Agonda Beach: once more, with feeling!

"Plans are just ideas…
having things not work out
the way you wanted them to
is not a gigantic tragedy."

~ Mom


A bull at the magic hour on Agonda BeachA bull at the magic hour on Agonda Beach, Goa, India.

My last post reflected a lot of the uncertainty and fear I was feeling, which is a bit unusual for me.  I tried to avoid letting the post turning into a pity party – after all, who feels sorry for someone stranded on a beach with great Indian food nearby? – and address some of the circumstances that led to the situation.  Behind the scenes, I also asked for a bit of help from friends and family.  They delivered.

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India: finding paradise

I was pretty happy to focus on photos and other media to share about this trip, but a friend told me what she wanted was words.  Not having great internet means that I'm writing off-line, which is not my usual m.o.  I like to write around the pictures.  So what you've got here is a bit more introspective and less bouncy than usual.  Hope it still stokes your curiosity and makes you want to travel!

Bring your luggage, not your baggage

One of the first things that struck me about India was something I noticed before I had even arrived: everyone who has set foot in the country has very strong opinions about it. Most of the opinions do not match up in any way that I can fathom, outside of their strength.  "It's intense!" "So much fun!" "Extremely dirty." "Be careful – it's dangerous." "An amazing country!"


Path of Gold - Agonda Beach, Goa, IndiaPath of Gold – Agonda Beach, Goa, India


Many insisted that I take their view on board. Not in so many words, but my lukewarm acceptance of their cautions appeared to frustrate more than a few. It's not that I doubted anyone else's experience as utter truth for themselves, but I was not interested in packing their filters and biases up in my wheelie bag for the journey.  I already had a few of my own (though not as strong, perhaps); I travel to relieve myself of unfounded beliefs, not to acquire more.

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Think you know the nature of divinity?  Think again!

Hanuman, also known as Maruti, is the Hindu monkey god.  He is known as the remover of obstacles.  AND he has a sense of humour!


Hanuman_at_Maruti_Temple_PanajiLove you, Hanuman.


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Scenes from Morocco

Hallooo and salam alaikum from Morocco!

I'm currently on the road, revisiting previous locations and exploring new ones.  I'm also conducting a mobile-lifestyle kind of experiment with my tech geekery, seeing if I can actually edit photos, write blog posts, and do everything from my daily life (except play video games, alas!) from a tablet instead of a laptop. So far, so good, though there are definitely some limitations.  Best to get these things worked out now, before I disappear to India for 5 weeks!

The scenery here has been amaaaazing, to quote my dear friend, Rachid again.  Since my flawed camera lens does better in warm weather than cold, I think I'm managing to get a better collection of photos on this trip than I did in Austria.  I impressed myself today by figuring out how to edit photos, including resizing and adding a leetle copyright mark to them, while on the train from Fes to Casablanca.  Woot, woot!  Go, technology!

But enough about toys…  Here are some scenes of Marrakech, the High Atlas Mountains, and Ouarzazate.  Hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I enjoyed shooting them!

Window at Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakech, Morocco

You could say these photos are …a window into Moroccan life?  Oh, bah dah bing!

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From Vienna to Salzburg: Austrian Christmas Markets!


Christmas waves a magic wand over this world,
and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.

~ Norman Vincent Peale


I wanted this post to be filled to the brim, like a mug full of glühwein, with silliness and irreverence.  I was planning to make you snort, giggle, and perhaps roll your eyes.  But I have gone off track and slipped into gleeful delight. Austrian Christmas Markets are BEAUTIFUL!  They embody everything that I find grand and lovely and warm about Christmas – and I cannot wait to show you pictures!

Schloss Hellbrunn means "Shiny Ornaments" in German. Maybe.

Schloss Hellbrunn means "Shiny Ornaments" in German.  Maybe.

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Sneak peek at the Austrian Christmas markets

Austria in winter is probably best known for skiing and the après ski culture that goes along with it.  We Yanks probably throw in a bit of Julie Andrews sing-a-long to go with the holidays, too, but it doesn’t go much further than that.  And yet there is a softer, gentler, less athletic, and more vacation-y side of things.


Wolfgansee photo courtesy of Austrian Tourism Board.

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How2Brit: 9 tips on becoming British

Earlier this year I received my British passport and officially became a citizen of two countries.  It had been a long time in the making, what with back-and-forths with the paperwork to my dad, moving from one country to another, and also not really being able to apply while I still held a DoD security clearance.  But this spring I held the tiny wee book of pages in my hand and cried.


Passport to all things right and proper!

Now TWO countries can tap my email!

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