Blog

Sketchbook Journeys & Nostalgia in the Czech Republic

Reading Time: 4 minutesThe first time I stepped into the chilly Czech Republic, John and I weren’t yet married. It was our first trip together to Europe, and he wanted to show me all the most romantic spots. Naturally, Prague was on that list. I’d wanted to look...

5 Reasons to Visit Local Farmers’ Markets Wherever You Travel

Reading Time: 4 minutesWant to hear the true heartbeat of a city? Head to its local farmer’s markets. In Kampala, it was Owino, where the vendors selling second-hand clothes would shout at me, “Jackie Chan! Jackie Chan!” In Dumaguete, the “wet markets” or...

Pompeii: A Buried Treasure

Reading Time: 2 minutes Stepping into Pompeii is both eerie and enchanting. Rows of identical houses are connected by stone slabs, spaced out just enough for Roman chariots to plow through. In fact, you’ll still see what looks like chariot or wagon wheel tracks...

Seeing Pisa: The Tiny Leaning Tower

Reading Time: 1 minute Up close with the leaning tower of Pisa, the iconic structure seems tiny. Tourists with selfie-sticks, crowds of visitors, and street-sellers all crowd to Piazza dei Miracoli (The “Square of Miracles”). Traveling through Italy is...

Discovering Ferrara!

Reading Time: 4 minutes Ferrara took me and my sketchbook by surprise.   On a whim, I decided to go with Ellie, my four-year-old, on a trip to a city I’d never been before, much less heard of. It was for the fifth edition of the Autori Diari di Viaggio Festival, or...

Travel, An Awakening

Reading Time: 4 minutes Travel didn’t always thrill me. The first memory I have of an airport was an ugly tarp in the old Philippine International Departure Terminal. It was muggy and gray, just like my memory of that day. The year was 1985. I was five years old, and...

How A Rejection Letter From Google Was The Best Thing That Happened to Me in 2016

Reading Time: 1 minute [vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] I lie. It was pretty devastating. But let me backtrack a bit… In November 2015, I’d heard that a Fortune 500 company was hiring. They needed remote content producers for a travel and...

Travel with Kids: West Bohemia in the Czech Republic

Reading Time: 4 minutes  It was my second visit to Western Bohemia. I should’ve known better than to ask the waitress if the restaurant offered anything that “wasn’t so heavy”. “Everything in Czech Republic is heavy!” came the curt reply. It was Easter and we...

Venice Carnival 2016: Travel Tips & Video

Reading Time: 2 minutes[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]   Carnevale Venezia 2016 comes to its grand finale on Sunday, February 10. The world-renowned festival itself is said to come from the Italian words “carne” (meat) and “levare” (to remove or withdraw). In...

Lake Como in Winter: Budget tips for an Italian Alps holiday

Reading Time: 1 minuteLake Como may be the destination of the diamond-studded celebrity crowd, but if you know where—and when—to go, you can score a sensational holiday for half the price. For centuries, this pristine lake and its surrounding mountain peaks have been...

Travel, An Awakening

Reading Time: 4 minutes Travel didn’t always thrill me. The first memory I have of an airport was an ugly tarp in the old Philippine International Departure Terminal. It was muggy and gray, just like my memory of that day. The year was 1985. I was five years old, and...

How to Paint a Soul

Reading Time: 4 minutesIt wasn’t so much an answer, but a question, rather: How to paint a soul? How do you paint what is not obvious, beyond the visible or tangible? How does one capture the “inner essence” of another human being on canvas? Request for a Portrait I...

Colors of Autumn in Italy

Reading Time: 1 minute Temperatures have dropped drastically and the cold wind sets in. But the Fall season is still my favorite time of the year. Most of the tourists have gone home; it’s quiet and tranquil on the lake again. (Click on pictures to enlarge the...

Pompeii: A Buried Treasure

Reading Time: 2 minutes Stepping into Pompeii is both eerie and enchanting. Rows of identical houses are connected by stone slabs, spaced out just enough for Roman chariots to plow through. In fact, you’ll still see what looks like chariot or wagon wheel tracks...

Seeing Pisa: The Tiny Leaning Tower

Reading Time: 1 minute Up close with the leaning tower of Pisa, the iconic structure seems tiny. Tourists with selfie-sticks, crowds of visitors, and street-sellers all crowd to Piazza dei Miracoli (The “Square of Miracles”). Traveling through Italy is...

Experiencing Italy: Our Adventure Begins!

Reading Time: 2 minutes The goal is a little ambitious: to see as much of the Italian coast as we can while the kids are on summer school break! We started out on the west coast, heading from Milan straight to Genoa, then crawling back up north to do the entire...

Discovering Ferrara!

Reading Time: 4 minutes Ferrara took me and my sketchbook by surprise.   On a whim, I decided to go with Ellie, my four-year-old, on a trip to a city I’d never been before, much less heard of. It was for the fifth edition of the Autori Diari di Viaggio Festival, or...

Rainbow Season

Reading Time: 1 minute “Brutto Primavera!” I have heard the locals say. There’s been a lot of rain this spring and summer. Unexpected thunderstorms and harsh showers. But despite the weather, every kind of sky over Lake Como is a gorgeous sight. Even when low-hanging...

Travel with Kids: West Bohemia in the Czech Republic

Reading Time: 4 minutes  It was my second visit to Western Bohemia. I should’ve known better than to ask the waitress if the restaurant offered anything that “wasn’t so heavy”. “Everything in Czech Republic is heavy!” came the curt reply. It was Easter and we...

Venice Carnival 2016: Travel Tips & Video

Reading Time: 2 minutes[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]   Carnevale Venezia 2016 comes to its grand finale on Sunday, February 10. The world-renowned festival itself is said to come from the Italian words “carne” (meat) and “levare” (to remove or withdraw). In...

A Proper Saxon Christmas Pt 1: Festive Fun and Pyramids

Reading Time: 5 minutes (Repost from 2014 Blog) +++ “Mom, do you know what day it is today?” My nearly-five-year-old, who—if left to his own devices—would normally sleep until midday, is wide awake and smiling at 8am. “No, I have no idea,” I feign. “Today, we go to...

Hiking in Val Masino

Reading Time: 4 minutesSeeing the Val Masino was like no other landscape I had come across before. Wide, open spaces were scattered with piles of gigantic rock formations. Boulders that seem to have fallen out of nowhere sat majestically between hills and rivers,...

Wine Holidays With Kids! The Valtellina Vineyards

Reading Time: 5 minutes[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] The last time I found myself teeter-tottering on terraces in the middle of nature, it was beneath the Sagada sun. The impressive ground below my feet was made up of fields of rice. They were intricately carved...

50 Free Things We Enjoyed This Summer

Reading Time: 2 minutes   A biting wind blows outside as we all sleep in. The lake level has risen from last night’s thunderstorm. Before breakfast, we look outside to find that brand new snow has settled on distant Alpine caps. “Snow!” the children cry, “Hurrah!...