All posts filed under: Travel

vegetable tart expat kitchen

expat food haul: 15 essentials

Cheese is the epitome of luxury when it’s not available where you live; mine is running out, and I’m starting to panic. Here’s a list of the most comforting food items I typically pick up, consider, re-hash, debate, remove from the shopping card, and maybe put back in the shopping cart. Maybe.

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on travel favorites: long hauls

After 4 years abroad, and enough inter-continental travel to warrant a few opinions, I thought I’d put together a quick list of travel favorites for long-haul trips (8+ hours, in economy class). My first goal is to share, but my second is to hear suggestions; there are always more efficient, more pleasant, and less harried ways to reach your destination. 

on callings

Some argue that your calling isn’t WHAT you do, but HOW you do it: How do you impact the people around you, as a banker or a shepherd or a chef? On the other hand, maybe your passion doesn’t have to culminate in a single, grandiose gesture to humankind; you can live out your calling in small pieces, offering yourself to the universe as you go.

on Stone Town

No exaggeration: Zanzibar is one of the most stunning places on earth. Stone Town, its capital, knows this, and flaunts it. Herewith, a few photos of a “living museum” incarnated as a fabulous hotel; a walk through old Stone Town; and views of the Indian Ocean from a rooftop café. Links at bottom. Every sunset is one of those sunsets. The beauty is relentless; eventually even your camera throws up its lens in exasperation. And no, there is no filter to do this justice. Don’t bother. We brought a bit of home with us to show off: Have you been to Stone Town? What/where do you recommend ? Photos of Dhow Palace Hotel, and 6 Degrees South rooftop restaurant. For transportation throughout Zanzibar, and tips, tricks, & tours, contact Samir Ayub / MiMi Tours & Travel: +255 772 050 974, or Whatsapp +255 787 786 238. Highly recommended.

on the beach

I spent childhood summers on the South Carolina coast eating tuna sandwiches with my maternal family, sipping Fresca while the grownups sipped from Canadian beer cans sweating inside fluorescent coozies. I have fond memories of sunscreen, mysteriously persistent sunburns, salt-soaked bathing suits, toes reaching for sandbars, catching crabs in freshwater inlets, and searching for shells at low tide. Nevertheless, I’m no beach lover. Vacation destinations, as far as I’m concerned, should be temperate and ideally windy, cozy, even rainy. What can I say, I’m a cold weather enthusiast. Yet when a tropical coastline beckons, and the timing works out, only a fool would resist. So I found myself in Zanzibar on Nungwi Beach, at the island’s northern tip, slathering sunscreen, kicking sand, and marveling at breathtaking scenery. Blue hues dominate Nungwi, reminding me of another of my favorite destinations. The pace is slow, as it ought to be, and relaxation is the permanent modus operandi, a challenge for a stress-prone tourist trying desperately to wind down from a new gig. Fortunately I had some help in that department from my …

on disappointment

One strength that comes with age, to my utter satisfaction, is the diminishing of Fears of Unusual Proportion. Those situations or conversations that years before might’ve rendered you weak in the knees with stomach in knots are now set in relief against such a breadth of life experience that their power over you is a fraction of what it used to be. That’s not to say the fear is eviscerated. I think that only comes after a lifetime of transcendental meditation, or the sudden bequeathal of super hero powers; I’ve achieved neither. In fact, I’ve noticed that old fears are simply replaced with newer ones, the latter more concerned with community than ego, with inner well-being than with outward presentation. Nevertheless, difficult conversations and weighty responsibilities are more and more the things I push through, small prices for a career, or growth in relationship, or simply growing up. Yet when it comes to conquering one particular fear, I may be a late bloomer: The fear of disappointing others. Last week I had a triple-threat lesson in this particular theme, …