Monday, April 20, 2015

Galapagos: Paradise on the Brink


At just past 8 a.m., the harsh morning sun is beating down on our group. Like obedient schoolchildren, we form a semi-circle around our tour guide, Wilo, rapt and hanging on his every word. Nothing can distract us—not even the calls of frigate birds mating in the surrounding incense trees, their wings outstretched and their trademark red gular sacks inflated. Already the novelty of wildlife within our grasp has faded.

It’s a sharp contrast to the day before, when we had first touched down on this five-million-year-old archipelago.

“I don’t know if this is what I was expecting,” said my seatmate, Jill, as the plane taxied down Baltra Island. The airstrip blended seamlessly into the volcanic landscape, which was empty save for low-lying shrubs. “There’s really nothing here.”

Read more on Verge Magazine »

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

In Defence of Short-Term Volunteer Abroad Projects


Last fall, as a speaker on a panel discussion, I unexpectedly found myself to be the subject of intense scrutiny. There I was, sharing advice for gaining international work experience, when I confessed to what the audience decided was a heinous crime. My offense? Volunteering abroad on a short-term construction project nearly 10 years ago.

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Saturday, February 21, 2015

How to Save Money for Travel—and Fast


In the past, I’ve written about how I travel for cheap or for free, but I’ve never written about how I actually save money for travel.

Here’s a full (but not entirely shocking) disclosure; as a freelance journalist, I don’t exactly make a lot of money. And yet I always seem to have enough money to travel. So how do I do it?

I know a lot of digital nomads advocate for selling your stuff and giving up a home base in order to explore the globe. But I kind of like my bed and my dog and my apartment, so I’ve figured out that there’s another way.

While I'm far from a financial guru, here are my six foolproof steps for saving enough money to make travel—or any other financial goal, really—a reality:

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Top 5 Tips for Visiting the Galapagos

When my cousin and I booked a holiday for our respective birthdays to the Galapagos last year, I knew that the trip would be somewhat outside of my comfort zone—but not for the obvious reasons. As the longest tour I’d ever taken, it would mean being on someone else’s schedule for 10 days straight, all while stuck on a boat with a dozen strangers. 

I can’t say it was my ideal mode of travel, but it was definitely the trip of a lifetime. However, there were a couple of things that I was totally unprepared for.

Here are five things Katherine and I wish we had known before leaving for the Galapagos:

Friday, February 06, 2015

My International Long-Distance Relationship


This Valentine’s Day, for the first time in years, I’m in a relationship. It should be cause for celebration, I suppose, but there’s just one problem—he lives in Sydney, Australia.

I didn’t mean for this to happen. I wasn’t looking for a relationship, much less an international long-distance relationship. (Or, as I like to think of it, a “longest distance” relationship.)

We met on a press trip in South Australia during the Best Jobs in the World competition. Although he initially dismissed me as “another loud Canadian” (fair enough), we quickly became friends, bonding over our mutual interest in travel and working abroad. Okay, and we may have also bonded over our mutual interest in whisky.

Read more on Verge Magazine »
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