Travel Story

My Expat Life: Five Years And Counting

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Rashad Pharaon looking at a sunset from a boat on the ocean.

It’s been five years. Five long years since I’ve expatriated abroad and traveled and worked abroad. My expat life took me from the Middle East to Asia; from Saudi Arabia to Thailand. It’s hard to believe how time flies when you’re traveling, when you’re working on your own, when you’re living a very different kind… Read More >>

A Visit To Bergamo, Of My Heart

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At first glance,  a visit to Bergamo might not seem like much, just another out-of the-way Italian town belching a near endless stream of Milan or Venice-bound tourists through the doors of its budget airport. Cold, concrete and unattractive, the first impression it offers visitors is a far cry from the classic Roman-era image travelers… Read More >>

Bakau, Gambia: An Unlikely Romantic Destination


A romantic beach in Bakau, The Gambia. The vegetation and trees look tropical and lush, the beach deserted save for a few African locals playing in the water.

At first, I must admit, I thought visiting Bakau, Gambia was only for the fool-hardy. Crocodile pools, warring neighbors and inhospitable swamps might seem an unlikely destination for a romantic vacation, but then the township of Bakau in The Gambia is an unusual place. It sits at the mouth of the Gambia River, where the… Read More >>

Expat Lessons: Five Years Away From Home


A highway picture in Pai, Northern Thailand. The background is green with trees and mountains.

As I was nursing a cold last night, the thought suddenly popped in my head: I’ve been away from home for five years now! Five years as an expat abroad in several countries. Although I’ve traveled extensively during this trip, I don’t consider myself a long-term traveler. I’m not constantly on the move like some people are, and… Read More >>

Jakarta: One Day You’ll Smile


Main Highway in downtown Jakarta, Indonesia. There are care and motorcycles, and a vintage, old look to the picture.

The other day, I was browsing through old photos of mine, and I came upon a collection from my visit to Jakarta years ago. The photos were mostly over-exposed and poorly-taken. They were shot pre-Saudi Arabia, where I eventually picked up a Nikon 7100 and took some online photography courses. But there’s something about their rawness that appealed to… Read More >>

Visiting Mauritius: A Romance In The Indian Ocean


Visiting Mauritius's beautiful coastline and beaches at sunset. The water is golden in the twilight and the palm trees and hills shadowy.

Visiting Mauritius is an unparalleled adventure in romance for lovers and honeymooners. It’s one of those places you’ll keep immortalized in picture albums, a place that’s flirted with the prose of many famous writers. Flipping through travel magazines back home, couples are quick to opt for deals on nearby island destinations. But the stifling smell of advertising and promotions… Read More >>

Yachting The Mediterranean With A Pen And Dream


Last night my phone rang. It was my aunt from Cyprus, she’d heard I’d come. I’d finally made it to idyllic Byblos–where my father lives–a place where I can get away from things and introspect. I always loved spending time with this aunt as a child, and she wanted to hear about my travels. She ended… Read More >>

Going Back Home From My Travels


Tomorrow, I’m going back home from my travels. I’m headed back to Byblos, Lebanon. I don’t know if I told you, but it’s my father’s home, which I consider home too. Going there means seeing a lot of him and a lot of the Mediterranean, both of which make me ecstatic! Byblos, known as J’bail… Read More >>