San Miguel de Allende: Jewel of Mexico

The jardín falls into the shadow of the cathedral as boys ring the bells. Every evening. I love this town. No, it’s not a comprehensive view of Mexico by any stretch of the imagination; it is a dazzling one, though. It’s a place where some of the best characteristics of Mexico are simmered down into…

Dancing with a Green Troll in Belarus

I am already finding myself missing this place called Braslav (a picturesque small town in northwestern Belarus) with its beautiful lakes and beautiful, kindhearted people. On Friday afternoon, my American colleague Kieran and I arrived at the Braslav bus station and were greeted by some of the most outgoing teachers that I have ever met,…

In Kota Kinabalu with the Scuba Partner of My Dreams

“We were floating with the current at this awesome place called Sipadan,” my roommate at Kinabalu Backpackers Lodge in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia told me. At 10 pm we were both hanging out in the dorm room. Me, after a day exploring Kota Kinabalu, eating street food, going to Palau Sapi for snorkeling, and then getting…

Learning to Paint Over Tea in Kyiv

Spring brings a freshness to the air that is unmistakable. It’s damp, earthy and still chilly. Kyiv, like many other cold cities, comes out of slumber in spring. Trees and bushes are blossoming, flowers are blooming, and cafes and restaurants are beginning to spill onto the sidewalks with their outdoor sections. I walk for hours…

“Oh, Does Your Daughter Eat Buwad?”

“Would you mind it if I come to serenade your daughter?” the old man joked to my mother in Visayan, assuming I did not understand the language; my fair, half-Filipino, half-Spanish skin must have been a dead giveaway that I was a foreigner.  My mother briefly chided him, then went on to relay the neighborhood…

Nana Housing for Thai Medical Services

If you are considering visiting Thailand for medical tourism (see Medical Tourism with Eve for notes on hospitals and dentists), there are two areas of the city where I would recommend staying. The first and easiest is near the Nana BTS station. I stay at The Manhattan where the prices are decent (100 USD or…

Sala Daeng Housing for Thai Medical Services

If you are considering visiting Thailand for medical tourism (see Medical Tourism with Eve for notes on hospitals and dentists), there are two areas of the city where I would recommend staying. I’m not a big spender on the hotel when I take my medical trips to Thailand. I prefer to take it down a…

Medical Services in Bangkok

“Yay! I’m so excited. I get to visit my doctor next week for a checkup.” My friend looked at me in disbelief over a plate of steaming khinkali as we ate dinner in Tbilisi. “Sorry, you’re excited to be visiting your doctor? That’s not something you would ever hear me say.” “Right, but my doctor…

A 13-hour Layover and Istanbul Lay in Front of Me

Landing at the Ataturk airport in Istanbul, a 13-hour layover lay in front of me. I purposefully scheduled my flight from the States to land around 9 am and my second flight, to see my sister living in Tbilisi, Georgia, for 11:30 pm. Timing wise it was perfect, with enough time to get into Sultanahmet…

Skiing in Gudauri is Descension from Heaven

Skiing in Gudauri is like descending from Heaven–you pass through the clouds. The highest slope, also my favorite, is 3270 m. The ride up from the bottom takes several chair lifts and can be bitterly cold if there’s a wind, but when the lift deposits you at the top, you are immersed in a blue sky…