Thailand Part III: Navigating Perception and Reality in Chiang Mai

I began Chiang Mai on a strange note. Shortly after checking into my hostel, I was cleaning out my inbox when I found a disturbing blurb in the Council on Foreign Relations: THAILAND: Thai police shut down a meeting hosted by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand to discuss abuses (AP) against Rohingya Muslims by … Continue reading Thailand Part III: Navigating Perception and Reality in Chiang Mai

Thailand Part I: Among Bangkok’s Backpackers and Bustle

On my first night in Thailand, I drank a Chang beer inside of a loud, top 40s dance club along Khao San Road surrounded by westerners. I had discarded my plastic 7-Eleven poncho on a chair as I took shelter from the rain. Despite the torrential downpour, I couldn’t help but smile as I gazed … Continue reading Thailand Part I: Among Bangkok’s Backpackers and Bustle

Istanbul and Turkey’s Uncertain Crossroads

“So what did you think about Turkey before you arrived?” asked a local Turkish Couchsurfer on my third night in Istanbul. It was an important question but one I hadn’t really considered. I wanted to tell him that I understood Turkey from a historical perspective, ever since I learned of Byzantium in my 9th grade … Continue reading Istanbul and Turkey’s Uncertain Crossroads