Exploring Vancouver Neighbourhoods

Never have I smelled so much marijuana, so often in one day as in Vancouver on a recent Saturday. On the streets, in stores, at restaurants, along the waterfront and wafting from apartment balconies; it was everywhere. Vancouverites have obviously decided there’s no point in waiting until official legalization next year! Perhaps the second-hand fumes […]

Free things to do in Calgary

Calgary can be a expensive city, but for the frugally-inclined, there are more free things to do than you might think. Here’s a list to get you started. Find peace on a bridge Although only completed a few years ago, the Peace Bridge designed by renowned architect Santiago Calatrava has quickly become a sleek new […]

Azorean allure: The art of honouring time

Sao Miguel Island hits you full on with its dramatic landscapes, but only quietly invites discovery of its other charms. Exploring in and around Ponta Delgada was like a leisurely treasure hunt, fitting given its mid-Atlantic position and jagged shoreline so opportune for shipwrecks. Architecture: Church and state The triple-arched city gates were striking in […]

Treks in the city: Where to walk in Calgary

When in need of a nature fix, we Calgarians have a bountiful selection parks and trails to satisfy our need for green. Here are my favourite areas for escaping the city without ever leaving it. Weaselhead Flats I just enjoyed a gorgeous walk here with a friend. It was an unusually warm autumn Saturday. The […]

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. Here are some places around the world that would be great for October travel. Africa & Asia Tanzania We saw spectacular wildlife in the Serengeti, Ngorogoro Crater and Tarangire National […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Rome Less Travelled: Great Neighbourhoods

I’m so happy we had time to explore some less visited Rome neighbourhoods in addition to seeing the big attractions. It was nice to escape the lineups and crowds and see different sides of the city. Depending on your time and interests, you may want to include one or more of these in your plans […]

How We Survived (& Enjoyed) Rome in Summer

We knew Rome would be hot in July, but even the Romans were complaining that temperatures were higher than usual. The crowds were at their peak too, but still we were spellbound, following in the footsteps of popes, emperors and gladiators in the Eternal City. A piazza to call home Our home base at the […]

Emotional Immersion in Varanasi

We walked towards the river while it was still dark, making do with only moonlight and the dim beams of lanterns swinging from vendors’ carts to illuminate patches of the rutted roads here and there. Varanasi was surprisingly quiet at that early hour, with just the odd cowbell clanging, the muted buzz of a distant […]

Perfect Port Days on a Baltic Cruise

When I booked a cruise with a friend around the Baltic Sea in order to see a few cities in Scandinavia, I felt a bit sheepish. After all, I had done my share of poo-poing the idea of cruising in the past. I felt the need to explain to my friends that cruising isn’t always […]

Grown-Up San Diego

Almost everyone knows about the kid and family-friendly side of San Diego, but what if you end up there for a conference? Is it worth adding a business trip bonus day to your itinerary? On a recent trip, I had about a day and a half of free time. I found enough grown-up San Diego […]

24 Hours in Singapore on a Business Trip Bonus Day

If you travel for business, adding a day or more of sightseeing onto a work trip is a brilliant way to fit more exploration into your work year – I call these “business trip bonus days”. Whether you can get away with a single day, a weekend, or stringing a few more days together, take […]

Business Trip Bonus Days

If you’re trying to see the world while working full time (like I am), it’s important to leverage every possible opportunity for satisfying your wanderlust. Not everyone travels for business, but if you do, I highly recommend working in some Business Trip Bonus Days whenever you can. As long as your company policy allows it, […]

24, 48 or 72 Hours in Copenhagen

Copenhagen offers a compelling blend of old world fairy-tale charm and modern, cutting-edge culture and design. The city is often a jumping-off point for other destinations in Scandinavia or around the Baltic Sea. Whether you’re on a Baltic cruise that starts, stops, or ends in the city, or visiting Copenhagen as part of a longer […]

Planning a Trip to Copenhagen

Now that you’re dreaming of 1, 2, or 3 perfect days in Copenhagen, I’ll run through the essential practical information you’ll need to make it a reality, including how to get around, where to stay, and what to read, watch and download to inspire and inform your visit. Transport to the city centre It’s easy […]