Chronicling the journey of writing
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by Veronica Louis

Small yellow purse with Berlin written on it with an airplane in the background

Photo: Veronica Louis

January 6th, 2010… It was the eve of my four-month solo adventure through the south of India. I did not know how I felt because I did not know what to expect. So instead I braced myself for the unexpected. And that served me well. One month into my adventure, I met Stephen and then Eun Sun… Two beautiful and kindhearted souls who both happened to be from Berlin. While paying them a long over due visit in Berlin in 2014, I just happened to fall in love with their city.

One event leads to the next, putting forth a fortunate chain of reactions, bringing me to this point… the day of my departure to Berlin for a year on a work-holiday visa. And yet, unlike before my departure to India, my feelings this time around tottered from uneasy to apprehensive.

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by Veronica Louis

Berlin Wall graffiti that says Berlin

Photo: Veronica Louis

It was three years in the making. Three years of travel deprivation. Three years of yearning to escape the daily humdrum of life.

Step one:

Embark on a plane, take a deep breath and relax.

Step two:

Arrive at target destination. Take a deep breath and take it all in.

Step three:

Discover new places, foods, cultures and develop true friendships with other kindred spirits.

Step four:

Never forget that unequivocal feeling of being alive and continue to live life to its fullest.

Those steps just about sums up my Europe 2014 trip.

It began in the chic city of Paris, where I re-experienced those things I love so much about Paris: taking in beautiful art, eating delicious baguette sandwiches, and losing myself in a labyrinth of spectacularly charming streets and boulevards. (more…)

The Quest for the Perfect Sandwich

by Veronica Louis

Bird's Eye View of Paris

Photo: Veronica Louis

This tale begins like all good stories should… with food.

The year was 2010, it was my second time visiting Paris. After a long visit at the Louvre, one of the largest and most famous museums in the world, my stomach grumbled in hunger. Ignoring the pangs, I made my way through the Jardin des Tuileries towards Champs Élysées, where some of the most expensive shops in the world line the avenue.

Right outside the garden gates, facing a small merry-go-round, there was a modest crêperie/sandwich stand. While I wasn’t really a sandwich person (I was only familiar with the Subway-styled sandwiches), I egged myself on to get a sandwich.

The simple cheese, lettuce and tomato sandwich with Dijon mustard had me at first bite. The sandwich crudité, on baguette bread, melted in my mouth. Every bite was a tad bit more delicious than the last. I had no idea a mere sandwich could taste that good. (more…)

by Veronica Louis

Hillel Quote

Photo: Etsy.com

Three years ago I left Japan with a heavy heart. I had always told myself that I would return before my visa as a Human Specialist ran out. My re-entry visa expired this February 2014. I wonder if I would have still left Kyoto, if I had known back then that the next time I would once again board a plane would be in three years.

All this to say that, when I returned to Montreal, life happened. Life tends to do that. Finding an apartment, establishing a career as a freelancer, falling in and out of love… All of that “life” stuff happened in the blink of three years.

Now, at 31, I feel like I’ve lived a lifetime between leaving Japan and this present moment. But since change is the only constant in life, I embrace it and welcome it. Tomorrow, I will board a plane bound for Europe where I will have the opportunity to work on an exciting web project while visiting old friends in France, Switzerland and Germany. And for those readers who faithfully followed my solo adventure through India, you will be glad to hear that I will finally be reunited with a couple members of my Hampi family, Eun Sun and Stephen, who live happily together in Berlin. The mere thought of the reunion makes me happy. (more…)

More than three years ago I embarked on a solo journey to India. That experience was priceless and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. While there are life circumstances that keep me in Montreal for the time being, as of late I have been living vicariously through my older brother who is currently traveling South America. His current journey is nothing short of magnificent, and I would like to share some of his travel writing with you. 

Text below by Philip Louis

Ometepe Volcano

Photo: Philip Louis

Yes, its true, I haven’t posted a lot of pictures…

But there’s a good reason for that! Much like the time I’ve spent in Vancouver or travelling across Canada or even in Toronto, what I found to be the most fascinating in my travels were and are simply…the people. More impressive than the oldest buildings, the tallest structures, the prettiest vistas…the beautiful people I’ve met, their stories, their challenges, discoveries, pitfalls and triumphs. All intricate pieces in a grand mosaic of “Living Art,” the complexity and beauty of which can easily match and surpass any man-made structure.

If I could post pictures, I would post pictures of the people that have been placed on my path. I have found that they are the reason I’m travelling. Simply…to talk, laugh, exchange, share and LOVE. Ok, yes! I can do that in Montreal…but the people I’ve met through Couchsurfing and sleeping in hostels are different than those I meet on a daily basis. Some of them have been away from home for months…some for years…one particular friend with whom I shared a room with couch surfing said that when he was asked, at the airport, what his country of residence was…he simply couldn’t answer. He had been gone for so long and had lived in so many places for months at a time that he didn’t know what his current place of residence was.

Legally speaking, yes, residency can be determined and established…but where I’m at…nobody lives “legally.” In other words, life is lived on the outskirts of the conventionally established social norms. They live from their heart space. When you live from this divine space, your residence, family, friends, your life can exist everywhere and anywhere at once. (more…)