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.

Monday, September 12, 2022


Back from latest adventure -- unfortunately with another injury.  This time it is the right forefoot as I rolled over my toes trying to get up on a surf board too quickly during my lesson.  But, my new surf board will be arriving next week, so I'm not quitting.  Need to do more shoulder girdle training in anticipation of the next lesson opportunity.

D got into it too after witnessing a surf competition.  Was my first time too and wow, did the long boarders impress me!  I love seeing the power of the short boarders but the style of the long boarders won me over.

Just did my post trip covid test and am negative.  With each journey, I am getting more and more used to all the extra steps and checks.  It's ok.  Am grateful to be able to get out there again, doing what I can to stay well during and making it back without too much drama or incident.

Starting to get a bit too comfortable with flying business or first class though -- a dangerous thing as this phase is temporary.  There will come a day where I won't be travelling enough to earn upgrade certificates and I know I won't be willing to pay for those class of seats unless there is an incredible sale.  

At 24 days, this was also my longest time away ever.  And it felt fine, normal even, which was surprising.  Would have been ok staying on longer, despite being injured.  That's the plan next year, only the longer part...  Also need to sort out some discipline with respect to eating as I gained weight even with daily activity.  

Am a trip behind in posting so the next post of photos will have nothing to do with water.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

New World Travel

There are extra steps I'm taking for me to feel more OK with travelling internationally right now.  I've been asked a number of times about my preparation for all the "what ifs" that can occur; so here is a base list:  

  • Register your trip with your government (link for Canadians).  You'll get emailed news should the status of the country you are visiting changes.  For example, I received a notification with instructions of who to contact in Seoul should the results of an election create an emergency situation.  Same when we were in Bangkok after the bombing by the riverfront.
  • PPE -- Wipes, masks and Covid tests.  I bring enough tests for at least 2 weeks as I want to know when I test negative again.  I cannot fly back to Canada until 10 days after a positive test.
  • Covid specific insurance that covers 2 weeks of quarantine, extra testing, change of flight arrangements and medical coverage that extends up to almost a year should things really go south.  A number of countries i.e. Argentina etc. require specific Covid insurance as a condition for entry.
  • Getting a local Sim card, so you can 1) Contact the insurance company should you need to report a claim.  2) Receive texts as some contact tracing apps in some countries need a number to reach you.  3) As back up, should the internet suddenly go down at your hotel and you are needing to check the status of your airport taxi... (happened to me a few weeks ago)
  • Have multiple ways to reach your airline should a schedule change, adverse weather, emergency occur.  A great use for social media!
  • Get an additional email account i.e.  gmail vs hotmail etc.  Some countries' government sites like Thailand work best when sending correspondence to certain email accounts.    
  • Extra vitamins, medication, change of clothes etc. should a delay occur; especially these days with increasing extreme weather.  Remember that you may have to pay for extra hotel, food, ground transport etc. and claim from travel insurance after as airlines might not always be able to give out food and hotel vouchers to everyone who need it.
  • Carry on vs. checking in luggage.
  • Scheduling more time between trips.  Should you get chosen for arrival testing and are found to be positive -- It's a 10 day quarantine for Canadians.
  • Make sure you have the latest updates to all the apps you may need for countries of origin and destination as well as all the airlines you are flying with.  Often, you are notified of flight schedule changes before it shows up on the airport screens.  And depending on the airline, making changes to your flights are easier on the app than via a phone call.
  • Have pdfs of proof of vaccination, passport, other ID like a driver's licence on your phone etc. Make it easy for others to help you, especially now when there is a shortage of staff.
  • Allow many weeks for a new passport application.  In Canada, we are now able to schedule appointments but they aren't easy to find and spots are a month out unless someone cancels.  Otherwise it is many hours or days waiting in line.   
  • Extra currency.  I always travel with USD and Euro as well.  Some countries have a preference for clean, unmarked $50 or $100 bills.
  • Buy flights that are refundable.  Most of my flights have been purchased using points and can be cancelled right up to departure.  Any cash paid for flights can be converted to an e-credit, also last minute.  Flexibility is the name of the game right now.  You never know what will develop in other parts of the world.
  • Extra seating room.  I've never used upgrade vouchers until this year.  It has been a real treat to sit away from others as much as you can on a flight; especially now. 
  • Keep up to date with what your departure and arrival country requirements with respect to Covid restrictions.  For example, masking is required on planes in Canada but once I arrived to Amsterdam, they had just lifted masking requirements indoors but South Africa required it on public transport, so masks again required on the long flight over. 
I've learned to be comfortable with more technology than I ever would have signed up for on my own accord.  It hasn't been all smooth.  But being the type of person I am, I needed all the prep around me so I can actually enjoy my stay.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

CPT 3 -- Cape Town, South Africa


Snapshots from Robben Island, Langa Township and the District Six Museum.

I would recommend visiting the District Six Museum before 

heading to Langa Township.