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January 1st, 2014, and I wake to the sound of talking. I’m still new to Australia, it’s still new to me. These days are spent maneuvering the wrong side of the road, flicking the windshield wipers on instead of the blinker, breathing in salty air. (more…)

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While in Pai, a friend and I decided we should do some meditating. Maybe I’ve just been hanging out with more hippies in the past year, but during my time in Melbourne, I heard about Vipassana meditation a lot. Friends tossed around the words ‘life-changing’ and ‘fulfilling’ and it seemed to mesh with the reading I was doing on being present.

‘It’ll be fun,’ my friend Sarah said.

I was still on the fence, but the fact that we were staying at Spicypai Hostel in a 26-bed dorm was good encouragement to leave town. (more…)

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Last May, I sat at a café in California covered head to toe in desert dust. It was another couple of hours’ drive to the campground where we’d spend the night, and I took advantage of the coffee break to check my email.

The first message I opened was an article pending my edits, but before I had a chance to read it, I flicked open its attached pictures. I was struck by the first photo I saw – hundreds of lanterns spilling into the night sky, stars dotting the horizon. Monks in orange walking amongst candles. Light lasting silently, steadily into the night. (more…)

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As a Canadian, I have a shameful confession to make. When given the option between the BBC and the CBC, I pick the BBC nine times out of ten. With the CBC’s tagline proudly announcing “Canada lives here,” I feel like I’m turning my back on my country by choosing the UK’s public broadcaster over my own. And yet, preference wins out over patriotism, meaning I find myself at www.bbc.co.uk once again. (more…)

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Outside, the night has turned windy. Even through the closed window, you can hear the rasping of dry leaves in the dark and the slow creak of the unlatched backyard fence. You’re slightly feverish, energetic, immune to the cold despite the shortness of the days. A warm body lays next to you, telling you stories in the hopes that you’ll tire. You don’t, so you roll to your knees and open the window, leaning out to feel the breeze. (more…)

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As we glided into the harbour, the sun slinked down behind the Sydney Harbour Bridge, tinging the sky a burnt tangerine orange. The Australian I was talking to smiled as I pulled out my camera.

‘I’ve been here twenty years and it never gets old.’