France (April, 2010) – I arrived without warning; sporting silver flip-flops to a rather chilly 8°C.  My runners and jacket lost to an arduous adventure 11-hours (flight) south on the world map. Shoes shopping in Paris is a rather serious and dangerous affair; but after a month in Africa discovering outrageous fauna, flora, a pirate or two and the jungle mafia - it was the nostalgic welcome home I really needed. 

Uzbekistan (November, 2019) – We were up early to catch the morning train into the Fergana valley. For several hours; I watched as the landscape changed from flat plateau, the higher we elevated invited views of rugged mountainous terrain. What I remember fondly apart from the smog covered panorama, is the friendly family who shared the train car with us for a few hours.

Madagascar (March, 2010) – I spent the day wayfaring around, getting acquainted with the community for which I had serendipitously been dropped into. As the day progressed my entourage grew; within hours the troupe inducted me into their wild playful adventures of the day of braiding hair, skipping pebbles and chasing chameleons. I can't wait for another foray in the remote areas of the cultivated jungle.

India (January, 2003) –  The ambiance around me was joyful; ultimately the laughter arrived despite the reason for the visit. My favourite spot had always been the open balcony, elevated high enough to hear but not be seen. It was not the quiet escape I had envisioned; I quickly discovered that little tots often haunt new guests with their wide eyes and curious habits.

Canada (April, 2021) – Cinched in the usual routine; of repeat, replicate and copy during a third wave ubiquitous virus lockdown. The sanguine of mind methodically lost in a world of fantasy; reimagining what normal life will look like post pandemic. We conceptualize the raging rapture of what dreams will come, with the help of the neighbourhood enchantments.

Belgium (May, 2015) – An extension of a very memorable hiatus with the menage, Bruges was a short sortie. We spent most of our time sauntering around the historic centre; eventually discovering the Beguinage. The walled sub-city is currently home to an order of Benedictine nuns; avowing for the pious conduct of the original Beguines settlers to continue into the 21st Century. The only oddities within the quiet space were the large structures elevated in the trees of the public square. In retrospect they would make wonderful retreats for mindful meditation, but legend has it that the whimsical attraction is simply an art installation.

Uzbekistan (November, 2019) – After several days inside the Itchan Kala hopping around the historical sites, we ventured outside the fortified walls. Our first excursion simply for basic sustenance, we walked across the arcade down a rather dusty road. Eventually we were invited into a large communist Russian era dining hall, it was rather empty, lacked colour, style or any real interest apart from the rustic menu of local foods. It was a complete departure from the intricate textiles and hand painted mosaics in abundance within the boundaries of the Itchan Kala.