US/Canada Flag

A friend of mine is making preparations to leave on a big European adventure, and trying to get everything ready before she leaves. One of her recent questions on Facebook was regarding how to be paid as a US-based contractor via PayPal and not lose any excessive money due to currency conversion. This is actually a tricky problem for a few reasons. First, most banks in Canada only deal in Canadian dollars. If you want to deposit USD into your CAD account you can, but the banks usually tack on an extra 2-3% to the base rates as another way to make money from you. Only a $100 it’s not a huge deal, but when you’re dealing with $1,000s of […]

Getting A Visa For Thailand

Canadians who just show up in Thailand are usually given a 30 day tourist visa without any hassles, or so I’m told. But given how I’m heading there for two months, I require a visa that is valid for a longer than normal duration. Generally people in my scenario can simply do a visa run, where basically you exit the country and return a short while later. In Buenos Aires most people would simply head over to Uruguay for the day and obtain a new 90 day visa upon return. But truthfully, I didn’t really want to have to worry about that while in Thailand, so I decided to get it all done beforehand. In most major cities visas can […]

Storage Locker Math

When I left my apartment back in November of 2010, I put the majority of items into a 8x9x10 storage locker. I spent about a week selling off most of the big furniture (which would have been harder to store), and basically just ended up with a pile of boxes. I didn’t hesitate at the time to put all my belongings into storage. I knew I would be gone at least four months, and likely more. But it’s now July, which means my belongings have been in storage for seven months. At a price of roughly $100 per month for the storage locker, that means I’m up to $700 to store a bunch of boxes. At some point one needs […]

Prior to setting out on my last adventure, I went down to Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) here in Vancouver and tried to find a backpack to take with me on my trip. I was looking for a backpack with the following qualities: Should fit as carry-on for most airlines Should have room for a laptop and my iPad Should be large enough to carry basic necessities like a few changes of clothes and toiletries With these criteria in mind, I eventually settled on purchasing the MEC Pangea 40, which is a 40 litre travel backpack that’s constructed so it will fit as carry-on for most airlines. How It Stood Up? Should fit as carry-on for most airlines – Well, it […]

Plans For April

I’ve been busy making plans for April. I haven’t pulled the trigger yet on most of it, but I’ve done a preliminary timetable and the budget works. So this is what it’s looking like. March 31 – April 5 – New York City, USA April 6 – April 10 – Shannon & Limerick, Ireland April 11 – April 15 – Edinburgh, Scotland April 15 – April 17 – Dublin, Ireland April 17 – April 21 – London outskirts, England April 21 – April 26 – Paris, France There’s a bit of bouncing around there, but I’m coordinating meeting up with a few other people, and that’s how it has to happen to work. For example, I’m meeting up with my […]

Well, I just did it – I booked a trip to Ushuaia, Argentina, the southern most city on the entire planet. I was originally going to go to Machu Picchu during that time slot, but once I learned that the southern most Irish pub in the world was in Ushuaia and that St. Patrick’s Day would align with the day I arrived, the decision became easy. As you can see from the above map, Ushuaia is about as far south as you can get on the planet, other than Antarctica of course. In fact, many of the ships that go to Antarctica leave from Ushuaia. If I had more time, I would consider making the journey there, but I’m content […]

Montevideo Trip Planning

The country of Uruguay is just a short ferry ride away from Buenos Aires. It’s always been on my list of things to see while I’m down in Argentina, but I didn’t have any definite plans in my mind for when I would go over. Usually people go over to Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay, since it’s just a short ferry ride away. However, an even greater adventure is the city of Montevideo, which is at least a 2.5 hour ferry ride away from Buenos Aires (if you take the fast ferry, longer if you take the slow ferry). So this weekend I’ve decided to head over to Montevideo with Gus and Russ. We’ve paid for a full tour, which […]

Recent Travel Purchases

I’m down to the 15 hour mark right now, and am just enjoying a beer in my Vancouver hotel room prior to heading out and meeting up with a few friends for dinner. I went out yesterday and bought a few more things to take along on the trip, so I wanted to highlight those here. Marmot Jacket I originally went to MEC in Vancouver to buy a nice jacket for my trip. I was looking for something really light that I could possibly wear in the evenings, and also something to add a bit of warmth if I’m in Europe later next year. I found the perfect jacket at MEC, but they unfortunately didn’t have the right size for […]

36 Hours To Go

I posted a blog entry on my personal site detailing how I was feeling last night. Since that time I’ve migrated to Vancouver and have checked into a nice suite at the Coast Plaza and Suite Hotels in Vancouver. Coast Hotels has supported various trips I’ve made over the years, and I’m definitely thankful to them for helping put me up from time to time. I’m actually in a suite on their top floor right now, with an absolutely amazing view of the Pacific Ocean from my window. If you’re looking for a great Vancouver hotel, then make sure you check out the Coast Hotels in Vancouver. I’m about 36 hours away from starting the adventure, and I’m definitely getting […]

Preparing Your Car For Storage

For some reason, I initially thought I could simply turn my car off prior to leaving for my year long adventure and it would be completely fine when I returned. After talking to a few people though, it turns out that you really do need to take special precautions to make sure your car will actually be functioning if you leave it for any extended period of time. So if you’re looking to leave for more than a month or so, you should make sure you take the following precautions with your vehicle. What To Do Prior To Leaving Over-inflate your tires by approximately 5 PSI. This will help prevent the tires from flattening while you are away, which sometimes […]