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A look back at the year in photos, part 1

I'm putting together this series to reflect on some of the moments from the past year of which I am most grateful for. In 2016, I spent a sum total of over 4 months away from home, travelling to places like Vietnam, Thailand, Japan and Brazil (to name a few). While these trips presented many unexpected struggles and challenges, they also filled my heart up with appreciation for the world outside of our little slice. I want to share with you some moments of beauty, which I feel so lucky to have experienced. To do these images justice, I recommend using a computer screen, as many of them are detail-oriented.

Each part of this series will have a theme. Part 1: Iconic Cityscapes.

Ueno Park

Shinobazu pond, in Ueno Park, Tokyo. The tail-end of cherry blossom season, the beginning of sunset. During cherry blossom season, the Japanese flock to Ueno park to drink (a lot) and dine under the Sakura trees, a tradition called Hanami. In this picture it appears to be a calm, tranquil place, but the park was absolutely buzzing with people determined to enjoy the last couple days of the bloom.

Golden Turd

I visited Tokyo twice during my last trip to Japan, both times staying in the Asakusa neighbourhood, passing by this strange trio of buildings on my way from the station to the hostel each day. The tallest one on the left is the Skytree observatory, and the far right is the Asahi Beer Hall. The strange shape on top is meant to represent the "Asahi Flame", but is dubbed "Kin no Unchi" (Golden Turd) by residents.

Wakayama City

I went to Wakayama on a whim, without any real reason to go there. I suspect I may have been the only non-resident in the entire city. Many of the streets were person-less, many restaurants closed. I had no shortage of time alone with my thoughts, walking the empty sidewalks. This picture was taken on the rooftop of my guesthouse, in a peaceful (but chilly) moment of blissful reflection.

Ho Chi Minh City

The view from my hotel window, 1st day of a 3+ month trip. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Marina Bay

If you think paying $15 for a cocktail here is nuts, you might not want to visit the bar on top of the Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore. Do you know what? It's worth it for the view. Background: Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Foreground: Supertree grove.

Kek Lok Si Temple

The view from Kek Lok Si, a majestic Buddhist temple on the Malaysian island of Penang, overlooking the city of Georgetown. This is an incredibly special place.

New Taipei

Okay, this one is a reverse cityscape. I made a side-trip to Taipei for 2 nights from Osaka, and had my first experience staying with someone from (I've hosted a number of times in the past). My host was phenomenal. I mentioned I was keen to try local dishes, so she took me to the night market and explained every dish, sampling things with me along the way. Before coming here, I had no concept of Taiwanese food, but GUYS IT'S THE BEST FOOD. This is a shot of her side-street, in New Taipei. New Taipei is the most populated city in Taiwan, and is home to the working class. I was fascinated by the density of each block, crammed full with apartments, and only a small street, barely big enough for a car, between each block of building. And when I say "building", I mean several buildings butted up against and built on top of one another. I think Taiwan is wonderful, and hope to return soon.


Brasília is about as different (in terms of architecture) to New Taipei as it gets. Everything about this city is masterfully planned, with functionality, aesthetic and space in mind.

Rio de Janeiro

The day we rode the cable car up Pão de Açúcar it was sadly cloudy, but the view of Rio de Janeiro was nonetheless breathtaking.

Sao Paulo Colour Palette

A shot from São Paulo, a city with more public artwork than one could see in a lifetime.

Vancouver from above

Looking down on the city from the Top of Vancouver.

Vancouver cityscape sunset

Downtown Vancouver at Sunset. A view from beer island.

Thanks for looking <3<3

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