Tacky Tourist Photos: Why you should get involved.

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We’ve all seen them. Those typical tourist photos at global landmarks everyone can name. You know, holding up the leaning tower of Pisa, peeking out of a red telephone booth on the streets of London, kissing a sphynx in Egypt, meditating looking over Machu Picchu, throwing a coin over your shoulder at Rome’s Trevi Fountain… sound familiar? I’m definitely guilty. Continue reading

On being messy.

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I read novels in phases, intensely for a few days, then I’ll let them sit on the coffee table untouched for a few weeks before repeating this pattern. The book gets knocked around, spilt on, stained; at this point I love it more. Each waterlogged page from tea spilt out of the tea pot on its way into a mug is individual and beautiful. The way the re-dried cover crinkles and misshapes. The incomplete ringed stains of coffee forming patterns across the textured cover – they make the book loved beyond its years and give me a deeper attachment to it.

My messiness is something that may have been a character trait from a young age that was never allowed to be expressed until adulthood. Continue reading

Whistler: Six months as a Seasonal.

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Whistler itself is not unlike living within a Winter themed snow globe: pristinely surreal architecture in an environment that can be ‘shaken up’. You peer in through it’s clear glass sphere and are immediately transported in. You look up at its flawless, snow covered landscapes and walk through the complimenting winding suburban village of bay windows, sloped and modulated roofs at varying heights with balconies facing the street, all made of varying but durable textures and natural materials. Your surroundings are romantic and inviting. In the initial month, the winding pedestrian streets are a place to get lost in – a stark contrast to the urban city you escaped from. There is no mention of current affairs, natural disasters or politics. The only concerns consuming space in the residents minds are a) When is the next ‘pow day’ and b) Do I have said ‘pow day’ off. This town, permanently or transiently, is an escape from reality. Continue reading

Travel is…

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Travel is little beds and cramped bathrooms. It’s old television sets and slow Internet connections. Travel is extraordinary conversations with ordinary people. It’s waiters, gas station attendants, and housekeepers becoming the most interesting people in the world. It’s churches that are compelling enough to enter. It’s McDonald’s being a luxury. It’s the realization that you may have been born in the wrong country. Travel is a smile that leads to a conversation in broken English. It’s the epiphany that pretty girls smile the same way all over the world. Travel is tipping 10% and being embraced for it. Travel is the same white T-shirt again tomorrow. Travel is accented sex after good wine and too many unfiltered cigarettes. Travel is flowing in the back of a bus with giggly strangers. It’s a street full of bearded backpackers looking down at maps. Travel is wishing for one more bite of whatever that just was. It’s the rediscovery of walking somewhere. It’s sharing a bottle of liquor on an overnight train with a new friend. Travel is ‘Maybe I don’t have to do it that way when I get back home’.

– Nick Miller

Kathryn and Dylan: On your wedding day.

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One of my earliest memories of Kathryn was circa 1997. We were in grade four at primary school, sitting underneath a covered area with the rest of our grade on the cold grey cement eating lunch. Kathryn donned a short, brown, side parted-bob with some hair gathered into an elastic with a bright red ribbon on the side of her head. Her bright blue eyes, large, absorbing her surrounds. I didn’t know much about Kathryn at this age but my impression and knowledge of this girl was that she was quiet, extremely bright, a “grade A” singer, incredibly kind, always sat with Briony and Georgia at lunch and due to her tiny stature, always sat on the end of the front row in school pictures. Continue reading