Posts tagged “history

A Trail of Thought

Posted on 10 May 2017

My thoughts go like this. I’m in a national park – a relatively remote one, at that – and one may think it’s untouched and pristine, but no, it’s not. There was a mine in this park. I scramble among the ruins, trying not to touch too much. The desert has worn out the mine by now: it’s just over a hundred years old and it looks the part. And I say desert. This used to be grassland, but ranchers’ cattle gobbled it up. It is still beautiful. So, okay, there was a mine in this not-pristine wilderness but what about before that? Before the treads of cattle and the settlers who brought them, Native Americans were here; you can see old symbols they…

Kto Znayet, Who Knows

Posted on 12 October 2015

I used to walk the streets of Saint Petersburg, propelling myself forward at a strident pace. Sometimes, passerby would stop me and ask me for directions. I told them I didn’t know where I was, where I was going. I’ve seen people travel to Russia with an image in their mind. A romantic image: a dark but gorgeous, majestic place, literary geniuses winding their way through the lamp lit streets, symphony notes hovering in the air, poetry in the wind. A harsh image: never ending Soviet apartment blocks, grey sky, grey streets, grey faces, a hush all around, a terror gripping you, reaching out from every pulled-aside curtain in the window. A chaotic image: mafia men roaming the streets, lawlessness abound, money exchanges on…

Everything Converges

Posted on 19 July 2014

Oh, Bolivia. This is a place where everything converges—mountains, water, desert, cities, the sky, diversity, poverty, jungles, witches, surreal beauty, friendships. Sadly, Bolivia is often overlooked in favor of neighboring Peru, which is also incredible but certainly not a substitute for the two countries truly have different offerings. Bolivia is a country of extremes. The numbers seem to hold it back: it is the poorest country in South America, and it is landlocked. However, Bolivia also has the largest indigenous population in South America and is incredibly diverse—in terms of both its peoples and its landscapes. In other words, Bolivia has struggled, but it is truly a wonder. For travelers, there are some significant benefits to visiting Bolivia. The country is very cheap. It is…