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One last time… with feeling

One last time… with feeling

An extraodinary period of our life comes to an end, and a new one begins I was staring out the airplane window as we landed in Mexico City at night. Karen and I knew this would be our last trip for a while, and we each felt quite mixed about it. We both knew we’d be...

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The exotic supernatural beauty of our own backyard

The exotic supernatural beauty of our own backyard

We often believe we have to leave home to experience something extraordinary. We seek out the mysterious and exotic places of our imagination in the far away and hard to get to. We take for granted what is familiar, dismissing the sacred as mundane. Because it's close...

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What do you do when you can’t remember where you are?

What do you do when you can’t remember where you are?

You know when you wake up in the middle of the night to visit the toilet? Well, obviously we do that too. But sometimes I’ll wake up and for several seconds have no idea where I actually am. I have to lay there and allow my mind to adjust to my location. Uh… Hereford?...

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Aging fast in the city that never gets old

Aging fast in the city that never gets old

I have never felt the need to mark birthdays. But I have also been really lucky to spend more than my fair share of birthdays somewhere more interesting than my living room. Living and working in the English Lake District, hiking in the Himalayas in Nepal, living in...

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How a Catholic nun brought meditation to the Philippines

How a Catholic nun brought meditation to the Philippines

It wasn’t a sound that belonged on a silent 10-day Vipassana retreat. I was sitting at the kitchen table in our residence when I startled at the sound. A strange, moaning cry. It was Day 10 and students had just ended the silence of nine days and were now chatting...

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What I learned from my grandparents in Mexico

What I learned from my grandparents in Mexico

In the years before I turned ten, Mexico was an important part of my backdrop growing up. My mother spent her childhood and most of her teenage years living in Mexico. In fact, when I was born she had only been in Canada for 7 years. She was in many ways a recent...

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It’s easy to fall deeply, madly in love with Mexico

It’s easy to fall deeply, madly in love with Mexico

If you want to see Mexico at its most unadorned, unapologetic, and most wonderful, skip the coastal resorts and spend a few hours at Central de Abasto in Mexico City. Despite being the largest market on earth, not many foreign tourists come here. That’s a good thing....

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First impressions of Mexico: There’s nothing else like it.

First impressions of Mexico: There’s nothing else like it.

We knew it would be popular. In our short few days here, we had already witnessed the long lineups of people outside the most renowned shops waiting to buy freshly made tortillas. A long line of people waiting to buy fresh tortillas at a well-known tortilleria. The...

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A mad sprint into 2019: Just where the heck are Scott and Karen?

A mad sprint into 2019: Just where the heck are Scott and Karen?

“Are you in Canada?” “Are you on another course?” “Have you left the country again?” “Where ARE Scott and Karen?” Alright, alright, alright. It’s been a long while since anyone heard from us and we’ve received a lot of notes from many people. So we’re very sorry. On...

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It’s a wonderful life, even when it doesn’t feel like it

It’s a wonderful life, even when it doesn’t feel like it

It is hard to believe that tomorrow we will be flying home to celebrate Christmas in British Columbia. Christmas seems a very remote concept at the moment because for almost seven weeks we’ve been sitting our silent retreat in 37°C (no air conditioning) at a...

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Ukraine forever

Ukraine forever

  I get asked a lot about what my favourite place in the world is. The truth is there are many places I love, all for different reasons. But one favourite country or city, somewhere that sits atop everywhere else? There have always been too many for me to say:...

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A glorious and beautiful wreck: Scott photographs Tallinn

A glorious and beautiful wreck: Scott photographs Tallinn

Tallinn is a wreck. A beautiful wreck. Not literally, of course. It’s actually a very stylish city with a Nordic modernist aesthetic. Think Denmark or Sweden instead of Vilnius or St. Petersburg. It is probably one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe....

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Fear makes people do terrible things

Fear makes people do terrible things

    Soon after we arrived in Lithuania’s capital, Vilnius, we were struck by something puzzling. Aside from a memorial at the mass grave of Ponary outside of Vilnius and a monument in Kaunas that marks the Jewish uprising there, a lot about the Holocaust is...

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We’re in the world, but not of it. And we like it this way

We’re in the world, but not of it. And we like it this way

  We move around a lot. And we don’t have a house. For several months this was a bit exhausting. Every few weeks we found ourselves somewhere where everything is different: climate, culture, food, language, currency, traffic rules, timezone. When we landed in...

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