Puerto Vallarta: The Gem of Mexico’s Pacific Coast

A paradise of sparkling blue-green waters, sandy beaches, and lush palm-covered mountains

Last weekend, Julian and I visited yet another beautiful city on Mexico’s Pacific Coast. Like the iconic Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta was once a sleepy little fishing village before being transformed into a world-class vacation destination. In the 1960s, renowned director John Huston put Puerto Vallarta on the map with his film “The Night of the Iguana.” It starred Richard Burton and Ava Gardner (huge stars at the time) and was shot on a beach near Puerto Vallarta. Elizabeth Taylor tagged along too as she was having an affair with Richard […]

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Iconic Acapulco

Acapulco, Mexico

A few weekends ago, Julian, eleven of our closest friends, and I went to Acapulco to celebrate Julian’s 26th birthday. If you don’t know, Acapulco is an iconic resort town on Mexico’s Pacific Coast. In the 50s and 60s, Acapulco was the vacation destination for the rich and famous. Today it’s no longer an international hotspot but it’s still absolute paradise. I’ve been to Acapulco several times now and I am absolutely in love with its dramatic scenery and retro vibes. Acapulco’s Golden Years During the 50s, big Hollywood stars […]

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The Ancient Pyramids of Teotihuacan

Teotihuacan, Mexico

Recently, my friend Taliya came to visit Mexico City and I spent a few days showing her around. She asked me what was an absolute must-do and without hesitation I said “the pyramids of Teotihuacan.” I’ve been to Teotihuacan three times now and it never ceases to amaze me. If you’re planning on visiting Mexico City, you must put this ancient, mystical city on your list. Past Visits and Latest Archeological Findings I first visited these majestic pyramids over four years ago on my very first trip to Mexico City. […]

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The Mexico City Earthquake and How You Can Help

Last week, on the 32nd anniversary of the deadly 1985 earthquake, central Mexico was hit by another powerful temblor. The epicenter struck the bordering state of Puebla but the capital was hit the hardest in terms of deaths and destruction. In total, 320 people died, dozens of buildings collapsed, and thousands more were damaged, leaving countless people homeless. Read on for my experience in the earthquake and what you can do to help: Experiencing my First Earthquake Three weeks ago, I moved back to Mexico City. I originally moved to Mexico City last fall […]

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More than a party destination: The White Isle of Ibiza

Ibiza, Spain

Ibiza is one of those places whose reputation precedes it. Before going to Ibiza, I assumed it was just a huge party island. I was picturing something straight out of “I Took a Pill in Ibiza.” So while I was curious about it, I must say it wasn’t necessarily top on my list of places to visit. I love a good party as much as the next person but I’ve never been into big clubs or techno music (which Ibiza is famous for) so it didn’t seem like my cup […]

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Istanbul: Where East meets West

For my birthday, Julian told me he was going to take me somewhere special for the weekend but he wouldn’t tell me where. My mind was racing with possibilities! It wasn’t until the morning of our departure that he finally spilled the beans– we would be spending the weekend in Istanbul! The City where East meets West For years now I’ve been dying to go to Istanbul, the city where East meets West. Its cultural heritage spans from an ancient Greek civilization through Persian, Greek, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires to the […]

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My Top 10 Things to Do in Basel

An insider's guide to the very best of Basel, Switzerland

Before moving to Basel in April, I had never been to the city or even to Switzerland. Upon my arrival, I dove right into exploring my new home. From my first day walking around the city square and along the Rhine, I fell in love with Basel. It’s a charming city full of winding alleys, pastel buildings with brightly colored shutters, and bikes along the river. It’s also one of the most well-preserved medieval cities in Europe. Walking around Old Town Basel you feel as though you’ve stepped back in time. […]

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Discovering the Swiss Alps Part 2:

Making cheese, hiking, and exploring Gstaad with a real Swiss cowgirl

Sunday morning, Julian and I woke up at the crack of dawn to visit our friend Linda Bach at her home in the Swiss Alps. Linda grew up in a village called Feutersoey in the mountains outside of the posh ski resort town of Gstaad. Her family owns a dairy farm there, making Linda a real-life cowgirl. We met Linda in college at the University of Virginia. Since moving to Switzerland, we had hoped our paths would cross. Last weekend, the stars finally aligned. Linda was home from Oxford for […]

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Discovering the Swiss Alps Part 1: Interlaken & Adelboden

Saturday morning, Julian and I set off bright and early for a weekend of exploring the Bernese Oberland region of the Swiss Alps. During my time in Switzerland, we’ve tried to take full advantage of Basel’s location in the heart of central Europe. We have traveled both near and far– from across the border to Alsace to Milan and Beirut. But in the process we inadvertently neglected Switzerland! For my last weekend in the country, I wanted to remedy this by going somewhere to revel in the natural beauty of […]

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12 Must-dos in and around Beirut

Beirut, Lebanon

Last week, Julian and I took an extremely last-minute trip to Beirut to attend the wedding of two college friends. The bride is Jordanian and the groom Kuwaiti and they decided to host a destination wedding in the Lebanese capital of Beirut. Though we really wanted to attend the wedding, it seemed incompatible with Julian’s work schedule. It wasn’t until we spoke with another couple going that we realized we couldn’t miss this. After all, when else would we have the opportunity to attend a wedding in Beirut?? While we […]

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