Surf school, Portugal

Day 1: Funny how time works. Just the other day, I was sitting in the “Bitte Ruhe” room at the University of Zurich, proof-reading my thesis one final time in air-conditioned climate control. Now, I’m here – surf school in Baleal, Portugal. Ocean wind, the smell of seaweed and the sound of crashing waves. We’re gathered […]

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Seasons of life

My grandfather passed away at the age of 96. Five months have passed and I think of him often. Little things remind me of him and my eyes water and my heart aches a bit. It is the end of an era. As author Joan Didion once wrote, “I don’t know what I think until […]

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Aikido Nara

Week 2 in Nara, Japan. January. Wednesday night, 6:40pm: My stomach is rumbling. I’m a bit nervous. I’m wearing two layers of pants, and my big winter parka. Its 10°C but I’ve never felt as cold as I do here, even compared to the depths of Canadian winter. I dawdle a bit, delaying the short […]

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Impressions of Busan – Part 1

Korean drama playing on the TV. An old man watching beside me, seven little empty plates and metal chopsticks on his table. She comes over and I point to the first item on the menu, characters I can’t read. Soon, this charming little hole-in-the-wall restaurant run by my new favourite two ladies becomes a nightly routine […]

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The enchantment of Nara

Day 0: It’s 5pm and the sun is setting. The blue sky that I arrived to is now fading to light hues of purple and pink. I’m on the bus leaving KIX (Osaka) airport, looking out the window at ocean and highway. Eventually all I see is my own reflection. Two hours later, I get […]

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