How NOT to see the Periyar Tiger Reserve in India

My relationship with India has been strained to say the least. Each country has it’s own version of order or way things work. Usually it takes a few days to adjust and understand a country. As far as I can tell, India has no logic, rhyme, or reason. I’ve been here for over two weeks and still, I feel at a total loss. Even the locals seem totally baffled by simple questions.


“We would like to go on the boat safari in Periyar Tiger Reserve.” That statement was met with a...

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Book Review: Holy Cow! An Indian Adventure by Sarah Macdonald

holy cow an indian adventure

I’ve had Holy Cow! An Indian Adventure by Sarah Macdonald on my mile long list of books to read for what feels like forever. For some reason, every time I read the blurb about it, I felt disinterested. A girl goes to India, hates it, and is forced to move there with her boyfriend. Frankly, it sounded like a couple hundred pages of “I hate this, and this, and this, and India sucks.” I’m glad I finally put my initial impression aside and gave it a go because this book...

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Learning the Ropes: The Chinese Fishing Nets in Cochin, India

I was hit with the distinct smell of fish that had been sitting in the sun too long as the ocean breeze whipped across my face. Combined with the shade from the canopy of trees above me, I almost remembered what it felt like to be cool. It was the first time since I arrived in India that the heat didn't hit me like a brick wall.

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Prepare to Visit Myanmar with these Helpful Tips

Before you go...

Travel Document Requirements

  • Passport - required
  • Visa for Business - required
  • Visa for Tourism - required (more here on how to get a tourist visa)
  • Visa for Transit - not required as long as you remain in the airport and do not pass through immigration

Suggested Vaccinations

  • Hep A
  • Hep B
  • Tetanus
  • ...

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Finding Calm in Chaos: My Month in Myanmar

My life in New York was a series of scheduled moments. Wake up, walk the dog, go to the gym, shower, eat breakfast, go to work, come home for lunch, walk the dog, back to work, grocery shop, eat dinner, walk the dog, watch tv, sleep, repeat. Weekends weren't much different. Every second was scheduled to make sure I got the most out of my day and that I didn't forget anything. I was constantly checking my clock making sure I wasn't running a minute or even a second late.

Jump ahead to...

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Taking a Burmese Cooking Class in Myanmar

My quest of learning to cook continues, and this week it's Burmese food on the menu! I have to be honest, I didn't actually know what Burmese food was until I got to Myanmar. Even then, it took the whole month before I really felt like I had a grasp on it. The easiest way to describe it is a mix between Chinese and Indian food. The common dishes include curries, tea leaf salad, rice, and noodles. Some of the major ingredients are pumpkin, eggplant, peanuts, ginger, and garlic.


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Sunrise to Sunset: A Day on Inle Lake

Visiting Inle Lake has been kind of surreal. I did little research on this location before arriving and most people who visited described it as "touristy." By Myanmar standards, it is. In Yangon, I maybe saw one other tourist a day. In Bagan, there were plenty of tourists, but with a playground of temples to see (over 3,000) you could go hours without running into anyone else. So yes, Inle Lake is "touristy" in comparison. Regardless, arriving here was almost indescribable. Almost. I...

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Trekking from Kalaw to Inle Lake in Myanmar

I had read about a trek in Myanmar from Kalaw to Inle Lake while doing research. For some reason the idea of walking three days was not as appealing as taking a bus for a few hours, so I decided not to include it in my plans. After asking several people what their favorite part of their Myanmar trip was, the scale was leaning heavily in the direction of the Kalaw trek so, it made sense to experience it for myself.

The weird thing is, I really had no idea what the trek entailed. I...

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Is it Worth Paying for a Hot Air Balloon in Bagan?

The short answer is yes, yes, and yes again. The steep price of hot air ballooning in Bagan, Myanmar can be discouraging, but I promise it's worth it. Riding in a hot air balloon made my bucket list for things I'd like to do before turning 30, so taking a ride over temples at sunrise felt like a great way to check it off, until I saw the price tag. The cheapest price I found was $330 per person for a one hour ride with Balloons over Bagan. When you're working with a $30 a day budget, clearly...

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Speaking English in Yangon, Myanmar

One of the reasons I traveled halfway across the world was to understand cultures that were so different than my own. I'd see photos of people living in what we would consider a shack and smiling. They looked genuinely happy. Meanwhile, in my world, people would have everything and still seemed so miserable. So what was it that made people with so little so happy?

The first explanation came from something that often makes me skeptical. Religion. Most of the countries I would be...

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