What makes a year a good one or a bad one? On this, the final day of 2017, I’ve come to realize that it’s not necessarily the culmination of that year’s events, but your perspective on them. It’s easy to be positive when good things are happening for you, as they were for me in the first two-thirds of the year. I celebrated my first-year wedding anniversary with Gabe. I watched McKenzie… Read More

“The journey is the thing.” ― Homer Travel – and the worldview expansion it brings – is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children. I’m not talking about your standard ‘fly and flop’ resort vacation. That kind of travel only recharges the batteries. I’m talking about meaningful travel – the kind where you live like a local, collect experiences over things, allow your wandering heart to explore, face and conquer your… Read More

On our travels through the Omo Valley, we stopped for a quick stay in Jinka – a market town nestled in the hills north of the Tama Plains in southern Ethiopia that is home to 16 indigenous ethnic groups. After several arduous hours of rough road travel, most of our travel tribe wanted nothing more than to chill for the afternoon. But when our friend and guide Teddy asked us if we’d like… Read More

“Like we always say: you have the watch in the West…and we have the time.” – The Tao of Teddy You have your two-bit tour guides. Then you have your average, run-of-the-mill travel guide. Sure, they know their stuff, but they do it by rote – and they don’t customize the experience to the group they’re traveling with. Some hold themselves apart from their groups, choosing not to interact, not to interfere,… Read More

And though she be but little, She is fierce. – William Shakespeare My mother-in-law Sharyn Mandel was a fierce and fiery force in this world. A passionate educator, her life’s purpose was teaching. She had a particular interest in developing the minds of young girls, and fostering their independent spirits. Upon her passing, we discovered that she intended for us to make her often-talked-about dream of founding a school in a developing… Read More

As the sun sets on the final day of 2015, I’ve been quietly reflecting on a year that can only be described as an emotional roller coaster. When I was a kid, I loved roller coasters with an unholy glee. For me, nothing beat that adrenaline-pumping, terror-inducing, breathtaking thrill of being thrown for a loop on the squeaky tracks of a man-made monster. About six months after my eldest daughter was born, I… Read More

Today, I have had one word on my mind: Freedom. One word, so many definitions. So many feelings it evokes. So many types of freedom. Our most celebrated is political freedom. As Canadians, we live in a country that has been free for so long that our freedom seldom registers in our consciousness. It just is. There are times when the gravitas of our freedom teases the edges of our consciousness, mostly when… Read More

Our position as the sentient beings atop the Animal Kingdom food chain leads many humans to mistakenly believe that we are an enlightened and superior species. I’ve always subscribed to the Buddhist notion that sentient beings are characteristically unenlightened, and believe that we have a lot to learn about life from our animal friends, who are closer to Nirvana than the very best of us. My dog Samson, who would have been… Read More

From my current vantage point, it’s difficult to fathom that just under six months ago, I was at my most unhappy. Still reeling from my dog’s cancer diagnosis, I found myself ensnared in my own health scare, which included the untold horrors of a colonoscopy. In the midst of this, the man who just a handful of days ago proposed to me announced that our relationship was no longer working for him…. Read More

Last year, on the morning of my 40th birthday, I woke up in a beautiful bed at Langdon Hall next to the man I love. This year, on the morning of my 41st birthday, I woke up in the spare bed, in the house of the man I love – both of which I can no longer call mine. What a difference a year makes. Even so, many of the realizations I came… Read More