Category Archives: Writing samples

For The Vancouver Courier: Monkeys and Mangoes in Sri Lanka



As I walk under the mango tree at my hotel in Wellawaya, Sri Lanka, I hear a loud rustling. Looking up, I see a long tail.

“That’s the naughtiest monkey,” says a passing hotel employee, looking ruefully into the branches. He says the monkey takes the fruits before they’re ripe, eating just a bite or two before throwing the hard green lumps on the ground in disgust. “We never get to eat the mangoes.”

Read the rest on the Vancouver Courier website

For G Adventures: 20 Superlatives for the 20-Year Sisterhood between Whistler and Karuizawa

Karuizawa, Japan, and Whistler, Canada, will mark 20 years as sister cities in 2019. To celebrate, we’ve compiled 20 superlatives to highlight the bonds between these charming mountain towns.

1. Best Olympic experience

Karuizawa, located an hour by train from Tokyo, hosted the debut Olympic curling competition for the Nagano 1998 Winter Games, while Whistler hosted Olympic sliding and skiing events for Vancouver 2010.

Visitors can ride the world’s fastest ice track at Whistler Sliding Centre, home of the 2010 bobsled, luge, and skeleton competitions, or learn to curl like an Olympian with a lesson at Karuizawa Ice Park.

Read the rest on the G Adventures blog.

For World Footprints: Shooting Stars and Shay in Jordan

Lying on stacked cushions on the roof of a lodge in Jordan’s Dana Biosphere Reserve, I watch a beam of green light shoot into the sky as our guide circles a constellation with the most powerful laser pointer I’ve ever seen. “That orange star, that’s the womanizer,” Ali says. “He’s always chasing the seven sisters.”

This is the Arab legend of the triangle in the east, Ali tells us: the seven sisters, the womanizer, and the bodyguard, forever chasing each other across the night sky.

Read the rest at

For Time Out: The 10 best bars in Amsterdam



Amsterdam’s bar scene is hundreds of years old yet feels decidedly modern: you can sidle up to a bar where sixteenth-century sailors took respite from the sea, settle into a cozy lounge or explore the thriving cocktail culture in ultracool places to see and be seen.

For the local experience, try a jenever, the juniper-based Dutch spirit that evolved into gin. You’ll likely see your fellow patrons with two glasses: follow their lead and order a beer chaser, a classic pairing dubbed a kopstootje or “little headbutt.”

Read the rest at TimeOut Amsterdam 

For Time Out Amsterdam: The 11 best cafés in Amsterdam

The first lesson of café culture in Amsterdam is that a coffeeshop is not your standard coffeeshop. The former offers a high that doesn’t come from caffeine…

If it is a coffee break that you are looking for, you want a café. The choices are abundant, from cozy hideaways that embody the untranslatable Dutch concept of gezelligheid (a kind of cosiness) to bright and modern spaces in up-and-coming neighbourhoods. Not a fan of coffee? Order a mint tea: instead of a tea bag, your mug will be stuffed with fresh bunches of mint and served with honey—and probably a little cookie, too.

Read the rest at

For BCBusiness: 5 must-visit Oliver Osoyoos wineries for foodies

Best known as a wine destination in B.C.’s Okanagan Valley, Oliver has plenty to offer foodies too. Local vineyards are getting creative with their cuisine, showcasing the abundance of the area’s farms and fields in addition to award-winning grapes. From a quick lunch break to world-class dining, these wineries combine acclaimed wines with uncommonly delicious food, each in a vineyard setting that provides a feast for the eyes…

Read the rest at BCBusiness

For Hootsuite: How to Conduct a Social Media Audit

Conducting a social media audit is a key part of developing—or updating—an effective social media marketing plan. Before you can think strategically about your social media use, you need to document and evaluate your existing efforts.

This allows you to determine what’s working and what’s not, while also identifying impostor accounts, outdated profiles, and new opportunities for social engagement.

Put all that learning together and you’ll be well equipped to make the most of your social budget and maximize ROI. We’ve laid the process out for you step-by-step, complete with a template to make sure you keep track of all the important details…

Read the rest on the Hootsuite blog