Photo Friday – Strokkur Erupts in Iceland

Every ten minutes or so, this geyser erupts up to 30 feet in the air.  The very term “geyser” comes from the Icelandic word “Geysir”, which is the name of the inactive geothermal explosion near the site of Strokkur.

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France’s Hidden Gem: Why You Should Visit Lille

“Quand un étranger vient dans ch’Nord, il brait deux fois, quand il arrive et quand il repart.” – Ch’ti Proverb Before I embarked on my study abroad in Lille, France, I was told the above proverb. Translated into English, it means: “When a stranger visits the North of France, he cries two times: when he arrives, and when he leaves.” Continue reading France’s Hidden Gem: Why You Should Visit Lille

Photo Friday – Jökulsárlón Lagoon, Iceland

It’s been almost a year since I left for my first trip to Iceland, so my next few Photo Fridays may be dedicated specifically to the place that holds my heart.

After about the fourth time I saw a double rainbow in Iceland, it became less and less notable to repeat “Double rainbow, what does it mean?” to my new French and German friends on our tour of the south coast .  But the rainbow never loses its magic or power, and neither do the miles and miles of cracking ice, resting on a frigid lagoon nestled between glaciers, mountains, and ocean waves.

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Photo Friday: Desert Oasis in Huacachina, Peru

“I guess you could say I’m dreaming of summer.”

A travel writing professor spoke to us about the idea of a “pseudo-place”, the place that exists only for the tourist, that would have no place in reality if it weren’t for the visitors; a place that operates solely on expected visitation.  He named Las Vegas as an example, or Disneyworld – the place itself is based only on the income of tourism.  He postulated that even Banff, Alberta is a place that only breathes because of its guests.

Huacachina, Peru could be seen as such a place.  A random oasis in the middle of the Peruvian desert, probably once served as a place of trade or refuge.  Now, it’s a place for the people of Ica to escape for the weekend, and for thrill-seeking tourists to sand board through the dunes and drink copious amounts of alcohol.

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Photo Friday – Bourgeau Lake Trail, Alberta

After a thousand metre elevation gain on the Bourgeau Lake trail, which consists of an upwards walk through dense forests before a wet and/or gravelly scramble, you reach Harvey Pass and the small Harvey Lake.  If conditions permit, you can make the ascent to the top of Mount Bourgeau to unbelievable views. Or just go a bit further from Harvey Pass, and if you’re lucky and it’s autumn, get an incredible view of the larches in their full fall colours.

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Photo Friday – Mount Esja, Reykjavik

I took this photo while I was sprinting between venues at Iceland Airwaves in 2014, from KEX Hostel to Slippbarinn,  and an inebriated sprint at that.  Following the coastal boardwalk takes you on a direct line from KEX to the Marina Hotel, and even though my mind was focused on getting to the venue in time to see Low Roar, I’m so thankful to have kept my gaze wandering to the ocean as often as was safely possible.  For the view of Mount Esja from the shores of Reykjavik is one view I could never tire of.

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Photo Friday – La Sagrada Família

I was 17, and it was my first time out of North America – a “cultural” trip to France and Spain with my French teacher and a group of 16 students.  We spent a week in France followed by three days in Barcelona and the Catalonia area.  It’s hard to recall my exact itinerary now seven years later, but what I do remember is that Barcelona became my new favourite place (keeping in mind that at the time, I had very little to compare it to).

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