Essays

Monos Moments

Words By Sheila Lam

When I think back on my travels, it’s the moments that didn’t seem like anything at the time that have since become core memories. I am sitting in the back of a Land Rover Defender, driving through Iceland blasting GoldLink with my friends or getting lost on a hot afternoon in Barcelona trying to get to the Cementerio de Montjuic. Reminiscing about the different places I’ve lived – Copenhagen for years before landing in Margate from Vancouver – it’s the nighttime rides on quiet boulevards shouting vi ses to friends after dinner that linger. Even the brightest of stars in outer space left only remnants to mark the location of supernovas. All of these together and all of these individually, keep in mind that it is the space between moments that have meant the most.

So much of our lives are marked by destination points and milestones: firsts, sweet sixteens, graduations, and goodbyes, and while those hold their own importance, they fall short of the exquisite nuance of our lives. Made famous by John Lennon, the adage “life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” rings infinitely true.

One of the very few silver linings of the pandemic is that it reframed so much of our perspective on how we experience the world and what we put at the centre of our existence. It also put back the wonder in all of the little things I’d taken for granted when travelling. I was exhilarated when I packed my suitcase for my first trip post-lockdown. Hearing the wheels of my case roll down the airport corridors was music to my ears. And while watching the plane break through clouds from the window seat has always felt magical, it was particularly emotional this time. It felt like seeing a dear friend for the first time again.

With a new era of travel ahead of us after a much grounded past two years, I’m excited for all of the unexpected discoveries to come and embrace all of the old familiar feelings, whether it’s looking out the car window driving down the Pacific Coast Highway, chancing upon a cafe with the perfect table for people watching, or running along the beach at low tide chasing after my friend’s bull terrier during sunset. I may not be able to recognize it while I’m in it, like a stitch cast in the centre of a knitted row, but I know each of these little moments is creating the tapestry of my life.

Essays

Kitoki Inn

A Pacific Northwest ryokan on Bowen Island

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