trippin out


I don't hope to be anything more than the regular traveler... Hopefully in the process I generate suitably epic stories!

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town March 1st 2011

I have arrived! ... Kind of. Calgary->Edmonton->Winnipeg->Thunder Bay->Toronto->Montreal->Toronto->Frankfurt->Cape Town. It's been almost two weeks, and I have finally physically arrived at my destination in downtown Cape Town. I say physically, because mentally, who knows where I am. After my 7.5 flight to Frankfurt, 12 hours (awake!) in Frankfurt, and then 12 hours (dead to the world) to Cape Town, my mind has absolutely no idea what is going on. My body is happy to finally be done the drinking and 2am fried food extravaganza, and is (I believe) happy to be exposed to heat and sun again. I mean, it's been a little over a year since I went to Cuba, since this past Calgarian summer certainly does not count as warm&sunny weather. The flight, not going to lie, was a bit traumatizing. That might sound ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » Varadero February 22nd 2010

Hola de Cuba! Days in Cuba: 2 Diego Luna spotted: not as of yet. But hope still remains. ------------------------------------- Ah, the balmy, balmy weather of an island nation. I look outside, and well... yeah, not much sun to be had. We in Varadero are currently experiencing an unmistakeable amount of Rain. We're not talking a drizzle here: this morning started off with a monsoon-like sheet of water that can only be found outside of North America; the sky opening up, and tropic thunder raineth forth; you step outside, and you fear a concussion type of weather. The kind of thing where you're left gasping and ringing out every item of clothing, and cars struggle through puddles that are the size of, well, cars. While this might bum out my travel mates, I seem to find myself ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Mediterranean » Olympos August 16th 2009

I'm Deliriously Tired. So, Brad and I both puked on what was a 15 hour bus journey, with three transfers, back from the Mediterranean to Istanbul. Turns out we got a little too cocky- four days of drinking random spring water in the middle of nowhere, no problem, but drinking tap water back in what seemed to be civilization (STORES? Tourists? where the hell are we?!) got us both relatively ill. We are both back in relatively fighting form, we're back in Istanbul, we just made the most delicious dinner anyone has ever eaten so cheaply in Istanbul, and I'm feeling good- except that I think I'm so tired the room is spinning a little bit. In any case, the hike of ours was EXTRAORDINARY. Literally the most beautiful views, the most random and desperate side ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Mediterranean » Kas August 10th 2009

Brad and Sally, on their adventure in Hebron (while I had my adventure of finding my passport), met probably the coolest guy I've ever even heard of in my travels. He was Italian, and his name was Phillipo. Brad asked him: "So, what do you do for a living?" His answer: "I walk." Dude apparently is a pilgrim. A Pilgrim. And that's what he does for a living- he just chills, and walks from place to place. With next to nothing. And yet looks more put together after 2 years of just Walking than we do after a day backpacking. In any case, in honour of Phillipo, Bub and I have made probably our best spontaneous decision ever: *On a day hike near the Meditarranean* "I kind of don't want to go back to Fethiye (village ... read more

Middle East August 9th 2009

Observations by day three in Turkey: 1) My brother and I know next to nothing about this country. This is good, yet horrible, as we are bopping around pretty much blind on what there is to see, what there is to do, and how far everything is from one another. 2) We are in Europe. Turkish people consider themselves European. Brad and I couldn't stop staring at the trams. 'Trains, fully functioning, in the middle of a city?" "STARBUCKS?" The closest thing I've seen to Starbucks in the last 9 weeks was the "Star & Bucks" men's coffee shop in Ramallah. 3) The prices are European. Brad and I went to Topkapi Palace; the admissions fees were so high, we ended up having to eat ketchup and mayonnaise packets straight for sustenance. This is still after ... read more

Middle East » Israel » Tel Aviv District » Tel Aviv August 9th 2009

Oh good lord. I am getting so behind on this I hardly know what to do with myself. This trip is especially emphasizing what I already knew: on the road, a day feels like a week, and a week feels like a month! SO. I might just have to cut my losses and write about what happened since Sally, Bub and I parted ways. So I spent a ridiculously delirious night, involving mooching off of a giant greekman's shower and couch, and sleeping on the beach. Now, I love the beach, but I will tell you right now, beaches are for the DAYTIME and never, ever should be for the nighttime. What a miserable night's sleep. I am such a hobo. In any case, I chilled out a couple of extra days in Jerusalem, to catch ... read more

Middle East » Israel August 2nd 2009

I haven't posted in ages, as my mom has pointed out, and it's because I have been on a veritable traveling marathon, and literally, this is the second time in 10 days I've been able to go on the internet. It's been a crazy, ridiculous, amazing adventure. The themes of the trip, we decided, are: "We love to wait at areas of transport, without actually going anywhere" and "GOOD WORD" It involves doing roundabouts with picking up Sally at the airport (and with the Israeli security), playing with our food, my addiction to hummous and felafel, befriending bedouins, walking for 8 hours straight in the Jordanian desert with 1.25 dinars between the three of us, traversing the country about 70 thousand times, me losing my passport/leaving it with a bedouin in the middle of the Dead ... read more

Middle East » Israel » West Bank » Nablus July 23rd 2009

I’m looking back on my past two months here in Nablus, and I am simply stunned by how quickly time passed. I look back on former doubts- I almost stayed in Canada, and then I almost got sent Back to Canada when I arrived- I have a hard time believing that I almost threw it all out the window. The minute I arrived in Nablus, I was completely embraced by the locals. The minute I arrived at the center, I was completely embraced by the staff. How to phrase this without going cliché or cheesy? I’m taking with me at least basic knowledge on how to research and prepare grant and project proposals. A much more in-depth understanding of the conflict here. Of conditions of life here. Some personal insights. A MUCH improved understanding of ... read more
Parade Day

Middle East » Israel » West Bank » Nablus July 21st 2009

Yesterday was MADNESS. Literally, the most dangerous event that has occurred to me thus far in Palestine. And it had nothing to do with anything political, economic… not about human rights or civil society. It had to do with Dessert. Nablus is famous for its Kunafa, a ridiculously rich dish that, as my roommate and I have determined, is both sweet and savoury; insanely delicious but also kind of disgusting. It is vermicelli, with goat cheese, with sugar sauce; and I wouldn’t doubt if they slip some crack into these addictive bad boys. In any case, I have heard faint buzzing over the past couple weeks that Nablus, in its Shopping Festival, was vying to make the Guinness record-breaking kunafa in the city. And I’m thinking: who tried to break this record before? All of us ... read more
The Eye of the Storm
Photo 3
And the Table Falls

Middle East » Israel » West Bank » Nablus July 21st 2009

So I woke up this morning, and took a service to work, as per the norm. The routine kind of subconsciously sinks in, making you feel incredibly settled and content. However, one should realize: Routine can be boring. Nablus, and the CSC for that matter, is far from boring. Thus, routine cannot exist in Nablus. To elaborate: I get into the center, and I’m met by the director’s daughter Fayrouz, who asks me if I ‘am coming, or not.’ Uh, I’m sorry, what? Well, I have learned that being completely unaware of what is happening sometimes leads to the best days. We show up, I get jazzed up in a CSC vest (very utilitarian chic, I might say), and I am left to my own devices while everyone is running around. I see: a bunch of ... read more
Mohammed and Afnan
Mini Clock Tower

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