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

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.

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.

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

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Barcelona. A city not as it seems

Barcelona is a city where people lose and find themselves. For many, it is the ‘bucket list’ selfies in front of the Sagrada Familia, it is sipping cervesas by the beach surrounded by dark, bearded men and trying pinchos in the narrow, meandering passage ways of el Born or the Gótic quarter. It is this and so much more. Achingly, exhaustingly more. Beyond the curved … Continue reading Barcelona. A city not as it seems

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Deserted island camping in Northern Sumatra, Indonesia

Travel helps us to understand that disconnection can lead to the most beautiful reconnection. This is a lesson learnt from the adventures of two girlfriends and I through the north of Sumatra, Indonesia’s largest island. Before going to Sumatra, I had fantasies of dense jungles, wildly exotic people and places, rare animals, unknown territories and rugged quests. After having visited, these fantasies turned into reality. A … Continue reading Deserted island camping in Northern Sumatra, Indonesia

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Five things you don’t know about Sweden

#1. They have run out of trash. Sweden is so good at reusing their waste they’ve run out. Their world-class waste management system means less than 1% of garbage produced in Swedish homes ends up in landfill, with the other 99% being recycled or composted for energy. The country’s 32 waste to energy (WTE) plants provide electricity for 250 000 homes and 20% of the … Continue reading Five things you don’t know about Sweden

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World’s top three most crowded islands

When you think of the most crowded islands on earth what comes to mind? Manhattan? Somewhere in China or India? The top three on this list are intriguing in that their geographical locations and cultural backgrounds are decidedly distinct. They range from quite large to unbelievably tiny and give a unique insight to the expression ‘packed like a sardine.’ 3. Migingo Island – Kenya Population: 400 … Continue reading World’s top three most crowded islands

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Curaçao. Little Amsterdam of the Caribbean

We can all probably think of that bright blue bottle of liqueur that sits on bar shelves, barely touched and only incorporated into the most outlandish of cocktails? Curaçao is its name and surprisingly it’s not just a liqueur. Curaçao liqueur (pronounced kewr-e-sow) is made on the so-named island from laraha citrus fruit, a bitter and basically inedible descendent of the domesticated orange. Like its … Continue reading Curaçao. Little Amsterdam of the Caribbean