Before, when you took off and walked down new, foreign streets, it was in defiance. Not that you knew it then, of course, but it was how you were going to prove your worth to yourself. Not anybody else, just you, which is somehow worse. Nerves crackling as you walked jagged sidewalks — I can learn this city, you would challenge yourself, I can crack its codes. This would signify a permanence you could take with you, despite the changing tides of your life, despite the uncertainties. It would carry you through. (more…)

Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 11.56.39 AM

Today is a good day in New York: it’s blazing hot, I found a place with affordable coffee near my new place, and only once did I have to sidestep day-old vomit on the sidewalk. Success!

Maybe I should start again. In the few months that I’ve lived here, I surprised myself by coming to love New York — albeit in the complicated way that you love a best friend who is all sorts of awesome but goddamnit does he have to chew everything so noisily? — but I never actually expected to like it. You know how some people have those fantasies (read: delusions) about a place? That if they move to New York, they will instantly become Audrey Hepburn beautiful, develop a cast of Friends friends, and finally make it big?

I didn’t. (more…)

cow

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…)

Screen shot 2014-12-07 at 3.29.10 PM

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…)

Screen shot 2014-12-01 at 10.18.01 PM

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…)

20140522_163434

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.’