A (slightly) less touristy guide to Hoi An

It’s impossible not to be a total tourist in Hoi An, Vietnam. The streets are so pretty that you’ll find yourself snapping pictures every few steps. The high-end restaurants are a far cry from the street stalls of Hanoi (but still affordable by western standards). And the bars that come alive at night along the…

Sleeping with giants

We were alone, deep within the woods, when we heard it: a rustling in the trees ahead. My heart jumped to my throat. Naively, we had left our bear spray back at camp, and now we were standing in the middle of a ripe berry patch. Shaking with fear, we waited for whatever it was…

I get high with a little help from my friends

Like most travellers, I’ve made a lot of friends on the road. My Facebook feed is filled with acquaintances from around the globe, people I’ve met in passing who maybe I’ll see again in a year, maybe I’ll never see again. And I love it. I love that should I hop a flight to Paris…

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…

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…

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…