Friday, October 12th

Marrakech, Morocco

The most dangerous risk of all.

“Imagine… There is a bank that credits your account each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day. And every evening deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out ALL OF IT, of course!

Each of us has such a bank. Its name is TIME.

Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft.

Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the remains of the day. If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours. There is no going back. There is no drawing against the “tomorrow.”

You must live in the present on today’s deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness, and success! The clock is running. Make the most of today.” ~Unknown

I dreamt of a leap year.

It’s as if I closed my eyes and had a year-long dream.  The only thing indicating the passage of time is an extra foot of hair on my head.

I just had the craziest dream.

Upon waking, I found myself standing on the street in front of PODs backpackers in KL.

Here I am standing exactly where I was one year ago. It’s as if I closed my eyes and had a really long, crazy dream. And when I awoke, you guys were gone. The only thing indicating the passage of time is a foot of extra hair on my head. Wearing the same shirt, with the same bag on my back, eating at the same restaurant.

What is the point of travel? It sometimes feels like a pretty useless form of escapism. A lazy hazy permanent vacation. Does it serve others than yourself? I like to tell myself it makes the world a better place by increasing one human’s understanding and awareness of the lives and situations of humans of different lands. The way of living you are exposed to in the bubble of your life isn’t the only way of living and being. Humans are diverse and the more you experience the more you become a more complete being, a more rounded consciousness. Hopefully this will spill over into your decision making. Wiser, broader view-pointed decisions. I think it’s made me more compassionate.

When is the right time to go home? It sometimes feels like a pretty selfish form of escapism. There are others back at home that miss you. You have removed yourself from their lives. Distance-covering communications will never replace being there for them. Is it when someone gets sick? Someone dies? Do you stick to your plans and keep on wandering the earth in spite of this? Will you only go home when you miss them too much, and not the other way around?

Whether the dream was real or not, the question is does it matter?

Lately I haven’t been seeing as many ‘sights’. Oh, I’ve been seeing a lot. Just not running around like a recent grad on their first 4-month trip around SEA (aka like a chicken with it’s head cut off). I’ve been seeing the stuff you only see when you stop trying so hard to see things.

I feel tired. I’m tired because I have no home. I’ve been living out of a bag for 425 days now. Humans need a home, and home will never be the road. Those who travel forever are running from something they won’t face, or searching for something they’ll never find, or just plain lazy beyond salvation.

Sometimes these days, I just feel like I want to go home.

Snapshots from the year-long dream that was:

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Alarm bells.

“I’ve always wanted to sail the South Seas, but I can’t afford it. What these people can’t afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the demands of security. And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine and before we know it our lives are gone…

…The years thunder by, the dreams of youth grow dim while they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience.

Before we sense it, the tomb is sealed.” -Sterling Hayden, Wanderer

Nov 7, 2011

If there’s one thing that I’ve never understood, it’s people who lack motivation. I’m sure you know the type. To be honest, they really bug me, and there’s really few things that bug me these days. I just can’t understand why some people choose to wallow in apathy, or are just plain lazy; seem to lack the spark that we should bring to each day.

Maybe it’s partly due to a narrow vision, a smaller view of the world, an isolation from the bigger picture?… I’m really not sure what. Guess that’s why it’s something I just never understood.

I was lucky that my upbringing exposed me to about as broad a horizon as one could’ve hoped for. Doubly lucky to have a background in high level sport, which weeds out the softies and surrounds one with those who display some of the highest examples of strengths of character. Like many of my former swimming peers, I’m still making the slow transition from a full-time athlete to something else; and I see the same thing in my friends and former teammates. Taking their drive and energies and pouring them into that which comes next: projects, businesses, careers, social and philanthropic endeavours, trips about the globe. They can’t sit still, and neither can I.

These backgrounds combined with increasing travel and exposure to different places and peoples has broadened my views of what is possible to the point where I laugh when I see others unable to see past their current state, bemoaning their current situations. They are the masons of their own walls, built upon the mortar of their self-restricting beliefs.

We are in such a unique point in humanity. Anyone who is reading this now is amongst the luckiest of people that ever lived I reckon. We are now able to transcend time and space like never before. We can instantly travel to far off lands. We can project our voice to almost any location on planet earth. We can learn and educate ourselves with about as much information as our mind can handle. Modern transport, the internet, photos, movies and media of all types, the archiving of history, an abundance of food (in the developed world), the increasing exposure to the frothy soup of ideas that is the inter-webs. It’s all there, things that were never imaginable a few generations ago. What were once luxuries, impossibilities, that might not’ve made it past fantasies and daydreams, we can create in RL (real life) with these tools at our disposal. We have the luck and benefit of the wisdom of great thinkers packaged for us (TV, docs, books, videos…). We can go and watch the wise, the motivating, the mind-expanding at the click of a button. We can travel back in time to watch them, hear them, read their words, see them. We can study history and learn from the past like never before. Of great mistakes, of wars and follies of past societies, from long ago to the very recent. We are so so lucky and it’s something that’s difficult to really gain a perspective on, or appreciation of because we’ve grown up amongst it all.

When I slow down, the learning of history will likely become a growing component of my life. Age and an ever expanding view have only served to increase my appreciation for where we sit at this moment. Maybe it just isn’t possible to fully appreciate these things until we begin to get older and amass a greater range of experiences, sights, lessons and stories in our brain.

“This is your life. You have complete freedom. We live in an era where the world is more accessible than ever. You’re not a slave or a peon or a prisoner. You can do WHATEVER you want. So why aren’t you doing exactly what you love? Money, fear, indecision, lack of knowledge, girlfriend/boyfriend and “I’m content” are not answers to that question.” -Jordan Lejuwaan, Wake the F**k Up!

We all have dreams. What do you want to do with your life? What have you always imagined yourself doing one day? Seeing? Experiencing with others? What do you see when you let your mind wander to that which it wants? You have to ask yourself, for how long are you willing to let your life slip by before doing these things? A year? Till you’re done school? Till you have a job? Till you’ve made the down payment on your house? Till you’ve done the renos? Till you have a certain amount saved? What if your situation changes? Something else comes up? You meet someone? Your priorities change, you loose health, have a kid, or whatever whatever. How long are you willing to wait? How much time will you let slip past? Because each passing day buries your life a little bit more. Each time you lay your weary body down at the end of the day, the likelihood of you achieving and experiencing that which you were meant to decreases. Beware ye of the buried life!  That’s not an alarm bell that wakes you every morning. It’s a death knoll. Seek not to know for whom the bell tolls, as it’s right there on your fucking nightstand and it’s ringing shrill and loud for thee.

I distinctly remember reading an article a long, long time ago. It was about a man who engineered and manned single-man submersibles (like mini submarines), free-dove and explored successfully for sunken treasures in the environs of the Carribean. He had done quite a bit of what one might consider exciting, pioneering and/or dangerous. It seemed to the interviewer that nothing fazed this guy, and finally he felt compelled to ask “Is there anything that scares you?”. The guy pulls out a worn, folded piece of paper. On it were 100 rows with 52 squares per row. The little squares were filled in individually over the years with all manner of pens. The guy explained that each square represented a week, each row one year. “I carry this with me everywhere. Every week I colour one square in… I can see my entire life before me.” He wasn’t scared of dying. He was scared of not living, and used this to remind himself to never loose that fear.

There are fewer limits on us now than ever afore. There is no roof but the open sky, no walls unless you let yourself believe in such things. So don’t. Be stoked. Be energetic. Be motivated. Believe your imagination. If not for you, then we all owe it to those souls, both current and past, to take advantage of all that we have and that they didn’t and don’t. I really respect this guy, what a rad story…



February, 2011 

“One day I hope to say that I’ve seen the world. But that day is not here yet.” –Scott Wilson, Departures, Season 2

Growing up, I was lucky enough to be surrounded by an extensive National Geographic collection. Like any kid, I particularily I loved the photos of exotic cultures, fauna and flora, etc. I could sit there and stare at an atlas for hours, memorizing the names of exotic lands and imagining adventures in these far flung places.

A brief sabbatical to SouthEast Asia a half decade ago did little to slake the thirst for adventure, simply whetting my palette for travel and ever since, I’ve been chomping at the bit to head out again. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that the ancestors whose blood runs through my veins are the ones who coined the term Wanderlust; Perhaps their spirits and echoes are that which tickles my feet.

Regardless, the past few years have seen me spatially trapped by other responsibilities

and activities whose time and place was at the fore, but which have now come to fruition. It’s time. Time to move on, time to head out, time to stop being surrounded by the day dreams and pictures and Youtube videos as vicarious stand-ins. It’s been a long time coming, but I’ve been able to put myself in a position which will allow me to once again head out for a good long ‘walkabout‘.

“Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.” -Henry David Thoreau

It’s Tuesday and I am boarding the China Eastern Airlines plane to Shanghai, and begin my life as an expat. Mixed emotions of excitement, nostalgia, sadness and fear and something which can only appropriately be described as… stoke. It’s gonna be an adventure.

So to all my friends, wherever you may find yourself in life and on the planet, I invite you to join me in this adventure, whether here or in person. Stay tuned!

When we take a long imagined dream, formerly relegated to our thoughts, and breathe it into life… at first it’s hard to compute….. At first.


Jan 28, 2011

“On a long enough timeline the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.” –Zero Hedge

Travelling is good.  In a small way, I feel that right before you leave for a big, long trip, it gives you the sense of what it’s like perhaps when you are old, or when you know you are going to die and your days are numbered. Before I left for Asia 6 years ago, it felt like I did more living in the 2 weeks before I left than I did in months leading up to it. Now, I find myself once again leaving for the Asia-Pacific region, and again, the same thing is happening this time around.

It makes me wonder what life would be like if we lived this way everyday. With a real sense of the fleetness of our existence. I mean, people pay lip service to the brevity of life all the time. But alas, we invariably fall prey to the day to day, to ruts, to excesses of time wasters, and of roundabout or slower than needed approaches to life’s unfoldings. I think this is especially pertinent when it comes to personal relationships. How many times do we know we want to express something to someone we care about, but either don’t, or perhaps leave it unacknowledged. Like that girl that we really like and tell ourselves that we’ll get to know her and eventually ask her out. Why not just walk right up to her out of the blue and ask her out? Would save you a lot of time, that’s for sure. Especially if in the end it ends up being wasted time for all intents and purposes. And those friends we are always meaning to hang out with, that we have so much fun with and care about, but perhaps we decline their invitations to outings due to school, work in the a.m., etc. Or some plan, adventure, thing you really want to do or see, that has been in the back of your head, you’ve been meaning to get around to doing for a while now, but just haven’t had the chance to. These things, this life we desire and that our subconscious thinks of and craves, but we rarely create in RL with the immediacy it deserves until faced with a deadline. Then all of a sudden your perspective will change. Hesitation and planning becomes action and immediacy.

I feel that an impending change of scenery such as that provided by a long, distant and protracted voyage, gives one a taste of what it may be like to be faced with an imminent terminal deadline. The details are forgotten and the essentials are sought and enriched. I just wish I could live my live like this at every turn. Indeed, I feel as though some do. We see and come across them all the time. And sadly, I would have to say that I’ve come across the opposite as well. People who don’t value straight up honesty, bluntness and straightforwardness, who might be apt to avoid an honest h2h, who are unsure, unable to make a decision as it seems too big, too important, too immediate for them to deal with. Who delay something that could be good, for the day that something they tell themselves could potentially be better comes along. Who tell themselves “not today because I have other immediate priorities right now, but tomorrow though!”. I’ve been there, I’ve done this ad infinitum, guilty as charged. These few occasions before a big ol extended vacation however, have shown me what it truly is to live like any mortal being should.


This was originally a note I just wrote to myself, but thought I’d go out on a limb and post it to show some of what was going through my head at the time. I think it’s part of the changing mentality that lead me to achieving my dream of work-travel-adventure, and thusly why I decided to share it with the world.

Jan 22, 2010

Distill, distill, distill, distill, distill.

There are certain deep rooted things that we all want, need and crave as humans, mammals and people. Everything else, as I am starting to realize, is just details.

Love, food, shelter, warmth, belonging, friends, shared experiences, purpose, significance. We all want these. But it seems to me lately that “the blueprint” for modern lives, at best, addresses these in a roundabout way. Or addresses it for someone other than yourself. I dunno. It’s fucked. We spend a lot of time on shit that’s not important. That’s really just not that important. I think. I recently read a blog post by bankrobber, and I believe it’s much more significant than one would imagine or give credence at first glance.  This post was so significant to me in fact that I put it in my bookmark bar and labeled it “READ DAILY”. Lest one forgets, right?

It’s not just about focus or goals or any of that bullshit. It’s about getting back to what the human condition is meant to be like in its natural state I believe. We did not evolve with a fucking computer in front of our faces, or a cell in our pocket. Fuck that. I hate cell phones and I hate texting. And emails and facebook for that matter. Sometimes you really just got to simplify shit. And how does one do this?

I imagine a distiller. I need to distill my life. It’s not that I don’t like you all, my hundreds of facebook friends and all. It’s just that I can’t handle it. My brain can’t compute the barrage of information I receive everyday. I’m not ADD. I don’t crave, seek or want stimuli. In fact I yearn for the dead opposite. Sometimes overly so. So I feel like I need to distill my life. Distill my friends. Distill my activities, time and thoughts and efforts. And once that’s done, distill it all again. And then distill that yet again. I need to triple distill the fuck out of my life. And then, once and for good measure, a final distillation. Cut the fat out of the lean of the leanest. Get down to the prime, the premium and the truth and purpose.

I’m sorry, I’d love to spread myself out over all of you like butter. And for the longest time, indeed that is what I feel like I have been trying to do. I just think too much of too many people to allow many friendships to wither. I don’t want them to. I love people. I love connections. But it’s just not feasible I’m realizing. You can’t be friends with everyone, you can’t do everything, and as much as I’ve said no in the past, you sometimes need to cut all the cords, strings and other attachments that hold you back and inhibit movement. Puppets don’t fucking fly (and PS, magnets? What’s with that shit? Try to explain that one science! (Thank you Insane Clown Posse)).

But for reals. Every thought, notion, emotion and activity occupies some of your mental capacity, be it current (RAM) or subconscious (HD). If you tune out, power off all the bull shit, details and excess, you are left with crisp, clean consciousness that will allow you to be in tune with the now, with what is current and important with your life, and allow you to see and create opportunities that your rear view mirror would otherwise be blocking.

Distill, distill, distill. And then distill that shiet. Quadruple sec stylee.

Wake up sleepyhead.

The coiling of the spring

Up and down like a see saw
Coast along with no real cause
Tranquilized by the scenery
Hypnotized so easily

Cash crops are down again
I only wish I had a real friend
Grass is growing in the backyard
Thinking clear is getting so hard

I used to dream about everything in colour
Now it seems it’s only black & white
I used to drive fast cars in the summer
Now everything I do
There’s nothing good to sing about

I’m going out tonight
Crowd surfing until daylight

Fall 2010

Every day is the same. You know the feeling. Staying up late. Sleeping in. Drifting. Where has the stoke gone? The focus?

Has a month already gone past? I moved back to Vancouver to finish a project, the final one holding me back from graduating. One. Simple. Paper. A month later and I hardly seemed closer to the goal.

I partied. I got strepthroat. I kept partying. I got mono. I was so happy to move close to my friends from University again and yet I rarely saw them. The fall was one of the most beautiful I can remember and I biked aimlessly through the tree lined streets, full of leaves. Melancholy. The mono got worse. I became a recluse. It was lonely. I wasted hours, days seeking inspiration on the internet, watching YouTube videos of surfing in Indonesia, reading blogs of people wandering the planet, perpetual travellers, vagabonds. My mind was already over school. I wanted to travel, to escape so badly but this one stupid thing was holding me back.

I extended my rent for 2 more weeks. I was out of money and started living off my credit card. I didn’t finish the project. Moved in with Dad and slept on the floor. For a month. It was depressing. In that half conscious time as sleep sets in, I would look down from a distant vantage point and could see my life scrolling by, as if with a cursor…

But eventually, painfully, it got done. The shackles were removed. I knew what was next. Fuck the norm, fuck safety, fuck sticking around. Time to bring back the adventure, the joy and the excitement. I was free and needed to get some fresh air. It was time to close YouTube and see the world.

Found in a Thrift Shop Fall 2010