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When I began my 'round the world trip in 2011, I shared everything. I blogged almost daily, documenting nearly every move I made. Every country. Every city. Every meal. Every day. Actually, that's how I blogged in general before I ever even started traveling. I'd post updates nearly daily. Sometimes I'd post a blog post, drunk, in the middle of the night, because I couldn't go to sleep without updating my non-existent audience about my day. Sometimes I'd post a blog post without photos, because I needed to wait for my film to be developed (because this was before digital...

Last year, I went on date to see the movie Kedi at The Music Box here in Chicago. Kedi, in Turkish, simply means "cat," and the film documents the cats in Istanbul who rule the streets and seem, all at once, to belong to everyone and no one. (You can watch the movie here.) The documentary hit a sweet spot for me because, well, CATS, but also because I had spent a month of my travels in Istanbul and around Turkey and remembered fondly all of the cats I saw everywhere while there. There were cats in the streets, cats in...

It was a two-day, one-night trip to the floating islands of Uros and the islands of Amantani and Taquile on Lake Titicaca in Peru. First, we visited Uros, the floating islands of Lake Titicaca. Uros is a strange little area of home-made islands built on compounds of mud and sticks. Those "sticks" were actually totora reeds interwoven to form the ground. The surface is constantly rebuilt from the top up (the bottom, the part exposed to the lake, rots just as constantly). The flooring is buoyant and so, with every step, you feel a slight spring, a slight give, as if...

There isn't much to do in Puno, Peru other than await your trip to Lake Titicaca and Taquile Island and run around getting the American dollars and the passport photocopies you need after deciding to head to Bolivia (Americans have to pay $135 and provide copies of their passport at the border. No one else, mind you. Just Americans.) And so, I decided to spend one afternoon in Puno on a Sillustani tour. Sillustani is an archaeological site and pre-Inkan burial ground just outside of Puno, Peru, on the shores of Lake Umayo in South America. Every tour office in town...

I had written it there, I swore. "See Machu Picchu," was on my life list. I was sure I had added it at some point but, as I scrolled through the list on my phone, as I googled my web address and "Machu Picchu," it wasn't showing up. Had I imagined it? It took a few times skimming through the list to find it. Not, "See Machu Picchu," but, "Hike The Inca Trail." "Hike the Inka Trail," I read, sitting an a hostel in Aguas Calientes, otherwise known as Machu Picchu Pueblo. I hadn't hiked the Inca Trail to get there. I hadn't hiked...

Do you want to know what to eat in Cusco, Peru? Fries. All the fries. I love fries. I really do. A good fry is heaven. Crispy on the outside, velvety soft on the inside, a touch of salt. Perfection. But in Peru they are always just greasy and limp. Disappointing. And, when eating in Cusco, Peru, fries come with everything. Everything. I never thought I’d get sick of fries. But I also don’t need them twice a day...

In all honesty, this is how I spent half of my time in Cusco, Peru. I know. I know. But hear me out. I have both a major freelance project and a major personal project to work on (plus my blog and photos and all that). And Starbucks, most places in the world, has reliable wifi, big cups of coffee, and is a place I don't feel guilty sitting for four hours after only ordering a coffee. Also, I swear the Cusco Starbucks has more outlets than any place I've ever seen. Also, I would be much more willing to go to local coffee...

This is what 4am looks like when you're at the bottom of a canyon that cuts off power for the night. It's what 4am looks like when your group, the "slow group," starts its ascent. It's what 4am looks like when you're trekking Colca Canyon in Peru. Black. It looks so black you can't even see a foot in front of you. But, if you look up, there will be stars. More stars than you've ever seen. So you turn off your flashlight, and stand, for a moment, staring upwards, wishing you knew more constellations, any constellations, before turning your light...

This is Antigua. That's all I could think when I entered the main square in Arequipa, Peru. Both were surrounded by walkways of arched columns where touts would constantly hassle you to book a tour, eat at their restaurant, buy some sunglasses. Both were flanked by a giant church. Both centered around a park, a fountain, where women in traditional garb tried to get you to buy traditional souvenir, eat some ice cream, or, in Arequipa's case, take your photo with an alpaca. It was bigger than Antigua, but so eerily familiar that I often forgot where exactly I was....

Huacachina is a weird little outlet in southwestern Peru. The town, if you can even call it that, centers around a natural lake, and that is surrounded by giant dunes of sand. It's a vintage relic, really, one of those places you could imagine being filled with rich Peruvians on a weekend holiday back in the seventies. But this is 2014, and it's kind of run down, and it retains all that 70s charm, and local vacationers, while still there, have been outnumbered with bus-loads of tourists stopping to take photos before getting back on the bus, and backpackers there for...