Author: katewanders

There and Back Again

New Zealand

The Fellowship hiked through the barren valley of craters, deep into the volcanic wilderness of Middle Earth. Mount Doom loomed overhead, the rust-colored landslide dotted with snow. A few foolish members of the Fellowship […]

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War on Backpacks


They were everywhere. On shoulders, in front of hostels, under beds, outside bars, riding in tuktuks, stuffed in lockers. Dusty, full of flip-flops, and covered with patches of flags, the backpacks were an […]

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Japan: Final Edition


Osaka I still didn’t speak any Japanese. And some of the dancers didn’t speak English. But we did the Charleston and swing danced all night, communicating with just a song and a dance floor in […]

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Tokyo by train


Me: *bow* Konichiwa! (hello) Shopkeeper: *bow* Konichiwa! (hello) Me: Arigato gazimasu! *bow* (thanks for taking my money) Shopkeeper: *bow* Arigato gazimasu! (thanks for your money, come again soon) Me: *awkward bow, because I’ve […]

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A week in Hong Kong

Hong Kong

No matter how many places I’ve been there is nothing like that new-country-smell, anything and everything is possible. After five solo weeks in China, I was meeting my San Franciscan friend, Laura, for a […]

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Chopsticks with gloves


They say that China is shaped like a chicken, with its head bordering the Korean peninsula, its back next to Russia, and its rump encompassing Tibet. When describing where different cities are in […]

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Homeless in Thethi


“You’re traveling and having new experiences, so this is a new experience”, he said. “I don’t think I want to have this experience again”, I replied. Hungry, tired, alone, energy-less and penniless, I […]

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Bulgarian Mountains


After a sleepless overnight bus ride from Istanbul I rolled into Sofia, a small city of 1.2 million and capital of Bulgaria. Between the impossibly high heels women wear, brightly colored tights from […]

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Not Constantinople


“Istanbul was Constantinople / Now it’s Istanbul, not Constantinople / Been a long time gone, Constantinople / Why did Constantinople get the works? / That’s nobody’s business but the Turks” They Might Be Giants Constantinople […]

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