Ian Mationg

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Ian is a world travelled photographer and videographer. Based out of Toronto, Ontario in Canada, he’s been telling stories and capturing life moments through video and photos.

Detour Home: Stuff to Do Outside of San Francisco

The Castro, Duboce Triangle, craft beer, Haight-Ashbury, Alcatraz, seafood, the Golden Gate Bridge, historic streetcars, sourdough bread, and Dolores Park are just a few of the places and things that attract tourists and make up the vibrant city of San Francisco. Like a lot of the big cities in California, San Francisco is surrounded by even more vibrant, fun, and often quirky towns and cities with their own festivals, attractions, and small-town/big-character personalities that are just as colourful as the rainbow-lined streets of the Castro District and just as bustling and entertaining as the Embarcadero. Better yet, many of these towns are accessible through the very well-connected mass transit line. On one of our travels we discovered the town of Burlingame. Just 10 minutes away from SFO Airport, Burlingame is one of those small towns with a big and welcoming personality. It hosts a lively and walkable downtown complete with…

Travelling with Pets on Public Transit

Renji, our 75-lb Doberman, is more than just a pet to us. He’s a family member, and not to just myself and my spouse. He gets treated like a grandchild by our parents. We even call my brother-in-law’s Golden Retriever his “cousin.” So, naturally, our little guy goes everywhere, or at least everywhere possibly allowable. He’s sat in my office at work sometimes, he joins us on our morning jogs, and when we’re feeling extra cozy in the evenings, he’ll cuddle up beside us and watch Netflix. Taking your dog around everywhere you can takes experience and training—lots and lots of training. The key to travelling with your dog is consistency and patience. Renji doesn’t like small places. He’s the type of dog that needs to be out in open space or in an area with lots of positive mental stimulation. Most dogs are like this, and getting them in…

Lebanese Street Party

Beirut, Lebanon. Soldiers were openly patrolling the streets like sentinels. Both military and police vehicles were out either blocking roadways, or diverting traffic. We were on foot, so navigating through the windy streets and traffic was easier, but slow. Within byzantine alleyways, pock marked by bullet holes and artillery shrapnel, shouts and loud rabble from a large crowd could be heard from afar. As we got closer to our meeting point, we could see smoke rising amongst crumbling buildings, some cratered by bomb explosions. The winds wafted the smell of the fire and smoke all around as we got closer to the scene, and soon we could faintly feel the heat of it all, and the smell of burning wood (charcoal?)… and roasting lamb. The loud rabble of hundreds of people began to fill the air, accompanied with the mingling sounds of thumps and hum of EDM music. Mar Mikhael…

Jordan Rediscovered

If I asked you to come along with me on a road trip in the Middle East, you probably wouldn’t know how to react. In these times of ISIS and extremist terrorism, a road trip through the Arabian Desert is probably not on anyone’s vacation list. However, that’s exactly what my wife and I did: we flew to Jordan, rented a car, and travelled the country. We did a lot of homework and research before travelling—not to mention I grew up in the Middle East as an expat, and my wife was on a consultation project for the Government of Jordan a few years back. So we were already familiar with the territory and the culture. The Kingdom of Jordan is a beautiful country. However, it’s right in the middle of all the turmoil striking the region, although none of the direct effects have spilled into the country. Indirectly, however,…