Serendipitous

Serendipitous

Coincidence, Chance, and mere Luck. These are the lifeblood of our travels. They are a large component of The Swerve, that gut feeling or shiny object that leads you down one road instead of another. And you can never know what lay down that other road had the choice been the opposite, even if you … Continue reading »

Twelve Tribes

Twelve Tribes

The cuteness of the Yellow Deli is literally irresistible.  The benches and tables are carved from huge slabs of reclaimed wood and situated in nooks which bestow you with a cozy, secluded sanctuary; the lighting is soft and flattering; the décor is rustic and homey. And the food. Dear God the food. Fresh, organic, rich, … Continue reading »

Forced Relocation

Forced Relocation

Transition is rough. It is neither here nor there, but a murky and uncertain in between, fraught with both possibility and terror. It seems in my travels that I am rarely “done” with a place, and am plagued by a constant shortage of time. Tick tock. This causes a resonating sadness with every departure. Yes, … Continue reading »

Little Big Brother

Little Big Brother

On a collection of tropical islands barely the size of New York’s five boroughs, nestled right up under the shabbiness of peninsular Malaysia, there stands, in complete defiance of its neighbors, a glimmering country of textbook modernity. Singapore, once a beloved British colony, and subsequently ejected from its adopted Malay affiliation for being too economically … Continue reading »

Fighting Cocks

Fighting Cocks

We’re going to begin this with an immediate and overly simplistic defensive maneuver: I love animals. You’d be hard-pressed to find an omnivore more strongly empathetic than I to the plights of those who live under human domination (which, if you count the unintentional consequences of our consumerism and its effects on habitats we haven’t … Continue reading »

Impressions of a Third World

Impressions of a Third World

People of the Philippines are rich, but not many of them. Far more find themselves utterly destitute.  No matter the income, however, they prove themselves industrious, eager, resilient, friendly, and able to maximize available resources. They sleep in mansions encased within barbed wire walls or unprotected on a couch in an alley, in a concrete apartment, in … Continue reading »

Ten Steps

Ten Steps

Your library contains a tear-dribbled section concerning grief and how to deal with it. These books will inform you that humans follow a reassuringly predictable pattern as they dredge their way through otherwise surprising combinations of emotions.  There’s denial and anger and depression, but an often overlooked step is the one where you let your … Continue reading »

Expletives

Expletives

“Mrs. Thoma?”  says the sweet flight attendant with the handful of Kleenex. Yes? “Your ticket comes with an in-flight breakfast.” It does? “Yeh, that’s odd,” says the seatmate from Australia with an accent rendering him barely intelligible, “I had you pegged as the brown bag type.” It’s been a day of odd I admit to … Continue reading »

Communing with Turtles

Communing with Turtles

As a kid, snorkeling in Michigan never made sense. The water was murky at best and, besides that, you couldn’t imagine anything below the surface but seaweed and trout.  Better to just ignore whatever is down there.   A snorkel in Hawai’i, however, is pure magic.  Your face breaches the waters’ surface and the entire ocean … Continue reading »

Stasis

Stasis

Alaska felt too comfortable.  So much so we fell right into old habits of shredding a bathroom and slowly reviving it while partly neglecting the niftiness of being in freakin’ Alaska again.  Indeed, we fit in some truly fantastic experiences but, as I watch Anchorage and the mountains and the mud flats, all blanketed under … Continue reading »