A Call to Prayer in Durban

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After spending a few jam-packed weeks traversing South Africa, I was looking forward to a stop in Durban, where I had a week to just kick back and relax in the lap of luxury.

Upon arrival in Durban, I found myself devouring the city with my eyes as the car bounded down each road on the way to the apartment. I wanted to take in as much as possible–make mental notes of the places and things I saw: a rundown clothing store with fluorescent-colored “evening wear”; men dressed in salwar kameez; people in business suits hurriedly headed to meetings or out to grab lunch.

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Photo Essay: Balkats

Balkats, you know.. Balkans + cats. The Balkans are crawling with cats, and if you know me well, you know that means that I squealed and chased after them each time I saw one.

balkans cat

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Foodie Friday: Whale Steak

Let the controversy begin!

I ate whale. 

Not an entire whale. Not even a whole whale steak. Just one bite. Just enough to taste and to form a “I like this” or “I hate this” opinion.

Whale Steak

source

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Dream Destination: A Paris Do-Over

The Louvre at Night

This time last year I went to Paris for the first time. I’d dreamed about going to Paris for years–I imagined what it would look like, what it would sound like, how I’d practice my French, and wear Parisian-inspired dresses while traipsing around the arrondissements in search of the picture-perfect cafes.

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BlogHouse and TBEX Toronto

“Everyone raise your glasses for a champagne toast!” And with that, my trip to Toronto officially kicked off beginning with a few days at the BlogHouse (which was actually a castle, just for the record).

toronto skyline from centre island

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Foodie Friday: The Old Coupland Inn Barbeque

About 40 minutes northwest of Austin, there’s a small podunk town of about 1200 without much more than a post office, a few shops, and The Old Coupland Inn and Dancehall.

My parents lived in Austin for a few years in the 1980s (when I was born and for a couple years after) and frequented this spot for barbecue. Now, almost 30 years after they moved away, they still talk about how good the food is there.

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What to Wear in a Toronto Heatwave

I expected Toronto to have milder weather than Austin. Sadly, when I was there it was the same temperature, with about 50% more humidity. Do you know what that’s like? It’s like the difference between being baked and broiled.

what to wear in toronto

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Foodie Friday: Poutine

“Poutine?! You’re only supposed to eat poutine when you’re drunk!” exclaims my middle-aged Indian cab driver after my confession that I’d eaten poutine twice the day before. He’s just tried (unsuccessfully) convincing Emma and I to go clubbing rather than returning to our respective accommodations for the evening like the little old ladies that we are.

“Well, technically we did eat it after drinks last night. But I also had it for lunch yesterday..”

Maybe I should be a bit embarrassed about that, but let me explain. Poutine was the only Canadian dish I could really think to eat (I’m sure there are loads more out there, beyond bacon and maple syrup), so while in Toronto, I made it my goal to stop at Smoke’s Poutinerie for lunch one day. Then, after about twelve hours of not eating and a couple of drinks in, I was hungry. So I convinced fellow partygoers, Emma and Alouise, to stop off at the same place for more poutine. At midnight.

curry poutine from smoke's poutinerie

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On Travel and Matters of the Heart

Let’s get a little personal today.

Let's be adventurers

I spent the past week in Toronto to attend the Navigate Media BlogHouse and my first-ever TBEX conference. I’ll definitely be writing about these more in depth, but for now, I’ll just say that I learned a ton and it’s going to take me a while to process everything.

What I really want to talk about is what being there to attend these things meant to me–personally. For a long time I’ve struggled with my desire to travel. I’ve tried to reconcile a life in which I work full-time, have relationships, have a home base (AKA, be “normal”) and a life in which I want nothing more than to go go go and see everything in the whole world. I have often felt misunderstood and have hated trying to explain my desire to travel. It’s strange to me that some people just don’t get it, when travel feels so innate to me.

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Foodie Friday: Chicago Dogs

chicago dog

A couple of years ago my then-boyfriend and I took a trip to Chicago for Memorial Day. While we didn’t go with the intention of turning it into a Chicago food tour, that’s essentially what it ended up being. (Well, that and museum tour.)  We knew there were a ton of things we wanted to try while there, and I think the Chicago dog was the thing he was most looking forward to.

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