Thursday, March 9, 2023


What does it take?  

I use Sherpa travel to keep abreast of the changing entry requirements.  From there, decide on flight routing etc.  For example, I have to test in Hong Kong if I wish to transit through Seoul.  But not if I fly through Singapore.  I have to test to go back to Canada if I went to Hong Kong.  Thus I shall pass on Hong Kong for the time being.

And depending on destination, there may still be a requirement of the arrival country to require masking on the flight to and at destination ie.  Japan, Taipei etc.  

If I want to go, I will happily follow the rules because the joy and exhilaration of being there trumps the perceived inconveniences.  Plus it is prudent to understand the cultural perception towards foreigners.  

Example, the last election in Japan, Prime Minister Kishida had strong support of the population to not open borders to the world due to belief that foreigners tend not to follow masking or hygiene rules, thus would be a risk for increased covid infections.  

For those of us who don't live in a highly sought after travel destination, we may not think of the anxiety of those who have to work in the tourist industry, dealing with the masses of visitors from everywhere.  So I continue to do my best to not behave in a worrisome way locally.  

Note to those planning on travelling to Japan:  Depending on arrival time of your flights, the line ups to get through passport control can be long!  I've averaged 2 to 3 hours at Haneda and Narita landing at 8 pm and 4 pm respectively.  Take that into consideration when planning transit into the city.

I had forgotten just how beautiful Taipei airport is.  

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Zanzibar cont'd

Jambiani beach was hands down the most stunning locale I visited on 2022.  Pictures don't adequately show the energy and extent of the tide in that part of the Indian Ocean.  

It was mesmerizing to behold and be standing in as it goes in and out. So different from any of the other bodies of water I've ever experienced.  Never thought I would prefer to walk on an ocean floor more than the regular beach.

Likely not a surprise that there is a great divide between local life and villa life.  The beach is public, unlike resorts in the Maldives as an example.  

What this means is an understanding of the demographics of the island, which is almost completely Muslim.  There are significant fines associated with inappropriate dress to both individuals and travel companies.  

Thursday, February 16, 2023


Was channelling this little one last week as I went in and out of the trees.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023


No snowboarding this season for a couple of reasons.  I can't maintain a toe edge due to my foot injury.  It's getting there but not enough.  

My snowboarding instructor has developed dementia and is at the point where he sometimes forgets how to get home.  We couldn't believe the difference a year has made.  Worried and upset for him.  

I've concentrated on developing ski endurance.  Getting mileage on my legs.  It's coming along.

Ended up getting new equipment.  D talked me into getting fitted for new boots after having an excellent experience with his fitting.  Our equipment would be considered old, pushing 12 years.  And his point was I would know once I get my feet into a new pair.

So I went and also had an excellent experience.  Then I found out my ski bindings are too old to service, making my skiis obsolete.  It is a safety and liability issue.  

Fortunately the ski shop had 1 pair of last season's skiis that fit me, at a reduced price.  So for the last week, I have been breaking in new equipment.  Had a few rough days with sore feet and legs but it is coming around.

I think I skied more this season than I've ever skied in my life.

We have a new food truck on the mountain.  Serving Ukrainian food by a family that arrived in Canada last November to escape the war.  

It has been really upsetting to hear about what their lives were like, which family members are still there, how close the bombings have been to their homes.  I can tell his son isn't sure about Canada yet.  They want to go back, once the war is over and rebuild.  

I've eaten there enough that he gives me complementary borscht (so delicious).  Last visit, he asked me if I was a professional skier because I am out everyday...made me choke up some soup in laughter...

I've been cherishing all the small conversations like this, with the lifties and on the chair lift.  There are so many good people around.  Renews hope.  

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Made It!

I was among the lucky ones who managed to get ahead of the storm that crippled many parts of the US and Canada last week.  Spent about 9 hrs at the airport and thankfully caught the 2nd last flight out of New York.  Had I missed it; would have meant missing my connection here in Canada. The realities of travel sometimes during the winter holiday season.

The flight was excellent; 100% due to the rockstar of a cabin steward.  I've already written in complimenting him as he needed to be recognized for his professionalism, proficiency, ability to juggle many things at once alongside connecting with people.  I love watching excellence in action.  It was a joy to be in his presence.  

Each year I receive "above and beyond" certificates to give to cabin crew or telephone agents from Delta but I had already used all of mine.  He deserved all of them.  What a wonderful way to cap off a long day and the last international flight of the year.

We haven't been spared from further delays here at home with our subsequent plans to head out west.  No matter -- We found out before we left for the airport and having an extra 3 days at home has meant good times here.  There aren't any down sides as I am reminded every day how fortunate we are when all options are good.

Here's wishing that 2023 brings some needed resolutions around the world and a renewal of hope and joy to the many torn and traumatized people in our global family.  

Wednesday, December 7, 2022


Since Halloween I've been away more than home -- Africa, to come later.  

Currently in Europe, covering a few countries before Christmas.  Am starting to get the hang of this extended tripping thing.

Have been testing out my 30 day Vodofone SIM plan.  So far so good.  I got it set up on arrival at Barcelona airport.  Might have gotten a better deal in the city but didn't want to deal with any potential language barriers.  There is a higher chance of English speaking staff at airports.  

I arrived too late into Bologna last week and was having too good a time to want to deal with cell phone stuff.  Didn't have too much difficulty with navigation there but happy to have data in Spain.  

My cellphone has been showing the tell tale signs of old age.  It is freezing up.  Airline apps are not working or upgrading anymore.  Haven't had software updates for a few years either.  Will recycle it but hate that I feel forced to purchase another one after just 5 years.

Will depart for Valencia in the coming days. And make my way to the Iberian peninsula, ending hopefully in the Azores.  We'll see.  Hopefully more Spanish starts coming out of my mouth.  I seem to have lost a lot of language functionality.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Moving Forward

It would be unconscionable, not to mention tone deaf if I didn't admit to feeling shame for reaching the "million miler" flight level.

I've been doing some thinking as to how to change my travel approach moving forward.   The frequency of flights has to decrease; that's a for sure.  Our world is burning.

I'm working on consolidating locales in order to decrease future flights by 50%. 

It will be a new challenge, learning what routes can be done as one ways and who flies them.  I anticipate it potentially might cost more.

Trying to round up locations that match up weatherwise as I prefer to travel during shoulder or low season.  I'll make it work.  

I cannot see myself being away for more than 6  to 8 weeks at a time right now.  Maybe I should go through the exercise to get a feel for how 5 or 6 months away would work and where.  

I just know I cannot continue going about it as I have been.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022



My gift from Delta arrived recently.  I reached this milestone on the return flight from Thailand in September.  Along with a really nice note and $250 gift card was a choice of 3 gifts.  I chose a monogramed leather carry on back pack.  Was very surprised to see the retail value of it is $650!  It is not something I would have purchased but it will be gratefully cherished and used.   

As previously mentioned, there can be extra steps to take when entering countries, documents to upload, apps to use etc.  It's a happy day when approvals and QR codes are received, especially when you are dealing with a developing country and if it occurs prior to a trip.  The feeling is like winning a lottery!

One such example is the PeduliLindungi app, required for entry to Indonesia (the trip I cancelled due to my foot injury).  It took 6 weeks to get my vaccination record approved and uploaded to the app -- A week after what would have been my return date.  

In reality, you don't have to submit it online as they just want to see you have app installed.  It just saves a step/line on arrival (app check, vaccination check, visa on arrival purchase, passport control) as I had read about how long things were taking at the airport.  Especially when my flight was going to arrive at midnight and I still had a stop to get a SIM card installed.

I swear I must have opened that app 3 or 4 times just to make sure I wasn't imagining things.  So I'm good for when I have a chance to reschedule the stay yet again.  This trip was to use up vouchers from a few years ago.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022


 I cancelled my last trip as my foot was still too sore to walk on, much less have any hope of taking surf lessons.  When I reached the 6 week post injury mark, I started more aggressive rehab and am doing much better.  Ski/snowshoe/snowboard season is approaching and I want to be able to participate fully.  The timing window of the 10 -12 weeks physio post healing period is crucial.  

D's dad opted to take a vacation post knee replacement instead of completing the full rehab.  His parents clung to their MD's words of "you can travel" meaning there isn't a medical reason they cannot travel vs. how the physio would answer that question with respect to the proper timing and long term recovery.  He continues to suffer pain and decreased function, at times worse than pre-surgery; which is a shame, as the procedure was without complications.  Trying to regain function at a later time is an uphill battle and he isn't going to do it.

I still have lingering issues with my right shoulder having landed on it during a snowboarding lesson, when I try to do a maximum overhead reach.  Still working on it as I'm not lettting it go without a fight.  Every degree of range of motion is important people.

Can't believe how quickly this year is moving along.  Am mentally back to planning 10 months ahead again.  There's some friction with that as there isn't a need to do it like that anymore but that habit is habituated.  Found that emotionally, I am not wanting to decide quickly.  There have been a few instances where I jumped at an opportunity but this not deciding until a month to 24 hrs out is unfamiliar.  It's stumped D as he has only known the "other" me.  I'm finding it amusing observing myself being like that.  Not feeling rushed or rushing myself is a nice feeling.

Monday, October 3, 2022

HKT -- Phuket Thailand

I couldn't remember the last time I felt as relaxed as I was here in Kata beach.
Despite hurting my foot during a surf lesson, my memories of this stay --
 Surf competition, seafood restaurants, delicious food -- are strong.
Am 3 for 3 so far this year with finding new to me incredible locations.
Here's to continued curiosity and experiencing new places and things.

Friday, September 16, 2022

EZE -- Buenos Aires, Argentina


Despite some blurry photos, I have great memories of this first visit to Buenos Aires.  

Lovely people, full of life and enjoyment of the arts.  Very supportive of community events.

The acoustics at Teatro Colon were incredible.  Such full sound in a fairly intimate setting.

Considering how hard Argentina's economy has been hit, found an unexpected combination 

of laid back vibes alongside care for the elderly and homeless.