Published on En Route Traveler

There is nothing written about the nine days I spent wandering bridges and streets in Budapest. That I stayed near the House of Terror, a museum with exhibits related to the fascist and communist regimes in 20th-century Hungary, and watched an elderly woman collapse in the basement there, surrounded by torture cells. Some of them had small windows where you could see the shadows of passing feet on the streets and visitors were able to enter and stand in each one. I stepped in.

Published on FlipCollective

Jordi and Adria lead the way up and the females lag behind in the eighty-five degree heat, stopping every few hundred feet to chug from our collapsible water bottles that are already nearly empty. Halfway up, we reach a road and stop to turn and look behind us at the lake and the town below. I can see now that the water has spots of green mixed in with the blue, that there are mountains in the distance every way that I look. Someone spots a tiny house with a pool and we laughingly discuss rolling ourselves back down to it instead of continuing on. We keep climbing, though.

Published on FlipCollective

There is a single luggage pickup area and conveyer belt. I am tired; it is still the middle of the night back home, but the ocean is just outside and my rental car is on the other side of two sliding doors. The last suitcase comes out onto the belt and I see a man peek at me through the gate he has been lifting and dropping them through. I watch him watch me alone. He looks sorry or like he might say something, but he shuts the gate. He doesn’t apologize.

PUBLISHED on the village

Waking in the village, after dinner at The Waverly Hotel and a night of rest at the Riding Fool Hostel, is a peace reminiscent of a favorite childhood vacation spot. For me, it reminds me of the small cottage my family and I rented once a week every summer in a small town in Western New York. There is a quiet and stillness to the streets before the first coffee shop opens and, even then, it’s neighbors greeting neighbors and residents opening up shop or heading to work for the day. A quiet bustling I have found only one or two other places in several years of world travels. 

Published on En Route Traveler

Shifts in the weather within a season or just from one area of the Island to the next are subtle sometimes — storm clouds slowing rolling over Mt. Benson, pathways beginning to smell like blackberries in the middle of summer — and much more noticeable others — a ten degree temperature drop as you near the oceanfront in the capital city of Victoria, endless rain and fog up north in Tofino, hot summer days in the valley of Port Alberni.