Share on Pinterest

Gnocchi are little magical puffs of Italian goodness. True story. I mean, why would anyone in their right mind ever choose regular old pasta, which is just basically flour when they could have pasta made with potato? Or cheese? Quite possibly two of the most amazing things ever invented? Am I right? I can't tell you the first time I ever ate gnocchi, but I can tell you I eat it often. I ate it at least twice while admiring the canals of Venice(I tried to confirm this by going through my photos, but can you believe that on my first trip to...

I always hated my toes. They're chubby and fat. And they get a bit too hairy. Yes, yes I just admitted all of that on the interweb. (And I wonder why no one wants to date me?) And then there's the fact that the big toenail on my right foot is brittle and thin and grows in weird and flaky and gross. It's a consequence of the many years I spent doing ballet growing up. I put too much pressure on it doing pointe work and it fell off and never grew back quite right. I've always been pretty embarrassed by...

I have had a bottle of pink hair dye that has been sitting in my drawer for, no joke, twelve years. I probably bought it my sophomore year of college when I was dying my hair every color of the rainbow. Every color, that is, except pink. I did once dye it (and the entire dorm bathroom) a deep shade of maroon. But never a light pretty fairy-tale-esque pink....

I've never really been a water person. Growing up, we had a pool in our backyard that largely went unused minus the times I would bungee jump my Barbies into it from my bedroom window. I quit my childhood swim lessons because I didn't want to go. In high school I chose to play basketball (BASKETBALL!) over swimming for gym class because I hadn't figured out how to use tampons yet (true story). ...

OK, so I only went to one intro to yoga class at The Yoga Barn while I was in Ubud, Bali. But that one class counts for my life list goal of "do yoga," right? I mean, I did "do yoga" while in Bali. Technically. And, besides, I never said "do yoga every day" or "become a yoga expert" or "practice yoga religiously." I just said "do it." And I did it. So I did it. The introductory class at The Yoga Barn in Ubud was designed for students, like me, who are new to yoga. nd so they taught us...

The problem with long-term travel is that things stop feeling exciting. Whereas on a one or two week vacation everything feels new and different, sometimes, after traveling for a while, things start to feel mundane. Oh, it's just another beach. Oh, it's just another temple. Oh, it's just another day. Sometimes I have to force myself to step back and think wow, how amazing is my life right now? Surfing has been on my life list since before I even knew what one was. I remember writing down in my diary a list of things I wanted to do in my life...

My name is Valerie. I am 31 years old. My favorite color is green. My favorite fruit is bananas. My favorite vegetable is eggplant. My favorite animal is a dog. Today my feeling is worried. Every day we sat in a circle with our Sambhali Trust butterfly class and one by one we would each introduce ourselves, say what our favorite things are, let everyone know how we're feeling that day. Some of the kids were pros, could rattle off lists with little worry. Some often forgot the word favorite, telling us "my animal is" or "my fruit is." Some needed a lot of coaxing, a lot...

My entire trip around Asia has been designed to get me to Bangkok right at this moment. It was part of the reason I decided to switch my initial flight in from Bangkok to Singapore. It was part of the reason I decided against getting a longer visa my first time in Thailand. Way back in September I was checking the day's competitive eating news from my apartment in Barcelona when I saw this on Eatfeats: there was going to be an eating contest. In Bangkok. In February. And that fell right dab in the middle of when I was planning...