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 his birthday the day before that. This year, the week in question happened to be good timing for both my friend Leanne and […]

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 […]

Fall Performing 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 […]

Ruins of Civilization: 5 Lost Cities

The Roman historical sites we visited in both Rome and Pompei got me thinking about just how many ruins I’ve seen in my travels. Many times I’ve sought them out. There’s something fascinating about walking through the remnants of a society and contemplating how and why the place was abandoned. Here are five of the […]

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 […]

Calgary Summer Cultural Festivals

Almost every summer weekend in Calgary, you can experience a different culture. Sometimes you can even virtually visit two continents in the same week without leaving the city limits. This list of Calgary cultural festivals  demonstrates how amazingly diverse the city really is.

Exploring Southern Spain

One of the best ways of exploring southern Spain is to pick a home base and take a series of day trips. That way you only have to unpack once, and you can relax in between excursions as you get to know your adopted neighbourhood in more depth. I hadn’t hear of Frigiliana before planning […]

Language & Lit Picks for Travel to Italy

Our trip to Italy is drawing near, so it’s time to learn a bit of the language and stock up on reading material. In an attempt to learn some basic Italian, I attended a one-day ‘Italian for Travelers’ class through a local community college. Sadly, I think I came out of it more confused than […]

On Safari: Close Encounters of the Wild Kind

It didn’t take long before we had our first breathtaking wildlife encounter in Tarangire National Park in Tanzania. Between 15 and 20 elephants were huddled close together in the shade of a grove of acacias, only 10 meters in front of the land rover. We stood up to get better views through the jeep’s open […]

Prairie Drama: Rural Retrospection

I had a feeling Theatre Calgary’s production of Dear Johnny Deere would get me thinking about my Saskatchewan homeland. And of course, it did. The play is an alt-country-folk musical production about the struggles of farm life, based on the songs of Canadian singer-songwriter Fred Eaglesmith. It was brilliantly performed by a talented cast of […]

11 Handy Travel Sites to Bookmark

Aside from booking sites for flights and accommodations, these are the other indispensable websites I consult when planning a trip. You should too! Getting around Rome to Rio – Find the best way between Point A & B, how long it will take and how much it will cost. The Man in Seat 61 – […]

Up the Coast of Croatia

Our first experience of Dubrovnik’s old town was at dusk, and we felt like we’d stepped into a fairy tale. The stone-paved streets are polished smooth as marble by the thousands of feet passing over them daily. The city walls and buildings are made of golden stone with red terracotta roof tiles. As we entered […]

Piranha Fishing in the Amazon Rainforest

My fascination with the jungle began when I was a teenager. I remember reading some now long-forgotten novel about researchers trekking through the rainforest in search of lost tribes and mysterious healing plants. It was an exotic world away from our prairie town, and just the sort of adventure I thought I should have some […]