The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (in pictures)

Harry Potter has meant so profoundly much to so many people, and never is that more poignant than when you are walking around the commercial madhouse that is Universal Studios’ Wizarding World of Harry Potter. “It’s a racket, it’s a racket, it’s a racket,” you’re telling yourself. “Don’t buy that $60 sweatshirt, or that $7…

The Springs

Kayaking looks like it’s all about the arms, but that’s a sure way to burn out too quickly. You know that true power comes from a one-two-three push: brace the calves, squeeze the gut, pull the bicep. Watch the whirlpools spin out endlessly behind you as you glide forward through the tannin-stained water that looks…

Ill in The Philippines

So, this is the way the whirlwind ends. Not with a bang, but a blurhagahak-ugh (*an onomatopoeia I have just invented for the sound my horrible, endless vomiting and dry-heaving made.) Yes, that’s right, we went to the Philippines, and I got horribly, horribly ill! We were feeling pretty invincible right up until it happened,…

Disneyland, Hong Kong Style

We were Disney Dynamite, dashing from ride to ride, whipping past the poor, bewildered fellow park-goers (who were just not on our level). We blew through each land and managed to hit every single ride and show that Hong Kong Disney had to offer, plus a few repeats along the way. Is there an award for a Disney Dream Team? Because if so, we definitely earned it.

Pre-Readjustment Blues: Last Day in Hong Kong

Tomorrow morning I board my last flight out of Hong Kong. I just spoke to the office that runs our flats to inform them of my imminent departure. They instructed me to put my key in an envelope and drop it in the mailbox on my way out. So that’s that, then. Tests taken, papers submitted,…

Journeys in Japan: Osaka and Kyoto

It’s 10:23 am. I’m sitting slumped on a concrete train platform in Kyoto, toasty under the mild sun and surrounded by a slapdash assortment of buildings and blue mountains. Trains glide smoothly to and from the platform, and their passengers stare at me from clean, tinted windows with mild concern. Because someone sitting on the ground tends to draw…

Pineapple Mountain – The Only Arid Place in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is undeniably beautifully tropical and lush – this we have discussed ad nauseam. Everywhere you look you will see brilliant green palm trees, dangling vines, and bright cerulean sea. You don’t come here looking for red rock formations and scrubby trees, and yet when we ventured out to the New Territories on a…

One Year Later (Our New YouTube Channel!)

On October 19, 2015, Kelly and I posted our first blog post. It was a light and cheery post describing a weekend jaunt to Quebec City. We snuck into the Château Frontenac, we gorged ourselves with sickeningly sweet Beaver Tails, and we explored the magnificent Montmorency Falls. It was a great weekend: six friends basking in the final…

BANGKOK!

Bangkok is a wild place – a place where energy runs high, happenstance and coincidence rule, and truly anything, anything can happen. Because it was Sam’s 21st birthday and the flights were cheap, we hopped on a plane to Thailand late Thursday evening with nothing more than a hostel reservation to count as our “plans” This free-form style…

Hike Hong Kong: Scaling the Dragon’s Back

Dragon’s Back, a portion of the much-celebrated Hong Kong Trail, has been on our radar for months. I’m pretty sure I had this hike written on my “To Do in HK” list back in January, back when the idea of us living in Asia was just a far-off fantasy. We had planned to do this hike…

Big Buddhas and Bigger Spiders on Lantau Island

The Tian Tan Buddha (colloquially known as the Big Buddha) is “the world’s largest outdoor seated bronze Buddha” – and yes, that is indeed a lot of qualifiers. It is not the world’s largest Buddha. Not by a long shot. Yet, looming 112 feet above the misty mountains of Lantau Island, the Big Buddha is inarguably…

Hike Hong Kong: Victoria Peak

The magic of Hong Kong is the true marriage of urban jungle and actual jungle throughout the entire region. It is the fourth most densely populated city in the world, and yet 40% of the land is lushly green preserved park, perfect for serene hiking. Along with being an icon of Hong Kong, Victoria Peak is…