Vilcabamba, Ecuador

Recently, I spent 3 months in Ecuador. There was no particular reason I chose to go. I guess I just thought if would be nice.

For the most part, it was. The part that wasn’t so nice was when I had my computer and camera stolen out from underneath my feet on a bus during the day. Yes, that’s right: during the day!

I had fallen asleep for a bit and the people behind me reached underneath my seat and took my bag. After they had taken what they wanted, they put it back. They even filled it with water bottles in case I picked it up. Then they got off at a town along the way before I noticed. Be careful if you ever go there.

But that story isn’t why I wanted to write this post. My intention was to show some photos I took of the beautiful town of Vilcabamba.

I stayed there for two weeks at a hostel that doubles as a yoga retreat. For $10 a day I got a bed in a 6-bed dorm and free yoga every morning. It was definitely a great experience. The hostel is called Izhcayluma, if you’re interested.

But, again, that isn’t the point of this post. So let me just put up the photos before I get side-tracked again. 

If you have any questions, be sure to ask.

On a Jet Plane

I moved to Korea in 2003. I was living in Toronto and had just finished writing a book about travelling around Europe after university. I had a beautiful apartment on the top floor of an old house near High Park. And I had a girlfriend (or somewhat of a girlfriend – she had moved up north to go to college and we knew that things between us weren’t permanent).

I was working at my old high school friend’s restaurant on King Street (right downtown). I served soul food while listening to Funk and R&B bands play live. It was fun.

But, one afternoon, while out on the patio, my old high school friend’s friend came to visit. I had met him before, so I fell into easy conversation with him. He had told me that he had just come back from Korea. He had been teaching there. I had no idea what he was talking about. I didn’t know that such a thing as teaching abroad was even possible.

He assured me it was. That he had been teaching English at a school for a year. That they had flown him there and back and had given him a place to stay, on top of a pretty good monthly salary.

I asked him how he found the job. He gave me a website. Three weeks later, I was in Korea. Continue reading

And on into Vanishing Pond

A while ago, I wrote a blog entry called “Paddling with Dad”. In it I talked about the canoe trips my father and I used to take, and I explained his philosophy of always wanting to travel in a loop instead of going back the way we came so that we could always see new things. I had also mentioned that on one of those trips we had nearly died, and I had said that I’d save that story for another time. Well, that time is now. Continue reading

Walk, Canada, Walk

Years ago (over 10 to be exact), I wrote a book about travelling around Europe after finishing university. I had never thought much about trying to get it published. Though recently the idea has crossed my mind. Especially since I’ve started self-publishing my novel, Glory.

Regardless, every so often I go back and read a chapter or two. It’s great to be able to look back at some of the thing that I had thought and done all of those years ago.

I thought I’d post one of the stories for you.

It takes place in Germany and involves someone I was surprised to have met. He showed me that there’s still a lot of kindness in the world. And, in today’s day, I think that’s a message that we all need to remember.

So, here it is: Walk, Canada, Walk. Continue reading

Windows and Doors

I’ve heard it said that eyes are the windows into one’s soul. I wonder if that applies to actual windows. Do they allow us to peer into the soul of a home? Probably not. But, be that as it may, there is something magical about windows (and doors) for me, and I always take pictures of them whenever I travel.

I thought I’d post a few of my favourites with a short description of each.

In no particular order, here they are:

Continue reading

Pedro the Horse

I’ve decided to venture off a little bit and talk about myself instead of my writing. I’m going to tell the story about my experience with Pedro the Horse. That isn’t actually his name. I can’t remember what he was called. But it’s how I will always remember him, based on an inside joke that I won’t get into here. No one aside from myself and a few others would find it all that funny, anyway.

So, Pedro…oh, Pedro…

This is Pedro the Horse and me chillin’.

Continue reading