Princess Street: A Night on the Town in Yopougon
Nov13

Princess Street: A Night on the Town in Yopougon

Princess Street: A Night on the Town in Yopougon —————————————————- I sat still and intrigued in the colourful bar as the hard beats of just about any song with a rhythm blared through the air.  A sarcastically amused grin sat twisted on my face as my eyes couldn’t take themselves off the scene on the dance floor.  The stage at the flashy Princess Street bar was not packed, nor was it anything I’d have imagined a bar in the famously entertaining Yopougon district of Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire to be like.  Rather than a raucous crowd of sweaty people bumping and grinding with their preferred sexual partners, the participants seem to be much more concerned with someone else: themselves. Unlike the bars in Canada, which are painted as black as possible, hazed with fake smoke, and streaming with blinding lazers intent on making sure you can never tell someone’s identity upon meeting them outside of the nightclub, this bar was lined with mirrors; and the Ivoirians that filled the place had taken notice.  They lined up in front of the mirrors proudly displaying their moves to no one but themselves.  They twisted, stepped and rocked their hips as if they are trying to get themselves going.  I almost expected one to start walking away from the mirror before stopping and sensually tossing a look at them self over their shoulder with a teasing wink or kiss. The scene of people staring intriguingly at their counterpart in the mirror was made up of mostly men, which was also a change from back home.  But in reality, it can’t be much worse than at home where men wait on the sidelines until enough women hit the dance floor.  The women, who always dance in circles which carefully protect their purses and shoes that they’ve kicked off, set the tone and make the first moves in a Canadian nightclub.  The men then move in as the night evolves.  Most men, like lions on the hunt, aim for the weak and easy targets.  Before the female species realizes their sexual counterpart is anywhere near them, the man has already made love to the woman’s unsuspecting leg.  So, in contrast, it’s at least nice to see guys willing to dance without grinding up on someone else’s evenings, other than themselves of course. As the night progressed on Princess Street, I expected the club to evolve.  The early evening was, perhaps, for those hoping to practice their skills for their “audience” later on in the night.  At one point, a stunning figure of a woman stepped onto the white floor which fluttered in light from the disco ball above.  I expected the...

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Awesome New Issue of Vagabundo Magazine
Oct11

Awesome New Issue of Vagabundo Magazine

I’ve been holed up on the beach in Cote d’Ivoire for the past week putting the final touches on the latest issue of my travel magazine Vagabundo Magazine.  Believe me, there are worse places to be stuck working than the beach here in Grand Bassam.  I literally hear the ocean rolling away as I type, and I don’t think there’s a better place in the world to be able to step outside for a break from work.  I am very thankful for the life I lead.  I am also very thankful for an amazing staff over at Vagabundo Magazine.  We honestly had a bit of a struggle getting this issue out, mostly because of my own errors as well as the fact that technology seems to hate me.  However, it’s here, it’s amazing, get used to it. The latest issue is sexy as hell.  I’ve once again forced myself onto the cover, but I swear that once you get past looking at my back you’ll see some brilliant content.  We have featured stories from British Columbia, Laos, Scotland, Uganda, and Peru.  There are also bits and pieces from The Philippines, India, New Zealand, and more.  It really is a great issue, and I don’t think I’m being biased. Anyways, I’m running on about 1 hour of sleep in 2 nights so I’m going to stop mumbling and start letting you enjoy this issue. If you want to buy a subscription or a single issue you can do so by visiting the sales page here.  It’s cheap, and I really do think it’s worth it. If you’re still not sold on the content, I’ve attached a bit of a preview below that you can flip through.  It’s been an adventure putting it together, and I hope it inspires an adventure from those who read it. So thanks again to everyone who contributed and those who are reading it....

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My Travel Magazine is Now in Print
Apr09

My Travel Magazine is Now in Print

Can someone please tell me what this “sleep” thing is that everyone keeps talking about?  I don’t think I’ve had a proper night in about a month.  Not that I’m complaining though.  Not sleeping means that there are much more exciting things going on. Over the past two months I’ve travelled across 11 counties, taken countless photos, written far too many articles and all the while producing the latest issue of my travel magazine “Vagabundo Magazine.”  I feel very lucky to have had this opportunity. All bragging aside, publishing this issue was a completely different game than the first one.  I was basically all alone in publishing the first issue; I taught myself inDesign and I put everything together myself.  This issue I had a great group of people helping me out.  I am especially happy to have had one of the Vagabundo interns, Luis Alvarez do the design work, because – let’s face it – I am perhaps the worst designer in the history of the world and I think I proved that in the first issue.  Luis’ work on this magazine successfully illuminates my vision of having a very photo-centric magazine with a clean professional look.  I’m sure you’ll see a massive difference in this issue in that regard. I also feel very luck to have had the help of 4 other people.  My associate editor Will Peach has been great in promoting the product through as many streams as possible as well as running a good portion of the website work.  Furthermore, editing interns Sarah Kloke, Jackie DesForges, and Ed Rex have been amazing in putting every bit of spare time they have into this project.  I can’t thank them enough. Ok, enough cheesy talk.  Let’s get to the magazine. After hearing from a number of people last issue that they wish they could get the magazine in print, even if it was a little more expensive, I decided that I would publish the magazine with MagCloud, as well as in its usual digital form.  We don’t set the price, and it is a little high due to the fact that they are essentially printing single issues for us.  However, the quality tests we have done have come back amazing and we’re really excited about it. Preview I have  taken a random bunch of pages from the magazine and stuffed them in a preview for you to check out.  The way you are previewing the magazine is exactly how you will view it if you buy the digital download. Table of Contents Features: Dubai: Behind the Glitz, Glam and Glass by Genevieve Hathaway Malawi: Keeping Pace with the...

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Happy Valentine’s Day
Feb14

Happy Valentine’s Day

I’ve never really been good with Valentine’s Day, it doesn’t mean much all too me since I am romantic daily (enter women saying awwwww). In fact, I tend to forget about the day completely.  Forgetting, however, is actually better than the alternative which is mixing it up with other festivals, holidays and random dates. You can imagine the surprise of a girlfriend a couple years ago when I showed up at her front step at about 10 in the morning on Valentine’s Day trashed drunk wearing a green outfit and ready to go to the pub for an Irish breakfast. Well, after years of confusing Valentine’s Day and Saint Patrick’s Day I was saved this year by my addiction to twitter which doesn’t let you forget. I wonder how many Valentine’s Day cards Justin Beiber is going to get? Ahhh, to be a pretty girl. Anyways, to all my readers I love you all equally and...

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My Travel Magazine is Now Available
Jan09

My Travel Magazine is Now Available

I’m sure that most of you have already heard of my latest project Vagabundo Magazine.  I’ve been harping on about the magazine for the past couple months and have been working very hard to try to make it a success. In the end, I am very excited to be able to announce that just a couple minutes ago I published the very first issue of the magazine!!! This magazine was more work putting together than I could have ever imagined.  I put in a lot of long nights trying to learn how to use programs like inDesign and making more mistakes than I ever care to admit.  However, I suppose like anything in life with great struggle comes reward.  I not only feel like we have put together a great product but I have learned a lot from the process personally, and regardless of whether the magazine succeeds or fails you can never lose the value of a lesson learned. Obviously, the magazine was a lot of work on my part, but it could not have been possible without the help and hard work of a lot of very talented people.  I had a great set of writers who were willing to work with me on articles to fit the mold of the first edition of the magazine.  I have had friends walk me through various issues I was having. I have a great associate editor in Will Peach to lean back on and who did a great job on the final edit of the magazine.  And, of course, the travel community as a whole has been a great support system regardless of the project I am working on. The first magazine takes its cue from the cover story “Reclaiming Paradise” about my own trip across the Darien Gap between Panama and Colombia.  Beyond that story there are articles from South Africa, Romania, The Philippians, Antarctica and Pakistan. There is also a very interesting interview with travel photographer Sam Lovell who is famous for heading to not only off-the-beaten-path locations, but ones that are quite dangerous. I think that everyone will really enjoy the magazine, and I hope that you continue to read Vagabundo in the future. To get your copy of the Winter 2012 magazine you can either click the cover to your right, or you can choose from one of the subscription opens listed below. Thanks again for all your support it means so much to me. ————————————————————— Buy it! 2012 Winter Issue: $1.49 6 Issue Subscription Including the Winter 2012 Issue: $6.49 2012 Winter Issue for Kindle...

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An Ode to my Old Passport
Dec19

An Ode to my Old Passport

I still remember the day I picked you up at the government office in Calgary all those years ago. You were shiny, wide-eyed to the world, and ready for adventure. I remember first holding you in my hands. I felt a great responsibility; and as I looked around the room filled with people, many of them immigrants like my ancestors, I felt great pride in carrying your Canadian crest. Now, two and a half years later, your time has come, and it has come far too soon. However, one’s age has nothing to do with how long one has been alive, but how long one have felt alive, and I’m sure that you can say you’ve felt alive for about 10 passports worth of time, maybe more. We have been through our share together, haven’t we? I still remember the time I took you abroad for your first time. We were late for a connecting flight to Bolivia and, carelessly, I left you behind at security in Houston. As I realized my pocket felt too light, I raced back to you as soon as I could. Gracefully you weren’t mad at me. Instead you had made friends with the chubby lady at security and all the other foreign strangers in the lost and found bucket. I’d be lying if I told you I began to question whether I was mature enough to handle such a responsibility at the time. There were many other instances since as well. You have been run over by a bus in Brazil, dipped in coffee in Colombia, and dropped in snow in Antarctica. But regardless of all the trials set before us, we always managed to pull each other through haven’t we? Since that day in Houston we have been to 3 continents together, your 48 pages have filled with 114 stamps, 3 visas and more than a few stains. When I pointed out to you that the Canadian crest on your cover had faded off in exchange for wrinkles and worn out skin, you handled it with grace. “It just means I’m more than just Canadian” you told me proudly, “it means that I am a global citizen with a Canadian heart and soul.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. Though your pride is intoxicating, I couldn’t help but feel as if that mean man at the passport office was cutting a piece of my heart as he was snipping off your corners with those razor sharp scissors to mark your expiry. At the end of the day, my new passport may be shiny. It may still have its crest attached, and its...

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