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Derek Ray

Derek became enraptured with visiting strange, new places during a Eurail adventure shortly after his graduation from UCLA. He has subsequently journeyed throughout Europe, Asia, Latin America and the U.S. As an educator, he believes that travel encourages a better understanding of and appreciation for other cultures. He also believes in packing light. Derek has been contributing his travel stories and photos to the Reader since 2009.

You can follow him on Instagram.

Articles by Derek Ray

Japan: a land of contrasts

I stare out at Mount Fuji: bright, clear, stately, basking in the morning sunshine. Cherry blossoms frame my view alongside the stunning Chureito Pagoda in the foreground. My timing was implausibly fortuitous. The previous day ...

Finding the iconic West in Monument Valley

“Be still and the earth will speak to you." ~ Navajo saying Monument Valley. Just the name conjures up images of the majestic, iconic buttes and classic western landscape so often seen in movies and ...

The Canadian Rockies: Banff, Jasper, and Yoho National Parks

“Keep close to nature’s heart….and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” ~ John Muir The stretch of Canadian Rockies encompassing ...

Huntington Library & Botanic Gardens: L.A. day trip

Looking for a hidden gem of a day trip from San Diego? The Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens, a private nonprofit organization located in tony San Marino near Pasadena, is one of the best possible ...

Another side of Havana

Late afternoon in Havana: Local schoolboys are playing soccer in the central square of the recently renovated Plaza Vieja. Colorful, historic buildings ring the plaza. A warm tropical breeze wafts through the air and the ...

Antelope Canyon, #nofilter

Nestled about halfway between Zion National Park and the Grand Canyon, Page, Arizona, has some knock-your-eyes-out-jaw-dropping natural phenomena of its own. A small, nondescript town in northern Arizona, Page highlights its proximity to Antelope Canyon ...

Lesser-visited China: Suzhou & Tongli

Shanghai is the most populous city in the world, and it can become a bit overwhelming for both visitors and locals. If you’re living or visiting here for any length of time, you’ll welcome a ...

August 1, 2016
America's largest park: Death Valley

A visit to Death Valley can be a wonderful opportunity to clear your mind of some of the mental clutter we accrue in our daily routines and enjoy a digital detox while soaking in some ...

Road-trip Washington State's national parks

I paused on the winding Hall of Mosses Trail in Olympic National Park's verdant Hoh Rainforest. Gazing at the oddly shaped trees that seemed concocted out of an imagination meshing Tolkien and Tim Burton, I ...

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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