Author Archives: Isabelle

Celebrating the Thai New Year – Why I Loved and Hated Songkran

“Make sure you buy the biggest and baddest water gun!” my friend Brian gushed. He’s lived in Thailand for years and was graciously preparing me with tons of travel tips. It turned out I was coincidentally arriving in Chiang Mai the week of Songkran- Thailand’s New Year festival. I didn’t know what it entailed nor […]

Morocco Road Trip: Marrakech, Ouarzazate, Zagora & Sahara Desert

Morocco was magical. It was unlike anywhere I’ve ever been to. It was red, alive, exotic, spicy, French, Arabic, and bursting with history. So different yet, slightly familiar in the sense that the atypical mannerisms of the people reminded me of my Dominican background. Most commonly, they were playful, charming, generous, and happy hard-working hustlers. The Moroccans were particularly […]

Costa Rica’s Best Hidden Gems & Places to Visit

Costa Rica is a mélange of soaring mountains, volcanoes, beaches, jungles, waterfalls, hot springs and exotic wildlife. Every corner of Costa Rica’s diverse topography is filled with treasures and hidden gems. There is always something for everyone. As for me? It is a lush respite from my New York City life. A way to re-connect […]

Cuban Class System: Who is Rich in Cuba?

Fidel Castro’s vision for post-revolution Cuba was an independent nation without classism. He preached for a Cuba where everyone has access to education, healthcare, and basic necessities. These intentions enthralled some folks, while others (most of the affluent class) fearfully fled in massive waves. While Castro did succeed in some aspects–Cuba has one of the highest literacy rates […]

Facts About Life in Cuba from Baracoa to Havana

I returned from my first trip to Cuba sporting a glowing tan, whistling to the hymns of the Buena Vista Social Club, and expressing a newfound snootiness for coffee. My more recent trip to Cuba, however, was less romanticized and involved a more “nacional” experience where I gained a more in-depth perspective of life on the island. Along […]

Ten Things to Know Before Traveling to Vietnam

Peaceful, bustling, and utterly enchanting, Vietnam is a special country uniquely influenced by its recent history. Today, it is left with the remnants of a special fusion: ageless border disputes between it’s neighboring countries and struggles to overcome French colonization well into the 20th century followed by two decades of war and invasion by the United States. Learning at least […]

Cuba Can’t Change on its Own

Like people everywhere, Cubans yearn for peace, prosperity and freedom. Our challenge is to make our existing totalitarian state, which is obsolete and inefficient, evolve into a more open system that is better attuned to the global economy and the world around us. The Cuban people fervently want that change, but they insist that it […]