Marseille: A Tale of Kindness

Solo travel, especially for women, can be worrisome. Yes, it is true, but only if one does not take precautionary measures. However, solo traveling can also be a lot of fun, adventure-filled, and tremendously worthwhile. Recently, I went on a solo trip to the South of France, first to Montpellier and then to Marseille, France’s…

Halifax, Nova Scotia: The Past Lived in the Present

An enchanting maritime city well-preserved by time, where daily life is tranquil, amicable, and influenced by its proximity to the sea. A place where the locals are called Haligonians. Remarkable geography, rich history, stunning architecture, vibrant culture, and delectable cuisine make Halifax a top contender on anyone’s bucket list. I arrive in Halifax on a…

OF WILD ANIMALS AND MEN (AND A WOMAN)

Truth be told, I am not crazy about wild animals, but something very profound happened when I went on my first safari adventure. About two years ago, Chiumbo (“Chium”), my Kenyan neighbor of 10 years informed me that he was leaving California for good and would be returning to Kenya to care for his ailing…

Accommodations of the World

Okay, so you got your passport and your airline tickets, but have you decided where your temporary digs will be when you get to your destination? While most travelers prefer staying at hotels, others prefer these types of accommodations for a cozier atmosphere and a more memorable and authentic travel experience: GASTHAUS (Germany) – also called…

Nǐ hǎo and Ciao: A Tale of Two Towns

This photo essay aims to present in living color the two celebrated thoroughfares of San Francisco’s Chinatown district and Little Italy (North Beach).  Considered the main arteries to the heart of the city, Grant Avenue and Columbus Avenue entice millions of tourists each year. CHINATOWN: After China’s defeat to the British in the first Opium…

TEN REASONS WHY I FELL IN LOVE WITH ITALY

ITALY.  I Trust And Love You. It may be smaller than California in terms of size, but Italy is big in almost all things that matter: food, coffee, art and literature, fashion, beautiful people, and fabulous cars.  The Italians certainly know pleasure and have undoubtedly mastered living the sweet life (La Dolce Vita) and the…

JUST DREAM IT: The Ümmiye Koçak’s Story

“It’s never too late to follow your dream.” Ümmiye Koçak was born in 1957 to a farming family in Çelemli village, near the city of Adana in Turkey. She grew up in a large family of ten children, two parents, and two grandparents. Although she came from a farming family, and despite the poverty that…