Day Four in Iceland: From Sulfur to Silfra

Day 4, July 9: We gather our freshly-cleaned bathing suits and towels from the bathroom and retrieve the thermal wear from our bags. There will be another long drive ahead - about 5 and a half hours from Akureyri to Þingvellir. Today, we are off to try something new. My mom booked us a snorkeling…

Day Three in Iceland: Hot Springs and Hot Dogs

Day 3, July 8 Only four hours of sleep this time - needless to say, it was nice to sleep in. Today there will be no long drives or busy schedules. Only one hour to Mývatn and one hour back. Today will be our spa day. We have another full breakfast at around 10 am.…

Day Two in Iceland: The Arctic Coast Way

Day 2, July 7: Being naturally inclined to exploring the less-traveled routes, we chose to veer off the Ring Road and go north. During the initial planning stages, we were allured by pictures of the Westfjords but ultimately bypassed it for timing purposes. Our destination was Akureyri via the newly advertised Arctic Coast Way. I…

Day One in Iceland: Finding the Centre of the Earth

A five-day expedition through Iceland in a dainty manual car. Just me and my Mom. After months of planning, sprawling a big Michelin map over the kitchen table, calculating drive times and finding F-roads, it all comes down to this. We faced our challenges, all the way from Keflavik through Snæfellsnes, pushing north past Siglufjörður…

Planting the Seeds of Political Activism Through Treehouses and Onions: The Legacy of Osman Kalin

I've ventured through a few treehouses in my time, but I've never seen one like this before. Upon first glance, this rustic curiosity, perched on a bed of graffiti and ingrown foliage looks like an abandoned shack. Perhaps inhabitants have frequented the place on occasion, needing temporary refuge from the streets. However, being in Berlin,…

Belfast and Black Taxis: Discerning Contested Pasts Through Art and Mobility

A classic, London-style black taxi rolled up directly in front of our hostel. Its driver, a thin grey-haired man with slumped shoulders stepped out, taking one last drag of his cigarette. He introduced himself to us as Patrick—or Paddy for short, our tour guide. For the next two hours or so, he took us through…

Got a Good Hygge (Feeling) About This

You may have heard of or seen this curious word in passing. Perhaps in a food or travel magazine or creatively used by a lifestyle columnist in the daily newspaper to describe something as cool, or hip. It's tested the waters of the English language on occasion, but how many people truly understand what hygge…

Going Through the (E)motions: Cycling in Copenhagen

It was already dark outside at 7pm, as I whipped through the streets of Copenhagen on an electric bike, rain pelleting towards my face. I don't think this is entirely safe, I thought, but I kept going. This was my last night here and my final attempt to be a novice cyclist in this city. Earlier…

Reflections of Bergen

Perhaps it's just me or others can relate, but I'm a very contemplative traveler. By this I mean breaking away from the tourist label and taking a moment to be there. Take time to observe and live a familiar life in an unfamiliar setting. Simply put, I cannot miss my October autumn walks, no matter…

A ‘Grave’ Situation in Boston

Death was all around me  in Boston as I stumbled along Tremont St.'s narrow red strip. No one died of course, and it wasn't because I was barely functioning on one hour's sleep. It was hundreds of souls who have passed on decades before me, lying beneath my feet. My friends and I began our…