Loving the oldness of New Orleans

I was walking around the French Quarter in New Orleans on the night of Dec. 30 with my family when the streets seemed to suddenly erupt with what, at first glance, looked like a stampede of well-dressed people. Leading the crowd was a bride, beautiful in a simple white dress
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Dining and shopping under Guangzhou’s blue skies

My winter trip back to the land of Mao — and no Facebook — began with a rather refreshing surprise. Upon stepping outside of Baiyun International Airport in Guangzhou, China, I was greeted by blue skies. While contemplating whether the sight was the result of the government somehow pumping dye
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My semester at sea: first stop in Hawaii

This semester, I am traveling aboard a small cruise ship, the MV Explorer, to 13 different countries around the world with the Semester at Sea study abroad program. Including my flight back from London, I will travel completely around the globe. And I’m doing it with more than 500 other
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My winter tour of 4 major European cities

Every winter, my family travels somewhere exotic. We’ve been everywhere from Jamaica to Costa Rica. This year, we decided to go somewhere different – Europe. As a stereotypical Los Angeles native, this winter trip to Europe was equivalent to an arctic expedition. Our first stop was Paris. First, we explored
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Tschuss Amerika, Hallo Deutschland!

After an 11-hour flight from San Francisco to Frankfurt, Germany, I was exhausted.  But when we descended below the clouds and I could see the rolling hills and clusters of villages, I was suddenly awake.  Even in the dismal grayness of winter, I could still see for miles.  As the
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A winterless winter break

Ever since my dad moved from Damascus, Syria, to Texas a couple years ago, I’ve spent my breaks in a little town outside of the small town outside of Brownsville, a city in the very southern part of Texas. My summers there consist of sharing jumbo-sized HEB horchatas with my father, discarding
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Bonjour Chamonix!

Every year for the winter holidays, I travel home to Germany and take a traditional Lookabaugh family ski trip. It’s always amazing being with family in the Alps for the holidays, and the majestic mountain views, the quaint but exciting villages and the seemingly touchable stars really do make for
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A whirlwind Chinese adventure

A tiny blob of light became visible through the airplane window. I blinked a few times, still groggy from sleeping for the better part of 15 hours, and as the blob grew bigger and bigger, a familiar feeling crept up inside me, at once exciting and mundane. I was about
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MoMA in New York City.

A musical day in a rainy Big Apple

It had been a while since I visited New York City. The last time I came to this bustling city was exactly a year ago, when I was still a student from the East Coast and a year’s absence from New York was pretty rare in my life. I was not as
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The iconic Yosemite landscape.

Yosemite: Where the wild bears roam

It’s that time of year when midterms are looming, friendships are being tested and stress is present everywhere. I can’t turn anywhere in Berkeley without spotting at least one stressed-out freshman (or senior; we get overwhelmed, too) who doesn’t know how to cope with the pressure of an impending exam
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