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Stories

In Italy/ Stories

Piove (It Is Raining)

Agustina looks to the sky and hopes for rain. Dark, billowing clouds loom above the church bell tower in the distance. “If it rains, I can finally take a nap!” she laughs. We are on our hands and knees by a stairwell in the shadows of some forgotten part of the cloister, attempting to free the ground from the overgrowth of dirt, moss, and mildew that has engulfed it. The scraping of our metal palatine against the bricks, the occasional rumbling…

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In Stories

You’ll Never Feel Like You’ve Reached the Summit—And That’s Okay

Sometime around April 2015, broke and living with my parents, I told myself, “If I could just make $4,000 a month, THEN I’ll stop worrying.” I gave myself a deadline of a few months to grow my freelance business, or it was back to the office for me. But two months later, I was not making $4K a month—I was making more than $6.5K. So I moved to my dream city of San Francisco. And then everything was perfect. Just…

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In Paris, France/ Stories

The Girl With the Red Balloon

As a general rule, when in Paris, one must always wear black, gray, or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, navy blue. I don’t know what is different about this day, but I decide to break that rule and wear red. It is November 26, 2015. Thanksgiving Day in the United States, but just a regular Thursday here in France. Decked out in a bright red trench coat, I spend the entire day feeling self-conscious, trying to slip by unnoticed in…

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In Cusco/ Stories

Faces of Peru | Daniel the Tour Guide

“How’s your heart?” Daniel whispers to me as we pick our way through cobblestone streets in Ollantaytambo, Peru, in the drizzling rain. We’ve just finished a harrowing 1.5-hour car ride through winding mountain roads that drastically change altitudes, so at first I wonder if he’s inquiring about my cardiovascular health. But I know what he means. “Mejor,” I tell him. Better. Daniel has a keen intuition I have never seen in anyone else, a sixth sense that feels what other people are…

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In Stories

When You’re Lost

“How are you going to find the answers if you keep avoiding the questions?” I like this diner we’re sitting in. It reminds me of a hot summer night in Havana (though I’ve never been to Cuba), which is precisely the kind of thing you want to be reminded of when it’s a cold autumn night in Toronto. The turquoise tiles (they’re the color of those vintage cars you see in photos of Havana) gleam under the globe pendant lights hanging over the bar…

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In Stories

11 More Stops Till Main Street Station

Eleven more stops till Main Street Station. There are plenty of open seats, but you choose to prop your hip against the railing and stand by the door. You feel safest when you’re near an exit. The subway emerges onto a bridge crossing over a highway and you can see the city lights passing by in a blur and now you are thinking of the line 6 in Paris that passes over the Pont de Bir-Hakeim. It has the best…

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