The Tropical Canadian

an oxymoronic life of adventure


a mighty purpose

Live free, but don’t be a jerk about it

Since getting home everyday – without hyperbole –  I’ve thought about how to redesign my life so that I can work from anywhere and balance making an income with making a difference. I’ve read several books on the subject, ever more blog posts and a growing number of tweets. While it’s nice that so many people seem to be building a tipping point of freedom from the expected life path, my concern about the conversation is building.

Continue reading “Live free, but don’t be a jerk about it”


Tempus fugit, part 2

I’ve been home for six months today. At last I can say home without using quotation marks, as Victoria once again feels like home – not like forever or an anchor, but as a friendly and knowing place to rest and reset. I still miss Jamaica. I miss the sea; I miss the people; I miss the experience of being a contribution through my daily activities. And, I miss who I was there – active socially and physically, healthy, nourished, free – I don’t know why those things feel so much less accessible here. Either way, the missing has less ache and more sweetness in it these days.

Continue reading “Tempus fugit, part 2”

Because of Jamaica

Because of Jamaica. Because of the people and the heat and the noise and the colour. Because of warm water, sunny skies, spicy fish, caramel rum. Because of 160 days. Because of encouragement and support from behind and beside. Because of lessons learned in tears and laughter. Because of good work and deep leisure. Because of Ocho Rios and Port Antonio, Runaway Bay and Falmouth, Montego Bay and Negril, and escaping to Barbados. But first and last because of Kingston …

Continue reading “Because of Jamaica”


Thanks, Jamaica.
Soon come back.

It’s never too late

For what it’s worth … it’s never too late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit. Start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing.

We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people who have a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.

Continue reading “It’s never too late”

Veni vidi amavi

This whole trip has been about finding, reclaiming, hiking, swimming, snorkeling my own true way through tears & laughter. Frankly, the last couple weeks – facing the realities of leaving Jamaica and the reality that ‘wherever I go there I am’- I have felt adrift. Some things have happened, or not happened, that reinvigorated some old fears and insecurities. The added discomfort of being so much an outsider, a discomfort I’ve had the privilege not to feel before to this degree, left me disoriented. As they always do, song lyrics have spoken to and for me*:

Continue reading “Veni vidi amavi”

We interrupt this blog …

Because I haven’t talked much about my work it might be possible to read this blog and convince yourself that I’m in Jamaica having a holiday. The fun and the sun and the surf are lovely, but they are not why I am here. In fact, I am helping an amazing voluntary sector leading agency expand their abilities in communications & marketing. I do some work with the United Way of Jamaica (UWJ) but most of my work is with their sister organization the Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS). Continue reading “We interrupt this blog …”

This is the true joy in life

Apparently George Bernard Shaw loved the ocean, as much as I do.

I’m a word nerd and a sucker for a great literary quote.

Here’s a salient one from the fabulous Irish playwright & rager against inequality & injustice George Bernard Shaw:

This is the true joy in life, being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one. Being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it what I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.


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