Tag Archives: adventure

The Many Cons and Mighty Pros of Iceland in December

THE FIRST THING TO GIVE UP in Iceland’s December is the sun, and with it the loss of humanity’s very conception of time itself. Darkness shrouds the jagged island for 20 hours a day; the sun peeks out only briefly between 11 and 3 o’clock, which forces locals to reconfigure “morning” as a painfully taunting […]

The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Traveller

I HUGGED V GOODBYE under the scolding gaze of an unpleasant pear of a woman in Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport. The Pear had advised her, after she had arrived three hours early and been forced to empty her entire bag and comply with a full-body search for two of those hours, that her flight […]

On Travel Beards

I DECIDED LONG BEFORE this journey began that I would not shave until this trip is finished. It was a silly and useless oath, but something to hold onto and a barometer of progress beyond simply maintaining this blog and tracking how much money I bleed. Each day I do not cut my facial hair […]

What I’m Packing For Four Months of Travel

YOU NEVER REALLY KNOW what you’re going to need for four months of nomadicness. I still don’t. But I found it helpful, when prepping for this trip, to search for what others brought, so I figured I’d add to the continent of information out there and toss up my own belongings. Three quick-dry t-shirts One […]

Everyone in Korea Must Visit Ulleung-do (Before it’s Too Late)

THE ANCIENT VOLCANIC SEDIMENT that rises up alongside Jeodeong’s coastal walkway is a reminder of how tiny and insignificant we are on, my God, this island alone, not to mention the world or its history. The bilingual leaflet that describes the island’s jagged edges is too overwhelmingly scientific to be educational to anyone without a […]

Ways to Pass Time on a Train

I DON’T WANT TO COUNT the number of hours I’ve spent riding trains. More than I care to admit, though enough to brag about distances — 475 kilometers in Vietnam, over 600 in Thailand, not to mention that idiotically naive ride from Halifax to Toronto, nearly 1,000 in a single haul. I’m not sure why […]

Notes from Namhae: Where Cabbies Refuse Our Money Because They’re Too Honest

NAMEHAE IS NOT DIFFICULT TO REACH, but once you’re in, it’s surprisingly difficult to get around. It is the kind of rural island where every day must feel like a weekend, where shop hours are unpredictable and if someone doesn’t know your first name they don’t know you at all. Taxis swarm the bus terminal […]

Hospitality in Savannakhet: The Lovely Ladies of Laos

WE WERE BROKE when we stepped off the bus in Savannakhet. Not broke like we didn’t have cash–we had a few hundred bucks for the coming week of travel, but it was in all the wrong currencies. A few thousand Vietnamese dong, a hundred-ish Philippine pesos, 22 American dollars. It was downright sloppy time management. […]

Notes From a Thai Cafe: Watching the Man Who Won’t Have Sex with this Waitress

THE MAN SITTING NEXT TO ME is trying to swindle a bracelet for free. The woman in front of him holds out a few colours, and he chooses black. He is muscular and hasn’t shaved in a few days, with green cargo shorts and a loose, sweaty v-neck. She looks like a rainbow of Thai […]

Guinsa, South Korea: Accidentally the Only White Guy Among 8,000 Koreans in an Extremely Holy Temple in the Middle of Nowhere

A VERY PARTICULAR DARKNESS envelops Guinsa at night. Arriving after sunset, I was met by the few dozen parked cars surrounded by something smaller than a village—a smattering of homes and restaurants, maybe 30 in all, mostly closed up by 8 p.m. The temple complex itself lies one kilometer uphill, wedged within a valley surrounded […]