Adventures in Backpackistan!
 
 
 
Adventure
 
Theyyam Yesteryear Colors-1
Theyyam Yesteryear Colors-1
Theyyam Yesteryear Colors-1

Gods Amongst Men

Tweet Late one night several years ago, while drunkenly sprawled out on my couch, flicking through a slog of 2AM infomercials and overly-lit diabetes PSAs, I caught a documentary about holy men in southern India, men who would ...
 
Adventure
 
Hampi-2
Hampi-2
Hampi-2

The Shaman’s Seeds of Wisdom

Tweet A chorus of tribal drums thundered in the twilight of Hampi, reverberating off the granite boulders that crumbled down from the cliff face above. Sam Monahan sat cross-legged on a worn mattress away from the drum circle, ...
 
Adventure
 
Dharavi Slums Alley-1
Dharavi Slums Alley-1
Dharavi Slums Alley-1

The Heart of the Slums

Tweet The scruffy, young beggar banged on my window. “Sir, money! Money!” I tried to ignore him but it was futile; we were stuck in Mumbai’s gridlock traffic, and he wasn’t going anywhere. “Sir!” I had no small bills. I conside...

 
Adventures in Backpackistan!
 
Bollywood-2
Bollywood-2
Bollywood-2

Steve McDonald: Bollywood Extra(ordinaire)

Tweet Considering the Europeans’ rich history in Asia—as the evil purveyors of cholera, missionaries, and opium—it should be no surprise that Western actors are often hired to play the feringee villain, or ‘white villain,’ in I...
 
Adventures in Backpackistan!
 
Holi Festival-14
Holi Festival-14
Holi Festival-14

Holi Moly! Do or Dye!

Tweet Suresh Mehta screamed as his tiny feet pounded over hot sand, sprinting across the beach to the protection of his older sister. I thundered after him with my fist raised, eyes twinkling with vengeance, my entire body spla...
 
Backpackology 101
 
Bagan Buledi
Bagan Buledi
Bagan Buledi

The Backpacker’s Manifesto

Tweet There were a dozen sagging rear-ends in my face as I plodded up the long, narrow staircase of Shwezendaw Pagoda, trapped behind a Swiss tour group who were ascending at glacial speed. I turned around to a sweeping panoram...

 
Adventures in Backpackistan!
 
Rangoon Street Food-8
Rangoon Street Food-8
Rangoon Street Food-8

‘Have You Eaten?’: An Angry Foodie’s Portrait of Burma

Tweet It’s likely that you’ve never tried Burmese food, or even seen a Burmese restaurant. There’s a reason for this. Wedged between the three culinary giants China, India, and Thailand, you might expect the cuisine of Burma to...
 
Adventures in Backpackistan!
 
Budgetometer-1
Budgetometer-1
Budgetometer-1

The Budgetometer

Tweet I could tell the wealthy-looking French family was alarmed, but I suppose I would be too if a total stranger started following me at uncomfortably close range. The mother shot me a worried look as I edged even closer, bre...
 
Adventure
 
Human Zoo-2
Human Zoo-2
Human Zoo-2

The Human Zoo

Tweet As our motorized canoe sliced through the morning mist, I couldn’t discern the water from the sky. We were sailing through a monochrome plane of grey, with no reference point but the occasional floating lotus leaf, or a f...

 
Adventures in Backpackistan!
 
WrongPancakeRaw-4
WrongPancakeRaw-4
WrongPancakeRaw-4

The Wrong Pancake

Tweet For this week, I intended on writing a story about terrifying street-food in Rangoon… but then I arrived in the mountain village of Kalaw, and suffered an incident so absurd that I couldn’t resist sharing my tale immediat...