As I packed up my blanket, still flying high from the previous hour and a half of amazing music, I realised something: I hadn’t taken any photos of the performers. In fact, I thought, I hadn’t taken many photos at all over the past three days at Folk Fest. I had brought all of my camera equipment, made sure every battery was charged, every lens cleaned, and yet… I had barely thought to take my camera out of its bag.
OK, so many of you already know this – the title shouldn’t be a shock to anyone who regularly reads this blog or follows me on social media. But I realised that I haven’t explicitly written about it on the blog yet, even though it’s been such a major shift in my life, one that – the more I thought about it – I realised did indeed deserve a post. I wrote about moving to London back in 2013, and then about staying in London after two years, and then again in 2017, when I decided to apply for the Graduate Entrepreneur visa and stay another year. But moving home to Canada? I wasn’t sure if it required any fanfare.
And now, more than six months on, I say fuck that: it deserves ALL the fanfare.
From the must-see Mississippi Civil Rights Museum to the brand-new Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience, here are some of the best museums in Mississippi.
This is how your heart breaks: slowly and deliberately, and then all at once. A story about falling in and out of love.
I arrive in Osaka on a humid afternoon, my bags bulging with light grey office-wear and books by my favourite authors. I stand on the yellow footprints at immigration, waiting to be fingerprinted and photographed. I take a bus and then a taxi to my new apartment, led by an American representative of my company called Bruce. He has bleached hair and a sweat-stained polo shirt. I go to shake his hand, but he bows instead.
We walk down a long arcade filled with glowing shops, air-conditioning blasting out their automatic doors. I see rows of unfamiliar vegetables, walls of colourful stationery, a casino whose plink and plonk of slot machines resounds out into the night air. We stop at an inconspicuous building with a brown door, my new home.
The apartment’s larger than I thought it would be, although everything is steeped in brown and beige, the furniture chipped and dingy. Many people have lived here before. I pull back the sepia curtains and step out onto the balcony, looking over a sea of low buildings, the dim of lights stretching out as far as I can see. The air feels sticky, flat. It’s my first time in Asia.
I once met a girl named Courtney while I was travelling through Nicaragua. She was tall and rail thin, her body covered in tattoos. From Seattle originally, we met on a volcano-boarding tour just outside of Léon, a small colonial city where all the buildings were painted dark pinks and greens and blues. We’d spent the day climbing Cerro Negro Volcano and then riding on sleds down the side of it, hurtling ourselves down the soft black ash.
“I just got this one before I left for Central America… look.” She instructed me to pull down the back of her t-shirt, revealing sprawling script across her shoulders. I recognised the words; it was a quote by Saint Augustine. I had heard the quote a few times before, seen it on a mug or read it on a blog. This was before it became one of the most popular travel quotes splashed across the internet, found on thousands of Pinterest boards, the text always written over the image of a pristine beach or a young woman standing on a mountaintop, her blonde hair blowing in the wind.
The thing is… I hate this quote.