Sign in

Living fully and writing, perhaps retelling the story that’s already written as it unfolds in front of my eyes.

Writer & Storyteller, Social Entrepreneur and Investor, Tennis Player and Coach, Digital Nomad, Spiritual Being Living a Human Experience.

Somewhere along the Oregon coast. Photo Credit: Javier Ortega-Araiza

I am, as I’m often told by many friends, an old soul in a young body.

And I’ve lived a very eventful life.

Some of the people I admire, including family members and other good friends and mentors, have told me how they want to leave this Earth with nothing.

In a world full of obsession with riches and materialism, I consider this very wise advice.

And I, too, want to leave this Earth with nothing. That includes all my stories and experiences, as well as my opinions and beliefs, which are always subject to change. Change indicates growth.


List updated weekly.

Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

If you have followed my stories for a while, you might have realised that my scope of work is very broad.

And if you have just noticed my profile, then you might be shocked as you scroll down and see the diversity of topics that I write about.

Of course, if you are like me, you might be fascinated.

But I understand that not everybody is like me.

Therefore, I have created this page. In case you would like to read about a certain topic or scope of work, you can find the stories here, classified. I update this list…

Photo Credits: Javier Ortega-Araiza

Solitude is different from loneliness

A fresh take on Roland Garros-Wimbledon madness from a fellow tennis player who has experienced mental illness

Photo by Kevin Mueller on Unsplash

Following her forfeiture from Roland Garros and her withdrawal from the Wimbledon main draw to protect her mental health, Naomi Osaka has stayed in the spotlight as she has started training for the Olympic Games in her homeland of Japan.

The most recent string of comments — and also most unfortunate — came from legendary tennis player Boris Becker:

Is that really pressure? Isn’t it pressure when you don’t have food on the table? When you’ve got to feed your family and you don’t have a job? When you have a life-changing injury? Isn’t that more pressure?

Becker’s words are…

We can learn a lot if we open our eyes and our hearts to what unfolds in front of us

Photo by Nathan McBride on Unsplash

2017. Winter.

One year ago, Mohed lost his house in a bombing raid. Someone who had never met him pushed a button, and all those years of hard work turned to rubble, ashes, evaporating into ultimate nothingness amidst the incessant heat of Homs, the city where he was raised, and where his father had resettled from the countryside, and where they, together, ran a bakery that used to be the neighbourhood’s favourite.

Needless to say, the bakery was destroyed, too.

But what was not destroyed was his immediate family, and with them survived their hopes, their dreams, their resourcefulness, and…


Life happens when we are open to finding surprises in unlikely places

Dalhousie, New Brunswick. (Photo Credits: Javier Ortega-Araiza, 2018)

Canada is not a place with a widely-admired cuisine unless you consider all the boundless possibilities that the multiplicity of ethnicities that coexist within a city can bring.

Toronto, where I have spent a good portion of my adult life, has an extraordinary food scene because of all the immigrant communities that now call it home.

From the Danforth to Scarborough to Roncesvalles, I’ve found delicacies from Ethiopia to Greece to Singapore to Ukraine. For several Sundays in a row, I experimented with having breakfast in a different country every week without leaving the GTA.

But still, that doesn’t change…

#1 It is possible to dance without alcohol

Parc des Chutes, Rivière-du-Loup, QC, Canada (Photo Credits: Javier Ortega-Araiza)

Pubs used to be home. They still are. Pubs will always be home to countless friends and unforgettable memories. My pubs of choice in the various parts of the world where I’ve been fortunate to live in have seen me fall in love at first sight and be both passionately embraced and painfully rejected. They have seen me cry, laugh, scream, shout. Their walls know that there is a difference between these last two.

Inside bars I’ve been disconsolately melancholic and recklessly rowdy. …

It is not time to go yet.

Photo Credits: Javier Ortega-Araiza

I see death. I see life.
There’s a bridge
no warning sign

below, water
one side — dark
the other — bright

Souls jumping
deep into the Bay
Would you join us?

blocked, paralysed
There’s no response.

Half of me hopes to
the other half does not
Will the wind decide for me?

It already has.
Fear’s not on the other side — it’s here
But so is love. So is faith.

Meander — fool around if you so wish
but there’s another road
It starts with steep hills
It requires you to dare
To walk on eggshells
using only your bare feet…

Not understanding these caused me enormous losses and landed me in deep debt.

Photo by Christine Roy on Unsplash

Morgan Housel’s The Psychology of Money is an extraordinary book on how to build true wealth. And even though there are many golden nuggets in those 156 pages, there is one that particularly resonated with me.

It is the title of Chapter 5: Getting Wealthy vs. Staying Wealthy.

One of the main points of Housel’s work is that an enormous mistake that we make when it comes to money is to consider it an exclusively quantitative concept when in reality, our decision-making is majorly driven by emotions and stories. And here is where this chapter comes into place.

As a…

Travel. Colombia. N South America.

What I learned from visiting Ciudad Bolivar, known as one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods in the world.

“Bogota, Colombia” by szeke is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Adolfo was only fourteen when I met him. Yet, at his short age, he had already been through the ranks of one of the deadliest gangs that roam the slums of Bogotá — specifically, Ciudad Bolivar, an isolated community popularly known as a hotspot for drugs and crime.

Ciudad Bolivar is where many of those who were displaced by what is known as the Colombian conflict — involving the FARC guerrilla and other paramilitary groups — settled, hoping to find peace and solace from the sanguinary strife that has devastated the country for decades.

Some of them came and went…

Javier Ortega-Araiza

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store