Göktuğ Kuru

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The Art of Mindful Photography

I often find myself acting out a similar pattern: As soon as I see an especially poignant scene, I reach for my iPhone to capture it.<p>Photos can be a wonderful way of sharing meaningful experiences with others, but I worry that my attempts to document the moment make being present in it a challenge. …

Wooded Wonderland: Yakushima

In Japan’s epic anime film <i>Princess Mononoke</i>, legendary director Hayao Miyazaki shrouds the real-life island of <b>Yakushima</b> with surrealism, its misty granite mountains the backdrop for a conservation message.<p>Yet this wraithlike landform, which rises from the turbulent Tanegashima Strait like a …

DIY Olympics in the French Alps

On a recent trip to the French Alps, I tried my hand at <b>equestrian skijoring</b>, which is essentially a horse pulling you on cross-country skis.<p>My spotted puller, Mika, playfully ran with other horses from Le Ranch du Lac, just outside the resort town of Les Gets in the mountainous region of …

The Mystical Riches of Luang Prabang

At 4:30 a.m., the ring of my alarm clock stirred me awake. Though I had spent the previous night indulging in Laotian specialties like <i>larb gai</i> (spicy chopped chicken), I rose effortlessly, eager to participate in a time-honored tradition: the local Buddhist monks’ daily collection of food for the …