Art scene in Saudi Arabia

People always seem to be surprised that art (and really good art) exists in Saudi Arabia.  There may be certain restrictions due to Muslim religion, but art can still bloom within restrictions.  And often what comes out are powerful and memorizing images that speak to you. This was the case of the Maïmouna Guerresi’s  Solo Exhibition…

Mesmerized by the art and words of Qin Tian

Qin Tian’s exhibit at KAUST in January 2017 Writing has always been a part of my life. I wrote my first novel when I was 6 about an Irish Setter named Cinnamon and his adventures living with a koala bear in New Zealand (it wasn’t very good). All my life, I have always jotted down…

Surfing in Muizenberg

  “Danger” is my middle name. No, not really. I’m actually more of an analytical risk-taker and what I mean by that is I know my limits and take risks that push them just a bit – like when it comes to surfing in Muizenberg.   Muizenberg is one of the top places to surf…

PHOTO MOMENT: Cactus dodging during the Las Vegas Ragnar

I have a weakness for deserts, especially the ones in Arizona and outside Las Vegas.  The cactus are so beautiful. This shot of me was taken during the Las Vegas Ragnar Relay. I’m the one in the purple and I’m determined to catch the runner in front of me.  

Aloha Hawaii!

Living in Switzerland is pretty sweet. It’s got mountains, lakes and hiking paths that lead to breathtaking views. But it doesn’t have pineapples…or coconuts…or palm trees. I like palm trees. I miss palm trees. I also miss drinking cheap Pina Coladas while looking at palm trees.   After nearly two years in the Alps, it…

The Big Island: Is the Place of Refuge worth a visit?

Generally, museums and typical touristy areas are places I avoid when on vacation. I tend to prefer being part of the adventure rather than reading a wall plaque about some else’s adventure. But because I had nothing better to do and was spending my day just randomly driving around the Big Island, I decided to…

Strolling through Vevey

With so many cool places to visit, you often forget about the amazing things in your own backyard. I too am guilty to this. Since moving to Switzerland, I’ve done trips to France, Italy, Prague and other places, but I haven’t really explored here. With the My Switzerland App, I learned that you walk from…

Visiting the other Bellagio

This weekend it was time to visit the other Bellagio.  You know…the one that’s not in Las Vegas; but the one that’s in Italy on Lake Como. Instead of taking the train, I decided that I would drive this time.  Let me say that there are pros and cons to driving.  The pros include being…

The Matterhorn really is impressive

One of the great things of living in Switzerland is that you don’t have to go far to see the Alps.  I can actually see them from my balcony at home. However, you do have to get on a train or rent a car is you want to see the really cool mountains close up.  This…

De-stressing amongst the Lavender Fields in Provence

    One of my favorite books is “A Year in Provence” by Peter Mayle. I read it in my early 20s and at the time, decided I would move to Provence at the age 35 and open up a little bistro from my home that overlooked my imaginary vineyard. As a back up plan,…

Hiking the Fiery Furnace in Moab

Fiery Furnace in Utah A natural labyrinth of narrow passages  — that’s how Arches National Park in Utah describes the Fiery Furnace. Other websites describe the 3-hour hike as an extremely rugged scrambling area.  And then there are the photos of the red sandstone walls and pillars that make up the trail. For a desert…

Stockholm Marathon: Known as that time I didn’t train

Waiting for the Stockholm airport bus to take me to the city. As you know, I run many half marathons and am addicted to Ragnar Relays.  But I’ve only done one full marathon and that was in January this year while in Dubai (See blog post on Dubai Marathon). Outside Karolinska Institutet’s new lecture hall complex…

The Gaudi Weekend in Barcelona

Le Pedrera I’ve been to Barcelona a few times and each time I go, I try to see a different area – or a different aspect of what the city has to offer. I’ve already exhausted the Rambles and Gothic Quarter. And I’ve done the whole shopping thing. What I hadn’t done yet was see…

The beauty of Prague

Main square in Prague Prague is everything people say it is and more. When I visited it, I didn’t expect it to be so modern and trendy. In the James Bond film, “Casino Royale,” the shots with their red carpets and old hotels, made the city feel like it was stuck in time in the…

Running in Prague

John Lennon’s Wall in Prague Last year I got really lost in Madrid while on a run. I mean really lost. The first 90 minutes were great. I was running through the streets in the early morning and thinking it was a beautiful city. The only people I saw were drunk people walking home from…

Tea by the Irish Sea

Ireland with all its ruggedness always calls to me. It’s cold, rainy, windy and the sea is always angry when I visit. But they do make the best scones and there is nothing like a hot pot of tea to take the chill off. This March I had the chance to see Ireland through the…

Sailing in Dubai

My friends will tell you that I’m not very good at sitting still. I love hiking and the outdoors, but sitting in a campground or camping sounds horrible. My idea of a picnic is standing at the summit, eating a protein bar while enjoying the view for 5 minutes and then going on my way….

Running with my tribe doing the Dubai Marathon

Dubai is one of my favorite cities that I have been to so far. I love the mix of East and West, I love the whole bigger than life sleek skyscrapers and I like that it’s still slow-paced, unlike Shanghai and other modern cities. I admit that it is expensive there for eating and drinking…

The unsexy side of traveling

Visiting Cambodia was amazing. I got to run a race with temples in the background, I got to eat some amazing food and I got to see a country that I’ve wanted to check out for a while. I also got sick. It started suddenly. I arrived in Thailand and my stomach was feeling a…

A Culinary Journey in Thailand

Curry, lemongrass, spicy broths and seafood…I’m drooling already. The food in Thailand is so flavorful. The last time I went, I decided to learn how to make some of my favorite things. My culinary journey began with a visit to the local market with the chef from the Anantara Hua Hin Resort in Thailand. Taking…

There’s just something about Thailand

      One of my favorite trips to date has been Thailand. I spent a week in the Golden Triangle last year and the energy in Bangkok is fantastic. There’s just something about this country that I love. It may be the people, the food, the weather, the tropical plants…or maybe it’s the elephants….

From Siem Reap to Phnom Penh

I admit except for running the Angkor Wat half marathon, I really didn’t have any concrete plans on what I wanted to do in Cambodia. But I figured while I was there, I should go visit the capital Phnom Penh and check it out. It’s about a 6 to 8 hour drive from Siem Reap…

Running the Angkor Wat Half Marathon

I wanted to run the Angkor Wat Half Marathon last December, but because I had gone a little overboard on my trip to Thailand in October, I couldn’t make it happen for me financially. But 2015, I knew I was going to do it. My friend and I waiting at the starting line at dawn….

Pampered at the Golden Temple in Siem Reap

It’s always a little bit scary when booking hotels online in countries you’ve never been before. Not only do you have no idea if the neighborhood is going to be good, but you have no idea if you are getting a good deal for your money. Plus, sometimes places that come up as 4 or…

Christmas Fondue – It’s a Swiss thing

Each country has its own traditions, but I do like the whole “let’s gather” for fondue tradition that they do in Switzerland. The best part is the “cheese crust” at the end. But there’s a knack to getting it out. Fondue is one of those totally delicious meals that you can’t have by yourself.  It…

Hunting for Truffles in Tuscany

These are not truffles, but this was the woods where we found them. Google is a wonderful thing.  Or maybe it’s a dangerous thing for my pocketbook…as it lets me act on a whim. The whole reason I needed to go to Tuscany in November (in addition of being in desperate need of hermit weekend)…

The weekend I ate too much in Tuscany

The view from the house. I’ve had great experiences with AirBnB in last two years.  I’ve stayed on houseboat in Cairo (see blog post), a fantastic house overlooking the desert in Arizona (see it here) and numerous little apartments in Paris. Coming up the walkway to the Tuscan Farmhouse This weekend was another AirBnB adventure…

Volunteering at a vineyard for a day

My fellow volunteers snipping the vines. I’ve always wanted to own a little hobby vineyard where I make my own wine and maybe have a little wine cafe that’s open only on the weekends.  Yes, I’m a bit of dreamer, but you never know…perhaps one day. In the meantime, I’m gathering information about winemaking and…