Thirty-six hours is rarely enough time in a city, but sometimes one needs a mini getaway or a stopover to break-up in an insane flying schedule. A gateway city to many destinations in Asia, Hong Kong is a relatively easy destination: English is prevalent throughout the city, the transit system is vast and easy to use, and there is a large expat community — at times making it feel like you’re in a western country.
It's known as the city of love, but that is not the only reason to visit Paris. And frankly, visiting Paris, solo, can be a lot of fun. Seriously, I have never travelled to Paris with another person, and I have never left the city thinking "Ugh, that sucked". Where do YOU go when you're in Paris? Here's my Paris itinerary.
I fell in love with Haïti; every single inch of it (that I saw). I fell in love with the people, the culture, the food, and the landscapes. It is unusual for me to fall in love with a travel destination so quickly, but there I was, my second day in Haïti, and falling hard. So hard that I ached over the fact that I was only in the country for a week. Clearly, I need to return, stay longer, and see more.
Photographing Haiti is an adventure in of itself. This is a country that experienced a devastating earthquake which brought aid workers from around the world to help the country recover, and unfortunatel, a slew of photographers showed up as well. Haïti was in crisis mode. A proud and mindful people were brought low by Mother Nature and in an effort to 'show the world' the devastation, photographers stuck their cameras in the faces of the people and clicked away without a lot of thought. Many of those photos being used by international media outlets.
There is a moment when you're sitting in the back of a beat up black sedan, spewing exhaust, sweating, and stuck in traffic when you think, 'Yay, I am digging the vibe in Haïti'. Having spent the morning and part of the afternoon at Parc historique de la cane à sucre et musèe (Cane sugar historical park and museum) and in traffic; which can be a tad intense in Port-au-Prince, I decided I wanted to visit a market during our free time in the afternoon. And after dropping most of our group off at the hotel, myself, Sarah, and Mylène (we are all on an Air Transat press trip with one of their package tours) were joined by Daphene and Ralph as we hopped out of the van and onto the street.
I stand on the corner of the hotel driveway, camera in hand, framing a photo of the street, and the colourful square stone houses that are creeping up the mountain. It is early morning and as a warm glow slowly stretches across the horizon I hear the faint sounds of roosters in the distance. I'm in Haïti. I let that thought sink in slowly as I start to ponder how I want to share my experiences here. Yes, there will be many photos, a few tweets, and a blog post each day, but what is the story? What will be my angle?
About the Author: Edna is a Pennsylvanian who recently graduated with a degree in political science she never plans on using. After a year and a half of studying, teaching, writing (and making the occasional Gaelic football appearance) in China, moving to Singapore to work for the Youth Olympic Games and is currently working on an Asian supermodel reality tv show, while wondering daily how she got here. You can follow her adventures at Expat Edna and on twitter @ednacz
Eight months ago, I couldn't tell you where Singapore was on a map. It was a month to go until graduation, and while I'd started planning my escape abroad, I had no clue where to actually run off to. Speaking to a best friend from college one night, he revealed his company was planning on transferring him to Singapore for a few months. "I'll have a spare room, want to come live with me?"
“Why does everyone think we eat pierogi all the time? We eat them maybe twice a year”, states my driver with a slightly annoyed tone. We’re talking about Warsaw, Poland, and food, and I've asked him what Polish dish he thinks every visitor should try during their time in Poland. As you can probably guess, pierogi seems the be the number one choice for many travellers, and who can blame them?! Pierogi are delightful. Mashed potato mixed with cheese, bacon, or onion, wrapped in a dumpling like dough, boiled or fried, and served with sour cream, fried bacon and onion. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! And while we can buy pierogi in the frozen food section of the grocery store, or buy fresh ones from a Polish or Ukrainian (There is a debate as to who invented the pierogi, Poland or Ukraine) shop, there is a part of us that want to eat pierogi in the country that made them famous.
It takes a lot for me to admit defeat. I’m Irish, English, and Scottish, so naturally I blame my heritage for my stubbornness and desire to ignore advice from fellow travelers who I consider negative or aggressive. And by aggressive I mean they tell me a place sucks and that I should go elsewhere, and I promptly make a note to ignore them and go anyway. Childish? Maybe, but that is how I roll. There was no way I was going to end up being intimidated in Colombo.
I remember as though it was yesterday. The heat of the sun. Crowds of locals relaxing, reading books, napping or having a picnic in a large public park. It’s a Sunday and as I sit down in the park, overlooking Edinburgh castle, a solo bagpiper starts playing, sending chills down my spine and bringing tears to my eyes. I was in Scotland (Edinburgh to be exact). Alone. And it was glorious.