Historically, Fort Saint Elmo in Valletta is known for protecting its grounds from the outside; but on two memorable nights, it housed a different kind of power by welcoming beloved differences. In a country whose only borders are a great sea, the feet of hundreds of curious minds journeyed to the coast of a historic city to eat, drink, and make merry in quite an eclectic scene. Malta’s Second Annual World Music Festival made space for artistic expression through music, food, and culture.
Seeking to make my six months in Malta an experience of intrigue and intention, I searched for change-makers on this island. And I found them.
I woke up on my last day in Tokyo with few expectations. By 11 am, I had to somehow explain to my insecurities that I would be naked by noon– in front of strangers.
“In my opinion, this is the most beautiful monastery…” Continue reading “Varlaam, A Peak of Pleasantries: Metèora, Greece”
Imagine the sky a more faint reflection of the sea and feeling the breezes of an ancient empire warmly massaging your skin– you are probably somewhere within the Greek islands. With over 6,000 isles, Greece leaves you limitless with an opportunity for island explorations. As an expected surreal beauty is common among them, I can personally attest that these three islands depict memorable stories within their essences.
Six hours from Athens, and still an ocean away from home, my train finally halted to the lovable town of Kalampaka. Awaiting me here was not an adventure that I was eagerly anticipating, but an experience that would center my spirit, connecting an earthly bond between reality and fantasy in the “Middle of the Sky.”
I’ve pretty much accepted that my best friend has an impeccable taste in music to the point where I won’t even ask for the AUX when riding in her car… and I will just hand it over if we’re in mine. Throughout all the times she’s DJ‘d our car rides, she’s introduced me to plenty of amazing artists… one of whom in particular we recently experienced live at the cozy Songbyrd Music House tucked away in the not-so-cozy Adams Morgan district of DC.
Many people have asked this million-dollar question, and I’ve never quite known how to come through with a million-dollar answer… I just knew I didn’t want my experience to be easy, common, and, in a weird way, too comfortable. Before I could even realize it, South Korea robustly granted all three of my wishes though at one point in time it was literally the last place on earth I would have ever thought I’d go. Exploring the why of this adventure is one I definitely had to answer in retrospect in order to tell the whole truth… Now six months removed from my first East Asian travels, I think I can honestly articulate the madness to my method.
Confession: I TOOK NONE OF THESE PHOTOS. I guess I’m officially a fraud. They were actually taken by Hannah (hannahandthefirstcrusade.wordpress.com) so any and all photo creds go to her! Be sure to check her out!
Some people say that a nation’s big cities never capture the dimensions of its people’s culture or history. Ehhh… true? However, I would say that there are a few places in Seoul that may peak your interest in these areas since they give you a quite a bit of historical and cultural tease. Surrounded by mountains and the metropolis, Gyeongbokgung Palace of the Joseon Dynasty (1395!) did just that for me.
Many people told me what to expect when I came to Korea… lol.