From Perspectives

Long-Term Travel

In 2012, when I first abandoned the corporate world, I had a grand plan of traveling around Southeast Asia for a loooong time. 6 months, maybe? Or a year? “Easy,” I thought. SEAsia is cheap, and although the culture is so far from ours, it wouldn’t really be too far from the boundaries of my…


Safe Zone

“How do we keep the snakes away?” one of us finally speaks up after Nick, our tour guide, told us we would be sleeping on the ground. Good question. It is the first night of our camping tour across the middle of nowhere (aka the Australian Outback), and we are all surprised to find there…


Winter Warmth

I’m usually scared of big dogs, so when this doggie here walked closer to me, I WAS TERRIFIED at first. I would move away, but he would follow. It wasn’t long until I realized what he was trying to do.


Smile, Mate!

DARWIN, Australia — I stop in my tracks for two things: the delicious scent of grilled chicken is becoming too difficult to ignore, and the sunset’s afterglow illuminating the night market is just too irresistible not to be captured. I take a deep breath, raise my camera, and work the shutter. When I put my…


Trust Issues

BATANGAS, Philippines — I am staying at the porch of our Batangas home and pondering life’s complexities when a family van pulls over. The window rolls down and reveals the matriarch in the passenger seat. “We’re going to Manila,” she says. “Should we go straight?” “No,” I reply. “If you’re Manila-bound, turn right.” With that,…


In the Company of Two Rivers

LUANG PRABANG, Laos — “To the city center,” I say to the tuktuk driver. The bus from Vang Vieng arrived in Luang Prabang much later than scheduled and I did not anticipate reaching the city at this time. It’s already evening, and my awkward social qualities made sure I didn’t make any friends during the…


Featured

House of Open Doors: The Manila You Don’t Know

MANILA, Philippines — Guidebooks paint two-dimensional portraits of Manila: Intramuros here, Chinatown there, traffic everywhere. Online accounts reveal all her glaring flaws: she’s noisy, highly disorganized, a little suffocating, and totally insane. Yoshke Dimen takes a leap of faith in this sorely misunderstood megacity in search of her good side and finds that only those…


Kindness

TAOYUAN, Taiwan — An old woman and two suitcases have become the great divide between impatience and emptiness. Confused and frazzled, the petite lady unintentionally blocks the aisle to the Economy Class of that KLM flight to Amsterdam. The pressure from the growing line isn’t helping. She doesn’t know where to put the bags. The man…