Five Favorite Photos from Ireland (So Far)

Ireland is a country that has danced through books I’ve read and songs I’ve sung for many years. Myths and legends grow here. So do sheep.

And I am finally here.

Here are my five favorite photos from my first five days in Ireland:

The first picture is from my first hike on this island. I walked to the top of Knocknarea Mountain in County Sligo where the cairn of Queen Maeve, who was buried with her spear, standing upright and facing her enemies, towers over the landscape. The trail wound through these trees. This was the view on my way back down the steep stairs. This was Ireland, the country in all the songs and the movies, the country where banshees and will-o’-the-wisps were real, the country where an informational placard on a house associated with the poet William Butler Yeats said, “The ghosts of smugglers used to tap on the window panes,” just matter of factly, no “Legend says” attribution accompanying the statement. Continue reading

A Few Thoughts from the Philippines

First, here is a picture of a bird standing on my head:

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I was visiting Davao Crocodile Park, and a man held the two birds and asked, “Picture, mahm?” I thought he meant that I would be in a picture with the birds while he held them, but then he explained that they would perch on my arms. Readers may remember my previous adventures with birds in New Zealand, and I became ridiculously excited at this chance for another up-close wildlife encounter.

One even gave me a peck on the cheek while it sat on my shoulder.  Continue reading

21 Hours in Singapore

One Sunday morning while I was in Christchurch, New Zealand, I met two women from Singapore. We connected immediately over food and good conversation. Upon parting, we said that if we were ever in each other’s countries, we would be sure to catch up.

Three months later, I was searching for plane tickets from Perth, Australia, to the Philippines and discovered a route with a long layover in Singapore. I could experience two countries on one plane ticket!

So I contacted my new friends, and we planned a 21-hour Singaporean adventure.

But first, here are some photos from my last day in the Southern Hemisphere:  Continue reading