All posts filed under: Travel

Psychedelic Experience

During the summer of 2011 while visiting Cajamarca, Peru, the city was bustling in preparation for the country’s Presidential candidate, Keiko Fujimori, who would be making a stop to rally for the community’s support, but also celebrate her birthday.  Our hotel, Costa del Sol, was located along the Plaza de Armas which gave us front row access to all the festivities happening right outside. Prior to Keiko’s arrival that evening, we decided to walk around the Plaza and sit with the locals, but to my surprise, we were approached within a few minutes of leaving our hotel asking to take a photo with us.  I thought it was strange, but didn’t think too much about it.  As nightfall descended and the music and dancing from the front stage started to pick up, I started to feel a bit overcrowded.  There were hundreds of people that suddenly appeared out of no where and kept staring at our group.  Slowly, I started to pay more attention to what the crowd was saying as they pointed at our …

Weekly Small Pleasures (#6)

Dance and music have been the recurring themes for this amazing week. Back to Hula. Even though I “graduated”, my cohort was invited back to learn a new set of hula pahu (drum dances), so we have resumed twice a week practices for this month. These lessons also serve as preparation for our performances during the week of Merrie Monarch, both at the opening of the festivities and at ʻImiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaiʻi. Learning and dancing again feels amazing, but I’m also grateful to be dancing next to people with whom I’ve danced for years and consider family. Here is one pahu set we performed two years ago which will be included in the  5-6  sets to be done at ʻImiloa. Enjoy and wish my knees luck these next few weeks! Solo Hiking in Volcanos National Park. I met with a lot of people this past week and being an introvert, by Friday, I was in need of huge doses of solitude and nature. After a week of miserable vog, today’s clear skies allowed me to do a solo hike. From the parking …

Family Hopes

Lately, I’ve wondered if the hopes and dreams that my ancestors may have had for me are manifesting. Is my life what they had envisioned for me? Am I living up to their expectations? Would they be proud of me if they were still alive? I see myself in this banyan tree, laden with ema plaques filled with wishes. My grandparents once pinned their hopes on me that I might live well, while my roots extend deeper into the earth. Above all else, they probably would’ve wanted me to be happy, and that, I most certainly am, thanks to them. In response to: State of Mind  

Life is a Highway

My love for travel comes from both of my parents.  I recently came across a photo of my mom in her early twenties posing with some friends in front of the Republic of Chile signage along Route 5 .  It is remarkable that I also traveled on that same road when I decided to bus it back to Santiago, Chile from Bolivia.  Life moves on, but geographical landmarks will always remain and remind us of those who came before us. I am grateful that my mom was not afraid to explore new surroundings, but I cannot imagine what a road trip must have been like during the 1950’s, for I am now spoiled with the comfort of large travel buses that purr you to sleep on initial departure from the bus terminal. Thanks to my mom’s travel stories, when it was time for me to spread my wings, I never hesitated nor doubted myself, as I knew if she could do it, so could I.  Let’s hope I can also instill in my daughter the …

Umibiraki

  Yurihama is the sister city of Hilo and I was incredibly blessed to dance at the annual Hawaiian Festival one summer. On that trip, after meeting with government officials, we were whisked away to a beach and participated in an umibiraki ceremony. The ceremony was led by a Shinto priest tasked with declaring the sea “open and safe for swimming”. School children were then led by their teachers down to the ocean for a dip, officially kicking off the swimming season. Most Japanese adhere to the swimming season, so it was lovely to witness a formal ritual for something we take for granted in Hawaiʻi, where swimming season is year-round. Lately, I’ve been feeling like the world around me is so much more casual than I’m used to and it’s probably because there is not enough ritual in my life. For me, transitions marked by ritual, give me necessary pause. They allow for reflection on what has transpired and for visioning on how to progress into a next phase, so if I’m feeling like marked transitions are necessary for my own well-being, then perhaps incorporating ritual more intentionally in my life is a good …

Weekly Small Pleasures (#4)

Last month, I read a great New York Times piece by Sheila Heti, “Letter of Recommendation: Sick Days” and was grateful for the reminder that sometimes, being sick is necessary to get ahead. That being said, although I appreciated the article, I did the exact opposite and didn’t listen to my body when I started getting sick. I thought I could power through, but my flu blew up, which finally led me to see to the doctor, get some meds and a lot of rest, and now, I’m feeling a LOT better, so here’s to resuming my weekly small pleasures posts! As Doe Zantamata said so well, “Taking time to do nothing, often brings everything into perspective.” Amazingly Talented and Funny Singers. After watching Adele’s Carpool Karaoke with James Corden and her posing as an Adele impersonator for BBC, I was content to know that one of my favorite singers had a wonderful sense of humor, but then she went ahead and blew my world yet again. Adele showed up on the Ellen show this past week and pranked some poor workers at Jamba Juice and it was glorious! Then, as if that …

Que se le ofrece, Caserita?

Outdoor markets in Lima, Peru, can always be interesting and rewarding, especially if you are looking for fresh products or tasty treats. As you pass by a stand the vendors will loudly greet you with “Que se le ofrece, Caserita?” (What can I offer you, lovely customer?) and it can get overwhelming seeing all that they have to sell, but this should not deter you from walking through an open market. Some of my most memorable experiences of living in Lima come from these open markets full of vibrant colors, bustling noises, rich conversations and intense smells. During a lunch outing with my cousins we decided to visit the neighborhood of Lince and eat at a small cevicheria stand at the local market where the fish being prepared for the customers was brought over from the adjacent stand. Seeing all the fish and seafood options was mind-boggling but soon realized I didn’t need to worry as I was going to be eating the catch of the day in my ceviche dish and wouldn’t have to …

Green Optimism

In response to Optimistic: I love the concept of bike-sharing. As a tourist, it’s an affordable and “green” way to sightsee, while also getting in a little physical activity. In Taipei last August, I saw these bike rentals outside the hotel, and immediately thought to rent one and ride down to the Daan Forest Park. In the end, I decided against it since I had 1 hour before having to check out of the Chaiin Hotel in Dongmen. Also, the instructions were in Chinese and it was a stifling 90 degrees. Excuses, excuses, I know, but I really was pressed for time. One of the things I’d like to do when I go back to Seoul is to rent a bike and ride along the Han River. Other bloggers have mentioned how beautiful the views are so it’s definitely on my list of Seoul To-Do’s. Our local university here in Hilo recently implemented a bike share program for students. Abandoned bikes on campus were given makeovers, with new seats, tires, and fresh coats of paint. Now students can borrow these bikes for free to run errands …

Makuʻu Farmers Market

Believe it or not, I had never been to the Makuʻu Farmers Market before this morning. Maybe it’s because it only opens on Sunday or because it’s all the way out in Pāhoa, but I’ve never had the pleasure of visiting this lovely little market and I’m glad I finally did. The market is open every Sunday, from 8:00a-2:00p and gets hopping during the mid-morning, so if you want to avoid the crowds, get there by 9:00. Be sure to have $1 ready to pay for parking in the little gravel parking spaces on the premises. People are always coming and going, so you won’t have to wait very long for a space. The first thing that’s different from the Hilo Farmers’ Market is that Makuʻu is much bigger, with space to roam without bumping into people. The next is that there are a lot more food vendors at Makuʻu, so many that it can get overwhelming. Indian, Thai, Filipino, Hawaiian, Mexican, and Samoan food vendors, as well as wood fired pizza, French crepes, and smoothies. I opted for takoyaki and …