Europe

  • The entrance to the EL-DE Haus

    The building looked innocent enough from the street. With its greying stone, plain rectangular structure, and uniform windows, it looked like simply another old office building that you could walk past, barely noticing that it was there. On a panel of glass above the door, the letters EL-DE were...

  • The narrow, serpentine road hugs the hillside, rocks and vegetation to the left, a sheer drop to the Mediterranean to the right. We’re taking the Sita bus from Positano to Amalfi this morning, the third day since my family flew into Naples. The driver complains about the hulking tour busses that...

  • As the plane leaves the runway, I look down at the Chicago skyline below me. The skyscrapers comfort me with their developed construction and urban characteristics. When clouds mask my view, I settle into my seat, hoping that I made the right decision to travel to the country of Latvia.    When I...

  • My whole life revolved around summer camp. I would dream of  climbing onto the bus and taking off  for another summer spent lakeside with my best friends at Emma Kaufmann Camp. The school year was just a buffer between summers, like a sip of water is the buffer between comforting spoonfuls of warm...

  • Young and hopeful, I dreamed of seeing the places from my "Who Was" books and History Channel documentaries. I wrote stories of going to Egypt and discovering King Tut’s tomb for myself. I wished I could go to India and return, having found the ghost of Mumtaz Mahal lingering in the Taj Mahal too....

  • Bollywood Dance Performance

    I stood center-stage in a colorful costume and stared out into the crowd eagerly filling the cobblestone square. Beyond, the Sudety mountains stood proudly before a glowing sunset. The music began, accompanied by colorful lights and a fog machine. A smile split my face, and I began to dance. A...

  • LUCERNE, SWITZERLAND. 1421.   It’s summer, when the snows have finally receded back into the fang-like peaks of Mount Pilatus. The small lakeside village rests peacefully in its foothills, quiet and picturesque. A farmer is out today, taking advantage of the longer day and the cool afternoon breeze...

  • Playing soccer in Susani, Romania.

    My eyes grew sleepy as winding hills consumed my view, sloping gently into the background with no sign of relapse. I watched as sunflowers danced in the wind and wildflowers mingled haphazardly; the colors of a thousand sunsets in one field. I was awoken from my trance with a jolt as the driver...

  • View from Rocca Maggiore

    There are those vacations that leave you with fond memories, and there are those that leave you forever changed; my trip to Assisi was of the latter. After enduring a grueling five-hour layover, a turbulent overnight flight, and poor quality airplane food, I arrived in this quaint mountain village...

  • All the sounds fade away as the doors close and suddenly I am apprehensive, unsure and excited all at once. The elevator is packed with people who have come from all over the world for this moment. No one speaks and in the silence I hear their steady breathing. But we are all too preoccupied to...

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