Myanmar Travel Guide: What to Do and See in This Amazing Country

Myanmar Travel Guide: What to Do and See in This Amazing Country

Because I travel so much, people often ask me to name my favorite country. It’s a tough question to answer, because many of the places I have visited offer something truly special and unique, but when pushed for an answer, I always say Italy and Myanmar. This fall I ventured to this wonderful country with a group of friends who had never been there before, and I have to say it still held many magical moments for me, despite it being my 4th time there! My first time visiting Myanmar was nearly 15 years ago, and while much has changed since then, the main things I love about the country have remained the same.

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Aegean Adventures: Details from three weeks spent in Greece

Aegean Adventures: Details from three weeks spent in Greece

Greece is one of those places that I read a lot about in my school books growing up. The mythical stories of gods and goddesses - accompanied by photos of ancient temples and marble statues - left a lasting impression on me. As I grew older, I was also drawn to the gasp-worthy images of crystal blue waters and quaint, white-washed villages. It seemed like one of those places that you needed to see in person to believe it was even real. I traveled to Greece for three weeks in September, and for the most part, was blown away1

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5 Reasons Why You Should Visit Japan

5 Reasons Why You Should Visit Japan

I adored Japan. As I strolled through the cities, eating fresh sushi and admiring beautiful pagodas, I kept wondering why it took me so long to get there. I couldn’t help but appreciate the traditional ways, the beautiful styles, the lovely people — the simple perfection of it all. In my opinion, Japan is the perfect place for a solo female traveler. I found it easy to navigate, there were more street signs in English than I had anticipated, and those who spoke English were always willing to help. Even though I am tall and blond I never felt intimidated, anxious or out of place. I felt extremely safe, respected and welcomed in Japan.

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5 Tips For Seeing Orangutans in Borneo

5 Tips For Seeing Orangutans in Borneo

I don’t like monkeys, but I love apes! I have visited the mountain gorillas in both Uganda and Rwanda in the past, and next I really wanted to see wild orangutans. Through my research, I learned that orangutans are the only apes that live outside of Africa and are only found on two islands in the world - Borneo and Sumatra. The orangutans in Borneo are found in Malaysian Borneo, in a region called Sabah, in the northern part of the island and it just so happens that one of the best dive sites in the world, Sipadan, is also located in the same general part of Borneo, which was perfect for me. I really enjoyed my time in the rainforest and would highly recommend a visit. To help you plan your rainforest adventure, here are 5 tips to for seeing orangutans in Borneo.

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Varanasi, India: Life Along the Ganges River

Varanasi, India: Life Along the Ganges River

For me, India is a challenging country to visit. It is unabashedly raw and in your face, with a frenetic energy that buzzes morning, noon and night. Even after spending 10 days in the city of Varanasi, I never became fully immune to it’s chaos. Things never fully stood still for me. Through my lens, moments held an underlying current, a slight movement, a blur.  Photographing life along the Ganges became easier as the days progressed, but in my mind’s eye, the city was constantly pulsing, always moving. Colors swirled, people melded together.

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My Top Experiences in Puglia and Basilicata, Italy

My Top Experiences in Puglia and Basilicata, Italy

When I was planning my extended trip to Italy, I knew I wanted to visit parts of the country that I had never been to before. The regions of Puglia and Basilicata kept coming to mind and the day I mentioned to my Italian relatives that I was considering going there, their eyes lit up. I knew then that I was definitely onto something special!

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My Guide to Southern Sri Lanka

My Guide to Southern Sri Lanka

In January I found myself back in Sri Lanka, on a solo trip that I purposely designed to be slow, relaxing and peaceful. The last (and first) time I visited this lush, green island was in the fall 2015. At that time, a friend and I made our way around the island in a whirlwind, self-guided tour that left me exhilarated but exhausted. This time around I decided that things would be different, and so I planned a trip focusing more on wellness and less on culture. What I didn’t realize at the time of planning the trip was how much I needed this type of escape! 

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The Valle d’Itria in Puglia: A “Trulli” Special Place

The Valle d’Itria in Puglia: A “Trulli” Special Place

I originally decided to head to the region of Puglia, Italy because I was captivated by photos I had seen of the cylindrical stone homes with cone-shaped roofs (known as trulli) and because Puglia remains somewhat under the radar as a tourist destination. When I arrived, I found trulli all over this part of the Puglian countryside, but I also happily discovered some of the most innovative and tasty cuisine in Italy, and many extremely generous & kind people!

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My Sicilian Road Trip: Parte Quattro - Greek Ruins Galore

My Sicilian Road Trip: Parte Quattro - Greek Ruins Galore

For the last part of my Sicilian road trip, I headed to the southwest corner of the island. I had read somewhere that Sicily has more ancient Greek ruins than Greece itself, and after visiting Selinunte and the Valley of the Temples, I think it’s probably true! I was so impressed with the collection of temples all across Sicily, I wonder if I need to even go to Athens :-)

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My Sicilian Road Trip: Parte Tre - Northwestern Sicily

My Sicilian Road Trip: Parte Tre - Northwestern Sicily

After having spent time on both the Ionian Coast (including a day trip to the Aeolian Islands) and in the Siracusa/Val di Noto area, I geared myself up for a long drive through central Sicily to my final destination for this part of my road trip, the far northwest corner of the island . En route, I made a stop at Villa Romana del Casale to see some of the best preserved Roman mosaics in the world.

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My Sicilian Road Trip: Parte Due - Visiting Baroque Beauties

My Sicilian Road Trip: Parte Due - Visiting Baroque Beauties

For the next part of my road trip, I left the northeast part of Sicily and drove roughly 180 km, or 2 1/2 hours, to my next destination in the southeastern part of the island. Known for it’s glorious Baroque cities and home to the Magna Graecia’s most magnificent ancient city, this part of Sicily attracts lots of tourists. The baroque beauties of Noto, Modica and Ragusa are all on my agenda for this part of my road trip, as well as the town of Siracusa (Syracuse). 

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Amazing Azores: Top Places to Visit On the Island of São Miguel

Amazing Azores: Top Places to Visit On the Island of São Miguel

I knew very little about the Azores before I ended up there. After having spent 6 weeks exploring the big cities and small towns of Spain and Portugal, I was in need of some “nature therapy”, so heading to the lush green hillsides and dramatic beach cliffs of the Azores seemed the perfect way to scratch my outdoorsy itch. With that in mind, I booked a flight on Azores Airlines and found myself flying to the island of São Miguel.

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Through the Lens: Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Spain

Through the Lens: Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Spain

Holy Week (Semana Santa) is the biggest religious celebration of the year in Spain. It is a time for Spaniards to take to the streets and watch elaborate reenactments of the Passion of Christ, as well as enjoy some time off work in the company of their families and friends. I was very curious to witness these celebrations for myself, so during my month of traveling around Spain I decided to spend an entire week in the lovely university town of Salamanca, Spain - directly in the thick of things!

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LALIBELA: Faith and Devotion in the Mountains of Ethiopia

LALIBELA: Faith and Devotion in the Mountains of Ethiopia

I am fascinated with the idea of faith. Specifically, I am drawn to places where I can witness and capture the power of faith. Devotion, spirituality, worship - whatever you may call it - I am intrigued by people with high levels of reverence and enthusiasm for something beyond the physical. Religious observances are particularly interesting to me, so it only made sense that I head to Lalibela, Ethiopia to photograph the celebration of Orthodox Christian Christmas. 

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ETHIOPIA'S OMO VALLEY: Enlightening, Challenging, Humbling

ETHIOPIA'S OMO VALLEY: Enlightening, Challenging, Humbling

I feel like I’ve been seeing photographs of the tribal people who live in Ethiopia since I was little. As a young girl growing up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I had no idea where these people lived, but I was fascinated nonetheless by the women with the lip plates, all the colorful beads they wore, their seemingly easy way of life. When I decided to go back to Ethiopia earlier this year, I knew I had to visit the Omo Valley and photograph these interesting people for myself. I wanted to truly live out a “National Geographic moment.” 

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