read my mind

(words with the occasional photo)





  I like to think that I like to think, but coming to think about it, I’m probably overthinking more than I think. Never mind. The reads section is a forum, where I speak my mind about whatever comes to mind. None of these articles are cookie cutter pieces à la blah bleh blog, so buckle up. Here's what I've been thinking...

















reads | poetic prose


And as long as shadows overcast my path, I know of a star in the skies above the voices in my head and solid ground ‘neath my jaded soles. And hadn’t I longed for the shade the more I had lived in the bright shallow sunlight, just as much as I curse it now lying in the dark? read more

reads | life

A Homage to Education


empowerer, character-builder, freedom fighter

Education happens – wittingly or unwittingly, willingly or unwillingly – all around us, in all of us, all the time, lifelong. Our teachers don’t always look like teachers: they can be social milieus, inner monologues, nature, culture, travel, or anything that makes the brain spin.  read more

reads | life

I, Too, Blog Now


bloggers blogging blogs just to blog

Mind you ladies and gentlemen, coming through! I know I’m out of line when I cut the line, but you need to get a load of this advice of mine. read more

reads | travel

The Super-Ultimate Zero-Item Packing List of a 6-Year-Traveler


the distilled truth about packing after 70 months on the road

We have mustered the privileged courage to wave our comfort zone goodbye, so why are we so afraid of making puny packing decisions? read more

reads | shortest stories


They asked for water. When I turned back around, three shotgun muzzles were pointed at us. I would have cursed the map right then, but there was no time, and my tongue was in my stomach. read more

reads | travel

Must I Really Though?


when musts outnumber wants on your wanderlust list

Aren’t most of us out here, strapped into our backpacks, to declare guerrilla war on bleak societal regimes with Mondays? Every child is more of a rebel when Mom allots musts. read more









Volunteering 101 Series:

An Orientation on Grassroots Volunteer Work


reads | travel

Volunteering vs. Voluntourism


self-organized engagement vs. vacation packages – structures, results and ethics

...organizing your grassroots engagement independently, might not only help your own experience and wallet, but also the community you work with. read more

reads | travel

What You Perceive & What It Is: Volunteering Outlook vs. Actual Impact


subjective vs. objective evaluations of volunteering results

...it could be a little step on an individual level, like a kid having its first aha moment while learning simple math; or it could be the large scale implementation of a project that brings about systemic and sustainable empowerment of a community. read more

reads | travel

Volunteering Motives - Who Helps Whom and Why

Can volunteering abroad truly be selfless and whom does it actually help?

...we should frisk ourselves for any hidden motives behind our social engagement and do our best to contribute to the empowerment of communities and the transformation of adverse global structures... read more

reads | travel

Reality Check: Volunteering Benefits & Pitfalls

Are volunteering programs more helpful or harmful?

If implemented right, volunteering programs employed by nonprofits can add value to grassroots projects along various dimensions. However, there are cultural and ethical pitfalls that should be considered when chalking up the benefits... read more

reads | travel

How to Find Free Volunteering Opportunities around the World

avoiding costly and dubious voluntourism agencies

...rev the search engine, skip over the voluntourism industry and dig all the way down to the grassrootss... read more

reads | travel

Who Is That White Savior With the Complex?

Are Westerners trying to save the world on their terms?

...development assistance can be vital. However, it should never feed into an individual or systemic White Savior Complex that results in a mindset of one side helping the other and distracts from the underlying issues and inequities. read more



how me, you, and Western media empowered
ISIS & Co. and the Trumps of this world


reads | life

Part I of III

Just Another Day Without Terrorist Attacks

our poor, emotional judgement of likelihoods has dire consequences in the real world

And everyone who lets emotion kidnap rationale will get the false impression that there is a realistic assailant threat in the West, when it is factually less than lottery-realistic. From there, it’s only one slippery step to a landslide fear of immigrants, and, next thing you know, Donald Trump is president of the United States. read more

reads | life

Part II of III

Accepting the Unacceptable: A Little Bit of Terrorism Is Inevitable

life can't be drained of all its risks

No matter how much we want this world to be predictable and safe, we have to accept that complete certainty, and with it, complete security, are complete illusions. read more

reads | life

Part III of III

Of Muslim Victims, White Terrorists, and Indifference towards Faceless Strangers

how we overlook the real victims and perpetrators of terrorism

How do we arrive at such clouded conclusions, mistaking us for victims and actual victims for perpetrators, in an age where all the facts are readily available? read more