Sunday, 31 March 2013


I apologize for not posting a picture last Sunday. I was otherwise engaged and time got away from me. I do hope that this week's photo will make up for it.

Many a castle, palace and other remarkable architecture, especially those long-standing ones, I find to be of great visual interest. In the not-so-distant future, I will make a pilgrimage to many of those well-worn sites and observe them with my own eyes; admiring the colours, textures, lines and beauty they exude. For now, I hope, "a picture is worth a thousand words".

Potola Palace, found in Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region, China sits majestically upon Marpo Ri ("The Red Hill").  A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Potola Palace was the winter palace of the Dalai Lama from the 7th century until 1959, when the current Dalai Lama fled after an ineffective uprising.

Potala Palace

Built strong and fortress-like, Potola Palace houses over 1000 rooms, 10,000 shrines and 200,000 thousand statues.  During the Cultural Revolution of China (1966 - 77) much of the palace was, sadly, vandalized and  looted by Chinese soldiers. Today, the Chinese government runs the palace as a museum and it is visited by numerous tourists yearly.

This photo is from Flickr. It was taken and is owned by Watchsmart.

Sunday, 17 March 2013


HAPPY ST PATRICK'S DAY!! Although I may not be Irish I can still appreciate a fun holiday. As a tribute, today's photo is rather fitting: Bunratty Castle and Durty Nelly's Pub in Ireland.

Durty Nelly's

Bunratty Castle, a National Monument in Ireland, is located in the village of Bunratty, which was originally the site of a Viking trading camp circa 970 A.D. Durty Nelly's Pub dates back to 1620 A.D. and has been in operation since. It is one of Ireland's most famous pubs. So much so that there is even a location in Halifax, NS, Canada - it was designed and built in Ireland and finally shipped over the ocean.

The photo is from Flickr and was taken and is owned by Geoffrey Watson (Amosthewonderpig).

Monday, 11 March 2013

The Appeal of...Part IV

Asia, the world's largest and most populous continent. It is a vast area to cover with much to see. So where in Asia am I drawn to? Where will I sojourn?

I am of the mind that there are certain places everyone should visit given the opportunity, whether there is an interest in it or not. These places I view as being like no other. Two of them are in Asia: India and Thailand. Now is this idea a valid one? Perhaps, perhaps not. There is only one way to confirm this in my mind. Yep, you know it - to go there and see for myself.

The Appeal Of:


Oh where to begin? Descriptions that make their way to my ears conjure images like no other country does. Assorted religions, numerous languages, curious customs and life ripe with colours, smells and sounds both grab my attention and intimidate me simultaneously. Yet, amid this muddle of an image I have, I very much want to "get" India. 


The allure of this destination is strong yet it is very unlikely that I will be able to visit during this RTW trip. I will get there, just perhaps not this time around. I am intrigued by this Himalayan country where "Gross National Happiness" is a mandate and modern technology is adopted slowly and warily.

Everything. Pretty much everything I have heard or read about Vietnam incites me to hop on a plane and check it out. 


Although I am not religious I do find much religious architecture beautiful and fascinating. The Hindu temple of Angkor Wat is no exception. It is the primary pull for me.


An archipelago country of over 17,000 islands - you know you will have plenty to see and do. Jakarata, Borobudur Temple, the islands of Flores and Sulawesi, beaches and Komodo dragons (Komodo Island). I think I may just spend an obscene amount of time in this country.


Truthfully, I aim to visit Malaysia for its food. It has been oft-repeated that food is the best in its country of origin. The Malay food I have tried in Vancouver is mouth-watering, savory and oh-so-heavenly. If it is better in Malaysia then chances are considerable that I may never return.


As I stated previously, Thailand is one of the places in the world that I think everyone should visit. And that is the only reason I will go. I may send shock waves to die hard Thai fans but I have no desire to visit Thailand. I do think it is a unique locale, however, I am just not feeling it. Though, that is the reason I will go. Perhaps I will be pleasantly surprised. Or not. I guess I will wait and see.

2 more continents left...onto Australia!!

Sunday, 10 March 2013


In trying to decide on today's spot I encountered some difficulty. Not because I did not know which country to choose but which area of it to opt for! Turkey offers so much - it is permeated with history and culture yet maintains a modern flair with eco-tourism, adventure travel and pure beauty in a Mediterrean climate. I have yet to meet someone who has been to Turkey and has not liked it. I can't wait to visit!!


The Cappadocia region, found in central Turkey, is home to much history and natural volcanic rock vistas. Ancient "fairy chimneys" populate the view around Goreme. Due to the soft nature of these "chimneys", the locals created carved homes, churches, temples and other structures into them.

Photo copyright by Moyan Brenn

Thursday, 7 March 2013


Ask any number of my friends about one of my skilled traits (and one they benefit from) and they would attest to my being a planner. I take pleasure in organizing people for activities on a small scale. I plan things I like to do and help others when they ask. I also, to a degree, plan my days and weeks. Hiccups and turmoil do not work well with me as I am easily flustered so having things organized keeps me sane!  To be clear, I do enjoy spontaneity, however it is chaos that causes me stress so planning allows me to stay level for the most part. 

This is also true of my travel ideas and plans. And to plan one requires trusted resources. For myself I have found Bootsnall to be my "go to" website. This site may sound familiar to you as I have mentioned it in previous posts. Since I find it to be the best indie travel site EVER, I am giving it its own special post (aren't I thoughtful??)

Bootsnall is an online travel magazine, blog, community and resource centre for anyone who wants to do indie travel. The site encompasses numerous factors regarding travel. Among them are destinations, accommodations, transportation, travel planning tools (financial, home, job considerations etc), discussion forums, adventure travel, RTWchats on Twitter and a section for travelers to post profiles of themselves. They even have a flight-finder that is fun to play on.  I do use other sites and mediums but I find Bootsnall to be so great because it is all there in one site.

Well, now I just need to move on from planning to the going....I know I sound like a broken record ~sigh~. I will get there and in the meantime I will use this site to my full advantage so that I can learn to become an Indie Traveler.

Here is their Indie Travel Manifesto:

Note: I am in no way affiliated with Bootsnall and all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013


Is this a sign of how I will react? Does this indicate my true feelings of this trip? Is this perhaps why it has taken me so long to follow through? Will I follow through? How do I move forward when my stomach is in knots? And really, why this topic?? YIKES!!!

Recently I signed up with  Bootsnall for their "Plan Your RTW Trip in 30 Days" feature. Every day an e-mail found its way to my inbox about various aspects of RTW trip planning and considerations. A great tool it is, one I would recommend. They provide downloadable spreadsheets, recommendations from RTW veterans and links to informative articles. Now it is one of these instructive articles that has me freaked out:  "The Ultimate Guide to Packing for an RTW Trip". While reading it my heart began to race, my stomach churned and my breathing became shallow. Anxiety set in. "How can I do this? What do I take? How much do I need to spend? What if my pack is too heavy? OMG!! I have to get in shape!! What if I pack all the wrong things? How am I gonna do this?" My heart is racing at an incredible rate! I think I'm on the verge of an anxiety attack!!

Why is this article, intended to help, causing me such stress? Seriously, it has made me worry. I do not know exactly why or what to make of it. What is even more baffling to me is how does an article of packing cause me to fret so? I mean it's packing. I'd think that the financial concerns would be overwhelming. Or not working for a year. Or not seeing family and friends (or my kitten). Or culture shock!! But no, I freak out over packing! PACKING!!

I know, I'm weird.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Sunday's Special Spot - TOKYO


Today we will be visiting Tokyo, the capital of Japan, the centre of Greater Tokyo Area and the world's largest metropolitan area. As far as big cities go, Tokyo impresses upon me as a world-class centre that is both modern yet filled with history and culture along with many springtime cherry blossoms.

Night view of city and Tokyo Tower

Opened in 1958, the Tokyo Tower rises up to 333m with over 150 million people visiting it since it opened. 

This photo is from Go Tokyo, The Official Tokyo Travel Guide. It is owned by them.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

A Taste of Home

As much as I enjoy talking and posting about travel and far off places, it is good to remember home as well. The video below, put out by Tourism Vancouver, sums up my feelings for my favourite city!!