• Friends

    How to make friends in a new city

         Probably one of the biggest hurdles to overcome when moving to a new city is making new friends and forming new social circles. I moved to Sydney in 2010, and then picked up and moved again in 2014 to Singapore.  The challenge of finding new friends is definitely real but essential for feeling happy and settled in a new place.  Even now, relocated back in Vancouver, I find myself going through this same challenge again.  Making new friends is arguably a lifelong process; here are some strategies I’ve employed over the years… Organised social networks In this day and age, there are many different social networks available with…

  • Colombia Immersion school
    Colombia,  Travels,  Uncategorized

    Colombia Immersion Language School

      According to my Spanish profesora, 5 years ago, there were no Spanish language schools in Medellin. Perhaps 5 years is a bit of an exaggeration, but the point is that in very recent times, there’s been an explosion of casual Spanish schools being offered in Medellin, which speaks to the growth of tourism in the city/country, and the popularity of learning Spanish. I chose Colombia Immersion for my language classes in Medellin after a recommendation from a fellow traveller I met in Jaco. With two locations (the original in Envigado and the newer one in Laureles), small classes, and the option to choose between full immersion or several different…

  • Medellin street art
    Colombia,  Travels,  Uncategorized

    Let me guess, you’re a digital nomad?

    No?  Then you must be an English teacher. So it seems these are the careers du jour of the extranejeros (foreigners) I’ve met so far in Medellin. In my clase de Espanol, amongst our small group of 5, there are three English teachers.  B & J are an English couple, teaching English to Chinese kids, via the web.  They have classes usually from 5am – 8am, to coincide with timezones in China.  Then, there is B, an older senora from North Carolina, who’s also teaching English online, but to adults all over the world. English teaching via the web is a phenomenon that’s exploded.  I first heard about it in…

  • Zanzibar
    Tanzania,  Uncategorized


      “I really need a beach holiday” my friend Alison said.  Alison had been back in Germany for almost a year and the poor girl was sun starved.  We were planning a reunion trip for December/January, so anywhere in Europe for a beach holiday wasn’t really going to be feasible.  South America?  Too far?  South Africa?!?  I’d never been but have this on the top of the list.  But Alison had been before…hmm…what about Zanzibar, she asked? Zanzibar…that name alone sounded so exotic and exciting.  I’d heard of it, but honestly didn’t know exactly where it was or anything else about it.  I quickly googled it: Zanzibar is a Tanzanian archipelago…

  • Ubud rice paddies
    Asia,  Travels,  Uncategorized

    When you want to go “extra” on photos

    I recently had the chance to go a bit “extra” and do a photoshoot in the middle of the rice fields in Ubud.  Wearing a bright coral evening gown. Wait what? Why? Because why not?! Here’s the back story.  I was going to be in Jakarta to see a client for work on a Friday, I was feeling a bit down, so I thought a short solo weekend away in Ubud would be a good way to recharge.  I’d been to Ubud two years ago and loved it, and had wanted to go back to check it out again for a while.  Having followed her Instagram stories, I knew my…

  • Great Wall
    Asia,  Travels,  Uncategorized

    Hiking up the original Great Wall of China

      My first visit to the Great Wall was when I was a wee little five year old lass.  My mom, grandma, and I were in Beijing to get our visas/passports to move to Canada.  Evidently, you had to personally go to Beijing to get these things, back then.  My memories of that trip are extremely fuzzy, but I do remember desperately wanting to climb “to the top” of the Great Wall.  Whatever that meant.  And I remember being disappointed, when my mom, wearing incredibly impractical shoes, refused to go with me. Fast forward to 2015 and I was in Beijing again, with my Dad and Mom, for medical reasons…