No More Trains Left

I found myself at a crowded train station, packed to the brim with folks from all walks of life. Some were friends I grew up with, mucking around by the playground when I was a little boy. I spotted a few of them, and I waved. They waved back. The train platforms stretched to no…

Chinatown: Tradition’s Last Frontier

I’ll admit — when I was younger, I never enjoyed going to Chinatown. Not only was it out of the way — requiring bus/train transfers — but it was run down and seemed to be in a perpetual state of chaos, like a large colony of ants scattering about after being sprayed with water. Wide,…

Commentary: Travel Writing

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a travel writer. When I discovered my passion for writing some eight years ago, it was the very genre that prompted me to make a career out of it. Grandiose dreams of travelling the world and writing about it sprang to mind,…

Pursuing the Autumn Dusk: A Photo Essay

Highway after highway, the bus carrying several passengers, including myself, strode effortlessly along. I remember looking out of the window, watching neat rows of houses pass me by. “I wonder how life is like in those neighbourhoods,” I would muse over and over. Eventually, the houses disappeared, and we crossed over a deep gorge —…

Directionless in Tokyo

On 28 October, 2018, together with my parents, I embarked on what was my first ever trip to Japan. Although it was meant to be a family vacation, it was also an opportunity for me to ascertain for myself if Japan really is how I had made it out to be. You see, for the…

Kyoto-Bound

Some years back, I wrote this for someone I used to cherish. We both dreamt of moving to Japan one day, so we kept each other motivated, and this was how I went about it. Over time, people change, and perhaps my writing has, too. But, the same wistful desire remains.   She was nervous….

Playing Marco Polo: Reliving the Silk Road

The searching light shone upon the world by great explorers of the Middle Ages begins to flicker, and for millennials, few of their names bear any significance at all. Interestingly however, prominent figures like Ibn Battuta and Marco Polo appear vaguely stored in our memories, perhaps from the odd atlas book we had skimmed through…

Not Everyone Wants To Travel

There is probably not a soul with access to the internet who has not read an article touting the supposedly endless benefits of travel. Inspirational words are often used as calls to action, nudging the reader out of his ‘comfort zone’, which, incidentally, is a phrase that can also be found in many an article….

Tourist or Traveller?

It seems like every single person who has caught the “wanderlust” fever veers towards one of the two groups; one is either a tourist or a traveller. Perhaps you can relate to the following scenario — you are walking along the streets of Bern on a warm summer afternoon after acquainting yourself with the local…

Chilled Spring — Searching Switzerland

As I began to write this, I realised that most of our time in Switzerland was spent either lounging away in our rented apartment in Zermatt, or commuting between cities. Zermatt, the southernmost alpine town that lies right next to the mountainous shared border with Italy, is at least an hour’s journey by train to…