Crete after sunset: Chania

Busy street in Chania, Crete, Greece

The city comes alive as the sun sputters into the sea, dragging the heat down with it.

The fish that had sat on display, nestled in flaked ice, now grace the plates of tourists in artful swirls of purple grilled octopus, red snapper with lemon bursts, blackened escargot and white-fleshed scallops. Sunset catches in wine glasses and raki shots, while stray cats wander between tables on restaurant patios, hoping for dinner scraps from soft-hearted tourists.

The shops get their...

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Untethered — Travelling without a plan

Edinburgh, Scotland

Sometimes we need to be removed from the familiar. I usually make lists and plans when it comes to everyday life, I think too far ahead. And when I don’t, I stress about the fact that I’m not making lists and plans.

Travelling isn’t like that. For me, travelling is often as simple as picking a destination and going there. I usually have an idea of what I’d like to see but I’m not a devout follower of itineraries. I like to exhaust a place — in the sense that I will try to...

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A Home in a Chamber of the Heart

Jasmine flowers

I wonder how often people notice that childhood has passed them by. For me, it has become so irrevocably entwined with a physical place that I have a hard time separating the two much less distancing myself from it. My childhood was in Ukraine, my family vacations were in Ukraine, my breaks from real life all took place in Ukraine. I have become dependent on a fictional geography shaped by my emotional attachments.

My access to this physical manifestation of childhood is...

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Cretan Character in the Landscape

Plakias Crete

When we first arrived in Crete we rented a car, a tiny manual with an engine that could either go up a hill or provide you with air conditioning but not both at the same time. I had some of my first driving and stalling experiences on that car. The nice thing about learning how to shift gears when driving in Crete is that nobody will care or honk their horn if you stall at a stop sign. They will simply drive around you. People aren’t really in a hurry to get anywhere, except maybe to...

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The dry landscape of Atlantis

Church in Perissa, Santorini

Plato once wrote about Atlantis, a mythic island of beauty and prosperity that one day sunk into the sea and disappeared without a trace. It's a story that has intrigued humanity since the times of Ancient Greece, conjuring visions of a lost paradise and a grand civilization. Most great stories have a grain of truth to them and today's historians believe that Plato drew his inspiration from real life events. The debate over the location of Atlantis has yielded one promising candidate,...

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