The Kecak Fire Dance is a Balinese Hindu ritual This is how to watch the Kecak Fire Dance in Ubud. Commonly called the Balinese Monkey Chant, the Kecak Fire Dance in Ubud is performed for tourists more than it is performed as a sacred dance in temples. Because of that, I was a bit hesitant …

I spent one month in a bungalow on Monkey Forest Road just outside the Ubud Monkey Forest in Bali, and the overarching lesson that I learned there was this: the jungle ALWAYS wins. Now, I don’t mean to paint my life on Monkey Forest Road as a hardship by any means. It was one of …

It’s hard to know what to do on a death anniversary. One never really knows when grief will claw its way out of its carefully contained space in the heart and squeeze, but there is a strong likelihood that a “first” will bring with it an increased dose of that familiar feeling of loss. For …

Looking to make a wish in Southeast Asia? You are not alone. Here’s how and why you should join in the ritual of wish-making in Vietnam and Laos. Outside of temples and padogas across Southeast Asia, there are cages full of tiny birds. If you buy a bird and release it, this symbolic gift of …

I didn’t plan it, exactly, but I am somehow following New Year’s celebrations around the globe. I joined old friends in Florida to ring in 2019 over champagne and laughter in January; lunched with new friends in Chiang Dao to celebrate the Chinese New Year over long noodles and warm red wine on the first …

This is my story about immortal love. Just two weeks after Jeff and I started dating, he gave me a book with a note written on the inside cover. It was the first time that I would see Jeff’s beautiful handwriting, meticulous grammar, and the use of his famous red pen. It was also the …