The cemeteries of Kyoto

I love cemeteries! Whenever we travel I try to find the closest one possible. In Kyoto I was lucky enough to simply stumble upon several as I walked through the city.  Death is one of the few truly universal constants and I’m fascinated by the way different cultures honor and venerate their dead. Unlike the…

Cannes, France

Several months ago I got to spend a few days in Cannes. I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting… honestly, I think I was expecting something “newer”, something “flashier”, something “larger then life”.  I grew up associating Cannes with luxury hotels, opulent boutiques, impressive yachts and movie stars.  All these things exist in Cannes — but…

Balinese offerings

In the 16th century Islam became the prevailing religion on the island of Java (the geographic and economic center of Indonesia); today, Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world. With the continuing influx of Islam, the nation’s Hindus fell under increasing persecution and many fled to the island of Bali. Today, Bali has managed…

Luwak Coffee

What happens when you combine a mongoose and coffee beans? Apparently you get the world’s best coffee. Mongoose eats (or should I say, “is force fed”) coffee beans Mongoose poops out coffee beans Humans collect, clean and process the coffee beans The result: animal cruelty and really expensive coffee. I love coffee, but I’ll pass…

Monkey Forest

Let me start by saying, “I LOVE MONKEYS!!!” There is a place in Ubud, Bali called Monkey Forest; it’s one of my favorite places in the world. Monkey Forest is actually a nature preserve and Hindu Temple complex turned tourist attraction. The Ubud Monkey Forest describes its mission as conservation of the area within its boundaries…

Bali, Indonesia

After an amazing stay at Nihiwatu we moved on to Bali. My first visit to Bali was almost 15 years ago and it was nice to be back. Bali is a magical place filled with the essence of all things exotic. I really can’t describe it… the first time I set foot there it felt…

Sean Borland, magician extraordinaire!

Our stay on Sumba has been filled with amazing events; some humbling, some breathtaking, some absolutely out-of-this-world. On our first night we met a friendly guy named Sean Borland who is originally from Edinburgh. Turns out he works for the hotel and is also a world class magician. By “world class” I mean “world class” (not some…