Visiting Iceland

I recently made the decision to take advantage of Iceland Air’s free stopover policy to visit Iceland on my way from Vancouver, Canada to Europe. If you weren’t aware, Iceland Air allows anyone to stop for up to a week in Iceland without any additional charges. This is a brilliant marketing move, and it’s help Iceland become a hugely successful tourist destination in the last few years (one tour guide told me that fishing used to be about 70% of the economy, and now tourism is coming close to eclipsing that). Before I arrived, I had heard stories about how expensive the country is. Let me be clear, those rumours are true. Compared to prices back in Vancouver, I would […]

People keep asking me what my next travel plans are, so I thought I would give a little update. While I used to only come back to Canada for a month or two at a time, now that I have my own cottage in Canada I tend to spend longer periods here. Plus, while last year I dabbled in renting my cottage out while I was gone, it’s really only the summer months that seem to appeal to most renters; so it makes more sense for me to travel then so I can rent my cottage out and at least break-even while gone. So for my next adventure, I’ve chosen to walk The West Highland Way, an approximately 150km trail […]

Two Weeks Until The Camino De Santiago

In less than two weeks from today, I’ll be leaving St. Jean Pied de Port, France and starting my 800 kilometre journey to Santiago de Compostela. People keep asking me if I’m excited, and a small part of me at this point definitely is. But I typically don’t start feeling real excitement or butterflies until I’m on the airplane heading to my destination. I have most of the logistics for my trip figured out, including a late night shuttle from Biarritz, France to St. Jean, and a nice bed and breakfast in St. Jean Pied de Port, France, for my first night. I’ll probably spend my second night in St. Jean in an actual albergue – it seems like a […]

Packing for the Camino de Santiago

While I still have roughly two months before I head to St. Jean Pied de Port, France to start the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, I have been focusing a lot of time recently with packing. I’d like to start being able to do some practice walks with a full pack shortly, which means I need to get my pack to roughly the same weight as it will be when I arrive. Of course, I could just fill it with rocks for now, but since I already have many of the items with me at home, I thought I’d just finish buying what I need and have it done ahead of time. As a rule of thumb, most people try to […]

Camino de Santiago

Camino de Santiago Routes

In about 90 days, I’m heading to London, England, to spend my birthday. As you get older, birthdays become less and less important I find, certainly not enough to warrant a huge drunk at the bar. So I thought this year I would spend my birthday in another country, hopefully meeting a few new people and maybe exploring the countryside. A few days after my birthday, I’m heading to Spain to start the Camino de Santiago, a famous Christian pilgrimage that ends in the city of Santiago, Spain. Historically many people attempted the long walk as penance for their sins, but nowadays people walk it for a variety of reasons, often because they want some introspection on life. There are […]

My Return To Malta

Rock Formation in Gozo

Earlier this year, I got a Facebook invite for a surprise birthday party in Malta. I’m sure when it was sent out nobody thought anyone from Canada would show up, since it’s a really long way to go for a birthday. But as soon as I received the invite, I decided it would be really fun to show up, and also a chance to see a little more of Europe. I left at the end of May and stopped briefly in London for a few days. I met up with my friend Barry, someone I recently met in Argentina back in February. We mostly just hung out around his area, watching football in the pubs. But one night we ventured […]

How To Travel

My hotel room in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

As much as I love travelling to new places, you’ll often hear me complaining about how much I dislike the process of travelling – the airports, customs line-ups, security line-ups, crappy airport food, turbulence, jet-lag and many more. For new travellers, these things are somewhat exciting in their own right, but after a while they grow old and tiring. With that in mind, I was recently reading Anthony Bourdain’s travel tips via a link on Facebook (most of which are great) and thought I would follow up with a point-by-point comparison of some of my tips. The first thing I do is I dress for airports. I dress for security. I dress for the worst-case scenario. I don’t purposefully dress […]

Back to Brazil

The last time I was in Brazil, I was there from June until August in 2013, which was basically the tail-end of their winter. The weather was actually quite nice (compared to a Canadian winter), with most days hovering around 20C. But I haven’t experienced summer in South America since my first trip to Argentina in 2011. Given that it’s been snowing and below zero here in Hamilton for the last two weeks, seeing the sun again and 30C days is going to be a great change. I’m flying out of Pearson in the early afternoon on Wednesday, with a brief 4-hour stop over in New York City. I found a flight that was about $200 cheaper because it requires […]

Me At Edoras

It’s hard to be in New Zealand and not eventually stumble upon some of the filming locations from The Lord of the Rings trilogy. While most of the scenic areas from the films are on the South Island, there are plenty of opportunities on the North Island to take a visit to Middle Earth, most notable is of course Hobbiton near Matamata. During our two week campervan adventure on New Zealand’s south island, we had an impromptu idea to visit Edoras, which was the primary filming location for the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. It’s situated on private property, but the owners don’t seem to have a problem with tour busses and individual tourists making the trek up […]

New Zealand: Beautiful, but hard to stay connected

Unless you are coming from Australia, you’ll likely arrive in New Zealand and be instantly surprised with how hard it is to find usable Internet, or how much money you have to pay to get online. Sure, some coffee shops give you 30 minutes of free time with the purchase of a coffee, but that’s hardly enough time to send a few emails or check in with friends and family on Facebook. If you want to do anything useful, such as upload photos or do a few online chats with people back home, you’re going to find it very difficult all over New Zealand unless you’re willing to shell out $3-$5 an hour whenever you do find it. Even if […]