A literary travel guide to Trinidad and Tobago

If you're a book nerd like me, then you'll absolutely adore the idea of literary travel. What is it, exactly? It's a form of tourism where you visit places that inspired or featured in certain fiction/non-fiction books. For instance, if you loved Anne of Green Gables, then you'll definitely appreciate visiting the real Prince Edward [...]

A tale of two flowers

Here's an excerpt from, A Tale of Two Flowers, an essay I recently wrote for Caribbean Beat, Caribbean Airlines' in-flight magazine: "In the Caribbean, we often take the flowers for granted. They seem to be always there: hibiscus, bougainvillea, or frangipani blending incongruously into the tropical landscape. I only realised how much I missed them during [...]

Literary travel: We Mark Your Memory

Hey everyone! 2018's already proving an exciting year! I'm happy to announce that I have a short story called "Homecoming" published in We Mark Your Memory: Writings from the Descendants of Indenture. "Homecoming" depicts a young Indo-Trinidadian couple visiting Kolkata in India, the motherland, for the first time and experiencing confusion, bewilderment, and displacement there. The anthology is [...]

Literary travel: Oh Happy Day

Self-published in 2017, Oh Happy Day is a debut collection of short stories written by Trinidadian author, Michelle Ragoonanan-Ali. Oh Happy Day features many popular Trinidadian traditions, customs, and language and spans the length and breadth of the island, from Sea Lots to Siparia, Mayaro to Talparo. In general, the stories deal with the struggles [...]

Literary travel: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, written by Dominican American author Junot Diaz, is set in the DR (Dominican Republic) and New Jersey, United States. It starts off telling the story of uber-nerd/Dominican with no game Oscar but soon delves into his entire family history. What I liked I get why this novel got [...]

Literary travel: Little Free Library in Trinidad and Tobago

Book nerdigans, did you know that Trinidad and Tobago has not one but two Little Free Library locations? What is the Little Free Library? The non-profit, which was started in Hudson, Wisconsin by Tod Bol, now has over 50,000 locations in over 70 countries worldwide. Today, it's a global movement that encourages a love of reading. This [...]

The art of slow travel

When I first started to travel in 2001, I was all about the bucket list. I wanted to go everywhere, see everything. In the age of the 'gram and instant gratification, many travelers are still like this. They like to list where they've been (especially with flag emojis) and where they're going next. They love to post [...]

The commodification of travel

In today's postmodern world, the prevailing paradigm is that travel abroad can solve all your problems and help you find your soul. There are so many stories of people who quit their jobs and sold everything to travel the world. These individuals see travel abroad as some kind of spiritual odyssey to find their true [...]

Literary travel: 7 books set in India that will inspire you to travel there

Even before Jesse and I traveled to India a couple years ago, I loved reading fiction written by Indian authors. I admired their writing style, often so magical or lyrical that it totally transported me to a country I initially never really cared to visit. If you're thinking of taking a meaningful trip to the [...]

The expat and the art of minimalist living

Everything changed when I first moved out of my childhood home. I was getting ready to study abroad in the UK and couldn't decide what to carry. In retrospect, I realized that I walked with way too much luggage in the first place, including a cooking pot and a heavy wool winter coat that I [...]