“Suggested Travel Writer” on Medium.com

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Cool beans! Not exactly sure how to take this – ‘though the expression “with a grain of salt” jumps to mind – but apparently I have earned “suggested writer” status in the Travel section on Medium.com.

I’m genuinely flattered, and it makes me want to sit down and write more essays and stories and publish them online, though to be honest I’m not sure what, exactly, it means to be a suggested writer. Is it a decision made by a cabal of wise gnomes at Medium.com, or is it some less-personal, more automated process, an algorithmic accretion of views/reads/recommends?

In either case, I’ll put aside the salt for a moment, as well as the self-deprecating humour, and take the credit gracefully and gratefully.

Meantime, please check out my presence on Medium.com, including the self publications Big Sushi, Little Fishes 2.0, about my adventures in Japan, and Exit Booted 2.0,, in Toronto and the rest of the world.

Good Read: Deep Kyoto Walks

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From time to time the question arises in online discussion forums: what’s the best way to see a new city? Some travelers plump for hitting the highlights by whatever means necessary, jumping from site to site by train, plane, or automobile. That’s a very effective means of checking off a list of “top ten temples,” or whatever, and can be fun in its own way (ask me about my four-day, whirlwind tour of southwest Iceland last March). It’s efficient, which is why most guidebooks are organized around such a style of travel. There is, however, another way of travel, one which may add little or nothing to your bucket list, and for which there are few guidebooks, but may give you a better understanding of the place you’re visiting – and just maybe the place you came from. That’s to get off the train… and walk. Immerse yourself in one area. Walk its sidestreets and alleys. Linger at neighbourhood spots which will never make a traditional guidebook but say something authentic about the lives of the people who live there – even if this means not checking all the “Must Sees” on a list. As John Ruskin puts it,

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