• What Makes Burano, Italy a “Must Visit?” (According to Anthony Bordain…)

    The illustrious city of Venice is a wonder to behold, yet, the whole surrounding lagoon offers an abundance of wonders and rewards for venturesome travelers willing to take a little nautical journey. One such place is Burano. Like walking straight into a Wonka-esque, rainbow village, the delights of this quaint island go far beyond it’s vivid, techni-color facades. The whole island seems enchanted by the myths of the sea, where even it’s most famed product- handmade lace-is said to have originated from mythological beings. Legend has it an engaged young fisherman was out in his boat, when a siren tried to lure him in with her song. When the fisherman…

  • I Made These Cultural Blunders in Italy….(So you don’t have to!)

    Like many Americans traveling to Italy, my imagination of Italy and Italians ran wild with romantic images of pin-stripe suit and gold jewelry-clad men, beautiful, feisty stilletto-heeled women, cozy trattorias with slow, romantic accordion music playing in the background and mountains of fresh pasta. Of course, these are highly stereotypical ideals and not met in reality (except, of course, the mountains of pasta!) Yet, even if you read all the non-stereotype perpetuating literature you can get your hands on, nothing can fully prepare you for being in a new culture entirely. Part of the fun is challenging your own expectations, throwing away your romanticizations, and learning the nitty-gritty details of…

  • Exploring the Pomp and Grandiosity of the Vatican

    Although the Vatican is the smallest country, by both area and population, what it lacks in scale it certainly makes up for in unbridled opulence. Indeed, nothing exposes that opulence more than the exquisite works of art on display at the Vatican Museum. The elegant, bright sheen of ancient sculpted marble still gleans, sumptuous frescoes dazzle the senses from all sides, while the post modern works refresh and remind us of a changing world. As you meander the Vatican halls, you are literally walking the hallways of the progression of modern civilization. The Vatican Museum sees six million visitors per year and is the fourth most visited art museum in…

  • New Adventures, Blossoming Romance in the Cradle of Western Civilization

    Hi Folks! I’m biding my time in the Philadelphia airport, anxiously awaiting my flight to the farthest from home I’ve been. This is my first trip to Europe, and I’m about to board a flight to one of the oldest cities, not only in Europe, but modern civilization-Rome. After spending the last three months voraciously reading travel guides, listening to historical audiobooks and podcasts, and feverishly researching the style and etiquette of  the beautiful Italians, it is finally time for me to board.  After all the agonizing hours of wondering what color scarf to wear and how tall a heel on my boots will allow me to walk for hours…

  • Purple Hazy Clay Beds

    The desert is full of surprises, especially when you know where to find them! These clay beds outside Kanab, Utah made me feel like I was swirling in the midst of a Jimi Hendrix song circa 1967(cue phsychedelic guitar riff of “Purple Haze). Even without mind-altering enhancements, these clay beds are a far-out, surreal landscape of magenta, violet and mustard. Ombre ribbons adorn these strange, dried hills to create an art deco museum in the middle of the desert. Lucky for us, however, this museum is completely free and created by nature. Called the “chinle” formation, these vibrant clay beds are made of fine sediments left from ancient lakes, river…

  • A Grand Weakness

    Visiting the Grand Canyon for the first time is an experience I’ll never forget. Peering out into the vast, surreal desert void makes you feel as if the whole thing could swallow you into oblivion. Yet, despite its breathtaking power and grandeur, the Grand Canyon somehow asserts an introspective and quiet vulnerability. Truly, what is the Canyon but a massive open wound in the skin of the earth? A wound revealing the tender and humble weakness of rock that once appeared indestructible.  Over millennia, with each silky passing of water and ripple, the mighty rock has given way carving the canyon deeper and even more spectacular. What exquisite weakness, indeed.…

  • The Wonders and Mysteries of Pisac

    After playing tourist in Peru’s most famous-and suffocated-  sites including Machu Pichu and Cuzco, the quaint town of Pisac was like a cool breeze on a hot day. I left the crowds and chaos behind as I stepped into the tranquility of this Peruvian gem. Known for its touristy Sunday market, Pisac is much more than its vendors and crafts (although they are quite lovely.) It’s bewitching and mysterious ruins and chill, chakra-aligning energy, left an indelible imprint on my journey. Referring to both the town and the ruins, Pisac is perhaps derived from the word “Pisaca,”  the Qechua word for Partridge.  While nobody know exactly why the ruins were…

  • Laughing with the Wildflowers at Cedar Break’s Anuual Wildflower Festival

    They say the Earth laughs in flowers, and, with names like Orange Sneezeweed, Sulphur Buckwheat, Mountain Coyote, it’s no wonder why.  At Cedar Breaks National Monument, July is quite the jolly jubilee, indeed, as it erupts in plumes of wildflowers of every color. Cedar Breaks is a hidden gem of a monument. Only one hour away from the scorching heat of the red rock desert, it sits over 10,000 ft. in elevation and gives visitors a brisk alpine breath of fresh air. This was the monument’s thirteenth annual Wildflower Festival, and photographing the event enlivened my heart and soul.     The intense, regal color of scarlet paintbrush, to the…

  • "If the thunder don't get you, the lightning will…"

    It’s monsoon season down here in Southern Utah, my favorite time of year. I love the dark, brooding atmosphere cast from thunder and lightning. There is something elemental and primordial about it, reminding us of our powerlessness against the fury of nature herself. A few days ago my friend and photography mentor Dawn2Dawn Photography  and I set out on a mission-to capture the ephemeral energy of one such lightning storm. Up a dirt road a few miles from Zion, we set up our tripods in the midst of several ominous, tempestuous storms. Capturing a lightning bolt is no easy task; its elusive nature makes photographers work hard. We took thousands…

  • It isn't "brave" to travel solo as a woman. It's normal.

    When I decided to venture solo off to the mystical land of Peru, some friends and family members expressed  concerns, a few expressed astonishment and a lot of folks reminded me to “be careful.” While I certainly appreciate the consideration, I think the overzealous warnings from loved ones can be a bit misguided.  Here is why: Despite being the fool-hearty adventurous type, I have often considered myself rather timid and awkward. I’m possessed of an inner dialogue that years for adventure and wildness, simultaneously crippled by anxious rumination about whether or not I possess the  heartiness to go out and seek it. Perhaps the timid voice is simply an internalized…