(Disclaimer: This is my personal experience with having PRK/TSA eye surgery done in Calgary, Alberta. I am in no way a doctor nor am I recommending you get the surgery. This is a very personal decision and you should absolutely seek the advice of a professional before making any decisions.)
For as long as I can remember, I’ve worn glasses. I’m not sure exactly when I was prescribed glasses but it was definitely in the early years of elementary school. They started off as big ugly things. Big glasses that stand out in pictures and make me cringe when I see those photos now. Slowly, they became smaller and smaller, but still relatively ugly. Eventually, I also tried out contacts, but due to my strong astigmatism, they were expensive and not very comfortable. [Read more…] about My Experience with PRK Surgery and PRK Recovery
Afghan music playing in the background, I sit here writing as a gopher sneaks by. In front of me, Afghan and Mexican ladies dance to both Afghan and latino music. A war is brewing but it hasn’t arrived yet. In fact, It’s probably the only time that innocent villagers hope the war comes. We actually hope that the guns will start shooting and the tanks will roll in at any minute.
We hope for this because this is just a training scenario; a $30,000,000 training scenario for the Canadian military in which I am a simple actor…an “extra” so to speak. There are no cameras, however, and none of us are allowed phones or any electronic devices in the field. It’s relatively top secret and will determine the suitability of whether the soldiers will go overseas or not. I first heard about the exercise back in 2011 when my wife was searching for Spanish-related jobs. Since these training scenarios are to train the military for overseas operations, the villagers cannot speak English. This is why they try to recruit people with a second language. That’s also why I am just an “extra”, adding “population” to the various villages set up across a vast amount of land near Wainwright, Alberta. I only speak English and therefore, I cannot speak to the soldiers.
[Read more…] about How To Become An Interesting Person
Back in November of 2017, my wife and I went to Cuba, a place I had long wanted to visit. Its uniqueness, history with revolution and communism, and relatively closed-relationship with much of the world had always piqued my interest. I love visiting places that are so different than my home country. We went for just over two weeks, which proved to be a little too long in the end. Maybe its because my wife is from Mexico, or because we’ve travelled a lot through Latin America, or maybe just due to the overall cost of traveling around Cuba, but we were somewhat disappointed.
We still had a good time. We loved exploring Havana. We loved dancing in Trinidad. We loved meeting locals and hearing their stories, albeit through my wife as I don’t know enough Spanish. But it just wasn’t a place we fell in love with. Foreigners are charged excessively compared to locals. We felt like $-signs sometimes. The food is very bland and for anything more than bland, the prices are on par with Canada, the USA, and Europe. We enjoyed our time there but had no intentions of returning.
But then we did return, thanks to a street dog we named Cheerio. Cuba is full of street dogs – friendly little animals that have been given up by their so-called owners. Forced to fend for themselves, they tend to cherish foreigners who aren’t used to seeing street dogs and therefore show more love and affection than locals do.
Seeing street dogs breaks my heart. After all, it’s doubtful that they’ll live very long. With dangers such as cars, starvation, disease, and “government control”, life on the streets is often short-lived for a canine. I wish I could help them all but just like global hunger and pollution, there’s not too much I can do on a large scale. So, in terms of street dogs and cats, we usually try to give them a treat or some water, give them a little love, and then bid them farewell.
That is until we met Cheerio in Cienfuegos, Cuba. As we walked through Parque Jose Marti, this little dog ran up to us, so excited, wagging her whole bum in the process. It was the first time a street dog approached us so cheerfully, looking for some affection.
[Read more…] about Operation Cheerio | Rescuing a Cuban Street Dog
Writing this from Mexico City as we bring in 2018 with my wife’s side of the family, I’ve found writing this article to be quite difficult. Maybe I’m just tired. Maybe it’s because I don’t like planning all that much or maybe it’s because I always struggle with what to write. At the same time, it can be quite satisfying to think of the last 365 days and what’s been accomplished. It’s also a good idea to think of the next 365 days and the biggest goals I’d like to accomplish.
As many of you know, I also have a massive 100-item list that I’ve compiled, with goals I’d like to accomplish over the next 10 years (9 years from now). I completed my first 100-goal list in 10 years (still need to write about that) and thought I’d continue with the spirit of it all. However, we change along the way and some goals that might have seemed important last year might not be so important this year. So, I like to look it over at least once per year and erase any goals that no longer feel all that special. To be honest, it can also be hard to come up with 100 items. It used to be easy but as I complete some items, I’m finding 100 is almost too much. At the same time, if a list of 100 things helps inspire me to accomplish 80 really cool things, then it’s still a massive win in my books. Who cares about the other 20 right? [Read more…] about Bringing in the New Year and Reflecting on the Last 365 Days
Back in 2009, I did something that I had been promising myself for many years. I embarked on my first long-term trip to New Zealand and Australia. For five whole months, I explored two new countries and challenged myself in ways I never imagined. I jumped out of an airplane, bungy-jumped off of the Auckland bridge, abseiled into caves, climbed a volcano, hang-glided over the sea, witnessed the twelve apostles, and scuba dived with sharks at night. Reading this makes me seem like some sort of adventure junkie, but I actually wasn’t…at the time. Sure I had slowly been exploring life’s possibilities and trying new things like white water rafting in the Canadian Rockies and riding as many roller coasters as I could, but still, I was a relatively shy guy who wasn’t really into adrenaline sports or thrill seeking.
When I first landed in New Zealand however, I felt like a new person. I had this new zest for life. I had this incredible adventure ahead of me and I was free to do with it as I pleased. It was only 7 AM when I pulled up to my Queenstown hostel after an early flight from Canada when I noticed an advertisement for sky-diving. I figured “what the hell?”, and immediately signed up. Less than 30-hours after landing in a new country, I was up in a small plane, getting ready to jump out at 15,000 feet. [Read more…] about How Bali Changed My Life