The view from The Garden restaurant in Frigiliana.

The Village Rhythm is Gonna Get You

One of the things travel has taught me is that similar patterns, quirks, and charms lurk in the recesses of the biggest cities just as they do in the teeniest towns — if you care and take the time to see them.

There he is!

The Fair Came to Town … Under My Window

I had my first sneaking suspicion that all would not go well with the annual, five-day Frigiliana Fair when a three-story inflatable Sponge Bob slide — complete with wild eyes, enormous gaping teeth, and a quivering Patrick Star by his side — sprung to attention in the plaza beneath my balcony.

Catching sunset and overlooking Malaga's historic center.

The Place Chooses You

After 3-plus years of location independent living, I’ve honed a relatively fool-proof strategy for finding short-term leases. When it works out well, it’s stupendous, and when it fails, it does so in spectacular fashion. This, friends, is a tale of the latter. Ayaz and I booked our 6-week stint in […]

Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres

Day Trips From Paris: Whooping It Up in Chartres, Fontainebleau

When you think “whooping it up,” I’m sure French cathedrals and chalets are among the first things to spring to mind, no? No? At any rate, with a week to while away in the City of Lights, Ayaz and I decided to make multiple day trips outside the city center. […]

Views of Le Marais.

Goodbye, Stranger: A Paris Lovesong

Frank Sinatra and New York. Elvis and Las Vegas. Supertramp and Paris. Wait, what? Every city deserves a theme, at least when you’re traveling…

The Malaga Cathedral, also known as the "one-armed lady."

Spain’s Little Secret: Viva Malaga!

Malaga actually has a heckuva lot to offer. It’s filled with culture — museums, Picasso’s birthplace, churches out the wazoo, a Moorish fortress. Plus, it’s a university town, which means cheap, tasty food.

The view overlooking Marbella.

International Love: An Indian Wedding in Spain

We had traveled to Marbella, tucked along Spain’s Costa del Sol, to attend Ayaz’s cousin’s wedding, and for those few days in Marbella, it was hard not to feel like I was a guest at a Hollywood-worthy extravaganza…

Traveling Bliss: Fethiye, Turkey

Traveling Bliss: Fethiye, Turkey

Is there anything better than a waterfront tangled with masts and flanked by tree-clad hills? Barely! On Week 2 of the Journey, I hit Fethiye, a relatively tiny town tucked into Turkey’s southwest Mediterranean coast. Let’s pause for a moment and reflect on Week 2 of said Journey. I was […]

Can’t Touch This: The Hammam and I

Can’t Touch This: The Hammam and I

I’ve been called a glutton for hammam punishment, and perhaps I am. But who can resist, I ask, when absurdity, nay, downright DANGER lurks behind each scrubbing hand? Now, perhaps friends and family will remember my Moroccan Hammam experience (dirt roads, cement floors, Abu Ghraib-like room, naked North African women […]

Upping the Karma Ante

Upping the Karma Ante

Call me “Old One-Shoe, Brokeback Val.” Really, you can. And I dig it. Because that’s the short of my story in Fethiye. And because of the short, I’ve come to understand a good, long lesson. Arriving in the seaside town of Fethiye, I exhaled a sigh of relief on a […]

Pantless Mannequins, Harems and Vistas, Oh My!

Pantless Mannequins, Harems and Vistas, Oh My!

Today’s mantra: This is not a vacation. This is your life. And that’s a really good thing, trust. That said, I’m growing to realize that wrapping my head around this entire experience, and truly understanding it as my new reality will take a bit of doing — in a good […]

The Journey Begins: Istanbul

The Journey Begins: Istanbul

After packing up my apartment and moving into a storage unit, battling a virus that I can only imagine felt quite similar to the plague, and flying 8 hours next to perpetually screaming toddlers … I’ve arrived. First stop of the long-awaited trip is Istanbul, and thus far, the city […]