Wednesday, 29 May 2013


I came across these quotes on Pinterest. Unless otherwise noted, I do not know who uttered them originally, though I am sure you can find out with a simple search. They resonate with me, particularly the final quote...

Sunday, 26 May 2013


Travelling Through Europe

Photo credit: Flickr - Paul D'Ambra

Back in the day if you wanted to go on a trip you made a visit to your favourite Travel Agency. It was your one-stop shop for everything travel - airline tickets, travel insurance, cruise bookings, package vacations, rail tickets, bus tours, car rentals, hotel bookings...even RTW tickets. They did it all! They did it all without an extra fee to you. Travel Agents received their pay through commissions earned on almost everything they booked. Add to the fact that they could access hundreds of options plus their immeasurable expertise and you could rarely go wrong. If something did go wrong with the travel provider, your travel agent was there to help you out. Those days of one-stop travel shopping are now gone. Immense changes have occurred in the travel biz and the world. Airlines and other operators stopped or reduced paying commissions to travel agents, forcing them to charge a service fee in many cases. The Internet gave us online travel agencies in the form of Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz. Discount air booking sites surfaced (Cheap-O Air, Kayak) and the airlines websites became a breeze to navigate. Hotel and other travel related pages are at the top of search engine hits. This sheer magnitude of information available at your keyboard (or phone) can make anyone be their own travel agent.

So how do you go about making your travel reservations? Now, of course there still are Travel Agencies, however, it would be a safe bet to say they are not utilized to the extent that they once were. That is one option and one that I think people should not be too quick to dismiss. Despite the changes over the years, many Travel Agencies still provide a valued service and expertise. They can also ease the headache of searching innumerable travel webpages. Just expect that in some cases a booking fee may be required.

But what if you are not using a Travel Agent? Well then the easiest route is, as many of you have guessed, the Internet. It's all there. Which is why many of you may not find this post as helpful as you might have guessed. There is just so much out there and what one person likes about a travel website another may not. The end result is based on personal choice. If you are like me, perusing sites and garnering information is part of the thrill of the "hunt". If not, then perhaps a travel agent (online or otherwise) may the route for you. A site like Trip Advisor, where travelers rate and review much of the travel world, can be a valued resource. Don't forget travel blogs either! 

Although this may not have been the most helpful post, I am listing some of my favourite sites and tools for gathering information. Please note that the majority of these sites I have used ONLY to get information. 

Bootsnall Travel Indie Travel Guide - I find the majority of this site helpful overall.

Air Canada - I subscribe to their email list and have their mobile app

Westjet - I subscribe to their email list

Air Asia - A discount airline servicing a large region of SE Asia

Air Baltic - A discount airline servicing much of Eastern Europe

Hostelling International - A huge hosteling association worldwide.

EuropeBy - An online listing and booking program for hotels in many European cities.

One World - An airline alliance encompassing 12 member airlines. 

Star Alliance - An airline alliance encompassing 28 member airlines.

Thrifty Car Rental - A car rental company.

Avis Canada - A car rental company.

One final note. I, personally, use online sites moreover than using a travel agent. Having worked in a travel agency myself in the past, I recognize their value and benefit. Yet for me, at this time, I find the ease of making simple bookings online my preferred avenue of booking travel. I am certain that the time will arrive when I will take advantage of the services of a travel agent that just can not be matched. However you book your travel, may all of your journeys be amazing.

Disclaimer: The information provided on "Eeva's Wanderings" is meant  only as tips and suggestions. I, the author, am not responsible for any harm, injury, loss of life or property or any other misfortune that may occur should anyone act on, re-use or their interpretation of the information provided. I will try to provide up-to-date information but I am not responsible for any information that is out-of-date or incorrect. All opinions are my own and in no way are meant to mislead, defame, harm, humiliate or injure anyone.


Almost synonymous with Cambodia, Angkor Wat is a phenomenal monument. Built at the beginning of the 12th century this magnificent wonder is the largest religious monument complex in the world.  It is of significant archaeological importance to SE Asia and holds in its walls extensive cultural, social, artistic and religious history of the Khmer Empire.

Cambodia-2638B - Angkor Wat

The city of Siem Reap, Cambodia is the logical starting point to explore the Angkor region and to experience this stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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

Wednesday, 22 May 2013


Where are you from? What is the reason for your visit? How long will you be staying?  What is your citizenship?

All these are common questions asked of travelers when crossing into another country. That is why proper documentation is of the utmost importance. Without it you are, well, screwed. 

We all know that proper ID is a necessity. Without it we can not prove that we are who we say we are. It is needed, among other things, for many daily activities such as driving, buying a cell phone plan, buying prescription drugs or going to a bar. As stated above, with travel it is imperative to have your proper ID and papers. This is regardless of how you enter a country (plane, train, foot, car, bus etc). There are only a few exceptions to traveling without proper documentation. If you are traveling within Canada you do not require proper ID if you are going by bus, train or getting a ride with someone in a car.

How about everywhere else? Let's take a look.

Driving (within Canada):

If you are driving within Canada, be it a rental or your own vehicle, then you require a valid Driver's License (DL) and car insurance. For visitors you to Canada, while you may be able to drive within Canada on your country issued valid DL for up to 3 months, it is STRONGLY advised that you obtain an International Driver's License/Permit to have along with your country's DL. Car insurance is mandatory in Canada.

To board an aircraft you must provide valid ID that matches the name on the reservation. This means that one will have to present either one piece of valid government-issued ID with the passenger's photo, name, date of birth and gender OR two pieces of valid government-issued ID with one showing the passenger's name, date of birth and gender.

International travel:

A valid passport is required for international travel. Canada requires that all passengers traveling by air, including children, carry their own passport when traveling to another country. For more information on obtaining a passport and upcoming changes visit the Passport Canada website.

Regardless of how you cross a border (by air, train, water, foot, motor vehicle) Canadians will  have to present a valid passport to enter a country. If you live in another country please check with your government agency to find out what the requirements are. Most countries require passports to enter. 


According to the Canadian Government's Travel website a Visa is:

"A visa is an official document, usually stamped or glued inside a passport, giving permission from a foreign authority for you to enter a country.
Visas are issued by foreign government offices in Canada. Requirements, fees and processing times vary, depending on the country and type of visa you need. The most common categories are business, work, student and tourist visas.
Remember that representatives from the country to which you are travelling need to see your passport before issuing a visa. If you cannot visit the foreign government office in person and must mail your passport, use secure mail services and enclose a stamped, self-addressed return envelope."

So they are important. Not all Canadians require Visas for all countries. In many cases, a valid passport will suffice. Before you go, do some research to find out if you do require a Visa, what type (business, tourist, student, transit, etc), cost and how long the process will be. In many instances it is a quick and painless process. Other times it is a lengthy and expensive endeavour.

Medical Insurance:

Buy it! You can never know what will happen when you are out of the country. You may get sick, have an injury or be involved in an accident. Out of country medical insurance can take care of the monetary aspect of your medical care so you can focus on getting well. Do not assume that Canada's universal health care will cover you out of the country. It will not. If you do not have travel medical insurance you will have to pay for any medical expenses out of your own pocket should you be unfortunate enough to require care. If you have travel medical insurance on your credit card (or through other avenues) check the fine print for any exclusions or other pertinent information. Travel medical insurance can be purchased through a travel agent, when booking flights online and through some banks (e.g. RBC Insurance).

Other types of insurance to consider are Trip Cancellation and Interruption, Evacuation Insurance, Baggage Insurance and special considerations if you are an adventure sport enthusiast. DO YOUR RESEARCH!!

And finally, remember to carry all your documentation with you. It is also a wise idea to photocopy your documents and carry a copy in your luggage, away from the originals. Giving a copy to a trusted family member or friend who is not traveling with you is another option as well. Should you lose your documents then a quick phone call can give you the info you need to replace them.

I hope this has been helpful for you novice travelers. It may seem overwhelming but once you know what you need or where to get the information then you know.

For more detailed information, tips and travel health for Canadians, please visit the Canadian Government's Travel website.

Disclaimer: The information provided on "Eeva's Wanderings" is meant  only as tips and suggestions. I, the author, am not responsible for any harm, injury, loss of life or property or any other misfortune that may occur should anyone act on, re-use or their interpretation of the information provided. I will try to provide up-to-date information but I am not responsible for any information that is out-of-date or incorrect. All opinions are my own and in no way are meant to mislead, defame, harm, humiliate or injure anyone.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Summer Fun in Vancouver

I originally complied this list and posted it on Couchsurfing at the beginning of the spring (and received some info from other members too). Seeing as there is a plethora of fun events around town I decided to share it here as well. Summer in Vancouver is fantastic. Generally the weather is agreeable, outdoor activities abound and patios beg for attention. If you are planning a trip to Vancouver this summer, I hope this list finds you. If you live here, I hope to see you out and about at one or many of these activities.


One of 2 night markets in Richmond; enjoy entertainment, food and various vendors

RICHMOND NIGHT MARKET – May 17 – Oct 14, 2013
The other night market in Richmond! Enjoy the food, vendors and entertainment

Held at the Hyatt Regency, learn all you need to know about tequila (like the good stuff actually tastes good). Tickets required.

IN THE HOUSE FESTIVAL – Jun 7 – 9, 2013
Enjoy comedy, music, art, magic and much more in the comfort of someone’s home. Reservations required.

Make Music Festival - Jun 21, 2013
A free music festival where musicians will participate all over Yaletown and Gastown areas of Vancovuer.

Enjoy everything Jazz at various venues in Vancouver. Some events are free, some required tickets.

Take in the music, arts & crafts, parade, salmon BBQ and much much more in the Steveston Village in Richmond.
3 stages with live music and entertainment and many exhibitors, enjoy Canada’s birthday here.

Enjoy great music (Sam Roberts Band, Hannah Georges), cultural shows, dance shows and much more at the Cloverdale Ampitheatre

SUNDAY AFTERNOON SALSA @ ROBSON SQUARE – Every Sunday in July & Aug, 2013
Learn salsa for free and then have time to practice every Sunday afternoon.

Vancouver Folk Music Festival - July 19 - 21, 2013
Head to Jericho Beach for one of the best music festivals in town. Tickets required.

SURREY FUSION FESTIVAL – July 20 -21, 2013
Head to Surrey’s Holland Park for 2 days of food, culture and music. All shows are free. Line up for 2013 to be announced.

CARIBBEAN DAYS FESTIVAL – July 27 – 28, 2013
Head over to North Vancouver for the largest Caribbean Festival and enjoy music, entertainment, food and much more

POWELL ST FESTIVAL – Aug 3 – 4, 2013
Celebrating Japanese culture & art

Live out your dreams of being a zombie at this awesome annual event

LATIN FESTIVAL – Aug 18, 2013
Trout Lake Park is the venue for this family fun festival celebrating Latin music & culture

The biggest and most fun parade in Vancouver – a must see! 

Squamish Valley Music Festival - Aug 8- 10, 2013A weekend of music and fun. Tickets required.

Burnaby Blues Festival - Aug 10, 2013
A celebration of Canadian and International Blues musicians.

Carnival midway (Playland), games, exhibits, food (mini donuts)!! Tickets required.


There you have it. An impressive list of Vancouver summer events. This is by no means exhaustive but does cover the main events. Happy summer.

Sunday, 19 May 2013


Keeping in the tradition of my last couple Sunday posts, today's is also inspired by friends traveling. A special shout-out to Sue and her family visiting that world-class hub where anything goes: New York City!!

As I posted here, NYC is one of those cities with famous nicknames: The City That Never Sleeps, Empire City and The Big Apple. How does a city develop such associations? I am not certain but I surmise that in the case of New York it because it is, well, New York. As the USA's most populated city it has roots going as far back as the 1600s. In the 19th and 20th centuries it was one of the entry point for millions of immigrants. 

New York skyline

One of the most recognizable skylines in the world.

I found this photo on Flickr. It was taken by Rodrigo A (Raver77) and is owned by them

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

The Appeal of...Part VI

Rounding out this series brings us to South America. A land of soaring mountains, mysterious jungles, ancient civilizations, bustling cities, isolated villages and the farthest south you can go before hitting frozen Antarctica (which I intend to visit on a separate trip down the line). So much to see in this mosaic of a continent.

The Appeal of:


Fairly straightforward and simple - I was to be in two places at once. What better place than at the equator, which this country is named after. To stand (or lie down) in both the northern and southern hemispheres is cool. The other draw is the Galapagos Islands!! I hope that I can afford that incredible journey. 


One of the two only landlocked countries in both North and South America, Bolivia is home to the world's largest salt flats, the Salar de Uyuni. This immense creation of nature is over 10,000 square km and, I imagine, is quite unlike anything one has seen.


I understand that from Uyuni, Bolivia it is fairly easy to get to Salta, Argentina. I am intrigued by Salta's Train to the Clouds, a sensational train trip that reaches almost 14,000 feet above sea level. 


Even though Peru is not high on my list of destinations that I must encounter, I will visit this country that is very dear to a good friend's heart. That alone has made me a bit more curious. Not to mention that I have several friends who have visited and raved about Peru and it's most famous landmark: Macchu Picchu. I can not say if I will visit this legendary ancient world or not, though it is a real possibility. 

South America is a large continent with large countries. It appears to be harder to cross than other areas of the world such as SE Asia. That reasoning has led me to decide to not visit the other countries within this amazing continent, at least for now.  I will return one day to see more of it and hopefully learn and understand more. 


This sums up this series. I hope you have enjoyed a look inside my (travel) desires and what has affected the why of my destination choices. Now to continue to save save save and bring this baby to fruition! I have a long way to go but I have tremendous support from my friends (you know who you are), family and I suspect, the blog-o-sphere. The continued support from all of you means a great deal to me. Thank you so much for your encouragement.

Monday, 13 May 2013


A recent conversation with a "novice" traveler made me realize how much I assume. I have traveled in some way, shape or form since I was three years old. I have traveled solo, with family and friends, to resorts, for business, backpacked,on bus tours and taken road trips. At some time or other I have driven, rode the bus, train, ferry, cruise ship and, of course, airplanes. I have traveled both pre- and post 9/11, including to The United States. As a result I like to think that I generally know the ins and outs of travel. Certainly this does not mean I know it all. I have many scenarios yet to learn from, to glean from experience.

I also assume that those who read this little blog of mine are as well versed in travel and know how to get around because, well it is the 21st century! Yeah, what is that saying about assuming things? Ya end up making an "*ss out u and me (*ss/u/me)".

As a result I have concluded that I will do a series of blog posts about the "need to know" about travel. I will do my best to give clear, concise information about getting yourself prepped for travel. I will also throw you some tips that I have found helpful. Please note that since I am Canadian, the much of what I write about will be based on regulations for Canadians, however, you can use some of the info for your home country but check with your proper government sites for exact info. I hope that you will find this info useful. I am also open to suggestions, tips and other useful tidbits that I can share. The first in this series will be up soon.

Happy travels.

Disclaimer: The information provided on "Eeva's Wanderings" is meant as tips and suggestions only.  I, the author, am not responsible for any harm, injury, loss of property or any other misfortune that may occur if anyone acts on them, reuses them or their interpretation of them. I will try to provide up-to-date information but am not responsible for information that is out of date or incorrect. All opinions are my own and in no way are meant to defame, harm, humiliate or injure anyone.

Sunday, 12 May 2013


In Spanish "Las Vegas" means "the meadows". This name was given by a member of the New Mexican Trading company while setting up a trade route to Los Angeles, California in 1829. Mammoth changes have come to this popular US entertainment capitol after its establishment in 1905 (and subsequent incorporation as a city in 1911). Many will attest that there is no place quite like it in all the world. An oasis, albeit a kitschy one, within the desert. What springs to my mind is a neon map of hotels, wedding chapels, casinos and extravagant, colourful musical performances. Search out a few outlet malls, sporting events and inexpensive buffets of food and you have quintessential Las Vegas. 

The Las Vegas strip

Bright, loud, ugly, beautiful, scary, touristy, kitschy, unique, sin...however you describe it, there is no place quite like Las Vegas, Nevada (USA). And remember "What happens in Vegas...stays in Vegas".

Photo credit: Las Vegas News Bureau

Sunday, 5 May 2013


The USA certainly has a gem of a state in Hawaii. Despite having visited only a single island of this archipelago, its natural beauty enthralled all of my senses. My brief albeit fabulous trip etched a spot in the forefront of my memories. Rarely does a destination captivate me as does Hawaii (Oahu). I anticipate future wanderings of this haven in the Pacific. Rumour tells me that the rest of the islands are even more beautiful than Oahu. I certainly need to visit to confirm these tales.

View from the top of Diamond Head of Waikiki

I took this photo in Oct 2011 (it is owned by me) after hiking up Diamond Head. This photo does not do the beautiful island of Oahu any justice whatsoever. It is more beautiful than I can capture on camera.