Caren Osten shares her thoughts on travel, writing, and life balance in her Blog

Let’s Embark

While the definition of embark relates to boarding a vehicle, it also means to begin a course of action. As we go from moment to moment, day to day, year to year, new beginnings emerge as new phases, mindsets, commitments, relationships, and perspectives change and vary. This blog is a place to share my thoughts and insights on the various adventures and daily journeys on which I, and we, will embark.

When Silence is Playful

I recently went on a silent retreat for seven days. The kind where you don’t talk at all and do little other than meditate, alternating between 45-minute sessions of sitting on a cushion and walking mindfully back and forth as if you’re Ricky Ricardo pacing in the...

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Nature + Nurture: Travels in Chile

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. –Lao Tzu   Getting to Chile—a narrow strip of land that sits between the Andes mountains to the East and the Pacific ocean to the West—is not quick, direct or easy. But even after three flights and a...

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Are You Really Listening?

"Listening is much more than allowing another to talk while waiting for a chance to respond. Listening is paying full attention to others and welcoming them into our very beings...a form of spiritual hospitality by which you invite strangers to become friends, to get...

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No Texts, Please, We’re Meditating

If you are either a resident or visitor in New York City, you won't have to search very hard to find one of the growing number of centers, classes and public spaces where you can drop in to meditate. In my latest piece for The New York Times, I explore the who, the...

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Back at College (for the Afternoon)

The other day I went back to college. As a student. For 90 minutes. It was the quintessential autumn day. The kind where the leaves have just begun to turn color, some gently unhinging from their branches and wavering in the air before they hit the dirt below. Or...

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Our Civil Rights Journey to the Deep South

Last year in my son’s eighth grade social studies class, they discussed the civil rights era but according to him, they were short on time and (as he explained) “kind of rushed through it.” So when the movie Selma came out last December, depicting the events that led...

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Mindful in Morocco

It's hard not to be mindful of your surroundings in Morocco---the North African country that seems to emanate a wondrous overload of the senses. The sights, smells, tastes and sounds can be overpowering and beautiful, startling and thought-provoking. In a country...

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Escapades in Aspen

When my daughter, Emily, announced she had one week off of work this summer when all kid activities are cancelled due to an annual sailing race, my mind immediately started working. “What will you do?” I asked casually. “Annabel and I are thinking of going away...

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Savoring the Tastes of Puglia

For much of the past 25 years, when I heard someone mention Puglia, I could only think back to the music-filled and pasta heavy restaurant in Manhattan’s Little Italy, where I once threw my husband a memorable and ruckus birthday party before we were married. All that...

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Adventures in Argentina: Buenos Aires & Patagonia

When the email arrived from my 20-year-old daughter, I realized she’d learned a few things about travel planning. The subject line read “Argentina”, and the attached Google doc was titled: “Our Plans” Nicole was spending the fall semester of her junior year studying...

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Traveling to Find Your Roots

My father was Romanian. My mother is French. As a child, I heard many stories about life in their native lands. I was fortunate to journey with my mother to France several times, visiting the homes, towns, and the convent in which she lived as a hidden child during...

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