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The Leaving Journal


NEW ZEALAND | Wednesday, 11 Mar 2015 | Views [695]

My time in Australia and New Zealand has given me a deep appreciation for the natural beauty in the United States. It seems to me that wilderness - mountains, forests, rivers, beaches - are more celebrated in this part of the world. The parks are more ... Read more >

Tags: america, characters, cultures, home, people

Finding the Way

NEW ZEALAND | Saturday, 7 Mar 2015 | Views [655]

"Margaret River is really pretty. You could use that as a base to explore wineries and beach towns along the coast. " The third time I'd consulted a local in Perth about how to spend our week in the west and the third time I'd gotten this answer, ... Read more >

Tags: advice, australia, road trips


NEW ZEALAND | Tuesday, 3 Mar 2015 | Views [307]

Hi! I'm Inconvenience. You and I are going to encounter eachother quite often if you decide to pack up and leave the county to budget travel for 3 months, so let me tell you a bit about myself. I am the guy in the bunk below you, in the 3 bed, closet-... Read more >

Tags: inconvenience, mistakes, travel, trouble

Mad Mack

NEW ZEALAND | Wednesday, 11 Feb 2015 | Views [604]

I glance down at my boots and see a small mammal's grinning jawbone, complete with teeth, splotches of fur and the remains of a tiny, leathery nose. I imagine it was skinned and its hide added to the tall stack of skins I saw on a shelf inside, then ... Read more >

Tags: characters, new zealand, people

Don't Feed the Wildlife

NEW ZEALAND | Sunday, 8 Feb 2015 | Views [323]

"I'll do whatever the hell I want, so shut the hell up!" shouted the redneck, crouched next to a small yellow-eyed penguin on the rocky beach. A crowd had gathered on the earthen ledge above him, watching as he tried to coax the animal towards him with ... Read more >

Tags: animals, new zealand, tourism, tourists, wildlife

The Sandbar King

NEW ZEALAND | Tuesday, 27 Jan 2015 | Views [311]

A Caribbean scene on a New Zealand sandbar: a straw hat topper on a green folding chair, a cooler to the left with a box of wine balanced on top. A man’s bare feet stretch out onto the sand, waves lapping at bony toes. Under the sunhat I’... Read more >

Tags: bays, beaches, biology, birds, ecology, new zealand, scientists

Te Pukatea Bay, Abel Tasman Coast Track

NEW ZEALAND | Monday, 26 Jan 2015 | Views [330]

"Can we go to bed yet? " I ask. "No, it's only 7pm, you'll be awake at 5 if you go to sleep now," Lizzy answers. "Well, what are we going to do?" I whine. I'm only half-kidding in my childish behavior. Lizzy smiles knowingly. "Read. Write. Look ... Read more >

Tags: bays, beaches, coast, inspiration, new zealand, saline, tide pools, water


NEW ZEALAND | Monday, 19 Jan 2015 | Views [290]

I regret spending four days in Auckland. The highlight of our time there was an afternoon spent at The Backyard Bar in North Auckland with my friend Leigh (who I met at surf camp in Morocco last year). Local DJ's, an epic water slide and a brood of ... Read more >

Tags: auckland, bars, cities, hostels, restaurants

The Aisle Seat: Kia Ora

NEW ZEALAND | Thursday, 15 Jan 2015 | Views [204]

I've always been an aisle seat gal. Primarily because I like to stretch my legs beyond the tiny hovel of hobbit-space you receive on the average airplane, but there's also a paranoid, self-preservation element to it: when the inevitable emergency evacuation ... Read more >

Tags: landscapes, new zealand, planes, window seat

On Returning

USA | Tuesday, 18 Feb 2014 | Views [133]

There is a lot to be said for returning to a place where you left pieces of yourself. It's as if you arrive to a home that you didn't realize was yours until you sank into it, like the plush softness of a worn sofa. Amy, a dear friend from Sitges, hosted ... Read more >

Tags: ending a trip, home, returning

Moroccan Hospitality

MOROCCO | Saturday, 18 Jan 2014 | Views [290]

"Emma, you come help," says Ezzhora, assertive but smiling. I had asked to help with the cooking before lunch, but she insisted I join her son Mohamed for a walk around their neighborhood. Eager to contribute, I jumped from my seat at the table and ... Read more >

Tags: cultural exchange, food, goodness, hospitality

Coping with the Unpredictable

MOROCCO | Wednesday, 15 Jan 2014 | Views [284]

Gray clouds hovered ominously overhead, fat with potential rain and threatening to split open at any moment. My 40 pound pack was cutting into my shoulders as I trudged down the Marrakech sidewalk, dodging persistent touts and speeding cyclists. "Did ... Read more >

Tags: coping, mishaps, travel

Stand No. 1

MOROCCO | Tuesday, 7 Jan 2014 | Views [279]

At Stand No. 1 in the Jemaa el Fna food market, there is an old chef who is missing most of his front top teeth. I know this because I've been to Stand No. 1 almost every night for the past week, slipping discretely onto one of the black vinyl benches.... Read more >

Tags: food, food markets, hospitality, morocco


SPAIN | Sunday, 15 Dec 2013 | Views [361]

My toes disappear beneath the soft white sand as I wiggle my bare feet into the ground. Amy is sitting on the a stone step in front of me, her legs crossed, chattering away, her choppy British accent dancing over the sound of waves. Jamie chucks a stick ... Read more >

Tags: bittersweet, friends, friendship, goodbyes, leaving, sitges, spain, travel


SPAIN | Saturday, 9 Nov 2013 | Views [386]

I've had several revelations about my traveling experience in the past week. One of my realizations is that I'm falsifying my experience on the internet. I'm lying. I want to remedy that.  The advent and increase of Facebook use, blogging and ... Read more >

Tags: movement, on the road, revelations, stimulation, travel, why we travel


SPAIN | Tuesday, 29 Oct 2013 | Views [480]

"Oh, I knew I was making my life into a song-and-dance routine, a production number, a shaggy dog story, a sick joke, a bit. I thought of all the longing, the pain, the letters (sent and unsent), the crying jags, the telephone monologues, the suffering, ... Read more >

Tags: drinking, friends, friendship, language, social, spain, spanish, travel

Cementari Poblenou

SPAIN | Sunday, 27 Oct 2013 | Views [334]

On my return to Barcelona, I tried to escape the crowds by going on a weekday and exploring some less popular sites. I got off at the Estacio Franca stop, which was new for me. There are three main stations in Barcelona: Barna Sants at the west, Passeig ... Read more >

Tags: barcelona, cementari poblenou, cemetaries


SPAIN | Sunday, 20 Oct 2013 | Views [514]

On Saturday, I completed my inaugural pilgrimage to Barcelona as a full-fledged tourist. I spent too much money on a bus tour of the city with <a href="http://www.barcelonabusturistic.cat/ca/home">Barcelona Bus Turístic</a>. A breezy, ... Read more >

Tags: barcelona, bus tours, crowds, gaudi, groups, people, throngs, tour, tourism, travel

Mañana, mañana, mañana

SPAIN | Thursday, 17 Oct 2013 | Views [270]

The siesta mentality rules in southern Spain. Almost everything closes at 1pm for the two-hour siesta, except for banks, which close at 2pm... and just don't reopen. People stay up late, wake up late, eat out often and avoid stress at all costs. Jennifer ... Read more >

Tags: culture, patience, siesta, spain, spanish culture, tomorrow

La Libertad

SPAIN | Friday, 11 Oct 2013 | Views [419]

The sea spreads wide as I walk down the alley way, a small sliver of blue growing before me in all its dark and rumbling majesty. Deep navy clouds loom on the horizon and the threatening wind whips my hair around my face. I am encased with the muted ... Read more >

Tags: beach, freedom, ocean, sea, seaside, solitude, spain, travel, travel alone

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