam being the only indication that their water was anything but chilly. As I stepped into the warm spring, I could almost immediately distinguish who were regulars to the scene: groups of wrinkly women in bathing caps, chatting and arguing amongst each other; and older men hovered around chessboards that were built into the bath’s concrete floor. It was undoubtedly a different spectacle than the first introduction of baths to the city, but the atmosphere and purpose remain the same. Here is a place where locals come to chat, to heal, and to soak in the earth’s natural minerals.

Published in insight
Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Danshui: Taipei's Coney Island

In the lively fishing village of Danshui (more commonly known as Tamsui to the locals) a lengthy boardwalk summons its strolling visitors to slow down a notch; to look left at Taiwan’s Danshui River, and right at the flashing arcade games lined up in blinking rows.  For the residents of Taipei a mere 40 minute ride on the metro can provide an escape from a city of over 2.5 million.  A bike path serves as a more scenic route, and was in fact the mode of transportation I chose to make my way from Taiwan’s capital to Danshui.

Published in interest

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