Category Archives: Travel

Brief Thoughts on Five Days in Boston

DSC_0125For a historian, a trip to Boston is pretty cool.*  I did a little bit of work while I was there, followed by a lot of walking, a lot of eating, a lot of drinking local beer, a lot of reading small plaques on old buildings that celebrate (mostly) rich white dudes who did stuff (and usually not in the best interests of other non-rich, non-white, non-male people), and admiring those buildings even though it made me feel a little guilty.  We–my boyfriend and I–did a lot of chatting, too, which reached the level of slightly inebriated, semi-philosophical debate about History at McGreevy’s Bar in Back Bay.
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Filed under Academia, History, Travel

I’ve Just Been Busy

I know a number of people with blogs who post on a regular basis.  I don’t know how they do it.  I’ve let weeks slip by in silence, though I think about writing all the time.  Alas, I’ve been busy.  (I’m sure they are too, hence my wonderment.) Continue reading

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Filed under Academia, Dans Ontario, On Human Connections, Travel

A Brief Sojourn in Madison, Wisconsin

I meant to write this post about Madison, Wisconsin as soon as I returned home so my thoughts wouldn’t become a banal, nebulous ramble, but unfortunately I got back two weeks ago. Continue reading


Filed under Academia, Food and Cooking, On Agriculture & the Environment, Politicking, Travel

That was a year; this is another (in Hamilton)

I took a vacation over New Years, and in British Columbia I set my sights on flora.  There’s a lot of moss.  I was enamoured by the hardy winter crops in rows on folks’ front lawns, gardens that have bunkered down for winter but hold onto some fierce kinda life force.  Continue reading


Filed under Academia, Dans Ontario, On Agriculture & the Environment, On Human Connections, Politicking, Travel

Pakse and the Bolaven Plateau

“I felt a light expectancy.  This, I thought idly, was how people died: by mistake, imagining themselves bodiless.”  — Colin Thubron

August 13th-16th

I was driving my rented bike down a road on the Bolaven Plateau in Laos, gazing with my jaw agape at the vista that unfurled in front of me.  It was a little foggy, a little dewy, the road empty for long stretches.  It was on one of these stretches that a horn snapped me to attention and I veered out of the way of an oncoming truck. Continue reading

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Filed under On Human Connections, Travel

Kratie, Cambodia

August 12-13th

Northeast Cambodia is flooding.  The Mekong has spilled over its banks.  This isn’t strange in and of itself because the river naturally expands and contracts with the seasons, but it’s worse this year than usual, and on the eight hour journey between Siem Reap and Kratie we saw a number of houses underwater. Continue reading

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Siem Reap and Angkor Wat

August 8th-12th

If ever you’re feeling a little lonely, arriving somewhere new for the third time in under a week, watching couples and groups of friends descend on a town with the vigour and voyeur that only backpackers can, here’s what you do. Continue reading


Filed under On Human Connections, Travel

Phnom Penh

August 5th – 8th

I spent three nights in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, a city of marvelous architecture and lovely food and the haunting memories of the Khmer Rouge.  I stayed with a young woman named Liz, a teacher and radical environmentalist from Ohio.  I slept on the hard wooden couch in her bedroom, the only other room in the apartment being the kitchen.  The generosity of couchsurfers never ceases to amaze me. Continue reading

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Note: I’ve been writing these as I go, but I was actually in Saigon August 3rd-5th…no laptop with me and only intermittent internet access.

I had breakfast in Hanoi – sticky rice with dried squid from the old lady who sets up shop outside my former apartment – and lunch in Saigon.  Continue reading

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Filed under History, Life in Vietnam, On Human Connections, Travel