Indigenous Islands of San Blas, Panama

My trip to the San Blas Islands, Panama was planned last minute when the owner of my hostel in Panama City expressed the importance of visiting the islands. So I went, with the consideration of it being a day trip and a cheap travel opportunity.

The San Blas Islands consist of 378 tiny islands clustered close together in the Caribbean Sea.  Panama’s indigenous tribe, called the Kuna, live on these islands and welcome tourists to stay and experience their culture. Each islands has white sand and palm trees and, of course, the ocean water is pure blue.

IMAG0360

Me on one of the islands. (See the other two islands in the background?)

IMAG0368

Forest of palm trees.

Since I was only there for a day the Kuna people cooked me breakfast and lunch. They had an assortment of tea and made pancakes, bacon and delicious homemade coconut rice!

IMAG0357

My yummy breakfast made by the Kuna People

Just off the shore of Isla Perro there was a small sunken ship that tropical sea life now inhabits. The best part was I was able to to go snorkeling around it!

Also, the Kuna sold their homemade crafts. My favorite handicrafts were the molas, which are cloths with colorful stitching of designs and symbols.

IMAG0358

My picture of the beautiful molas.

The Kuna people were welcoming and, fortunately  shared a part of their unique culture with me.  To have a once in a life time opportunity like this is why I love traveling.

Advertisements

The Beach, My Sanctuary.

San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

I took this photo in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

The beach is a tranquil place. The ocean’s salty ocean breeze, the smell of the sea and the coolness of the wind all adds to the beach’s refreshing and relaxing atmoshphere.

I have layed on white sands and have snorkled among tropical fish that live in the Caribbean’s colorful reef.  I have stood on top of large cliffs, looking down at waves breaking against the rocks.  I have swam in the pacfic ocean in mid-fall with nothing but a swimsuit! Crazy, huh? But my body quickly numbs to the chilled winds and ocean waters.

I go to the beach to be present. It is a place where I do not have to ponder over the worries of life, plans for tomorrow or the happenings of yesterday.

Me, running.

My mom snapped this photo of me running on one of  Oregon’s beaches.  I am dressed for the city with my sleek black boots, white fashonable coat and my coffee.  Maybe I should actually be running to catch the subway…haha. The coast is always a familiar place, a sanctuary of peace, regardless of where I am.

Japan’s Cherry Blossom Festival

The Hanami festival is an old tradition in Japan stemming back to the feudal period. During this period aristocrats wrote poetry about the beauty of cherry blossoms and the flower was a representation for the samurais of the code they lived by.

I had a friend who visited Japan during the Hanami festival. (NOTE: Here is audio of my friend’s description about the beauty of the cherry blossoms.) He told me that the Japanese word Hanami means cherry blossoms: hana = blossoms and mi = see. The beautiful cherry trees are planted everywhere around Japan’s cities and buidings, temples and neighborhoods. Here is a photo of the light pink cherry blossom trees.

The Japanese celebrate Hanami by hosting viewing parties or picnics. At these picnics the people bring food and drinks, enjoy eachother’s comany, write potry and sing songs.  In the U.S. there are Hanami festivals such as the one in Washington D.C.

Snowfall in Paris

Paris is the place where girls dream of finding French lovers, where couples go to heighten their romance and where travelers come from all over the world to experience the magic of the city. Traveling to Paris, France is a to-do on many people’s bucket lists. However, visiting the the City of Love  during a white snowfall is, no doubt, magical.

My friend Ashley traveled to Paris, France this past January of 2013. The day she arrived in Paris it was snowing and continued for the next few days. In this linked sound clip, Ashley expresses the excitement and magic she felt from her experience.

Ashley during white snowfall in Paris, France in front of the Eiffel Tower

Photo taken with Ashley’s camera of Ashley during white snowfall in Paris, France in front of the Eiffel Tower.

I have always wondered what it was about Paris that make the city so magical.  My professor who has been to France various times explained that one has to visit Paris in order to experience the indescribable feelings of magic and romance the city holds.

Photography pf Eiffel Tower by Ashley Kimi

Photography of Eiffel Tower by Ashley Kimi