A positively lovely spot for welcoming spring... finally

A weekend at Stoney Lake (or, why Mother Nature is my therapist)

It seems as though spring waltzed in overnight in Southern Ontario. After the longest, coldest winter that many Torontonians had ever experienced—the year that will be remembered as that time a chunk of the city celebrated Christmas in an ice storm blackout and the term ‘polar vortex’ became part of our common vernacular—Mother Nature finally…

messy desk with notebook and computer

Blog hop: Confessions on my writing process

I love talking about writing (because when you’re talking about it, you can feel like you’re writing without actually writing—procrastination, anyone?). But no, I also love it because it gives you insight into how other people battle the blocks, seek out their muse and get their jumbled thoughts into a coherent structure on the page…

A temporary cathedral made of cardboard has become a tourist attraction

The Christchurch revival

I looked around me, a twinge of guilt in my gut, before lifting my camera, snapping a shot and stuffing the offending lens back into my bag as quickly as I could, fumbling with the zipper and painfully aware of my surroundings. I was in downtown Christchurch, New Zealand—a city ravaged by two devastating earthquakes…

The streets of Hanoi

How to breathe in Hanoi

It took me all of a day to decide I didn’t like Hanoi. I arrived at night under a sky that was starless and rainy, air that felt cool and clammy—and in a taxi that cost me $15 more than I had anticipated. Come morning, a grey haze hung over the city, drizzly rain seeping…

Sligo-canal-resized

Somewhere named Sligo

It’s the palm trees that get you. There are some things you expect to see in Ireland: rolling green hills, fields of sheep, rainbows with leprechauns at the end pouring pints of Guinness. But not palm trees. And yet, in a little pocket of the northwest known as Sligo, you’ll find them. You’ll also find…

Gifts from a tourism board

The taste of truth: Honesty, press trips and travel writing

The travel world was abuzz a few weeks ago with news that Conde Nast Traveler will now permit writers to accept media rates. This is serious news for the revered publication, which, along with big names like National Geographic Traveler and Travel + Leisure, has been famed (and alternately praised and criticized depending on which…