Perhaps it was peace

05:24, 9 May 2015, Sikkim, India

Eyes touched by the day’s first light, lying between a hard mattress and a rough blanket, I decided that I wouldn’t be able to fall back to sleep. So I left my shack, a crumbling wooden box taped with newspaper, walked past the outhouse, and climbed a shaky ladder to the top of an unfinished building. I breathed in the crisp morning air and saw a rising sun illuminating the magnificent Himalayas.

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Up on that roof, there was no fear, no worries, no doubts, no anxieties. Just a willingness to accept whatever the world would bring me that day. Just this harmony with my surroundings, modest and humble compared to other extravagances of the world.

Perhaps it was peace. Just peace, then and there, at that moment …

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End of year reflection

(22 September 2015) … Outside an abandoned Soviet-era prison In Tallinn, Estonia, I stared into the waters of the Baltic Sea and arrived at a strange and untimely realization. Life – this thing called life – is so great, so powerful, so vast, so infinite – understanding it all is beyond comprehension because I feel that its limits are endless.

I’ve tried so hard at times to describe and show the best of life through my interactions around the world, but the truth is that life is beautiful beyond what mere words can only attempt to describe or what a camera can only try to capture. And I will never arrive to a full, complete understanding of the magnitude of life, the greatness of all this world contains.

But I never want to stop trying so long as my heart continues to beat. Staring at the sea, I felt that each heartbeat was an invitation to discover the infinite beauty of this world. I hope I always do.

The year draws to a close and I’m a bit surprised to count fourteen countries visited in 2015. Thank you to my friends and my family around the world for supporting my passion for travel. From the cold of Canada, I send my warmest wishes for a blessed 2016.

Happy New Year!

Baltic Sunsets

Sunset … it’s that time of day when the sun descends from the sky and disappears beyond the horizon, signalling the transition of the afternoon into the early evening, and it has become my favourite time of day when I’m off travelling. I don’t often pay attention to sunsets when I’m back home, but when I’m away, I make an effort to find a good vantage point, usually from a spot a bit high up, and admire the occurrence of this daily phenomenon. I am prone to taking a plethora of photos when I’m travelling, many of which are taken during sunset. After my latest trip to the Baltics, I have a few more to add to the “sunset collection”…

Taken from the shore of the town of Kuressaare on the island of Saaremaa, which is the biggest island of Estonia, I took this picture after exploring the town’s castle and learning a bit of the island’s history. I was half a week into my travels and as the last of the sun’s light was reflecting on the Baltic Sea, so too was I reflecting upon my experiences during the last few days in Helsinki and Tallinn…

Kuressaare is the largest town on the island of Saaremaa, which is Estonia's largest island

Kuressaare is the largest town on the island of Saaremaa, which is Estonia’s largest island

South of Riga’s historic, UNESCO-listed Old Town is the Latvian Academy of Sciences, and from atop the 17th floor of this skyscraper is an observation deck where you get simply magnificent panorama views of the capital city of Latvia. I had just arrived into the city a few hours ago, and fortunate to see a clear sky (the weather is very changeable in the Baltics in September), I decided that it would be a good idea to pay the €4 fee to get a good bird’s eye view of the city during sunset. In the coming days, I’d explore the city’s Old Town and Central Market, green spaces and Art Nouveau district, and become acquainted with the main railway station where I took day trips to other parts of the country…

As seen from the Latvian Academy of Sciences observation deck

As seen from the Latvian Academy of Sciences observation deck

The Old Town of Vilnius, Lithuania felt the most vibrant and full of local life of the 3 Baltic capitals. Locals and tourists alike flock to Gediminas Hill during the late afternoon to watch the sun say goodbye for the day. The day I took this picture began very cloudy, and I took a day trip to nearby Trakai. As I mentioned earlier, weather is very changeable in the Baltics and by early afternoon, the clouds had cleared, allowing the sun to make an appearance. The sky was still clear by the time I got back to Vilnius so I wanted to make the most of this opportunity and was not disappointed when I got to the hill. I found a spot on a low stone wall, took a seat, and watched this…

From Gediminas Hill

From Gediminas Hill

I’ve been blessed to see the sun set from so many awesome locations in our world and can only hope that I’ll continue to do so in the future…

Savouring a cocktail of emotions

At the beginning of every single one of my trips, there’s always a cocktail of emotions stirring around within me. Even after years of travelling (mostly on my own), I admit that I still get nervous and anxious, and doubts and worries still creep through my mind. But they always end up giving way to a growing excitement and increasing anticipation, to a pulsating, positive energy that gives me the will and ambition, courage and resolution to GO, to explore and discover a bit more of this beautiful world of ours, to interact with a few more of the world’s 7+ billion people.

I’m so excited to be taking off again. Sometimes, people ask me if I’ll ever stop travelling. As long as I continue to have this feeling of excitement that fuels a limitless imagination and a world of possibilities, I hope to never stop.

I’m at Pearson International Airport in Toronto and I’ll be shortly in the air on a flight to HEL (Helsinki, that is ;)).

As always, join me for the and catch me if you can!

Do not follow…

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

Morning at the Thar Desert

Morning at the Thar Desert

This quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson struck a nerve with me while surfing the net one day some time last year, and thought it apt to go with this photo I took early morning at the Thar Desert in Rajasthan, India, last April.

It ain’t too far

Camino - en route to Acebo

Often during my month in India, a rickshaw driver would pull up to me and try to convince me that where I was going was too far to reach by foot. And I’d just be thinking, “I once walked 800 kilometres across Spain. It ain’t too far.” 😉

Sunrise over the Thar Desert

I’ve spent the past couple nights back home in Canada, and am grateful to be home again after the latest series of travels through Asia, although jetlag ensures that I will be sleeping and waking up at odd, random hours for the next few days…

One of the most unusual places I’ve ever woken up was in the Thar Desert in India last month. I’d fallen asleep on a cot, covering myself completely in a thick blanket to shield me from the blowing wind and accompanying sand. I awoke, not knowing the hour, and this was the first thing my eyes laid sight on for the day 🙂

Thar Desert sunrise

Thar Desert sunrise

Good morning, everyone!