An Empty New Year’s Day in Bogota.

A few months ago, a monk said to me, “It’s easy to be thankful for our friends, family, good health, and positive experiences, but it’s much more difficult to be thankful for challenging situations, difficult people, and other difficult experiences. Now you’re probably wondering: why should we be thankful for these things? Well, sometimes, difficult experiences and people who make us angry or sad can show us where we might need more wisdom.”

Reconnecting in Battambang.

A year ago, I moved to a really charming corner of the world called Battambang, Cambodia. I had previously been there one other time for my first 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat, but this time around would be my first time actually living and experiencing a non-monastic life in Cambodia. I was excited to return and reconnect.

Trees are sanctuaries.

From one forest sanctuary to another.

After my silent meditation retreat in the woods last week, I decided to ease my transition back into this noisy-cluttered-messy world (that I love nonetheless) with a short trip to D.C. for some quiet museum exploration. One place that I’ve always inexplicably overlooked during my D.C. museum days is the United States Botanic Garden, the nation’s oldest continually operating botanic garden. Now, it just might be my favorite space in D.C. (what can I say? I love being in environments that are conducive to getting the Jurassic Park theme song stuck in my head.)