Cowardice in the Reedbeds: Gap Year Week 31

Hot and dusty. Somewhere in the middle of the Myanmar countryside, sometime around siesta. I’m walking down a road and composing this blog post in my head. I do this often, especially when I’m on my own. I like knowing I have the shape to articulate my experiences within. I place myself within a narrative. This is where I am, this is what I’m thinking, this is where I’m going. Continue reading “Cowardice in the Reedbeds: Gap Year Week 31”

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Forest of Spirits: Gap Year Week 30

36 hours of travel later—late night from Singapore, early morning from Manila, lunchtime drive from Davao—our first stop brought us to Eden, the resort, and a silvery kingfisher. Continue reading “Forest of Spirits: Gap Year Week 30”

Doorways and Eggs: Gap Year Week 29

On Sunday mornings, I go walk around Yangon on my own. I steadily work through a pile of self-guided tours I downloaded. In the harsh sunlight, I shade my phone with my hand, squint at the map, make wrong turns, make right turns. Every road here is strange so there is no real difference between the two. Continue reading “Doorways and Eggs: Gap Year Week 29”

Coming Back: Gap Year Week 28

I felt more than a little sad coming back to Singapore. Six weeks in India had felt like they could and would last forever: a month and a half stretched far into the distance until you were at the end of it and parting at the airport and staring down a boarding pass that sent you to what was still technically home. Continue reading “Coming Back: Gap Year Week 28”

The Truth About JLF: Gap Year Week 27

Everything they say about the Jaipur Literature Festival is true. It’s crowded, sticky with people with minimal interest in books. Many speakers are hit-and-miss. And it’s the greatest literary show on earth. Continue reading “The Truth About JLF: Gap Year Week 27”

Roots: Gap Year Week 26

My grandparents live in Vizag, or Vishakapatnam, a small coastal town in Andhra Pradesh. At least I’ve been introducing it that way for the last eighteen years.  Continue reading “Roots: Gap Year Week 26”

Andamans Again: Gap Year Week 25

This time when I landed in Port Blair, the crowds didn’t come as a surprise. I was prepared for the crush around the luggage belt, the humid chaos of the taxi stand, and knew to relish the distance as we left the city behind us, the paddy fields rolling out further and further. My room, open-windowed to green around, felt on the verge of tumbling into forest, and taking me with it. Continue reading “Andamans Again: Gap Year Week 25”