Date: 08/11/2017 | Location: Toronto, Canada

By the end of it all, I started to wonder just how much of the truth had been omitted from every textbook and newspaper article I had ever read. It’s no wonder that under oath, witnesses must state the truth and the whole truth as there is a fine line that separates the two accounts. Yet the difference may be colossal; almost as if to be a wave vs the ocean. One could state the truth but not the whole truth simply by taking advantage of semantics, or the fact that people generally don’t know how to ask the right questions– if any question at all. Intelligent people, corporations, governments… they’ve taken advantage of this notion and continue to profit off of people’s ignorance. It’s a shame, because the general population’s inability to critically think and ask questions is a tragedy of epic proportions.

Date: 06/09/2017 | Location: Tokyo, Japan

[…] I think that’s why Macbeth was my favourite play in high school. A part from its poetic use of pathetic fallacy, my favourite literary device, I found it rather fascinating that all it took was a simple quibble from the witches, and Macbeth believed he was practically immortal. Ah, the power of words. One should never underestimate the ability to deceive through a strategic use of words. Nor should one underestimate the psychological pull a strategic set of words can have on an individual– or an entire nation for that matter. Much like the Trump administration’s campaign slogan.

Date: 05/28/2017 | Location: Gili Trawangan, Indonesia

Have you ever had one of those days where you have so much to do, but somehow you end up doing nothing? I’m having one of those days. Weeks even. Except instead of having so much to do, I have so much to say– to the point where I end up saying, well, nothing. I’ve continuously stared at a blank page of a Word document for hours on end, in the hopes that it’d magically write itself. In the hopes that the exact measure of all that I feel, all that I’ve witnessed, and all that I’ve learnt throughout my travels over the last three years, can be expressed through the mutterings of my fingertips on a dimly-lit keyboard. Considering the amount of time I’ve spent immersed in academia; conducting secondary research and subsequently writing essays and reports on said research, you’d think relaying my own firsthand experience would be a piece of cake, but it’s been quite the contrary.

Some days I feel as though I am the prisoner that escaped from the cavern, and other days I acknowledge the insufficiencies of my knowledge which leads me to conclude that I know absolutely nothing. That I’ve barely scratched the surface. That there’s still so much more to learn, more questions to be asked, more unlikely strangers to encounter who will ultimately change how I perceive myself and the world around me. This experience has been cathartic just as much as it has been educational– and I mean that in the most unconventional way possible. I have nothing to show for it except a different way of thinking and a mind full of ideas.

Date: 05/05/2017 | Location: Moscow Airport, Russia

I can’t pretend like I haven’t noticed the inherent discrimination towards Arabs in airports, security personnel covering it up as “random selection”. It’s as if the only woman who can wear a veil without being labelled as “suspicious” is mother Mary. In all my years of travel, the only time I’ve seen Caucasians held up at security to this extent was in Israel. The interrogees were all Russian. Coincidence? I think not. ‘Coincidence’ is a word used by people who’ve never paid attention.

Date: 03/22/2017 | Location: Barcelona, Spain

It’s become blatantly apparent that the average millennial is either f*cked up, fed up, or both. And why wouldn’t we be? This world is like a mad dog that slipped its collar. It’s unfortunate considering the stagnation of mental health initiatives and the stigmatization of the concept itself. You’d think by now we would have progressed as a society by making help more readily available, but this isn’t the case. I mean, that’s not to say that the complexity of some of our issues can be untangled by a man with a plaque of distinction perched on his desk, but for what it’s worth, we need all the help we can get. It’s interesting, because no matter the country or the language, ‘depression’ is one of those words that sits in the back of the throat like the phlegm we shy away from spitting out in public. Still, my observation of humans shows me that we do a much better job at acknowledging signs of emotional distress if it comes from the eyes of a stray, as if the definition only encompasses domestic animals.

Date: 11/14/2014 | Location: Lagos, Nigeria

Day 1 in Nigeria: I’ve been told by a man on the street that I should change my clothes unless I want to be “raped by the boys on cocaine”. He couldn’t even look me in the eye when he told me that. Funny thing is, I’m wearing capris and a t-shirt. This is going to be a very long trip.

Date: 11/20/2013 | Location: Waterloo, Canada

I had been sleeping in my ‘Practical Business Skills’ class when I coincidentally woke-up just in time to hear the professor, on the topic of entrepreneurship, say: “You can tell by Jay-Z’s skin tone that he had a troubled upbringing.” At this point, I wasn’t sure if I was really awake. Then I looked around the lecture hall and everyone’s eyes were on me, anticipating a reaction from the only black kid in the room. I was torn between getting back to my dream of coconut-flavoured clouds and sarcastically asking my educated moron of a professor, Mrs. Nguyen, to elaborate on her point. In case you’re wondering, I went back to bed.

Date: 2001 | Location: Mississauga, Canada

I want to be the world,
I want to see the world,
I want to go with my friends far away from home.

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