All posts tagged: Travel

Letters on Tues(Thurs)days – A Travel Plan Without Plan

As the rain encroaches… Dear Wilton, As you know I went to Panama last week for four days for a short Thanksgiving vacation. It was a surreal experience and here I am to discuss the trip and my planning (or rather the lack of) as a metaphor. No matter how much you plan, life always have something else in mind – not that I was big on plans to begin with. Fortune, good or bad, will always lead you somewhere, whether you want to be there or not. The decision to go can be considered spontaneous, but I have known that I was going to Panama since September. Though, to keep in that spirit of the spontaneous, I neglected to plan anything. This type of spontaneity has been a big part of my travels since college: spontaneous road trips, flights, visits. What made it different this time is that I did not even look at any points of interest until the day before. Even then, all I found where places to go but not how to …

Letters on Tuesdays – Seeing the World

Dear Wilton, We have been very privileged. Remember to thank mom and dad. Our parents never really stopped us from exploring the world around us, though sometimes it definitely made them uncomfortable. They were not passive either. Indeed, you can recall the numerous times that they took us on vacations to different countries in an effort to broaden our worldview and our horizons. Travelling and seeing the world take on different meanings as you grow older. As a kid, I was fascinated by the physical differences of all the places we went. Every place looked different and felt different. Some, like Singapore, was hot and humid. Others, like Thailand, was more rural and resort-like. Still others, like Japan, was highly technologically advanced. I was focused, always, on the present moment and present location. Slowly, however, I began to become more interested in the fabric that makes each place unique: history, environment, people, culture, etc. Perhaps the change was driven by my own interests in history and biology, further developed by my pursuit of an anthropology …

If You Want to Visit Peru

As a recent graduate, I have a fair amount of time on my hands while job hunting. This meant that I have plenty of time to indulge in reading, one of my favorite pastimes. I am a pretty avid reader cutting across a variety of subjects: history, biography, biology, classics, philosophy, to name a few. One of my favorites things to read is books about foreign places, cultures, and histories. I recently devoured the book, Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time by Mark Adams. The author retraced the expeditions by Hiram Bingham III, who was famous for “discovering” Machu Picchu and a host of other Inca ruins in Peru. The book is highly entertaining and really reminded me of my own time as a research assistant in the Peruvian Amazon. If you are interested in learning a little bit about Inca culture and history, there is lots of nuggets in this book. If you want to visit a foreign place, but is unable to physically at the moment, this book …