Category Archives: Travel
Check out my latest published article! Last year, I pitched an article to Canada’s Verge Magazine, about “travelling while gay.” It was published online earlier this year, for subscribers, and has just been made public. Check it out!
For the average cisgender white lesbian tourist like me, I’m not likely to experience those kinds of harassment, but it’s not impossible. For example, in 2014 a British tourist was jailed for four months in Morocco for committing “homosexual acts.” Luckily, he was able to fly home early after being released on appeal.
Before I left, I knew that for most of my trip I’d have to “play it straight,” to avoid endangering myself (but mainly just to avoid negative remarks or rejection from new “friends”). But I don’t think I realized how frustrating and disheartening it would be.
Last year, on Christmas Eve, my parents met my girlfriend for the first time. It was the first girlfriend they’d ever met, and they absolutely loved her.
In retrospect, it was too early for an introduction but it made logistical sense at the time.
This time, last year, I was happy. I was falling for someone I affectionately called the “hot doctor” – she was pretty gorgeous, and doing a psychiatry residency. I had a job I enjoyed, though I was on the lookout for my next step, career-wise, and I was renting an apartment with two amazing roommates and awesome neighbours upstairs and down.
Fast forward to this year, and I’ve moved out of my apartment on New Year’s Eve. On Monday, I’ll be starting my last two weeks at work. The girlfriend? We broke up in an unspectacular fashion early on in 2014.
So here I am, girlfriend-less, apartment-less, and soon-to-be-jobless and benefits-less.
Am I crazy?
No. I’m exhilarated!
What a difference a year makes. But even though I was in a great place last year and most of those variables have changed a year later, I’m STILL in a great place! And I have a grand adventure ahead of me, something I’ve always wanted to do. Something that’s scary and exciting all at the same time.
Here’s to 2015!
This weekend has been a bit like the calm before the storm. It’s been very relaxing, but I know that the rest of the week is going to be intense, when we really jump into the young leaders’ forum and what I refer to as “the big whigs” or “adult” conference.
I arrived yesterday and had dinner with several of the other young leaders here. They’re all pretty amazing, and from all over the world – India, Kenya, UK, USA, Australia, Burma, Jordan, Oman, Nepal, Turkey, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Egypt and the list goes on.
Then my lovely friend Sarah Shepherd (I promised she’d get a shout out!) came over to meet us and we went to this lovely little jazz club off of Rue St Denis.
This morning, the organizers took us for a quintessential Canadian experience – the (maple) sugar shack. I was excited – I haven’t been to a sugar shack since I was in high school! And it had a petting zoo!! Albeit it was fairly anti-climatic. But at least we did get a big “Bienvenue!” from Leon the Llama.
There was some explanation re how llamas are not indigenous to Canada.
Anyway, we had a taste of Quebecois cuisine at the sugar shack, which ended up not being so accommodating for those who were vegetarian or couldn’t eat pork due to religious reasons. An interesting clash of cultures, I thought.
A relaxing evening, but of course I had to have a beer for St. Paddy’s Day! I think they take away your Irish citizenship if you don’t.
Happy St. Paddy’s Day to all!
From the heavy & political to the light & fluffy, that’s how yesterday went. It began with a trip to Occupy London. After visiting Occupy Calgary last week, I was pretty excited to see what London had to offer. And I was not disappointed. I heard that the day before (I guess that was Friday?), the occupiers had all been served with eviction notices. But everyone seemed in good spirits, and there were lots of people visiting and talking with the protestors and bringing them food.
My cousin (who lives in Ireland) was with me today, so after Occupy, we spent our time rather frivolously, wandering the streets, shopping, and drinking a glass of mulled wine at the Christmas market in Hyde Park.
Last night, the two of us were joined by 8 of my friends for dinner and drinks in Soho. Dancing the night away, it was a great way to say goodbye (again) to London, as I prepare to face some very serious issues in South Africa.
Until then, Cheers!
And now for my first actual post, though it’ll be more pictures than words b/c I’m way too tired. Arriving back in London, for the first time since I moved back to Toronto in June after 2.5 years of British living, was quite weird. It felt so surreal, like I was in a dream and had just wished to go back to London, so here I was.
The early darkness and Christmas lights everywhere probably didn’t help. But it was gorgeous.
Two things accomplished today:
(1) Consuming a Hummingbird Bakery black-bottom cheesecake cupcake. De-lish.
(2) Had an amazing dinner at Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant in Covent Garden with my two former flatmates.
I love the Dickensian feeling to this photo (above). Thought I think Dickens died before this memorial was created…we’ll just ignore that fact for now.
So, my first adventure to Africa has not exactly gone entirely smoothly. First of all, I had to pay at Heathrow for my luggage because one bag was overweight and even though the other was extremely underweight, I still had to pay. I wasn’t about to start re-packing in the middle of Heathrow airport. I was WAY too tired!!
I’m getting really excited to go to Africa! One month tomorrow, I’ll be on a plane flying to Nairobi. Cannot wait!