March 2012

Eureka! The California Mix

When I’m traveling and people ask me where I’m from, I say “California.” And no matter where I am in the world, it’s remarkable how many people reply either in song or by exclaiming Hotel California! My friend Rex is the ultimate mix tape master: he created “The Christine Album” for my seventeenth birthday and put […]

March 30, 2012 Continue reading…

Postcard from the Bangkok flower market

A note to any potential suitors: fresh flowers are the one thing that I ALWAYS want. It doesn’t matter if it’s my birthday, an anniversary or just a rainy Saturday morning or a sunny Tuesday afternoon: a bouquet of flowers (anything but roses, ANYTHING but roses) is all it takes to make me happy. End […]

March 29, 2012 Continue reading…

The details of the Grand Palace in Bangkok

“Look at this attention to detail, even where you can’t see it. Steve Jobs would be proud.” Sure enough, my friends–an engineer and entrepreneur from Silicon Valley, if you couldn’t tell–were right: the craftsmanship was exquisite, even tucked into a corner. The Grand Palace in Bangkok is dazzling from the peaks of its golden wats […]

March 28, 2012 Continue reading…

How to not look like a backpacker while living out of a backpack

“It hurts to be beautiful,” my mother told me as I squirmed the first time she plucked my eyebrows.  That’s the beauty mantra I’ve grown up with: anything deemed comfortable automatically makes me suspicious. I don’t believe in “travel clothes” and cringe when I see multi-purpose pants, cargo shorts or money belts. If you wouldn’t […]

March 26, 2012 Continue reading…

Finding comfort in cathedrals in Asia

A sense of calm overcomes me as I dip my fingers into the basin, and make the sign of the cross before kneeling in front of the altar and reciting the Lord’s Prayer. I’m not Catholic, and I’m not particularly religious. But I do believe that people turn to religion to make sense out of […]

March 23, 2012 Continue reading…

Postcard from Tonsai

If Railay is paradise for outdoor adventurers in Thailand, then Tonsai is heaven for their dreadlocked younger brothers. It’s the major budget alternative to the resorts lining Railay East and Railay West, with very basic bungalows reaching from the beachfront deep into the jungle. Dotted with coffee bars and rife with the sweet smell of […]

March 22, 2012 Continue reading…

What I really did in Chiang Mai

Lest you think that my travel life is one continuous stream of swim and surf, I’d like to share the week I spent in Chiang Mai in which I did nothing but write, eat and hang out with other bloggers. It was a recharging week that I desperately needed: three months on the road was […]

March 21, 2012 Continue reading…