Previously: Moved to England to Teach High School English- Gave up, quit and left for round the world trip. Traveled through the Middle East, SE Asia, Australia, NZ, and Fiji prior to arriving back home to Canada. Spent the next school year trying desperately to be the cool substitute teacher who tells stories of wild adventures and remembers what it was like to be a teenager... Failed miserably. Lived and worked in Valencia Spain with my girlfriend (Now wife!) Dennie for 2 years, and taught highschool drama. After a year teaching Grade 7/8 at a community school, I now teach highschool history and drama in Regina, Saskatchewan. Dennie is now officially a Learning Resource Teacher. Hurray for adult jobs!
Currently: Back in Canada; friends, family and learning how to be a parent of our amazing new addition Henry!
Coming up: Sayulita Surfing and Icelandic Adventures.
February 24th 2014
10 years ago, Sayulita Mexico, a town of about 4,000 on the Riviera Nayarit, was a sleepy fishing village. Once the preferred vacation spot of hippies and surfers from California, Seattle and Portland, Sayulita's appeal grew steadily in recent years as families and retired expats began to rent affordable vacation homes on Gringo Hill and the shops and main surfing beach became packed during winter months with day trippers from Puerto Vallarta. With this influx of tourists came international cuisine, galleries, coffee shops, bars and night clubs, and while many lament a certain loss of Mexican authenticity, the town is still free of any large beach resorts or chain restaurants, the main fare in town continues to be the $1 street taco and many Mexican families continue to live and work in town, providing a comfortable ... read more
April 7th 2013
Sunday- 7 AM- We boarded the S.S. Superstar (actual name of our ship) very early Sunday morning for our day trip into Estonia, the 5th country on our trip in just over a week! The entire old town of Tallinn is a UNESCO world heritage site and is one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe. Walking through the gates of the old town transports you back in time. The cobbled streets and multitude of guild houses, merchant halls, and churches tell the story of a city that has been conquered many times but never destroyed. We began our walking tour with our local guide. She pointed out quirky details in local architecture and strange stories of traditions and people of Estonia’s long history. A large group of us ate lunch in a traditional Estonian ... read more
April 6th 2013
The Finnish people, customs and culture left and indelible mark on me, during our short 3 day visit of Helsinki. I was left with the impression of a fiercely independant and forward thinking people who walk their own path and are unafraid to try new ways of doing things. Their ever-changing approaches to education, socialized economics, and design are unique and trail blazing. In some ways Finns appear serious and stoic, perhaps a result of their Soviet past, however their keen interest in supporting programs to achieve a high degree of social equality has led to an artistic, creative, design savvy populous, who have a deep appreciation for the finer things in life (i.e.- The Finnish Sauna). After a rocky sleep on what turned out to be a bit of a Finnish party boat, we awoke ... read more
April 5th 2013
Wednesday- 9:30 AM- our bus drove out of Copenhagen, onto a short Ferry towards Sweden’s mainland. Our seven hour drive through what seems like endless wildreness is interrupted only by a short stop at a castle on the shores of a beautiful lake where we enjoy a picnic in the sunny but brisk countryside. After checking into our ultra modern hotel and a meal at the hotel, we board the Stockholm metro into Gamla Stan (Stockholm’s Medieval Old Town), walking by churches and the Royal Palace and through winding cobbled streets, stopping occasionally to take stock of our surroundings. Thus far on our journey, the old town has been the most well preserved slice of medieval Europe we have seen. We walk across the bridge into Newtown where ancient cobbled streets and well preserved ancient buildings ... read more
April 4th 2013
American author Christopher Morley proclaims the bicycle to be the vehicle of artists, novelists and poets, and seeing the rich history of art and literature, progressive principles of design and a love for the finer things in life surrounding us everywhere, I wish I lived in a city that loves bicycles as much as Copenhagen... 9:45 AM- Arriving via ship into the Copenhagen Harbour. A walk in the Kings Park followed by a bus tour of the old city with our local guide Karen. The canals, Royal Palace, Tivoli Gardens, Hans Christian Anderson's little mermaid. It becomes apparent that this incredibly preserved city is much more rooted in history than Oslo. Row upon row of colourful terraced housing open onto impressive plazas everywhere! 2pm- Grabbing snacks at a local grocery enroute to the impressive ... read more
April 1st 2013
In 1869, Henrik Ibsen, Norway's most celebrated playwright, wrote his first major dramatic success The League of Youth. In a scene later in the play, a patient of Ibsen's character Dr. Fieldbo, is complaining about the short sighted nature of the human condition. She implores of the doctor to suggest a cure for this, to which the doctor replies that only through "the spectacles of experience; through them you will see clearly the second time." I visited Norway at Christmas time in 2005. I was a teacher in Leeds England at the time, was single, making British pounds and decided I could finally afford to explore my Norwegian roots in Oslo as well as attempt some down hill skiing in Geilo. I recall very little about the trip beyond what was recorded in my ... read more
March 30th 2013
3:15 AM- Good Friday- It feels as though I just blinked as I am gently tousled awake by the sound of Del Barber. Dennie and I drag ourselves from bed, crawl into a cab, and make our way to the airport where she is going to spend 10 days with Friends in Nelson, BC and where I am meeting 31 students to begin a 12 day tour of the capitals of Scandinavia - Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallin then back just in time for mid term exams. The EF tours itinerary is ambitious, and will require patience, but the nervous smiles from parents and energy in the air at 3:45 AM at YQR reaffirms my decision to take a big group of students with me to Northern Europe. 7AM- Reyjavik, Iceland- I believe it's Saturday!?- After ... read more
January 24th 2013
“Come to El Salvador, fall in love, have your heart broken, and be ruined forever.” - Dean Brackley Backblogging about my trip to El Salvador in January with a group of students from my school feels both empowering and disappointing. Reading back through the notes I made during our travels, I am reminded by the incredible solidarity movement that we encountered there, and by the people both Salvadorean and from around the world who dedicate their lives to the transformation of El Salvador and to La Lucha (the struggle) for justice and equality. I came back from this journey feeling energized to do more justice work in my classroom and in my own community. The process of conscientization or critical consciousness seemed to be alive and well in me after 9 days of being nourished by ... read more
January 2nd 2013
Hemingway suggests a good idea is to always stop writing when you have a sense of what you will write next. That way, once you pick up the piece again, you have a sentence or a paragraph that flows easily into text as it was conceived at an earlier time. My ideas about Valencia were preconceived in this way. Having lived with Dennie in Valencia from 2007 to 2009 I have a sense of what happens next. I could write florid descriptions of the food, much of which I have nostalgic feelings towards, or provide a description of the Spanish cultural milieux, pointing out the differences between Spaniards and Canadians, or I could describe the places we visited on this trip; the winding streets of the old town, the orange groves of La Huerta, the seaside ... read more
December 27th 2012
With the inevitable passage of time, ones tastes and ideas change. It is only in the last few years that I seem to care a little more what kind of wine I am drinking or whether the food I am eating is made with quality ingredients. Likewise, I have come to loathe the backpacker hostels I once revelled in, though I have grown to appreciate the kind of independent and affordable travel made possible through couch surfing, I like comfy beds, and a little privacy, things I once gladly did without while on the road, partially out of economic necessity, but mostly because I didn't care. Maybe these changes come from my ability to afford them, or from the fact that my body doesn't respond as well to junk food, cheap beer, and hostel bunk beds ... read more