Last Stop (for now): London & Cambridge

Handstands & Hostels

My summer adventures came to an end in late September with one last stop in the UK. I spent a couple of weeks in London and Cambridge catching up with friends and family, relaxing, doing some parkour research, training, and wandering around one of my favorite cities.

IMG_2043 This building looked old and important so I took a photo of it.

IMG_2075 This one too. I think it’s kind of a big deal. Not sure.

IMG_2056 Ran into this guy in the center of London. I hear he’s pretty good at jumping off stuff. No idea what I’m talking about? Google Sebastien Foucan. Photo by Paul McLaughlin (The Leisure Media Company) who was nice enough to capture the moment for us with something nicer than my iPhone. Thanks, Paul!

IMG_2129 Cambridge can be really pretty sometimes.

It felt so great to be back in the UK and to be able to see some good friends, but…

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London is for Travelers

That One Guy Who Travels

Wait, I’m in London?

Yep, I guess I am! I told you I would be traveling soon, didn’t I?? I just landed here this morning for a relatively short trip (six days) and I couldn’t be happier! Despite no sleep on the flight (pretty standard for me), the excitement of being in my favorite city will keep me buzzing for at least a little while.

So what’s on the agenda? Other than a weekend in Brighton (to see friends and attend another fabulousTimey Wimeyevent), nothing definite yet! My friend Bill (you know, the one who has traveled here with me for the last two years) came here a day earlier, so I’m currently en route to meet up with him now. As usual, look for regular updates, photos, and the like.


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Exploring the Harry Potter Universe: Behind the magic

Wanderlust: Becoming a Traveler

I was 11 years old when the first Harry Potter film came out in theaters. I was hooked. This magical universe consisting of such a diverse assembly – or community – filled with real human beings with complex and paradox feelings just captured my heart from the beginning – just like is captured the hearts of so many others around the world.

When I watch the Harry Potter films, I’m immediately transported into this enchanting universe in which magic in all its variations is the overall theme. However, it’s so much more than just that. As such, when I lived in London three years ago, the Warner Brothers Studios opened their ”the Making of Harry Potter” exhibition. There was no doubt: I was going to visit the studios as soon as possible. Within the first week of their opening, some friends and I were on the HP bus on our…

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The serene and green United States

Brightsun Travel

While it is difficult to think of green spaces in the ultramodern landscapes of the USA, you will be surprised to know that many cities in USA feature beautiful gardens that serve as a great escape from the bustling city life. So next time when you board your flights to USA, don’t forget to visit these spectacular parks that offer a great ambience amidst rich and diverse flora.

The Portland Japanese Garden:- This traditional Japanese garden occupies an area of 5.5 acres. Located within Washington Park in the West Hills of Portland, Oregon, USA, it comprises of five sub-gardens, namely, the Strolling Pond Garden, Natural Garden, Sand and Stone Garden, Flat Garden and Tea Garden. Each of these picturesque gardens is designed to impart harmony and serenity with nature.


New York Botanical Garden:- The iconic New York Botanical Garden, located north of Manhattan in New York City, is a great…

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Leah Tess Howard

How are you today?

How did you feel when you rolled over onto your side this morning and opened your eyes?

What was the first thing you saw? Was the sunrise creeping in through the curtains? Or was the moon still keeping company to the stars?

What was the first thought to cross through your mind? Did it dance around in your head for a bit, occupying the spaciousness of it and playing loosely in its corners?

Did it run away from you, hiding behind the one approaching?

Or did it fade in the light of your consciousness, disappearing into the horizon of the morning?

What was the force that pulled you out from under the covers? Was it the anticipation of a steaming cup of coffee? Or of seeing the woman who kissed you last night standing at the kitchen counter with messy hair and your shirt draped over…

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10 types of expats — which one are you?

The InterNations Survey have conducted their second annual Expat Insider survey. This was updated for 2015. The expat organisation surveyed 14,000 of its 1.8 million members from around the world to assess the living situations and well-being of expatriates. With this wealth of quantitative and qualitative data, they defined 10 specific types of expats as shown in the info-graphic below.


Nuuk: Greenland’s Colourful Capital


Greenland has been at the top of my bucket list for as long as I can remember. Though I want to visit everywhere, places that are wild and remote intrigue me on another level. If these remote places are freezing cold and filled with ice and snow? Well that’s even better.

Greenland is considered by many to be one of the worlds final frontiers for travellers. Infrequent and expensive flights, minimal infrastructure and few tourist companies mean that for now, much of Greenland remains untouched, unexplored and wild. However, for better or for worse, this is quickly changing. If you want to experience authentic inuit culture, untouched arctic wonders and avoid crowds; go to Greenland NOW. I’d bet my left kidney that in the next few years Greenland will become much more of a tourist hotspot and many of the things that make it so appealing will fade away.


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Jiaqi in Italy: Parma & Bergamo: Probably the Best of Italy

There is no better way to learn about Italy than visiting its less-known, more relaxed cities. With the intention of going off the beaten paths, I visited Parma and Bergamo last weekend for a weekend escape from the 24/7 dynamic Milan. I want to hunt for the humble trattorias and their simple, satisfying, inexpensive cooking. I want to look into those elegant, tranquil courtyards inside of the residential houses with historic outlooks. I listen to how people talk on the train, how they converse with the baristas while quickly sipping their espressos, and how they complain about the weather over phone.

Town of Parma Town of Parma

Historic center of Parma Historic center of Parma

I come to Parma because like everyone, I want to pretend for a day at least, that I am Italian. There is no easier city to do that in than Parma. One can walk the markets without bumping shoulders with other tourists, eat a sandwich…

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Western Hong Kong Island: A Walk Back in Time

What an Amazing World!

Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences

History is a subject many people scrutinize with frown on their faces, one that triggers discussions and evoke memories, both good and bad. It also is a terrific means to raise a optimism and bring purpose, particularly in a world where tragedy is what sells on the news.

One Saturday morning James took me to the neighborhoods in Hong Kong Island’s western districts to visit what has become his campus since 2013, and to retrace another chapter in Hong Kong’s history, including one that really tested the island like never before.

Under the grey winter sky, an early 20th century red brick Edwardian-style building stood out in the dense neighborhood at the western part of the island’s Mid-Levels – a terraced upscale residential area perched along Hong Kong Island’s rugged hills. ‘Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences’ the signboard read, hanging above the arched…

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Maritime Asia, Past and Present

What an Amazing World!

A Model of Jin Dynasty Catamaran (3rd - 5th Century AD) An Eastern Han Dynasty (25 – 220 AD) Boat Model

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

George Santayana, American-Spanish philosopher and novelist

Since the invention of raft which eventually led to the creation of ship, humans have wandered not only across rivers and lakes, but also seas and oceans to reach terra incognita, lands that only existed in their imaginations before. As human population grew trade became a major drive for erstwhile explorers to brave themselves to risk their lives in return for gold and glory. From frankincense to silk, tea, coffee, ceramics, and spices, intercontinental trade was made possible by the invention of stronger, bigger ships equipped with more sophisticated navigation equipment.

In the Far East, in the time of the Zhou Dynasty (1046 – 256 BC), rudder technology was developed, opening the way for successive dynasties to incorporate ships into their military forces…

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