Thursday, November 15, 2012

Do, try not

Create for the sake of creating. And don't lose sight of that. Plants grow. Birds fly. Beings breathe. Creators craft.

Don't let the buzz of it all cloud your view. Sometimes, it just has to be done, if for no other reason than it's not yet been done.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

In Remembrance

"In Flanders fields the poppies blow
      Between the crosses, row on row,."

When I was eight years old, I carried the Canadian flag in the Remembrance Day parade for our Brownie unit. I can't really remember when I realized the importance of November 11 but I can only imagine that somewhere between learning about that day at school and taking part in a very solemn ceremony that it must have been ingrained in my head to always mark this day.

   "That mark our place; and in the sky
   The larks, still bravely singing, fly"

I remember growing up, the assemblies at school, always with a older veterans, in those days many from both World Wars, would attend. When I got to high school, I remember not being able to fathom how these decorated men and women, had once been my age, had once stood up and fought, and had made these decisions during the same years I would try to decide which route to take from English to Science just to maybe catch a glimpse of my current crush.

"Scarce heard amid the guns below."

Travelling through Europe, I think there was always a running theme in the back of my head connected to this period in history. Granted, it makes sense that many of these places -- England, France, Germany, Italy -- would have been such different places had either of the World Wars gone a different way. And I guess, it's no surprise, that as a traveller, many of the ways you encountered a European city was through it's history, including it's recent past.

"We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,"

My heart feels heavy when I think of the  modern wars that our brave men and women are out there, fighting for many reasons, but most of all, for the benefit of all humankind. That today, even almost 100 years since the start of the first World War, there are still Canadians fighting, Canadian parents worrying about their sons and daughters, Canadian husbands and wives waiting for their partners to return home. Canadian children putting on brave faces as they perform in school plays, score the winning goal in the game, bring home reports cards, all to only one of their parents.

In British Columbia, November 11 is a holiday, as it is in most other provinces across the country, minus Ontario, which is why, as an adult, I never really had the opportunity to really take the day to reflect. No one was really leaving work in the middle of the day to got to parades. You'd catch it on the evening news, and for the most part, it was almost sad to see the lack of people out by the cenotaphs -- simply men and women in uniform, laying wreaths, their bodies present but their eyes revealing their spirits were somewhere else.

   "Loved and were loved, and now we lie
         In Flanders fields."

I cherish the time off to reflect on this day now. We have made it a tradition to go down to the parade, take part in the ceremony and pay our respects. It's always been a day that moved me but as the years go by, I find I'm more and more affected by its meaning.

"Take up our quarrel with the foe:"

Today, as we waited for the bugle to sound to mark the moment of silence, a fierce gust of wind billowed through the streets, through the crowd and shook the orange-leaved maple tree in my direct line of sight. I was overcome with the sensation that those who were lost, were here, they were all here, letting us know that time does not diminish them, that they have all the strength they did all those years ago, that they are still here.

"To you from failing hands we throw

   The torch; be yours to hold it high."

And so the wind overtook me and so did my emotions. Tears started down my face. I smiled. I cried. I sighed. I breathed them in. I watched that tree the entire ceremony. I thought of the sacrifice. I thought of the young people in the parade, standing their in uniform, stoic-faced and terrifically frozen -- with fear, with cold, with reflection. I thought that they are young, as so many soldiers were when they chose to fight. Young and brave.

   "If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
         In Flanders fields."

And I remembered.

Poem, "In Flanders Fields", Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


» love letter to the world Your Courageous Life

I read this and felt peaceful. And grateful. Give this a read and alter your perception.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012


I have rearranged my Google Reader so that I have appropriate feeds to keep myself reading and not scrolling endlessly through social media streams.

Don't get me wrong: social media has a place and a purpose.

I am just trying to get back to my creative space and write more. Reading more is a great step towards that.

And so, every little bit can only help.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Day trippin'

We headed out into the BC wilderness on Saturday and ended up lounging poolside by Blackcomb mountain on Sunday.

This weekend is a great example of why I love D and I why I feel so grateful for moments of spontaneity.

We headed to Alice Lake for a day hike, in our hiking gear, with enough water to last a few hours.

After surviving without stumbling upon a bear, we got back to the car and decided hey, do we wanna head home? Nah, let's head to Whistler, stay at the Fairmont & pamper ourselves for 24 hours.

We had been there before and knew what to expect. All we needed was the right $$ answer from the lovely Crystal on the reservation line & we were set.

A quick trip to Marks & we had underwear, outfits for dinner & gear for the spa & pools with views.

I'm lucky & privileged that I can just pick up & go whenever I want.

Cliche as it sounds, you only get one ride on this roller coaster. I'm so glad, even with my feet firmly planted, that the world explorer in me will still take advantage of opportunities when they arise.

And, that I have a great navigator & partner-in-adventure on this amazing journey.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Creative juices.

I'm dressed. I showered. I even put on make up. And it's only 8am. What's happening, you say? Why is this working-from-home pj-wearing woman out on the streets this early?

Vancouver Creative Mornings

It's my first one so going in with excitement & interest. Plus, FREE BRAKFAST!

More to follow...

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Common ground

It's amazing how powerful and incredibly re-energizing to connect with like-minded people.

My trip away from Vancouver has been inspiring & reflective in so many ways.

It was great to get a chance to connect with a fellow Sang-seng-nim & creative mind on the weekend. Here's to the beginning of many wine Skype dates :)

Alex on the Loose

Friday, August 31, 2012

End of Summer

The last weekend of the unofficial summer has begun. I'm so ready for all the new percolating ideas I've had over the last month to come to fruition.

Bringing travel & exploration back into my life & on this blog.

Hope you enjoy the ride with me.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Worthy view

Incredible. So many magical places around the globe.

Photo Of The Day: The Ganges River At Dawn

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Ten years on

Standing in Waterstones on Piccadilly Circus, stumbled upon this and realized probably 10 years ago at this time, I was purchasing this guide, gearing up for our first set of travels.

What a different person I was then. What a lucky explorer I am today

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Reasons the UK is Awesome

Tea kettle and proper tea in every hotel room.

Pints in pubs.

The number of times you can say "cheers" in one verbal exchange.


Ordering at the bar.

The adoration of queueing and the organization that follows.

Slim tonic.

Jacket potatoes.

Proper cheese trays, ready-made from the shop.

Plethora of French wine in grocery stores.

Great craic.

Monday, August 20, 2012


2 days. 2 long nights. Incredible reconnecting with some of my favourite people.

My love affair with Belfast continues...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Oxford Wandering

Magical day wandering the streets of an incredible academic hub.


Not sure the last time I've seen this side of 5 am. After fighting to get back to sleep for 2 hours, I decided I might as well get up.

My body seems to have it backwards... My internal system should be 8 hours behind, not ahead. But perhaps it has been the excitement of the last few days.

Being back in the UK. Reconnecting with family. Being on actual holiday.

There is something extremely precious about being awake when the sun is yawning up. When the birds start their daily cooing. When the world is still.

So although I would like to be dreaming peacefully right now, I'll take this gift and savour it.

The quiet start to a new day.

Friday, August 10, 2012

My speaking voice

I decided to try out this new voice feature and see if I can completely dictate a blog directly to my phone. The previous android voice recognition app wasn't stellar but this version I'm using on my HTC one is spectacular.

A few minor changes and it's like I never needed that keyboarding class in grade 9.

here's to more speaking and less typing.


Be Inspired

Some of you may have noticed I'm trying to get myself in the groove again.

Thank you Google Reader & HTC for putting posts like this in the palm of my hand.

Computer free

I thought I would get with the decade and attempt a blog from my new phone.

(cant seem to get this linking to work...)

Being slightly nomadic, I'm rarely excited about getting more stuff... Stuff = eventually pack and move it.

But this new phone has a front camera, which made it possible to Skype with my mom from my bike ride yesterday.

And now it's motivated me to get back to a bit of writing.

Find me some Wi-Fi, and we'll see ya in England ...

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Stop the following, start the reading!

Warning: geek speak alert to follow ...

I feel like I have to point out to the lovely list of bloggers that used to appear in my "Blogs I'm Following" list that I have NOT stopped following you, I have just removed you from the Blogger portion of my Google Profile and added you to the Reader portion so that when I'm sifting through posts on my Android, you will now appear. For some reason, I couldn't get you to appear on the app without adding you directly to the Reader portion and I couldn't have you in both the Reader portion and the Blogs I'm Following portion.

So, I now have access to your words directly from my phone, which is what I really wanted in the first place.

Also, I've been on a social media summer vacation for two weeks and I can tell you it's been very eye opening. I've got a bit of my creative writing groove back and hope to get back to some more regular posting here.

In the meantime, some teasers to look forward to include my first time experience at a rodeo, a spur of the moment long weekend in Portland and a 2-week family vacation in the UK.

Still exploring this great planet ...

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Back in time

In less than two weeks, I will be on UK soil.

It will be a flashback and a new adventure all at the same time.

Flashback because we have not been there in 4.5 years (!!) and it feels like yesterday we set off on our Asia excursion. It felt like home for so long; it's strange to think that I've been away that long.

New adventure because for the first time, we'll be on vacation with D's family, abroad together in his parents' homeland, enjoying each others company while also doing it in such a picturesque place like the countryside of England.

To top it off, we arrive on the day before the London  2012 Olympics close. Still reeling with pride from experiencing it live during Vancouver 2010, I can't wait to soak up a bit of that hometown pride that I'm sure is spilling out all over the country.

I'm a lucky girl ... looking forward to feeling revived and re-energized by a trip down memory lane, filled with new memories.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Korea Flashback

My lovely friend from Korea, K, sent me this link and I basically strained every throat and stomach muscle laughing my arse off at all of these posts.

It also made me miss the magical craziness of Korea.

If you've lived there, you'll love this.

If you haven't, here's another window into the wacky world of being a waegook.

Thanks Kimmers.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Move along

I'm training for my 4th half marathon, my first international run in Myrtle Beach SC and the first one I will see my parents at the end of it. It's an early start, 6am I think and I'll be dealing with jet lag so possibly it will feel more like 3am but hey, try everything once right?

4 weeks today. And, as always tends to happen when I'm training, the panic and fear tends to set it right about now, the 'you can't do it' voices begin creeping in and the pj-all-day thoughts tempt me away from getting out on the road and getting my legs in gear.

I'm training alone again for this one and have actually switched my music for podcasts. Actually makes for a more reflective run. And, maybe makes me feel a bit like I'm not running alone.

When I trained for the Victoria half in October, I set out with the Running Room in Richmond. Lovely, motivating, run-obsessed people there but always coming in last certainly took it's toll on the mental portion of the training for me.

So, I've taken a different tack. And I'm actually not running early in the morning, because you know what? It didn't help my time any .. why bother? I may do my long runs starting next week first thing in the morning again but for now, they tend to be mid day runs.

Which, it appears, I'm currently procrastinating setting off for. So, I'll be on my way. And put this post out to the universe in the hopes that it gets me through the next 11 miles.

Time for me to move along.