• Swimming Like a Champion

    On arriving in Melbourne, Australia, I had a number of skills that I wanted to either begin or improve. One of them was swimming. I remember being a decent swimmer as a kid, spending a lot of summer days at […]

  • Dealing with Getting Ripped Off

    Re-reading my journals from my travels in Central Asia, I came across a pertinent analysis I’d made (and subsequently forgotten) of the different ways of dealing with getting ripped off while traveling. Getting scammed on the road is something that […]

  • Chamberlain, Gettysburg, and Boldness

    I love movies, and like most people, certain scenes from certain films make a powerful impression on me from time to time. I often catch myself replaying these scenes in my mind throughout the course of a day. While this […]

  • Goethe the Great

    I have always loved reading, and feel that I generally do a good job in selecting books that will interest and stimulate me. But every once in a while a book comes along that I feel truly speaks to me, […]

  • The Central Asia Police Files

    An unfortunate reality of travel in many of the former Soviet states is the frequency of run-ins with the police. They may be corrupt cops looking for a bribe to supplement their meagre salaries, business-like officers going about their byzantine […]

  • The Seven Lakes of Tajikistan: The Importance of Being Prepared

    “It’s not that far, is it?” I asked in broken Russian. My Tajik host mother shook her head, and replied in broken English, “No, not far. Few hours walk. Let me pack you a lunch.” The homestay, run by an […]

  • Seduced by Venice

    I arrived in Venice on a gray, rainy evening in June 2010. As I traipsed across a bridge, soggy backpack weighing me down, doubting that the hostel directions that I’d hastily copied off the internet were accurate, I couldn’t help […]

  • Moment of Oneness in Hasankeyf

    I have recently undertaken a long-delayed commitment to seriously practice meditation, breathing exercises, and spirituality. Additionally, I have been reading some selected works of Goethe, which I will soon write about; for now, I will just say that a few […]

  • Chasing Lost History at Malazgirt

    “The bus leaves from here to Malazgirt at 3:00, and returns tomorrow at 1:30. Ok?” he said in Turkish. He was the ticket man at the tiny rural bus station in the tiny rural town of Ahlat, on the north […]

  • The Birth of My Travel Life

    My first solo trip abroad occurred the summer after my first year of college, when I was 19. I had been studying the Turkish language as part of my Near Eastern history degree program, and had won a grant to […]


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