How the spice trade changed the world

Spice. The very word conjures up images of exotic trails, bustling winds and turban clad men concocting salubrious brews. The history of spice is like many things in this world however, not as it seems. India would seem to many to be the birthplace of spice, being as it is the land of curry and chai. But in fact many of the finest spices as we know … Continue reading How the spice trade changed the world

A story of co-existence. The Jewish history of Islamic Morocco.

The current political narrative of Jews and Arab Muslims dates back only 100 years. There is an older story, a richly complex and more peaceful one begging to be told. Sitting in the shadows of today’s narrative of animosity and hatred is a story of a thriving co-existence between Jews and Arabs. This is Morocco’s Jewish history. Jewish life in Morocco is over 2000 years … Continue reading A story of co-existence. The Jewish history of Islamic Morocco.

Toronto. Cultural diversity leading the world.

Sitting in a café in downtown Toronto you could be anywhere in the world. In fact, it’s almost impossible to tell you are in Canada. The city is a melting pot of faces from all around the world, no more Caucasian than it is African, Asian, Indian, Arab or Latino. Just over half of the Toronto regions 5.6 million residents were born in another country … Continue reading Toronto. Cultural diversity leading the world.

Positive thinking, privilege and the alienation of Instagram

The Internet is the worlds go to for information, for better and for worse, for truth and for bullshit. Everyone can now have a voice and while this theoretically creates a platform for true citizen democracy, it also opens doors for a whole lot of half truths and pretence. Chloe King writes this polemic and powerful piece about radical self-love and why positive thinking will, in her words, … Continue reading Positive thinking, privilege and the alienation of Instagram

Helsinki. Saunas, style and midnight sun.

Helsinki, Finland’s capital, is a lesser known European travel destination and so the devouring eyes of hungry tourists have not robbed its authenticity and charm. It is undeniably Scandinavian, in style, in function and in form. As a society, Finland leads the world for its all comprehensive and inclusive social services and progressive education system that focuses on learning and equality over competition and test taking. This aside, … Continue reading Helsinki. Saunas, style and midnight sun.

Six great reasons why English speakers should learn other languages

A person who speaks many languages is a polyglot. A person who speaks two languages is bilingual. And a person who speaks one language? You guessed it, a native English speaker. As native English speakers we have the confounding situation where everyone else speaks, wants to speak or has to speak our language so our need to learn other languages is anywhere from very low … Continue reading Six great reasons why English speakers should learn other languages

Landscapes of the Camino del Norte: Gallery One

The Camino del Norte is the northern route of the Camino de Santiago. Beginning in Irun, a small town on the Spanish/French border in the Basque country, it continues all the way through to Finisterra, the end of the world on Spain’s western coast. In total 800km of stunning coastlines, endless mountains, bright fields of wildflowers and quaint villages that coalesce into an unforgettable pilgrim experience. Herewith, … Continue reading Landscapes of the Camino del Norte: Gallery One

Five things walking a pilgrimage taught me

Being uncomfortable is OK. When was the last time you were uncomfortable? I’m talking actual physical discomfort, not sadness from a break up or nervousness before an exam or meeting. Chances are if you are a modern, indoors working urbanite like myself you probably have rarely, if ever, experienced it. I hadn’t. Being on pilgrimage taught me that it’s completely OK to be uncomfortable. To be … Continue reading Five things walking a pilgrimage taught me

Sticky post

Freedom for the Basque country: Independence graffiti along Spain’s ancient Camino

Walking the Camino del Norte in Northern Spain is as much an exercise in history as it of the body. Any notion of Spain as one unified nation was quietly put to rest for the autonomous regions of Spain are as distinct as the nations making up the United Kingdom. The Camino del Norte begins in the Basque country, Spain’s most notorious separatist state, starting … Continue reading Freedom for the Basque country: Independence graffiti along Spain’s ancient Camino