Dancing on the beach in Ipanema, Brazil

“When she walks, she’s like a samba/That swings so cool and sways so gentle/That when she passes, each one she passes/Goes “a-a-a-h” ~ The Girl From Ipanema by Jobim, de Moraes and Gimbel (Eng. lyrics) I too said “Ahhhhhh” in Ipanema, but for very different reasons. This year, I have vowed to walk with a dance in my step—one that in my head is an exotic bellydance but in reality is more like a bad rendition of the Cupid Shuffle. As I look ahead to all that I hope to accomplish, I cannot help but to look back: Brazil was the second trip abroad that my husband and I took together as a couple. He proposed in Paraty right before we headed to Iguaçu and right after I had a near death experience with a hairdryer that had gotten in an altercation with a cheap Indonesian adapter. Blue flames up…

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Magical and Prestigious Capri, Italy

There is the magical air of something nearly unattainable on the Island of Capri. As helicopters descend toting the rich and famous and pretentious live models walk the streets, eyeing only the most worthy clientele, you either feel oddly invited to the party as a coveted guest or as a tentative and curious bystander merely window shopping in the elite yet glorious, Great Gatsby-esque city.   On the ferry ride over to Capri, I sipped happily on my post-breakfast Limoncello shot. The secret to why crew serve it (besides to have giddy tourists more eager to shop)? I’m sure it has a lot to do with the abundance of lemons grown in the Amalfi cliffs, but as an unfortunately queasy boat passenger, the canary yellow liquor works miracles on seasickness. Throughout our time in the Amalfi Coast, I wasn’t the only one struggling with the bumpy seas—as overheard in whispered dinner…

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The Making Of A Book Review Blog

Why did I create a book review blog?  And then decide to smush in traveling?  Find out below: My Books Bring All The…Lizards To The Yard Every night after a day full of teaching high schoolers English and early AM wakeups from the azan and roti roti vendor—along with horns, backfiring motorbikes, and the never ending village yet city-like sounds in my Indonesian home—I would land on my couch with a good book. These books came from care packages and overpriced expat stores.  Plus, I had a few that made the cut on the weight-restricting journey from America. Cicaks fell from the ceiling onto my pages as I melted in the oppressively humid air.  Daily thunder earthquaked my stucco walls.  I would read throughout the night, usually by headlamp, as my power and water just happened to peter out between 9 and 10 pm. I only stopped in between paragraphs to…

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