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Monk spotting in Thailand

Monk spotting in Thailand

Where most men spend at least a short time in the robes I had just arrived in Thailand and in fact was leaving the Bangkok airport when I spotted my first Buddhist monk. He was dressed in a saffron robe with simple sandals on his feet. But he was pulling a suitcase-on-wheels and heading towards the taxi stand just like me. A little too urban, I thought. A few hours later, in the historical Bangkok district of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Spiritual travel, Thailand, Travel itinerary

Travelling well in Southeast Asia

Travelling well in Southeast Asia

Editorial: It was late in the afternoon when I noticed them. A van stopped at the entrance of the hotel where I was staying in Chiang Mai and two tourists, a man and a woman, probably European, got out. It wasn’t a fancy van. It was more like one of those communal taxis that are everywhere here, where passengers share two hard benches in the back. But a Song-Thaew taxi is always red and this van … Read entire article »

Filed under: Editorials

Losing my passport and feeling humbled

Losing my passport and feeling humbled

Editorial: I lost my passport going through security at Bangkok’s international airport. I didn’t leave it in the plastic security container along with my new MacBook Air computer and plastic baggie of priceless carryon liquids (particularly the mosquito repellent with high Deet content that all the travellers are looking for over here). Instead I placed it on the conveyor belt and walked through security without it. I know this because it was videotaped and when I raised … Read entire article »

Filed under: Editorials

Being an exchange student in Brazil

Being an exchange student in Brazil

It takes confidence and an independent nature for a 16-year-old to go off to Brazil on an exchange for a year. Patricia LaSalle had both and the experience shaped her career. I don’t know where I got the travel bug. All I can say is that at the age of 15 I took a bus with my best friend from where we live in Canada to Texas where her family, who lives in Mexico, picked us … Read entire article »

Filed under: Brazil, Travel itinerary, Volunteer abroad

Vita Sackville-West’s sunset garden: Sissinghurst Castle, England

Vita Sackville-West’s sunset garden: Sissinghurst Castle, England

I visited Sissinghurst to see the garden Vita Sackville-West created with her husband Harold Nicolson. I also went out of curiosity for I have read a great deal about this couple and wanted to see where they lived and worked. They were an interesting pair, he a writer and diplomat, she a poet and writer. They were part of a talented circle of writers, artists and ‘thinkers’ who lived in or around Bloomsbury at that time; … Read entire article »

Filed under: England, Gardens of the world, Travel itinerary

David Thompson Highway: Hidden gem in the Rockies

David Thompson Highway: Hidden gem in the Rockies

The David Thompson Highway is described as “one of the finest drives in Canada”. It is a gateway to the Rockies yet few people know about it. Andrew Sunter came upon it during a weeklong mountaineering course and shares his views. I ‘discovered’ the David Thompson Highway during the summer when I was doing a climb to Mount Cline (3361 m) just east of Banff National Park. The trail to the Mount Cline basecamp takes about … Read entire article »

Filed under: Adventure travel, Canada, Travel itinerary

Patagonia photo gallery

Filed under: Photo galleries of great trips

Panama photo gallery

Filed under: Photo galleries of great trips

Flying around Panama: Bocas, Boquete and the Canal

Flying around Panama: Bocas, Boquete and the Canal

Panama is a popular destination for surfers and birders and one that would suit most backpackers and independent types. It’s lush and exotic and the best coffee grows there. My first stop was Bocas del Toro, an archipelago on the Caribbean. I flew there from Panama City and stayed in Bocas town on Isla Colon. Some travel books describe it as a place that is quickly evolving from a great backpackers’ secret into a more upscale … Read entire article »

Filed under: Panama, Travel itinerary

Being a foreign student at the University of Havana

Being a foreign student at the University of Havana

Patricia LaSalle spent a semester at the University of Havana, Cuba as part of her international development degree. She was there for 3 ½ months, sharing a room with Kristin, another student in the program. Cuba has so much history but it seems as if everything has paused. There are many educated people in the country who are doing things they never would do if they had opportunities. Even with a ration system, they have to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Cuba, Memorable moments, Volunteer abroad

Being in Sri Lanka during the tsunami

Being in Sri Lanka during the tsunami

On December 26, 2004 an earthquake in the Indian Ocean caused one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history. Janice Gray was in Sri Lanka at the time and was suppose to be on the coast when the waves rushed in. She was lucky but many others weren’t for 35,000 Sri Lankans lost their lives.   It was my second time visiting Sri Lanka and I had once again engaged an excellent driver who spoke … Read entire article »

Filed under: Memorable moments, Sri Lanka, Travel itinerary

Burma (Myanmar): Diary of a great trip

Burma (Myanmar): Diary of a great trip

Janice Gray spent time in Myanmar (Burma) during a Christmas vacation. She describes it as being one of her best trips—a fascinating place and a beautiful country. She kept a trip diary and excerpts are captured here. By Janice Gray Day 1: A guide from Columbus Travel met us at Yangon airport and after lunching at a restaurant built for expats and tourists we go to see Chaukhtatgyi, the 55 meter-long reclining Buddha. Yangon is charming with … Read entire article »

Filed under: Burma (Myanmar), Travel itinerary

Patagonia: The remote tip of South America

Patagonia: The remote tip of South America

Patagonia is famous for its unpredictable weather, its winds, some of the best treks in the world, its granite peaks, glacial lakes and much more. Joyce Sinclair and her husband Bill decided to spend some time there after their cruise in Antarctica.   Patagonia is at the southern tip of South America straddling the Argentine and Chilean borders. We were there in January, which is their summer. The days are long at that time of year … Read entire article »

Filed under: Adventure travel, Argentina, Chile, Travel itinerary, Wildlife