The silverback hesitated, watching us intently from behind a screen of foliage. He then seemed to make a decision and began moving toward us quickly. His size was intimidating, roughly 450 pounds we had been told by our guide. Trust me, that’s BIG when you’re up close. Our rules had been clear: maintain a minimum distance of seven meters from the gorillas. This big silverback didn’t seem to care about the rules. He… Read More

My mind loves to show off its fabulous memory. It’s forever sifting through its files and making grandiose judgments: the food in this restaurant used to be so much better than it is now. Sunsets are way better in Bali. Oh my God, this beach is crap — remember Champagne Beach in Vanuatu, now THAT was a beach. Wow, she’s just DESTROYED her face! On and on my mind goes, always flaunting… Read More

I’m not sure why, but it seems that I have only enough creative energy to do either writing OR photography — but not both at the same time. It’s a little frustrating, actually. When I get the urge to write, my camera gathers dust — and when I’m running around with my camera, I seem incapable of writing a single sentence. My camera has been very busy recently, and I’ve just returned from an absolutely… Read More

“Ma’am, you need to come over here now. Edward has died”, said my husband’s live-in housekeeper over the phone, almost exactly two years ago today. Edward and I had not lived together for several years, but we were still legally married. I had planned to visit him in two days’ time. Now he was dead? My knees buckled and I had to sit down. “What happened?”, I asked. “I don’t know, Ma’am,… Read More

I came to Thailand to buy an elephant. Not to own one as a pet so I can tie it up in my backyard and impress the neighbors — but to buy freedom for a working elephant. This has been my goal for quite a while. Six years ago I came here and worked as a volunteer at an elephant sanctuary called Elephant Nature Park outside of Chiang Mai. At the risk of… Read More

Yesterday I experienced a coincidence which I have since decided was “a sign”. Yesterday was the anniversary of my Aunt Bonnie’s death from cancer six years ago, a date which is probably remembered by almost every member of my family. Though I have hundreds of wonderful memories of Aunt Bonnie while she was alive, I have to admit that when I am reminded of her now I mostly think about her tombstone… Read More

I recently signed up for a 10-day landscape photography workshop in Iceland. This is something I should not have done — or so my brain warned me. But my heart disagreed. “You’re too busy”, said my brain. “Have you forgotten that you’re going back to school? The timing could not be worse. I hate to say it, but you’re insane.” “I don’t care”, said my heart. “I really want to go to Iceland.”… Read More

It feels like I’ve been hurtling through time and space lately. Always on airplanes, always saying hello to someone or someplace — and of course, always saying goodbye. The celebration of a greeting is never without the sound of a clock ticking, a reminder that there will be sadness when we part. Life is full of circles and I need to remind myself that endings are not the end. How can we… Read More

I woke up to find a very large polar bear asleep in a snow drift outside my window. This was my first morning in Churchill, Canada, and all through the previous night a blizzard had raged, shaking our walls and rattling our nerves. By morning, however, all was calm. I was so surprised to see this massive polar bear curled up in the snow that I completely ignored my camera. Instead of taking photos, I sat… Read More

Traveling to Canada’s north in winter is basically like opening your freezer door and climbing inside. Have you ever had a burning desire to sit down beside your frozen chicken thighs and ice cubes? “Of course not”, you say. Well, you’re right — it’s pretty much insane. Most sensible Canadians wouldn’t even consider a trip to the frozen tundra. At this time of year, they’re all booking vacations to relax among the beaches… Read More

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