• Defining “Home”

    Several weeks ago, I was at a market selling my photographs. I was talking with a woman from another table, and we were happy to find out that we both hailed from Montreal. “We’re practically neighbours!” she exclaimed. She told me she moved to Calgary to be with her children, who had been living here for several years. She’s only been here for two years, herself. And then she asked me, “Does it ever start to feel like home?”

  • Fear of Travel

    As I sat on the bus heading downtown, something about the way the “Stop Requested” lights shone made me feel like I was somewhere else. Like I was travelling somewhere foreign. And I thought about how some people will never travel. They either don’t have the resources or the desire to leave their home cities. It must feel just too scary to leave, to venture somewhere where people do things differently. It’s a survival instinct. Our brains are wired to ask, “How will I find what I need to feel comfortable when I get there?”

  • Traditional Bedouin Medicine

    It was early in the morning, the light from the sun was just starting to crest over the hill. I was standing on some burlap bags, which had been carefully placed along the edges of the squares to keep the balks from caving in. Below me, a mix of students and veterans were digging away, hauling guffah1 after guffah out to the sift. Watching others work in the early morning isn’t exactly conducive to staying awake, especially when it comes with a pang of jealousy. I really love to dig and sitting on the sidelines due to a wrist injury doesn’t exactly sit well with me. I’m sure this thought…

  • Shopping for Housewares and Epic Baked Potatoes

    Laura and I left in the evening of the 18th to make our way – fumbling – to Varna. Broken Bulgarian and several scares about being on the wrong bus later, we pulled up in the bus station in Varna and a short taxi ride away from my hotel and her soon-to-be-home. Laura has done a very gutsy and respectable thing in my book… She’s moving here. A series of unfortunate events left her with nothing but wanderlust and an eye on a new life and having spent a few weeks in Bulgaria earlier this year, she decided volunteering for Balkan Heritage and finding her own path was the life…