Heart My Backpack

Half American and half Norwegian, I have been living and traveling abroad for the past four years. I write about the 60+ countries I've traveled to, tending to focus on less popular destinations such as Iran and the “Stans” of Central Asia, where I’ve aimed to challenge misconceptions we have about countries that often suffer harsh representations in Western media.

Photography Lessons from Boracay

To be honest, I was a little wary of going to Boracay....more

It’s Thailloween!

Hailandween? Thalloween? Should I stop? ...more

Boracay, Why Are You So Pretty?

I did my visa run in Laos this past summer at the height of the Thai crackdown on tourist visas, and I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t be let back into the country. Plus, I had unwisely chosen to stand in line for a very stern looking immigration officer wearing dark sunglasses, yikes. When my turn finally came, the officer took off his glasses and peered down at me and unsmilingly asked, “why are you so pretty?” I wasn’t sure how to react, but eventually...more

Oh You Pretty Places, in Autumn

While I’ve spent the past week at a beach that pretty much matches the textbook definition of “paradise,” I’ve found myself totally craving cooler weather. Is that crazy? Growing up in New England, fall was always such a magical time of year, with crisp air and woolen tights, apple picking, road trips through the countryside for no other reason than to admire the fall colors, and pumpkin everything ....more

Polaroids from Kuala Lumpur (and NOT Melaka)

After making a narrow escape from Penang, I had eight days left in Malaysia. I had planned to spend some time in Kuala Lumpur and then go...more

Kidnapped in Penang

Dear Parents, Please don’t read this blog post. I promise I’ll have a new one up in a few days, okay? Thanks, I love you! ...more

Go to the Streets! In George Town, Penang

I had high expectations for George Town, the historic capital city of the...more

A Journey Through Buddhist Hell in Singapore

While exploring the Gardens by the Bay and Singapore’s impressive shopping district were at the top of my itinerary, I also...more

Finding Favorites in Singapore

Four days is not a very long time to get to know...more

Polaroids from Singapore

That’s right, I’m in Singapore! In typical Silvia...more