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An Open Letter To The People I’ve Met While Traveling

Dear People I’ve Met While Traveling, Just this morning, I glanced up from my laptop as a couple sauntered into my little cafe.  They spoke in languid Italian as the couple beside me labored on in stilted English-German / Englerman. Scottish burrs and English lilts, pops of French and Polish, German, Japanese – it’s my…

Wallace view

Something About Stirling

In what will possibly go down as the most original third date I’ll ever have, I recently took a mini road trip to Stirling. This experiment of mine – of living in Edinburgh to write and work remotely, all the while preparing to move to London to write a book – had an unexpected twist…

Abbey Church

Alone in the Kirkstall Abbey Ruins

Like so many other cities, Leeds is awash in grit.  A muddy grey sky oppresses its busy people, and apart from the glitzy, well-maintained Victoria Quarter, the city lacks the abundance of charm and lovely scenery I’ve come to appreciate in Edinburgh. All my English friends asked what I was even doing Leeds.  I mean,…

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What I’ve Learned Living in Scotland for a Month

Spoiler alert: I’ve changed all my plans for this city. Time has disappeared. Over the past month of living in Scotland, I’ve learned to love the Scottish sky, the bright red doors, and the friendly faces in pubs and cafes – the castle views, the hidden alleyways, and distant moors on the horizon. And if…

Arthur's Seat

Hiking Arthur’s Seat (and almost getting blown off)

I almost got blown off an extinct volcano the other day. Really though. But I wouldn’t trade Edinburgh’s plentiful natural scene for anything – even a sense of stability while hiking through enormous gusts of wind. When I was twelve and planning on moving to Edinburgh (lofty dreams, I know), I wrote in my journal…

Leith port

A Weightless Day in Leith

Seagulls perch atop Edinburgh’s church spires and statues, their cries an ever-present reminder of the nearby North Sea.  They flutter under the whites and purples and greys of the sky towards Leith and beyond, beckoning people with their promise of saltwater, fresh seafood, and the quiet unearthliness of the Scottish harbor. Now, the Leithians of…

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Edinburgh – First Impressions

When I spoke of traveling to Edinburgh, people either responded with quizzical expressions and polite smiles, or unbridled enthusiasm.  Apart from simply not understanding my decision to work remotely, or that I don’t consider this a vacation, some actually asked why I chose Edinburgh over its neighbor across the sea, Dublin, or why Scotland instead…

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Paris Guide: Literary Destinations

Greetings from Dublin! I’ll be leaving for Scotland soon, but first I thought I’d take advantage of a long layover and sample one of the city’s lovely bookshops.  Whilst sitting here, attempting to caffeine my way back to life, I thought there could be no better way to temporarily conclude my Paris Guide series than…

Delicious food

Paris Guide: Where to Eat (a different kind of love affair)

Once, in Paris, my friend and I got into an argument.  It was his fault (honestly though).  The next time I saw him, he just plopped a little bakery bag into my hand and waited.  Inside, delicious and tempting, was un pain aux amandes, just for me. “Are we okay?” he asked. He had discovered…

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Favorite Books to Read While Traveling

I love looking at a book as a simple object.  Nothing but pages, letters, and ink, and numbers marking an abstract progression.  And suddenly, seconds later, the meaningless paper and ink are making you cry, or laugh, think or dream.  It’s one of my favorite phenomenons – one I still smile at no matter how…

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