Driving Laos’ Bolaven Plateau

Laos’s Bolaven Plateau is another world of waterfalls straight out of Jurassic Park, quiet village life, and the best coffee I’ve ever had. We drove into the plateau with a rented scooter that maxed out at about 30 km/hour, not really knowing where we were going or what we were going to see…and were rewarded with landscapes that reminded me of what the word “stunning” really means.

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Coffee in Laos

When I was in Laos last month, I drank A LOT of coffee. Well, I always drink a lot of coffee, so what I mean is that I drank a lot of really exceptional coffee. With the perfect geology and climate for coffee cultivation, Laos’s Bolaven Plateau produces some of the best coffee beans in the world.

I got a recipe for the perfect pour over from a barista at Jhai Coffee House in Paksong, and I’m sharing it with you here…it’s changed my mornings forever!

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Laos, Land of a Million Bombs

During the Vietnam War, there was this entire Secret War going on in Laos that I learned about while I visited what is one of the world’s most beautiful – and unfortunately, most heavily bombed – countries. It got me thinking about what it means to travel as an American to places like Laos, where they are still dealing with the legacy of destruction with millions of unexploded bombs littering the countryside. Especially at this fraught political moment, just weeks before Trump’s inauguration.

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On Athens and the Greek Economic Crisis

Coming from Detroit, the first major city in the world to go bankrupt, I was interested in how the statistics and stories about the Greek debt crisis matched up to the reality, and how people are really living with it. Here’s a story about Athens, absence, and unfinished conversations.

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The Best Free Things to Do in Madrid

Some of the best things I did in Madrid last week were totally free (or so cheap they might as well be). Eating African hot peppers and 6€ Senegalese stew in Lavapies (Madrid’s version of Queens), a week’s worth of free museum nights standing in awe in front of Guernica and Las Meninas, and staying out until 3AM with friends (and all the rest of Madrid).

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You Can Only Go to India for the First Time Once

No one ever talks about what it is like to land in a place like India for the first time. I had to write about this exhausting, disorienting, and totally thrilling experience. My first impressions of India was that India makes a big impression. One thing’s for sure: you only get to go to India for the first time once in your life.

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Scuba Diving in Thailand, auf Deutsch and in English

No matter where you find yourself in the world these days, whether in the middle of the Ecuadorian rainforest, on a lonely mountain road in the Caucuses, a desert dune in the Sahara, or on a scuba boat in the Andaman Sea, chances are, you’ll cross paths with a German. Here’s a story about speaking foreign languages while traveling and scuba diving with a badass German scuba diver who felt comfortable diving into blackened oceanic trenches than speaking English.

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