October Travel Ideas

For some, the beginning of September is about back-to-school. In my case, it’s time to start thinking about planning new trips for the season ahead. For October travel, these are my picks. Africa & Asia Tanzania We saw spectacular wildlife in the Serengeti, Ngorogoro Crater and Tarangire National Park. Elephants, lions, cheetahs, giraffes, hippos, lions, […]

Under the Aveyron Sun in the South of France

My friend Leanne just departed for southern France to visit her cousins. She couldn’t help worrying about the recent terror attacks in Paris and Nice, wondering if she should alter her plans. We talked about not wanting to let that sort of fear paralyze us. Because doing so would be letting them win. And it […]

Yellowknife Day 2: Great Northern Outdoors

Since our first day in Yellowknife stretched on so long, we got a bit of a later start on the second one. But that didn’t stop us from squeezing a lot into it. After all, we knew the sun would never really set. It became a day of mostly outdoor adventure. (Late) morning hike: Cameron […]

Endless Daylight: 24 Hours in Yellowknife

I always wanted to take a trip up north during the days of midnight sun, and I finally did. My summer visit to Yellowknife in Canada’s Northwest Territories was energizing and surprisingly inspiring. This is Part 1 of a weekend adventure in the character-packed northern Canadian city. Friday night strangeness on the range The sun was […]

To the Centre of the Earth: Volcano Viewing

This one is for my nephews and all those fascinated by fire, explosions, molten lava and the the raw power of Mother Nature. Volcanoes are dangerous and alluring at the same time, a combination many of us can’t resist. I’ve seen four of them on my travels so far, and  I hope to see more. […]

Hanoi, Halong, Hue, Hoi An & Ho Chi Minh

The cab driver who took me to my hotel in Hanoi proclaimed the city had “4 million people and 3 million motorcycles”. Indeed, I could plainly see that the motorcycles & mopeds certainly outnumbered cars by what seemed 100-to-one. Motorcycle city: Hanoi Everyone was motoring on two wheels. There were toddlers standing on scooter floors […]

Calgary Stampede Art Walk

I can’t believe how many pieces of public art I’ve failed to notice when ‘Stampeding’ in the past. I bet most visitors to Calgary’s famous 10-day rodeo are in the same boat. Until I did the Calgary Stampede Art Walk, I had no idea the Stampede had such a long tradition of celebrating and commissioning […]

Best Destinations for April

It’s time for a spring adventure. The weather is perfect in so many places and peak season has often ended (along with peak prices). Here are some of the best destinations for April. North America Utah It was my first American road trip. I’ll never forget the stunning red rock scenery; so strangely familiar even though I’d […]

Thinking Back on Belize

My recent vacation in Costa Rica reminded me of my last Central American trip over a decade ago. I’ve written about the Guatemala part of the trip before, but I wanted to relive the Belize memories too. The jungle I was backpacking with my friend Janet, and we started out in San Ignacio to explore […]

Zip, Glide, Float: Riding Through the Rainforest

There are so many ways to get around in the rainforest, especially in Costa Rica. It’s one of the original eco and adventure tourism destinations. You can hike, rappel, raft, cycle, climb, zip-line, kayak, spelunk, drive, paddle, ride an ATV or saddle up a horse. And I’m probably missing a few. Zooming on a zip-line It […]

Healing Waters in Costa Rica

It must have been something in the water. Since arriving home from Costa Rica, I’ve felt none of my usual back pain and I’m getting much better sleep. Theoretically a relaxing vacation anywhere could provide those benefits, but I swear I’ve never felt so healthy after a trip. Maybe I’m just old enough now to […]

Costa Rica: The Hummingbird Affairs

The middle days of January have been an emotional time for me in recent years. I celebrate my birthday, but it’s also the anniversary of my Dad’s death the day prior, and what would have been his birthday the day before that. This year, the week in question happened to be good timing for both […]

5 Years, 5 Favourite Trips

The end of the year is often a time of reflection, so I’ve been thinking back on my recent travels. All of my trips have been special in some way. These favourite over the last five years provided some of my most memorable experiences. Jordan & Dubai I was on a break between jobs and a friend had recently […]

Free Walking Tours

Why didn’t I figure this out sooner?! Until recently, I had no idea how many free walking tours were available in so many amazing cities. What a perfect way to get acquainted with a new urban setting. Treading around Tallinn I first tried the concept in the city of Tallinn, Estonia during a cruise around the Baltic Sea. We had […]

Fine Food, Fast Cars & Faulty Towers: Bologna

I fell for Bologna. For its wide, porticoed streets lined with amber and red stuccoed buildings and mosaic patterned sidewalks. For its laid back university town vibe in the evening. For its civilized light traffic and lack of tourist crowds. For its amazing understated restaurants with their tables spilling out onto sidewalks. And for its […]

Travel Money Tips for Canadians

Traveling takes its toll on our wallets, even when we find great deals and aim to spend modestly. To add insult to injury, we also get dinged with all sorts of financial transaction fees if we’re not careful. Canadian banks in particular seem to have mastered the art of profiting from our vacations. Here are some tips […]

Where to Go in January

When it’s the middle of winter, we tend to have one of two objectives for our vacations: escaping winter, or embracing it. Whichever your approach, here are my suggestions for where to go in January. Escaping winter Costa Rica This is where I traveled this past January. I tried my first zip-line and saw exotic birds, animals […]

A New Fall Arts Season: Calgary Picks

Besides the turning of the leaves, my favourite part of fall is the start of a new season of performing arts. Cities like Calgary have so many options that it can be a real challenge to decide what to see. I’m here to help! I’ve chosen a subscription package in each arts discipline – theatre, […]

Venice: Grand or Grating?

I wasn’t sure if I’d love or hate Venice in summer. I’d heard the city was over-crowded, smelly and hot in peak season. I did loathe the crowds around the main tourist areas, and the muggy heat in July was uncomfortable. But I couldn’t help letting the city sweep me away either. That first breathtaking […]

Delicious & Dazzling: Naples, Sorrento, Amalfi

The Amalfi Coast draws scores of international visitors for a reason: it’s drop dead gorgeous. We based ourselves in Sorrento so we could easily take day trips along the coast and inland to Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius. But on the way, we made a little stop in … Navigating Naples Since we had to pass […]