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More Oaxacan Wonders and Activities

Posted by on September 18, 2017 in Advice + Tips, Entertainment, Excursions, Featured, Food, Local Color, Mexico, Mexico, Museums, Oaxaca, World Heritage Sites | 6 comments

More Oaxacan Wonders and Activities

One final post on Oaxacan sights and fun things to do, both in Centro and beyond, before I leave after almost 6 months in this colorful Mexican city. The historic center is great, but make sure you get out to the surrounding areas as well. For example, take a day trip out to the amazing pre-Columbian archaeological site of Monte Alban… Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you’ll see this partially excavated civic-ceremonial center, including the main plaza, terraces, and clusters of mounded architecture, as well as many carved...

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The Art of Travel Photography

Posted by on September 2, 2017 in Advice + Tips, Around the World, Art, Featured, Inspiration, Landscaapes, Local Color, Photography | 7 comments

The Art of Travel Photography

Do you want to see the famous sights of the world and bring back great photos to remember them by? Or maybe take better pictures when you head out camping or to the beach? Are flowers and food shots your thing when you travel? Puppies and kittens and critters you meet? Selfies or portraits of your new best friend? How about a few more interesting pics to share on social media like Facebook and Instagram? This isn’t a comprehensive guide to photography by any means, but rather a few simple tips to help turn your photos into small works...

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Food of the Gods, a Chocolate Tour

Posted by on July 21, 2017 in A Day in My Life, Advice + Tips, Chocolate, Excursions, Food, Markets, Mexico, Mexico, Oaxaca | 6 comments

Food of the Gods, a Chocolate Tour

Love chocolate?! Come to Oaxaca, where chocolate is part of the culture, and comes in many forms and flavors. Recently I had the pleasure of going on a chocolate tour with Chris, of Oaxaca Profundo Tours, where he shared not only tons of tastes, but also the rich history surrounding this flavorful food. While we we tend to just think of chocolate as that sweet confection we eat as a treat, there is so much more to this “food of the gods.” For instance, did you know that chocolate was once used as currency? Instead of gold, cacao...

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The Art of Making Rugs in Teotitlan del Valle

Posted by on July 6, 2017 in A Day in My Life, Advice + Tips, Art, Entertainment, Ex-pat living, Excursions, Food, Local Color, Markets, Mexico, Oaxaca, Teotitlan | 4 comments

The Art of Making Rugs in Teotitlan del Valle

Teotitlan del Valle is a colorful village of rug-makers just outside of Oaxaca in southern Mexico where Zapotecs have produced rugs for many generations. How much time does it take to hand-make a rug? Answer – a lot! After sheep are sheared, wool is washed, carded, and spun into yarn, then the yarn must be dyed. Some weavers still use all natural materials for color, such as indigo for blue, nut shells for brown, marigolds for yellow, and cochineal, a small insect that feeds on the prickly pear cactus, for brilliant magenta. Others have...

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Wandering Oaxaca, Mexico

Posted by on June 8, 2017 in A Day in My Life, Advice + Tips, Art, Entertainment, Ex-pat living, Food, Local Color, Markets, Mexico, Museums, Oaxaca | 4 comments

Wandering Oaxaca, Mexico

What is it about Oaxaca that entices visitors to come and to linger? Let’s wander around and see… The first thing that I noticed, being a painter and photographer, is that Oaxaca is a city of colors – color is everywhere! From the buildings on the bustling streets… …to the walls of graffiti – whimsical, playful, pretty, and political. Turn a corner, and what do you see? Balloon sellers in the Zocalo, along with a gazebo, market, and shoe shine stalls, and sometimes even a free symphony concert! Nearby,...

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Anatomy of an Assault

Posted by on May 18, 2017 in A Day in My Life, Advice + Tips, Ex-pat living, Mexico, Oaxaca, Safety, Travel Challenges | 14 comments

Anatomy of an Assault

Most of my blog posts are full of pretty pictures, and the next one after this will be too. But the subject of this one, the physical parts anyway, are gone, except for now-fading abrasions and on-going pain of bruised ribs. Here’s the anatomy of my assault… On April 27, in San Sebastian Etla, a small village a short way outside of the city of Oaxaca in Mexico, I was assaulted in broad daylight, knocked down in the street, my purse ripped off of my arm. I was headed from my Airbnb on the 10 minute walk to the main road to catch a...

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Los colores de La Manzanilla, Mexico

Posted by on March 22, 2017 in Advice + Tips, Beaches, Bookstores, Coast, Ex-pat living, Food, La Manzanilla, Landscaapes, Local Color, Markets, Mexico | 44 comments

Los colores de La Manzanilla, Mexico

La Manzanilla, Mexico is a sleepy little fishing village and laid back beach town, so what is there to tie a nomad like me down for 6 whole months? Turns out plenty! First, there’s never a shortage of local color, especially for a photographer … Endless walks on the 6km stretch of sandy beach enthrall, delight, and soothe the soul day after day after day. Some weekends and holidays are filled with frolicking swimmers and sandcastle-building kids… …while many times you’ll have the edge of the sea virtually all to...

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California Dreaming – Southern Beach Towns

Posted by on March 2, 2017 in Art, Beaches, California, Coast, Landscaapes, Local Color, Los Angeles, Museums, Seal Beach, SoCal Beaches | 2 comments

California Dreaming – Southern Beach Towns

Part 2 – Los Angeles and Southern California Beach Towns As a second act to my return to California, I’m happy to present a tour of the Golden State’s best southern beach towns, along with a tiny glimpse of LA. The Megabus droned on through the night for eight hours from San Francisco, depositing me in the heart of Los Angeles in the wee hours, where my friend Lisa was kind enough to scoop me up. It had been several years since we’d seen each other, but with some friends it’s as if no time has passed at all. Thus...

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California Dreaming – Back to the USA

Posted by on January 23, 2017 in Accommodations, Advice + Tips, California, Entertainment, Excursions, Hiking, House Sitting, Lake Tahoe, Museums, Pet Sitting, Sacramento, San Francisco, Tiburon, Transportation | 8 comments

California Dreaming – Back to the USA

Part 1: Hopping House Sits in Northern California After 18 months outside the US, it was time for a brief return. Leaving Thailand when my six months of visas were up, and with the first draft of my book manuscript completed, I made a sweep through California to renew my passport, and more importantly, to see family and friends. Keeping with my backpacker’s budget, this included house and pet sitting, a cobbling together of places to stay. Opportunities arose and disappeared per usual on this journey, more chances for a planner like me...

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Expat Life – Back in Chiang Mai

Posted by on December 2, 2016 in Accommodations, Advice + Tips, Elephants, Entertainment, Ex-pat living, Excursions, Food, Inspiration, Local Color, Songkran, Temples, Thai New Year, Thailand, Transportation | 10 comments

Expat Life – Back in Chiang Mai

  Have you ever wondered what it would be like to move to another country? To be an expat in a foreign land? For six months I had a sampling of what that’s like in Thailand. It’s easier than you might think. At first, it can seem really foreign, different language, even different alphabets…     different foods…     different religions, and different customs.     For someone like me, who finds all of these differences fascinating, it’s like living in a dream! People in Thailand are very friendly,...

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