Halifax, Nova Scotia
I’m sitting at the airport, waiting for my delayed flight to Charlottetown and am feeling a bit nostalgic about 2013. It was an amazing year and one step closer to designing a life that works for me.
The reason I love Instagram is that it’s such an easy way to look back and realize how lucky I am and how many incredible things I’ve done in the last twelve months. It was tough to choose but here are my favourite photos from 2013. They weren’t the best shots but all of them are special for one reason or another.
January I went back to Winnipeg with Cailin O’Neil for my coldest adventure – a pop-up restaurant on a frozen river and wow it was cold. But Winnipeg has become my second favourite Canadian city and it’s full of chef crushes.
In February I went to Finland and I’ll be honest I didn’t think I’d like it as people kept warning me that the Finnish were unfriendly. It’s not a Latin country but I loved it and it’s piqued my interest in the Nordic countries. The highlight was running from a sauna to a frozen lake and I have video to prove I’m not as big a pansy as I claim.
In April I returned to Maui for Ag Fest and it was more special than the first time because I now have friends there. While most people think of Maui as some luxurious beach destination it is really so much more than that with rich history and culture. I hope to return again in 2014.
Who knew cashews look like this? After Maui I flew to Brazil. Despite spending so much time in South America it was my first time to Brazil and I was a bit nervous after hearing so many stories about people being robbed. But Sao Paulo was amazing and it was thanks to reader and food blogger Angela Goldstein, who offered to take me on a tour of the Sao Paulo market. She changed my mind about Brazil and now I have a friend to visit.
Returning to mainland Ecuador was emotional for me, I had such heart for the country and I wasn’t sure if I would feel the same. But it touched me once again with small gestures like this corn – realizing that some places in the world still haven’t been completely changed with commercialism and what we (falsely) think is improvement.
I originally intended to spend a week in Canoa and it turned into five weeks and renting an apartment. I had no idea that I would be so moved by a coastal town where people simply visit on the weekends to party. Here I learned just how tough life could be for some people. I’ve produced many videos since this one, but the story I’m most proud of in 2013 is Los Pescadores about fishermen in Canoa.
Despite being away for four months I didn’t have post travel depression. I was excited to come home and see friends and going to the farm market on Sunday mornings to talk to people who felt the same way as I did about food, culture and travel. I love to travel but I had missed people who were special to me.
I’m usually quiet about my personal life but in the last post wrapping up how I will remember 2013 I alluded to the chef crush I never wrote about. Let’s just say I met someone special and leave it at that.
This autumn I went to Costa Brava to write a cultural food guide. It was a tough few months. I haven’t written about it yet but there were a lot of lows. But it also helped me put my life into perspective and I’m thankful for that.
My first pancetta! It’s waiting for me back in Toronto and it’s also a symbol of what I want my life to be about. 2014 is all about balance and focus. While I said I wanted 2013 to be The Year of Less, the truth is I traveled more than I should have and there was no balance. But I have new focus for 2014 and I know I can make this work.