Monday, September 25, 2017

Travel Lit // Southeast Asia

The books that have walked the earth with me. I always say that there are two things I will always spend money on -- travel and literature. Priceless human experience. 
(  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  )

I have always researched books to read before, and during, my travels.
The list gets carefully curated, balanced across all the places I'm visiting and includes both fiction and non-fiction. I want to know the history of the place from a human perspective, the kind of stories that are told, how the place gets described as a setting.
Getting into the feel of a place before getting there makes me so excited to travel, and during my trip I always end up finding passages to underline and notes to scribble in the margins. 

So, I figured that I would share these carefully hand-picked books and hopefully you can get a feel for the place too!

When I took my trip to Southeast Asia in 2015, I visited Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Reading Right Now // Invisible North

A periodic post chronicling what paper-and-print book has been living on my bedside table lately. And in my purse. And propped open with a jam jar on my kitchen table. You get the idea.
"Invisible North," Alexandra Shimo
While I spend most of my time reading, I rarely post about books anymore -- that is, until they blow me away.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Home Again... Again

So, remember that thing I said about Halifax almost two years ago? About how a job offer doesn't make a home? Turns out, people make a home. And I've spent thousands of dollars over the last two years flying back to Ontario, spending time with my people.
Turns out, Vancouver doesn't feel like home any more than Halifax does.


I'm racked that this city didn't turn out like I'd hoped it would. I gave it a good try. But there's no substitute for one's people (and I think it is compounded by the fact that I'm pretty particular and so don't easily find my 'people'). 

With that realized, I'm finally heading home. 
Georgian Bay ship canal: Map showing principal railway and water
After five years, many moves, and countless adventures, I'm finally following my gut and not my wallet -- without a job, without a 'perfect' or even 'good' reason, I'm going home.

There will be uncertainty and anxiety and doubt, but there will also be the knowledge that, for the first time in years, I'm moving somewhere because I want to. Not because of a job or a degree or an opportunity, but because I feel like I want (need) to be there.
On a deep-down gut level, I'm sure this is the right choice.

Now comes the hard part -- reminding myself of that gut-level choice when I'm filled with anxiety over my unemployment.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Treading Lightly // Shampoo-Free Update

Treading Lightly is a series that focuses on living lighter -- depending on less, focusing on simplicity, and generally living green. Though I want to travel far and wide, I also want to tread lightly upon this earth and make an effort to keep my impact small.
I've been shampoo-free for over four years now. I've written about it before (here and here), but people on- and offline keep asking me about it, and quite a bit has changed since I last wrote. So, an update is in order.

Before I begin, a confession.
I have become a die-hard advocate for kicking shampoo to the curb. When anyone compliments my hair, and with extra-long locks it tends to happen, I'm quick to spread the shampoo-free gospel. People ask me questions, and I gleefully give forth recipes and blog links, testimonials and encouragement. Break up with the chemical-filled lather! See the light of kitchen products in your bathroom!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

A Birthday and a Deadline, Revisited

Two years ago on my birthday, I wrote about a travel goal.
Thailand  |  United Arab Emirates  |  Vietnam  |  Cambodia  |  Egypt  |  Laos

My goal to visit thirty countries by my thirtieth birthday has, amazingly, been crossed off my list. With two whole years to spare.
My backpacking trip through Southeast Asia last year, combined with a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Peru and Bolivia this past spring (with a short jaunt to Colombia on the way home), I've been to thirty countries. I'm turning twenty-eight in less than a month.

Peru  |  Bolivia  |  Colombia

I can't believe I made it!

Like I said two years ago, I've questioned this goal. A lot.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

I Have.

I have my dream job.
I have a kitten who loves me.
I have bookshelves full of books.
I have tea in my favourite mug.
I have a budding not-quite-yet-relationship right in that phase when you can't get enough of each other.

And I want to run away.

It's a disease, really. I picture what my life might look like in Auckland. Or Prague. Or Montreal. I've grown happy with the bittersweet feeling of constant movement. Leaving loved ones behind and shedding layers of myself to start all over. It's an awful feeling, and a wonderfully free feeling. 
I miss it so much.

I'm starting to get itchy. Which is a very bad thing. Usually, around this six-month mark, I'm starting to plan my next move (literally, my next physical move to a new city/country/continent). This time around, I'm not. For all of the reasons mentioned above.
Instead, I'm planning a trip. No permanent move, but an adventure nonetheless. It's a wonderfully exciting, once-in-a-lifetime kind of vacation, but yet only a vacation. It feels like adventure lite -- a nicotine patch, a pale shade of my real craving to start over yet again.

After twelve days of adventure, I will return right back here. It's something of a first for me, and I feel that this is a hurdle I need to get over. That one-year mark (see number twenty-one) feels so far away.
I really want to get there.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Classic Film Friday // Die Hard (1988)

Merry Christmas, y'all!
Die Hard (1988)
John McClane finds himself the only thing standing between would-be terrorists and a group of hostages -- all at the top of an LA high rise. 
A New York cop on vacation visiting his family, John witnesses an office Christmas party gone awry as his estranged wife and her coworkers are held captive by a group of German terrorists. John manages to escape, wandering around the half-finished skyscraper and trying to foil their plot. But maybe they're not terrorists after all.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Classic Film Friday // Cape Fear (1991)

Cape Fear (1991)
Convicted rapist Max Cady's release from prison spells disaster for his former lawyer, Sam Bowden.
Fourteen years earlier, Sam had knowingly buried evidence that could have worked in Max's favour. During his time in prison, Max learns of this oversight and becomes obsessed with bringing justice down upon Sam and ruining his life the way Sam ruined his -- taking from Sam his family, including his young daughter and beautiful wife, his profession, his future.