Travel

Women Love Travel More

Posted by on May 5, 2015 in Travel | 2 comments

Women Love Travel More

If you are wondering why a man is writing about travelling women, it’s because all the women in my family seem to be travelling and I’m compelled to speak out! My mom is heading back to the Bahamas with her friends – all women. Yesterday she called to let me know where her important documents are stored in the event of an emergency. She ended her conversation by saying “I’ll be back in about thirty days, Sweetheart.” “Uh, OK Mom,” I said. “Thanks for the call. I love you and I guess I’ll see you in a month.” She was so excited I couldn’t get another word in...

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When A Dream Becomes Reality

Posted by on Mar 5, 2015 in Lifestyles, Travel | 2 comments

When A Dream Becomes Reality

October 28, 2014 was one of the best days of my life. It was the Middle School graduation ceremony for 23 students in Chukumuk, Guatemala. These students, dressed in traditional Tz’utujil splendor, were so elated and their families so proud; they were one step closer to graduating high school. I am wearing a beautiful guipil (shirt) that was embroidered by the Home Economics teacher as a gift. All the students looked fantastic and so proud in their traditional clothing. To a Canadian, this does not seem an exceptional feat. However, when one considers that less than 1% graduate high...

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A Hand Up, Not a Handout

Posted by on Sep 2, 2014 in Lifestyles, Travel | 0 comments

A Hand Up, Not a Handout

Nestled in the highlands of Guatemala sits the new village of Chukumuk. Its inhabitants are survivors of one of the worst natural disasters in Central American history, the 2005 Panabaj Mudslide. This mudslide killed hundreds of Tzutujil Mayans, leaving many more without families, homes or belongings. The mudslide was up to 40 feet thick and half a mile wide, and decimated half of the village of Panabaj. This disaster occurred in the middle of the night and a disproportionate number of men died as they tried desperately to save fellow Mayans. Due to the size and scope of the disaster, massive...

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Home Exchange on the Beach

Posted by on May 1, 2014 in Lifestyles, Travel | 4 comments

Home Exchange on the Beach

The kayaks are dots on the horizon. They belong to our neighbours in the other trailer on Las Tortugitas, our private acre on the beach at La Manzanilla on the Costa Alegre of Pacific Rim Mexico. Brenda and Rico hail from an off-the-grid outcrop near Quadra Island. Today they are heading to spend the day on an even more private beach than the one we inhabit where, like true BC boomers, they can shed their clothes and lie around all day in hammocks. Ani introduced me to them, then sprinted off to catch the bus for her urban getaway in San Miguel de Allende. We are house swapping, and so...

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Vacations Go Multi-generational

Posted by on Apr 10, 2014 in Travel | 0 comments

Vacations Go Multi-generational

Many of us have thought of how nice it would be to re-connect with our children and grandchildren on a vacation. Maybe a special anniversary is coming up or a graduation that you would like to celebrate. Where should you start? Determine what will interest all the participants. The options are limitless. You can choose a family cruise to Alaska or Europe. Most cruise lines have both children and teen programs during school vacations. Holland America Line and Disney both offer special shore excursions in Alaska that are specially designed for children. If relaxation is your goal, why not pick...

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Butterfly Wings

Posted by on Mar 10, 2014 in Lifestyles, Travel | 3 comments

Butterfly Wings

Butterflies can make quite a racket. Not a big noise, but a persistent whir as they flap in the sunbeams, in the millions. When they start to flutter, the air is filled with orange flecks against the dusky beams of sun that filter through the pines. Observers like myself who have struggled up the mountain path to see them are transfixed as they land on a hat or an arm or on the ground around. Millions of Canadian expatriate Monarchs in a blizzard of colour. It’s a wonder of nature. Millions? Well, no one knows how many there are in this tiny acreage high in the forested mountains of Central...

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On the streets of San Miguel

Posted by on Feb 7, 2014 in Lifestyles, Travel | 2 comments

On the streets of San Miguel

The other day I was shocked out of my reverie as I walked to my teaching job. I missed it by inches. A tidy steaming pile left by a street dog. This is not an uncommon sight on San Miguel streets in the morning, until the Senoras can get out to clean up their part of the sidewalk. So it was an irritation avoided. Still, it made me think about my next blog instalment. “Hmm,” I mused, “Perhaps I should just describe my walk to work”. Because, feral dogs and all, the streets of San Miguel are fascinating. They are clean too. The town takes great pride in all its services, and that...

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Crafting a Second Life

Posted by on Jan 6, 2014 in Lifestyles, Travel | 8 comments

Crafting a Second Life

I’m back in San Miguel de Allende, living the second life I’ve crafted for myself over the last few winters to round out my Island existence. For four months, as the rain drips off the roof in Qualicum Beach, I’ll be living large here in Mexico. My agenda will be heavy on volunteer work and my own efforts to write meaningfully and for posterity. My life here will also be crammed with the particular joy of women friends. Though we come from all over and from all walks of life, we share a commitment to a journey of discovery of ourselves as creatives and as elders. So I will walk all over...

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Why use a travel agent?

Posted by on Nov 5, 2013 in Travel | 1 comment

Why use a travel agent?

Imagine yourself in the Denver Airport, connecting to Cancun for your daughter’s wedding, when suddenly all flights are grounded due to severe winter weather. The lineups at the ticket counters are snaking through the terminal and the toll-free airline call center has a two hour wait on hold.  If you booked your flights with a travel agent, you are probably more fortunate than your fellow paasengers who have booked their flights online. Usually one call to your travel agent will protect your spot on the next available flight to your destination. A few years ago, most of Western...

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Understanding your Loyalties

Posted by on Aug 26, 2013 in Travel | 0 comments

Understanding your Loyalties

Our agency has daily encounters with client questions about the many different loyalty programs in Canada today. We are often asked which program we recommend. There is no easy answer to that question. Almost every credit card company or bank has their own program and each will try to tell you that theirs is the best for you. Before deciding on a card, you should find out how easy it is to accumulate and redeem your points. CIBC Aeroplan Visa will give you Aeroplan points for travel redemption on Air Canada and its partners. You can redeem as little as 15,000 points for a short haul flight in...

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The Ultimate Romance

Posted by on May 20, 2013 in Travel | 0 comments

The Ultimate Romance

For those of you seeking an exotic adventure on the high seas – something truly “out of the ordinary”, I’d like to share my dream with you: the turquoise seas of Polynesia where the hospitality is not only exceptional, but warm and genuine.  I’m talking about Fiji, Tonga, the Cook and Society Islands. I’m gradually working my way around the globe and this year’s trips are already planned, but Polynesia is definately on my personal bucket list! Some may choose to fly to Papeete, Tahiti and experience all that the South Pacific has to offer on their...

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Over a pot of tea …

Posted by on Apr 8, 2013 in Lifestyles, Travel | 2 comments

Over a pot of tea …

Last Saturday afternoon began in a ceremony to greet the Spring season. The setting was Charco del Ingenio, a protected area nestled just over the hill and out of sight of San Miguel. The Charco is a botanical garden, an archaeological site, and has even been named a peace zone by the Dalai Lama. Pre Columbian stone tools found in its caves attest to its antiquity, and hacienda ruins signal its past on New Spain trade routes. Now, it’s the perfect moody place for this ritual to honor Gaia. Though the music came from pow wow drums and ram horns, Tibetan singing bowls and rattles, the group...

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Over a pot of tea …

Posted by on Mar 14, 2013 in Lifestyles, Travel | 2 comments

Over a pot of tea …

There is lots to do in Mexico.  My marital sabbatical from “what’s for dinner?” has been a rejuvenating experience. Though my husband and I get along pretty well after 37 years, this time apart has freshened me up inside. I’ve spent three months answering the selfish question, “what do I want?” Here’s a sample of some of the things I’ve wanted,  and some experiences I have been enjoying in San Miguel de Allende. I wanted to explore new interests. Here, I’m overwhelmed with all the choices. Many tourists to Mexico stay in all-inclusive resorts, where the beach, buffet and...

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Remarkable River Cruising

Posted by on Mar 11, 2013 in Travel | 0 comments

Remarkable River Cruising

Once you discover the beauty of river cruising, you won’t want to travel any other way. As a cruise and travel consultant with Expedia CruiseShipCenters, I can say that river cruising is the fastest growing niche in travel. A river cruise is for those travelers who seek a small ship experience that is leisurely and casual, but with an all-inclusive price and service. This includes everything from internet onboard, to beer and wine with lunch and dinner, and escorted daily shore excursions. These intimate ships sail straight into the heart of big cities as well as small towns, docking mere...

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Women and Travel

Posted by on Nov 14, 2012 in Travel | 0 comments

Women and Travel

Walt Disney once said: “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths”. As a travel consultant for the last nine years , I’ve worked with single women, married couples, and women of all ages who have one thing in common: they want to see the world. Women are usually the organizers of family celebrations, as well as independent travel where everyone can explore their own passions for art, music, historically significant architecture, and food! While health and safety is a consideration, I’ve...

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