When it comes to the magnificence of nature, few landscapes send me into awe like the Central Coast of California. Although my former Californian self might be a bit biased, but I think many adventure travelers will agree with me about this. Within a stretch of less than 60 miles, the spectacular coastline of Monterey, Carmel, and Big Sur will render you breathless. Cradled with the majestic beauty of Big Sur, a scenic drive reveals the tender beauty of delicate Carmel and the small-town charm of Monterey and I’m left absolutely stunned.
I’m so honored to have had my travel photos of New Orleans in VietSun magazine this month… I thought I would take this chance to post a few of my favorites.
Before I visited the Big Easy (aka NOLA), it was difficult for me to understand the spell that New Orleans casts on its visitors; it wasn’t love at first sight, the city is, indeed, complicated. But I fell, hard, for the complex layers of soul that are so signature New Orleans.
Part of the allure, of course, is that even post Katrina, New Orleans looks like a movie set. Colors fill the picturesque Southern porch-front houses during day and historic gas lamps light them at night. For transients and locals both, the city still feels ripe for discovery – something that’s increasingly hard to say about most other North American cities. With its reverence for the past and a magically diverse culture, New Orleans has the kind of resilience that holds on the hearts of visitors. Even for natives who left after Katrina, seeking a different (possibly better) life in neighboring Texas or Georgia, many have returned because they found it impossible to feel at home away from NOLA.
This place inspires me to think only in verses, a rare kind of dreamscape where poets are born. A mystery crafted in the clouds by the ancient Incas and eternally anchored to Earth’s navel.
Where no ordinary social armor lives, a place where your soul looks you in the eyes, where you let go of old loves and identifies a new one, within.
This is Machu Picchu.
This Monday morning seems to get increasingly hectic for me. My office to-do’s are piling up by the minute. My favorite Monday cure has to be looking back upon my past travels and day-dreaming about the gorgeous places I’ve had a chance to visit. Hopefully your Monday is a bit more calm than mine, but in case you’re needing an escape, here are some lovely images from our visit to Peru’s Sacred Valley, Pisac Market, and the Garden of Eden on Earth otherwise known as Aranwa Resort (more on that later).
Before we left to embark on our journey to Peru, those who have been to this magical land told us many beautiful tales of one place in particular, Cusco, a city that seems to be the thief of hearts to all Peru visitors.
The highest of all Peruvian lands that we visited, at the altitude of 11,000 feet above sea level, Cusco is the kind of dreamscape that renders writers speechless.
What immediately first meets your eyes are colors, bright charming colors that linger from the skirts of native Inca women to the rich brown windows and doors, then the soul of the city is quickly shared with you from the warmth of locals, encouraging your infatuation with Cusco into a full-blown love affair.