CORINA

Sometimes you meet someone and your heart screams, “You know me! You know me! Already, you know me!” and for me, this is Corina. I’m not undermining the friendships that have been built over time and effort, because those are worth it, believe me. But it is a gift to be with explanation. It is more rare than you think to be known.

Today we trickled in and out of Shoreditch shops, smelling candles and flowers, running our hands over ceramic and leather, and of course, dreaming over clothes we will never have the money to buy. We licked pastry crumbs off our fingertips, shared stories (so many stories!), and wandered in the London rain. Everywhere she took me was my new favourite place.

We went to Rough Trade, and I showed her a Tobias Jesso Jr. album, because I would describe them both the same way: instantly familiar, nostalgic from the first listen, a piano ballad that reminds me of home. There are some people who you can see their courage and loneliness all at once, and it is the bravest thing.

Thank you for lending me your London for the day, Corina!

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ERICEIRA / NAZARÉ

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone that I’ve jetted off yet again to another country. I’m doing my last big trip before heading home, but the past few days have been much, much different than the way things have been for the past few months.

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1. It’s safe to say that I’m tired. Travelling has been an incredible experience, but going to 5-hour classes Monday through Friday, dragging my luggage to school so I can head to the airport as soon as the weekend hits, and then jam-packing an entire city or even multiple cities into 3-4 days has been overwhelming and leaves me hungover in more ways than one. So it’s been about time that I took a real, down-to-earth vacation and found some rest in the midst of trying to see all of Europe in 3 months.

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2. Three days ago, we packed our bags and got on a plane to Lisbon. But before hitting up the big city, we decided to rent a car and road trip to a small surf village called Ericeira. We stayed in an Airbnb facing the ocean, slept in till whenever we wanted, and spent a lot of time relaxing. The first night, our power went out, so we ate a home-cooked dinner by candlelight, wrapped ourselves up in blankets, and drank hot tea. It was the coziest I have been for a long time.

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3. Ericeira is evidently a summer town, so during our stay there, it felt absolutely deserted. Despite that, it was still nice to wander the sleepy streets and crooked pathways. A lot of the houses had pure white walls with colourful detailing (kinda how I imagine Greece looks like); others were patterned like ceramic dishes. It was such a quiet, but beautiful place to be.

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4. After walking through the Old City, we spent the rest of our afternoon driving along the coast and beach-hopping. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in a car, and I forgot how much I love road tripping. There is something different about getting into a car with a bunch of people you love, turning up the music, and going your own way through the countryside. It offers a different perspective of a place, and you have so much more control over where and when you want to go, stay, stop, and leave. We stopped at multiple beaches, climbed a lot of stairs, and watched surfers dance through the waves. I’m always amazed at how brave they are when the waters are freezing and the ocean can be such an unpredictable force.

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5. This morning we drove north along the coast to watch waves in Nazaré. Apparently, the waves there get up to 30 meters high!!! The tide wasn’t that crazy when we were there, but we were up on the cliffs and we could still feel the ocean spray on our skin. Again, the little village was dead silent, but I think the raging waters made up for it in movement and noise.

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Kelly

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Kelly and I were supposed to go to France together, but due to the circumstances, I had to defer my exchange. But the light that has come out of a disappointing situation is that I’ve had a significantly less stressful time planning for the big trip because of Kelly’s help. I was lucky to enough to shoot a few portraits for this lovely lady yesterday, and in-between head shots and strangers stopping her on the street to ask for her number (seriously, look at this beauty! HOLY), she would ask me, “What are you most afraid of?”, listen to my answers, and then assure me that the things I fear will change me for the better. It is rare to find people who make it clear to you that having fears is valid, but do not give fear validation.

Today, I am thankful for the ones who go before me, for they show me that the path is not as dark as it seems.

Montreal Photo Set Pt. 1

I have arrived in the land of BYOW (Bring Your Own Wine), French everything, and best of all, brunch city! Here are a few shots form my first two days here, but it’s been so crazy since I got here that I’ve barely had time to transfer photos from my camera to my laptop. In the words of my favourite Montrealer, Francis (actually, I think he is the only person I know who’s actually from Montreal and not just here to study/work):
“This is Montreal. You pretend to be rich by going to fancy restaurants, bars, and shops. And then you end the night by eating poutine in the park.”

DSC_0007BAR: Big in Japan Bar (“the place you would take your mistress”)

DSC_0019COFFEE SHOP: Kitsune Espresso Bar

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DSC_0033LUNCH: Lola Rosa (make sure you check the drawers for notes!)

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DSC_0073DESSERT: Juliette et Chocolat

DSC_0083BAR: Bar le Saint-Sulpice