Relaxing At An Oasis In Tulum

The sun was hot, beating straight down on us. The trees that flanked the dusty road did nothing to shade us from the heat. We were walking from our AirBnb from the previous night to our resort that we would stay at for the remainder of the trip. As we passed a semi-busy looking resort called Mystiq, we paused for a second to make sure we were heading the correct direction. Yep – shouldn’t be much farther. Our resort had only opened earlier this year so a lot of online maps weren’t quite updated enough to show an exact location.

Finally, after what seemed like a while, we came upon a very large, wooden sign that read KAN Tulum. Beyond the sign, a dirt path stretched into the jungle. I didn’t even mind the extra walk, because at least it was in the shade. We passed some signs on the trees that definitely fed to the younger-generation lifestyle. “#GreenVibesOnly.”

Once we approached the security gate, we were let in and WOW! I couldn’t believe this lush, green oasis was just a stone’s throw away from the hot, dusty road on which we were just walking. We were guided to the reception desk where Edith welcomed us and gave us a tour of the property. It was absolutely beautiful. The paths intertwine through large, vibrant plant life, passing a hanging tear drop chair, a hammock, then to the pool which was fairly well centered and gave us a good visual of the property. A large building on the far side of the pool was where they offered massages and a really neat, bamboo-covered bridge led you to their breakfast/drink bar and the resort eventually plans on opening a vegetarian restaurant once they’ve expanded.

We were allowed to roam the property until our room was ready (check-out from our AirBNB was 4 hours prior to our check-in at KAN Tulum) but right when we went to get our swimsuits from our bags, they told us it was ready. Sweet!

We were shown to our room, which I guarantee had the best view on the property (seriously, we could see everything while still maintaining a little privacy on our terrace.)

According to their website, there are five room floorplans (which I think only two currently exist, the rest are part of the expansion. I could be wrong.) and it was very well thought out. The room we stayed in wraps around from the bedroom/kitchenette to the bathroom with a large, beautiful, two-sided mirror acting as the barrier between the king-size bed and a big, Instagram-worthy tub.

They used a breathable concrete made from a local root

I’d like to take the next couple sections to talk about 3 amazing highlights from our stay:

The Bar

Now this isn’t at all for the obvious reason. We did get one drink from the bar here – a really tasty passionfruit, mezcal cocktail – but it was $15 and we had other options. Mystiq, from up the road, had a mini-mart on its property where you can find bottles of wine for reasonable prices.

What the bar offered that really made our trip fantastic was its breakfast and coffee. Every morning, Saoul and his team presented a buffet style breakfast of vegetarian options from oats to fruit to beans to eggs and the styles varied each day. There were pitchers of fruit-infused water that I’ve been super exited to replicate at home in the new goblets I got in Charlotte. The meal was so good and we felt very healthy enjoying it.

Breakast views.

The staff was also always available to present us with coffee all the time. There was always someone around to brew together an Americano or Almond Latte. We really appreciated sitting at the pool and being handed a “cold coffee” which was really set off by coconut flakes.

The Pool

Despite seeing other people staying at the resort, we essentially had the pool to ourselves whenever we wanted. The water was comfortably warm like a bath and the sun fluttered in and out from behind the shade of the trees giving you an alternating warm shine and a cool escape from the heat. It was the perfect recipe for a nice tan.

The Cenote
View from the walkway.

One of the absolute best things to do on the Yucatán peninsula is to visit and swim in cenotes, underground water wells that are created by the collapse of limestone caves. KAN Tulum just happens to have one on the property, a few strides from the pool and overlooked by the bar.

A pump-fed waterfall creates a really nice look to the cenote, but once it turns off, you can see all the way through the calm, cool water to the bottom. We jumped in, splashed around, and floated above the water surrounded by cavern walls.

I cannot wait to come back to Tulum and explore the ruins and area around here and I will undoubtably stay at KAN Tulum again.

There are a couple nests above the rooms with great views; we just couldn’t think of a pose.

QUICK READ: Getting Through TSA During Covid

We woke up to the second delay of our flight, bumping it back now to two hours after our initial takeoff time. That’s no big deal, as we had a long enough layover between flight legs to accommodate, but it would have been nice to get those two extra hours of sleep.

Flying out of Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall airport (BWI), we arrived to a much busier airport than we expected. Our shuttle from long-term parking was full and when we arrived, the line for security was seemingly endless.

The line was long, but it moved pretty quickly and the TSA agents were pretty friendly this morning. The only holdup was the three people in front of me set off the metal detector which bottlenecked the process. The first guy was an older gentlemen who left several accessories on before being instructed to remove them one at a time until he passed through successfully. The second lady left her watch on which set it off. The last guy left his phone and keys in his pocket that set it off. No need to remove your shoes, either, as you’re required to walk in tandem with a partner past a K-9 unit that sniffs behind you.

All in all, it only took 20 minutes to get through, but I’m very surprised at how busy this airport is.

Purchasing Travel Insurance For Costa Rica In 2021

We have an upcoming trip to Costa Rica – our first international trip since the start of the pandemic. The country opened its borders to U.S. citizens last November with no quarantine, negative test, or vaccination requirements.

We’re covered.

That gave me pause for a long while before inevitably deciding to purchase our plane tickets and prep for this trip. A few key reasons I felt safe to do so are that Costa Rica was one of the first Latin American countries to start vaccinating their citizens and there is a good culture of social distancing, sanitization, and mask-wearing in the country. With no standing army to fund, the country’s budget goes toward a very good healthcare system here. I also work in an environment that puts me in close contact with a lot of people on a daily basis. This trip may just limit my exposure to other people for a week or so. We won’t be entering any areas that are deemed “Orange Zones” where cases have increased. Flying into the smaller Liberia airport (rather than the usual San Jose airport) and driving around the north-west portion of the country, we’re avoiding all of the areas that have had any kind of problems.

While there are no quarantine, negative test, or vaccination requirements, there are a few things that Costa Rica does require before you can enter the country:

  • Fill out an online Health Pass with basic info and stating that you’re not experiencing any COVID-related symptoms.
  • Must have Travel Insurance that covers a minimum of $50,000 in COVID-related cases and $2,000 in extended lodging expenses.
  • The U.S. does require a negative test within 72 hours of your returning flight.

In the past, I’ve traveled with World Nomads insurance, however the verbiage on their policies led me to believe they wouldn’t cover COVID-related medical expenses. Without the 100% certainty and some recommendations from a few vlogs and blogs, I went with Trawick International who has an insurance policy, called the Safe Travels Voyager, designed specifically for Costa Rica’s requirements. For about $55/person, we’re covered for more than the country’s minimums.

This will be my first flight since pre-COVID, so I’m interested to see how different the travel process may feel. If the journey is what we remember, this whole atmosphere is definitely one not to forget.

QUICK READ: Driving from Maryland to Charlotte, NC.

For a quick weekend trip, we went down to visit some friends in Charlotte – it’s about a 6.5 hour drive from west-central Maryland where we live. The drive is mostly along one of my least favorite highways, I-81, but it wasn’t too bad for the way down.

Starting from Frederick, MD, I can either drive all the way back up towards the MD/PA border to get onto 81 or I can take some backroads through the boonies to merge onto it in West Virginia. I chose the latter.

Slight majority of the drive is open like this.

The first half of the trip offers plenty of stops and sights. Some of my favorite being:

  1. Harper’s Ferry – a historical beauty of a town where Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia meet at the crossroads of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers. I really enjoy stopping here for the Maryland Heights hiking trail then grabbing some well-deserved ice cream or a beer on the way out.
  2. Hollywood Casino at Charles Town – I went a few times over the stretch of two years in my younger 20’s. I made the mistake of winning a little bit on my first couple trips which boosted my confidence enough to lose all of those winnings in subsequent trips. Nevertheless, it’s a fun place to give away your money until 3am.
  3. The next couple hours are home to some pretty vies of farms and tons of farm animals. Seriously, I have never seen that many cows in one span of time.
  4. Natural Bridge and Virginia Safari Park – I have been to the second one and it’s a great time that I highly recommend. I’ll write about it here in the near future. The first stop, however, I have not been to, but would love to see the 215-ft tall limestone gorge.
  5. Luray and the surrounding caverns – I can’t say I have a big interest in cave systems or the underground (read my post about the Parisian Catacombs for my thoughts on naked mole rats), but it would be neat to see the largest and most popular cave systems on the U.S. east coast.
  6. Asheville, NC. – Okay, so this isn’t exactly on the way. It’s at least 1.5 to 2 hours out of the way, but it’s a badass town that I only got to explore once and have plenty more to see.

There’s a beautiful vista along the highway just before you get to the VA/NC border that makes you say “wow” when you pass, and if you’re lucky enough to get on the road without a bunch of tractor trailers, the drive isn’t too bad.

Pop on a playlist or podcast of your choosing and enjoy the drive.

Have you been down 81 in Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, or North Carolina? What stops do you like to make or do you just drive straight through/

John-Suwan Viewpoint – The Best View On Koh Tao

OUR ADVENTURES AROUND THE SOUTHERN TIP OF THE ISLAND

The view from John-Suwan

On Koh Tao, the biggest tourism lure is scuba diving. You get the chance to see an incredible array of fish, coral, and various sea critters. However, there’s another fantastic reward if you reverse the verticality and climb above sea level.

We stayed at The Place, which was a solid, uphill walk from Sairee Beach on the west coast of the island. On our last full day on the island, we wanted to explore the southern region of the island. We took a taxi down to Chalok Baan Kao Bay and were met with gorgeous water that was the perfect temperature. We could have spent the day here, but we were on a mission today…

We strolled down the road, heading further south, passing a bunch of tourist-centric businesses – dive shops and English-language restaurants, until we got to Freedom Beach. There wasn’t an entrance fee, but you are expected to buy a drink from the bar. This may have been due to us arriving in the shoulder season.

The walk up/down had plenty of great views.

After taking a dip in the water and toweling off, we made our way up to the destination-of-the-day, the John-Suwan Viewpoint. As you approach the trail up, there will be someone sitting in a shack to take your 50 baht (~$1.60) entrance fee. The walk itself is about 20 minutes, winding through a jungle of trees, with a few beautiful vistas you can see through the trunks. Once you near the top, there will be ropes you can use to pull yourself up on top of boulders with.

The final stretch requires a little bit of climbing, being especially easier with a second person that can take your belongings while you ascend the rocks. What you’re rewarded with at the end is, in my opinion, the best view on the whole island.

We took a few minutes to take in our panoramic view of the island and surrounding water, before swapping pictures with a German couple that had arrived shortly after us.

*Top Tip: Wear comfortable shoes. Uncomfortable flipflops or going barefoot isn’t the best choice, in my opinion.*

The journey back down was leisurely; we stopped at a few lower viewpoints to enjoy some different vantage points. Once we were back down to street level, we decided to keep going around the island to see Aow Luk Bay (I’ve seen this spelled a million different ways.) This required backtracking a little on the street, allowing us to stop at one of the restaurants and get some noodles and coconuts to nourish us after a day at the beach and mountain.

The walk turned out to be a lot longer than we expected, leading to “I told you” stares from Rachel and “We’re almost there, just a little longer” responses from me. We eventually reached a sign for the location and after a sigh of relief, we started down the hill. We had made it! Or so we thought…

As we reached the bottom of the hill and realized there was still a significant walk ahead of us, a pickup truck comes rolling by and urges us to hop on. We did, and he drove us the rest of the way down to the parking lot for a resort where you have to pay 100 baht (~$3) to enter (they included a drink for us both in the price.)

Sidenote: All of the beaches on Koh Tao are public and free. Any entrance fees you are met with are to walk across resort property to get to them.

This was the busiest beach of the day, but I only use “busiest” for lack of a better term. There were only a handful of groups there, with the largest being a group of young guys and girls playing badminton. We had borrowed snorkel gear from The Place and wanted to see what we could find.

We swam out and took a look around the water, seeing a vast array of fish swimming around the rocks on the side, including a dozen or so rainbow-colored fish that were the highlight. Swimming between the two sides wasn’t as enjoyable. There was a small, but noticeable, accumulation of trash and fish poop that we had to swim through. Due to the time of day, the tide was rocking everything around as well.

All of the water movement and waves led Rachel to hitting her foot off of a rock and cutting it open. We immediately got out of the water (1- to treat the cut, 2- the area is known for small sharks being in the area.)

Like some sort of scene from a medical tv drama, she started ordering me through a variety of processes:

Get the small travel towel.

“Grab my hairtie from the bag. No, the other one.”

“Hold this here, while I wrap it.”

I felt like the significant other of Drs. Gregory House or Meredith Grey on vacation.

Shark Island, aptly named for its doresl fin appearance.

She eventually finished and showed a make-shift compression bandage and what she used to clean up the initial cut. We took a taxi back to our room where they had an actual first-aid kit for us to get it disinfected and re-wrapped. The rest of the evening was for relaxing before we flew off to Chiang Mai the next day.

My 5 Favorite Flight Search Engines

If you ask a random person what their biggest obstacle to travel is, I can almost guarantee that they’ll say “cost” is number 1.

The easy thing to do would be to accept the price as stated, save up the required money, and purchase. Or, you can take a few extra steps to see where you can really save money, stretch your dollars further, and gain the ability to travel longer.

As data on the internet becomes more available and integrated, you’ll often find similar prices (if not the exact same) on each site, but it never hurts to explore all of your options. Below are 5 of my favorite search engines that I use every time I’m about to buy a plane ticket

1) Google Flights

This is my first stop for destination research. The live-map is the best feature for exploring destinations by price – simply plug in your dates and the map will show you current prices for destinations. I do like the desktop version better than the mobile version. Since this is Google, you also get a feed of When To Visit and Discover [what to do] along the side of the screen.

2) Momondo

I like this site for two main reasons – for one, you can put a flexible date range of up to +/- 3 days. The second is the site has a graph above the search results showing you an easy to read price comparison chart you can use to see if flying on a different day can bring you more savings.

3) Kayak and Booking.Com

Kayak and Booking are both companies owned by Booking Holdings, which also purchased Momondo in 2017. You’re likely to see the same flight prices on each of these three sites, but I still check each of them to potentially catch a hidden gem of a deal.

4) Skyscanner

This is the first site that I started browsing flights on. It provides quick price updates and easy comparisons. The first thing you’ll see on their app is a map of the world based on COVID-related restrictions. You can pick your home country and the map will updates to show where allows full entry, restricted entry, or no entry. Tap a country to get more in-depth information.

5) Hopper

This is the app I have the most fun on. I don’t know if it’s the simplicity of the app, or the colors, or both. You can choose a flight destination and easily see what time of year gives you the best chance to get cheaper tickets. You can set notifications that will tell you if the prices are likely to continue going down or if you should buy now for the best savings. I used Hopper last year to get super cheap tickets to New Orleans to escape the Mid-Atlantic winter.

BONUS: Scott’s Cheap Flights

For the more flexible traveler, there are subscription-based websites like Scott’s Cheap Flights that will email you whenever they find low cost flights to various destinations around the world. Just recently, I used their mailing list to save money and book a better airline for my next trip. Travel influencer couple, Kara and Nate, recently launched a similar business called FareDrop.


When you are picking your flights, keep in mind the rest of your budget. For instance, you might be able to save $30 on a flight by going down on a Friday instead of a Saturday, but then you’ll have to account for an additional night of lodging and food. Just something to keep in mind when you’re planning your next travels.

Do you use flight search engines or do you book directly with an airline for loyalty points? If you do like to compare prices, what is your go-to search engine?

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: QUICK READ: Delta Is Unblocking The Middle Seat, Lower Prices Ahead

QUICK READ: Delta Is Unblocking the Middle Seat, Lower Prices Ahead

I don’t keep many notifications turned on for my phone. Between a group chat for work already blowing me up and my desire to limit phone usage, I try not to create reasons to check my phone with dopamine-inducing *dings.* One app I do have notifications on for is Hopper – an easy-to-use, flight and hotel search engine.

I don’t know if I actually turned them on, or if I just never turned them off.

I get a notification that Delta has flights under $300 to San Jose, Costa Rica, which I haven’t seen all year. It has been primarily a battle between American Airlines and Spirit. NerdWallet recently released an article ranking the Best Airlines to Fly During COVID-19, and Delta consistently won out in different categories, saying “it wasn’t even close.” I’ve always enjoyed flying with them, which happened often for annual trips down to Florida from the D.C. area. Atlanta, their headquarters location, was the transfer section for two-leg flights.

I look forward to returning to Terminals.

This morning, Rachel texts me an article from CNN saying that Delta would resume booking middle seats (the last airline to start doing this again) on flights starting May 1 due to rising demand for flights and confidence in vaccinations.

I haven’t been on a plane since pre-pandemic travel, so I have no way to know how this will affect the look and process of air travel going forward. We will see.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: My 5 Favorite Flight Search Engines

Getting a Sak Yant in Thailand

Sak yants.

Tattoos are polarizing. Some people are completely against them, describing them as heretical, rebellious to society, or just tacky. Others, like myself, see them as art. We see them as reflections of our personality, either through sentimental imagery or just a picture we like.

Sak yants are deeper than that. Peformed by monks, they offer prayers, protections, fortunes, and peace. Originating in indigenous tribes, it is often now associated with Hindu-Buddhism, and mirrors the regional language and stories.

Being tucked into this ball was less than pleasurable.

Yantra tattoos are available throughout Thailand; it’s a fairly large industry for Chinese tourists. There are plenty of options on where to go for yours:

Just outside of Bangkok is Wat Bang Phra where up to 50 people may be queued into a mass yantra tattooing session in one day. There are several designs to choose from or you can let the monk read your aura and make a suggestion.

The pros to this route is really just the cost: you are only required to make an offering of flowers, incense, and menthol cigarettes – about $3 worth of items.

The cons are more numerous: while the tattoo itself is quick, you must wait in line with dozens of other people, so if you’re last in line, you better have an open day. There are also safety concerns, with the same ink being used on several people and the needle being cleaned with a mere alcohol wipe if not replaced between each guest. I can’t find any statistics on this, but that could lead to transmission of diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis. Additionally, I can’t find any validity to the claim that charcoal and snake venom is used to concoct the ink, but that is a prevalent rumor.

Ultimately, we opted against this route due to the concerns and went with a place in Chiang Mai in northern Thailand called Sak Yant Chiang Mai.

After exploring some Wats in Old City in the morning, we entered the location and were met by a very nice, helpful staff. It had a waiting room with pictures, memorabilia, and of course, Buddhist statues. We were asked what kind of Sak Yant we were interested in and after explaining our desires, were presented with a binder of stencils that included their protections.

I went with a depiction of the Phra Narai Song Khrute, which depicts a scene of Vishnu, the King of Gods, leading a truce between the gods and the demons. The link above has a really good summary. The prayer with this yantra offers me success when working with others and protection from bad spirits.

The original design. All of the characters and most of the symbols were free-hand.

Rachel had fewer options. Being a woman, she is limited in where a monk is allowed to make contact with her and the fact that she has her entire back and one arm covered in tattoos already, she was left with just her right arm, where she chose a deer symbol that offered a charming ability with its prayer.

Rachel goes first.

We made a similar offering to the Bangkok temple, purchasing a pack of cigarettes from a nearby 7/11 and the building staff gave us some incense and flowers to offer, along with a small monetary donation (~$60-80USD).

We were tattooed by Arjun Sam, a former Buddhist monk. Rachel goes first and me second. If you aren’t familiar, a typical tattoo is done in two parts – the initial outline and the shading. The second half is always what gets to me because there is usually a break in between where your adrenaline wears out and the shading is often done by rubbing that you feel on the bone. A Sak Yant is different; it’s hand-poked at a rhythmic pace, slower than that of the electromagnetic-powered coil guns used in your typical tattoo shop.

The needle itself is at the end of a steel rod and doesn’t hurt. I go numb to the sensation within twenty minutes. What sucked, however, was being balled into a small position so that my skin was as tight as possible. I am far from the most flexible person you’ll meet, so it took me a little bit of time to recover once I was allowed to stand back up.

Once both of our tattoos were done, Sam performed a chant and blessing, bringing our protections to life.

Arjun Sam blessing us.

You’re supposed to have a ceremony once a year to refresh the blessing, and I do want to go back and get another one.

This is my coolest ink experience and the most memorable keepsake from my first trip to Thailand.

Have you been to Thailand? What is your opinion on Sak Yants?

7 Ways To Have A GREAT Weekend In Philadelphia

Philadelphia is a fantastic place to enjoy an extended weekend. Known for its raving sports fans and its historical significance to the founding of the United States, Philly can provide so much more and these experiences aren’t hard to find. Here are seven ways I recommend enjoying a short trip to the city of brotherly love:

*Disclaimer: These are all assuming COVID-related restrictions are no longer needed*

1. Chow Down On A Cheesesteak

Let’s get this one out of the way. Whether you order yours “whiz with” or just steak and provolone, be prepared for a salivatingly (this is the word I want to use) delicious mouthful. Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s Steaks are famous, can’t miss spots to grab a bite, but I recommend Jim’s South St for the perfect lunch. It’s cash only, so know that before holding up the line.

2. Run Up The Steps At The Philadelphia Museum Of Art

Sometimes you just have to do the touristy things. Put the highlight on your own underdog montage as you climb the 72 steps, turn around, and lift your arms triumphantly overlooking the Benjamin Franklin Parkway a la Rocky Balboa. Stop in the museum while you’re here. Tickets are $25 for adults, but have pay-what-you-want specials on the first Sunday of the month and every Friday night. Make sure to grab a pic with the Rocky statue at the bottom of the steps on your way out.

“Every champion was once a contender who refused to give up.”
3. Fascinate Yourself With Medical Anomolies

Originally created as a collection for research, the Mutter Museum houses displays of medical tools and instruments, specimens, wax figures, and over 100 skulls, allowing you to learn the advancements of our medical technologies and how we differ anthropologically. I really liked the preservation of tattooed skin display. No pictures are allowed, but tickets are only $20 and well worth it.

4. Learn American History

Philadelphia was the largest city in colonial America (which boggles my mind, because my small hometown of 40,000 dwarfs pre-Revolution Philly) and thus one of the most vital locations during the American Revolution. The Liberty Bell and Independence Hall are both free admission (with limited access during COVID) and offer plenty of information surrounding the Declaration of Independence and the founding of the United States.

5. Take a Picture With The Love Statue

Normally, I’d say skipping a cliché moment like this was the right thing to do, but this shot has become synonymous with the city of Philadelphia. Recently the park has been revamped and reconstructed to allow more green space, leaving it as a fantastic place to grab a selfie or picture with your loved ones.

*Top tip: Check out the “Amor” statue just a short walk away.*

6. Catch A Game

Philly sports fans can get rowdy. Really rowdy. I come from the Baltimore/DC area, so I’ve seen more than my fair share of Philadelphia-involved sports fights, but for the sake of this blog post, we’ll use the word “passionate.” From the Flyers to the Eagles to the 76ers, at least one of the teams are doing well any given season, but don’t miss out on the excitement of college basketball. This city is one of the meccas of collegiate hoops – UPenn, La Salle, Saint Joseph’s, Temple, and Villanova all competing for bragging rights as top dog of the city.

I was able to see the US Men’s World Cup send-off game against Turkey back in 2010 and that was a really fun atmosphere.

So many goodies, so little time.
7. Eat more Food at Reading Terminal Market

So you’re having a cheesesteak for either lunch or dinner. What are you doing for your other meal? You’re stopping at Reading Terminal Market, that’s what you’re doing. Walk in and immediately lose yourself in the winding alleys of baked goods, vendors, and bar-service restaurants. The smells are intense and you start to feel guilty about which food you won’t enjoy that day. I highly recommend grabbing some souvlaki and baklava from Olympia Gyro and some bon-bons and macaroons from the Pennsylvania General Store.

Philadelphia is a great city and a wonderful weekend trip for anyone living in the mid-Atlantic.

Have you been to Philly? What are your favorite things to do or places to go?

4 Books To Satisfy Your Wanderlust (Spring 2021)

While borders continue to be restricted and travel seems just out of reach to most, there are other ways to feed the travel bug while we wait for the world to reopen. Whether your travels are to learn about other cultures or escape from the daily routine, books offer a fantastic outlet. Below are 4 books that have kept me energized and excited for future travels that I think you’ll enjoy reading this Spring.

The links to each book are affiliate links to my Bookshop page where you can support local bookstores with your purchases. A small portion will go to me at no extra cost to you. I’ve included an Amazon link as well.

Super Sushi Ramen Express: A Culinary Adventure Through Japan – Michael Booth

The author and his family move to northern Japan and work their way down the country exploring local food dishes to show that there is more than just sushi and ramen. The author is a food writer more educated in French and western cuisine, so you can pick up the excitement when he gets to nerd out on new ingredients and their sourcing. The chapters are super bite-size and independent of one another, so it’s a great book to pick up and progress a little bit at a time if you’re on a time crunch. I stopped at least once every couple chapters to look up pictures of some of the food and it made my mouth water.

Buy On Bookshop | Buy On Amazon

Ten Years a Nomad: A Traveler’s Journey Home – Matt Kepnes

Written by my go-to travel blogger, Nomadic Matt, this is a chronicle of his introduction to travel and how his wanderlust helped him figure out who he was and where he would call home for over a decade of travel. His site is still one of my first stops when researching a new destination and, in the book, it’s really interesting reading about how each stop revealed more about both himself and his understanding of travel.

Buy On Bookshop | Buy On Amazon

The Damage Done: Twelve Years Of Hell In A Bangkok Prison – Warren Fellows

Unfortunately relevant to current global affairs as 22 political activists recently started trial for the accused crime of sedition against the Thai monarchy. The book is a memoir of an Australian man who got caught trafficking heroine out of Thailand, a crime he doesn’t deny. However, the following imprisonment and decade-plus of confinement has you internally balancing the concept of crime punishment vs human rights. The book is gripping and leaves you wanting more of the humbling story.

Buy On Amazon

The Way Of Wanderlust: The Best Travel Writing of Don George – Don George

This is what I’m currently reading. Having been writing for over 40 years, the author has finally collected his most memorable articles and stories into one publication. Though the introduction is a bit pretentious and privileged , once you understand his view on travel and wanderlust, the mood changes. One sentence begins explaining how travel “teaches us to embrace our vulnerability” and that really sticks out as a belief I share.

Buy On Bookshop | Buy On Amazon

Have you read any of these?

What are you reading this Spring? Let me know in the comments below.