Exploring

  • When you think of Dubai what’s the first thing that comes to mind? If the first thing you thought of was money, mansions, or even people with monkeys for pets then you were a lot like me in the months before my trip. It took less than the length of my seven-day trip of a lifetime to eviscerate my...

  • It was always an alluring mystery as to where we were being lead to beneath the dim streets of Paris. Each student groggily attempting to stay moving in a line without the faintest clue of where our cabalistic metro ride had placed our fresh souls. Bodies weaved in and out of our way, coming and...

  • Where do I go when I want to stand on the equator but don’t want to sweat and definitely don’t like mosquitoes? Quito, Ecuador. The top of the Andes Mountains. South America. An elevation so high that jumbo jets only land and depart at night when mountain winds are more favorable.  Boarding a plane...

  • My first foray into the North Carolina I was born to was in the late Fall of my sophomore year in High School. Adolescence is a time made for rebellion, and since my whole existence had been a middle class suburban one, that was what I rebelled against. My taste for the backroads of my home began...

  • If I’m honest about it, I was never grabbed by books about history when I was younger. I found it hard to connect personally with what I read in their pages -- stories about people long gone, in places with strange names, seeming to exist only in two dimensions. Then, one day during C-block history...

  • I glance behind me, checking that my little sister is asleep on the bed as I slip out onto the balcony of our rented villa. It’s early evening in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, right after the heat of the day has passed but before the mosquitos have come out to feast on unsuspecting tourists. I walk to...

    Tags: Asia, Exploring
  • Bullets were as common as fireworks on the weekend of July 4th, 2016 in Chicago. More than 60 people were shot over the course of the weekend, and all anyone could talk about on my social media was the unfortunate decline of this once great city. I was asked to weigh in because of my recent trip...

  • The first moments: frigid air, penetrating my thin sweater as a chill travelled up my spine. Frantically waving to an array of yellow taxicabs that hurtle through the streets of the John F. Kennedy Airport like disgruntled bees. Gazing through the car's frosty, grey window as the silhouette of...

  • He was probably in his late twenties when he died. He was a Christian monk and a member of the Knights Templars of the order of Calatrava. He slept in his armor and he rarely bathed. Let’s call him Rodrigo. Next to him lay a pregnant lady and another man with a fist-sized piece of iron in his chest...

  • Some ideas are the product of meticulous planning and deliberate thinking, while others just seem to happen. When three friends and I decided to climb a 7,000 foot mountain at 3:00 AM to herald the sunrise with our trumpets, it was decidedly an idea of the latter variety. It had begun as a relaxed...

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