Dover: A Hike Along The Shore

One day I want to experience a mist thick enough to conceal my outstretched hand. It will be the grandfather of all the foggy nights described in the fairytales of my youth. Nothing will entertain my sight except my vivid imagination. I almost experienced that sensation recently. The fog settling in to greet me at the Cliffs of Dover was a youngster aiming to please, but not quite legendary. Still, as it swallowed up my sister and gluttonously gobbled down my partner too I found myself left in an impressively tiny sphere of existence. Soon my only company was the squelch of mud under my boots and the soft smell of wild grass bathing in dew.

Until the shadows began to emerge from the misty curtains.

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Tenerife: Visiting The Foot of Teide

As we climbed higher the vegetation began to scatter. The land was slowly balding. Rocks jutted from the ground around scraggly shrubs. As the road curved I realized we would be piercing the crown of rock. Mount Teide had loomed in our discussions of places to visit for weeks, but my partner’s parents had wanted to wait for the veil of calima to dissipate.

This was finally it! I’d be travelling into my first volcano crater in moments! My heart began to flutter as fast as the screeching wind ripping past the car.

Then the wall swallowed us up and spit us out into the devil’s arena.

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Tenerife in HD

“EEEEEEEE it’s here!” I squealed with glee, tearing at the packaging so I could get my hands on the camera encapsulated within. After a minute of struggle it was free and I held it up in my palm for inspection.

This video camera would be my ticket to a new medium and a chance to share experiences where using my Canon camera wasn’t feasible.I could attach it to my helmet, my bike and a headband. Plus it fit in my pocket.

Tenerife In HD is the first video I’ve created with my new Contour Roam 3. There will be more to come on each of the places I visited in the video (fabulous photos and stories of course)!

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Tenerife: Christmas On The Canary Islands

I love sitting by the window in airplanes. Why? Well there’s often so much to see! I’ve watched the moon rise over a rolling sea of clouds, I’ve seen stars shed miles of atmosphere and sprawling cities blend into a lake of light. I’ve passed over frozen exhaust trails from long-gone jets—a series of floating roads in the sky—and marveled over massive mountain ranges scaring the earth’s surface.

This time I found myself entranced by the mountain dominating a harsh cloud-island. It invoked thoughts of Mount Olympus, home of the Greek gods. At first only a smudge revealed any sign of its presence. Then as the plane closed in to land the mountain loomed out of the haze. “Welcome to Tenerife,” boomed Mount Teide, from under its snow-capped crown.

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What Kind Of Tourists Visit The Canary Islands?

HELLO HELLO HELLO! Welcome to 2015 with the Doorstep Traveller! Oh man, how long have we been together (or possibly together)? Wait… how long HAS it been?

*Looks up the initiation date*

2 YEARS! :O

Wow, well I hope you’ve been enjoying these last two years of random travel tips and anecdotes because I sure have! As we truck along into the new year I’d like to introduce you to where I spent my Christmas holiday. As you many know, every now and then I make hideously long infographics for this blog. These pieces take me ages, but I like to think they’re fun and informative.

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Bonfire Night, Guy Fawkes Night, Firework Night

Yes you may know that on November 5, 1605 a group of Catholic conspirators were about to blow up the English Parliament and King James I, but did you know that people preferred burning an effigy of the Pope over one of Guy Fawkes?

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England: Culture Quirks

Dear England,

About two months ago I moved into this household from Thailand. I don’t know which country baffles me more. On the one hand, Thailand was so different it constantly had me on my toes trying to sort through the social rules, in-house food and structural arrangements. The two landlords, Yingluck and Suthep, were constantly creating a ruckus trying to kick each other out and sometimes I had problems with flooding, but once I got past that the central heating is great and the housemates are nice. Not to mention the neighbours are close unlike my isolated childhood home.

England on the other hand is super similar to Canada… and yet definitely not…

So I thought I’d list out the reasons why I find your household silly. Please continue below.

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Khon: Bangkok, Thailand

Trying to ignore my protesting, rubbery legs I kneeled before the Master and watched intently as he called over a young girl of about six or seven. She rushed to his side and he grasped her small hand, glanced up to make sure I was watching.

Then he bent the tips of her fingers backwards to touch her wrist. She didn’t flinch. I on the other hand was wiggling my own fingers in terror. Just a few moments earlier the Master had tried to bend my fingers to his will and they weren’t as flexible as we’d hoped.

So far my body just didn’t seem to be engineered for the contorting poses of the Thai masked performance called khon. My knees screamed from the kneeling, my body shook from the strain as I tried to hold the angles, I dipped hazardously as I tried to sway gracefully—it just wasn’t working out.

But there was one western foreigner among the Thais of that class who could hold his own. A Canadian who seemed to take the athletic demands of khon in stride and gracefully thundered through the steps. One whose energetic steps emitted the playfulness of the monkey he was supposed to be.

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Le Tour De France Audience Etiquette

Down the lane cheers began to bob into the sky, buoyed by the crowd’s anticipation. In the baby-blue overhead a helicopter hovered above the source of excitement, a further indicator that something grand was coming. My camera trigger finger twitched as everything drew closer. I was on the street leaning past a wall of my fellow spectators. We were two banks waiting for the river to flow.

Suddenly it rounded the corner. A tsunami of colours, tires, helmets and faces fiercely focused on the starting line just a few meters beyond.

Intent on capturing some photos I mashed my face against my camera and clicked away. Through my telephoto lens the mass grew substantially, bloating like a balloon on a high-pressure hose. Lifting my eyes from the camera window I instantly realized I was alone and in trouble.

I was about to be mowed down by the Tour De France.

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Wat Maha That in Ayutthaya, Thailand

“Ok guys, go over and stand in front of the ruin.”

“Perfect, hold it, hold iiiiit,” I drew out the final word as my friends shuffled into position before the remains of the ancient Kingdom of Ayutthaya.

“Now be happy conquerors.”

The three Burmese before me broke into beaming grins and waved behind them.

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