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Archive | The Subcontinent

Finding Mount Everest: A Story of Travelling and Loss

“There she is.” The pilot’s finger, held up against the window of the cockpit, nearly obliterated the very thing I had come all this way and paid all this money to see.

“That one?” I put my own finger to the cold glass, aware that the propellers on the small airplane were swallowing my voice. Each mountain seemed roughly the same, barely varying in shape or height. I looked to the pilot for confirmation. He smiled with big, white, snowcapped teeth.

“Yes,” he mouthed over the whir of the propeller’s blades. “That’s Everest.”

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You Will Question Your Role As Traveller

It was March in Varanasi, and I had arrived as part of a three-week tour around India. I hesitated signing up for it all those months ago, when I was still mapping the route I’d take through Southeast and South Asia, an eight-month adventure that I’d thought of for years. I had never taken a tour of any kind, and I envisioned a bus full of khaki-wearing, sunburnt tourists, the kind who refused to eat street food or use a public toilet. As a solo traveller, I finally decided it would be easier and safer to travel with a group, even if it meant our days were sometimes planned down to the hour.

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The Bracelet From Varanasi

This place was sacred. Bodies burned day and night on the ghats, the steps leading to the Ganges; it was not uncommon to find bits of ash in your hair or on your skin. I balked at the chance to drink tea with the holy men after I learned that the Ganges was the source of the water, even though, as my guide told me, “It will make you closer to India.” I watched each morning as men and women bathed in the river, washed their faces in the river, drank from the river. Hindus and Jains came here to die, the Ganges serving as the divine cosmic road to salvation. Tourist boats rode up and down the water, the people on them snapping photos of cremations.

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A Holi in Delhi

New Delhi, India Two years ago, I spent some time in India. I coordinated my weeks there so that I was able to attend Holi, the festival of colours. It is quite famous, with people throwing water and powdered paint on each other in celebration of spring and the season of love. Though it is […]

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Around the World: Sunsets

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Thar Desert, India Koh Lanta, Thailand The Great Ocean Road, Australia Colonia, Uruguay Near Oslo, Norway Phoenix, USA Utila, Honduras El Nido, The Philippines On these long and cold winter nights, I needed a little sun. For more in the Around the World series, click here. *Follow me on Facebook and […]

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A Whiter Shade Of Pale

Havana, Cuba New Delhi, India Kathmandu, Nepal Niagara Falls, Canada Popayan, Colombia Las Peñitas, Nicaragua Mancora, Peru Luang Prabang, Laos A colour (or shade, if you will) I’ve never featured: white. And right now, my life is surrounded by white, with snow, with newness, with a blank slate.  For more of my colour features, scroll […]

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