Cape Town: Langa Township

Under Apartheid, townships came to mean a residential area that confined non-whites (blacks, colored, or Indians) living near a residential community. When outside of designated areas or homelands, the black population was required to carry passbooks, and failure to produce them when asked for would lead to arresting. While I spent much time in the […]

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Lion’s Head Mountain

45 minutes into hiking Lion’s Head, I came to the realization that I was going around the mountain instead of up. I confusedly stopped a nearby hiking family walking the opposite direction to ask they were hiking up. They answered yes, so I turned around and joined the family for the next two hours. Following […]

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Cape Town Highlights

Robben Island: This island lies seven kilometers off the coast of Cape Town and was previously inhabited by political prisoners during the Apartheid era. The most famous of whom was Nelson Mandela, whose cell I saw. It was maybe 8×6 and had only a small desk, a thin piece of cloth to lie on, plus […]

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Sea Olympics

Each deck is separated into seas, and the winning sea at Sea Olympics gets eternal glory as well as free popcorn and the choice of getting off the ship first or last. Nearly every type of strength is tested from physical pull ups and tug of war to synchronized swimming and emotionally challenging haiku death […]

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Mauritius: Port Louis

Mauritius: Tropical paradise, cruise-ship hub, and it was once home to the now extinct dodo bird. With only one day there and a 70% chance of rain, my plans of what to do there were unclear.During breakfast the skies were fairly clear so Celeste, Allie, and I made plans to hike Le Pouce mountain near […]

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Neptune Day

Ships and navies across the world hold initiation ceremonies when sailors cross the equator for the first time. As we passed into southern waters, Semester at Sea held Neptune Day during which students transform from slimy Pollywogs turn into honorable Shellbecks – the sons of Neptune. The ceremony involved kissing a fish, pledging our allegiance […]

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India: Kathakali

Kathakali is a stylized Kerala dance-drama known for its make-up, costumes, and body movements with percussion. There are no words; the story is conveyed through hand gestures, expressions, and dance. Traditionally Kathakali begins at night and ends in the early morning, but my homestay directed me to a theatre with a condensed version and front […]

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India: Guruvayoor Aanaottam

I had no idea what to expect from Guruvayoor Aanaottam. Lonely Planet described it as an ‘elephant race’ festival, but even that meant little to me. Where were the elephants running to? Where were they coming from? Can elephants run? Regardless, the festival date coincided with my visit so I headed to the city of […]

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India: Kerala Photography

While most of my friends went north, I chose to stay in the south and spent my six days exploring Kerala. Kerala is the region on the south-west of India’s coast and is one of the most well-developed in India. The first day was spent with my travel writing class on a houseboat touring the […]

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Bagan

Over 2000 ancient temples, pagodas, and shrines remain in the city of Bagan today. These are what is left of over 10,000 constructed beginning in the 10th century during the height of the Pagan Kingdom. Of the ones still standing, roughly 10 are the ‘must-see’ tourist attractions, others see a few visitors, but most lay […]

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