It’s Not About the Selfie – Tips for Volunteering in Africa

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I once read an article about us selfish westerners traipsing all over the world with our ‘do good’ intentions merely to parachute into a destitute area, offer up some colonial style assistance, grab that all important selfie of us saving the world yet again, and jet home feeling like a modern day hero. Whether those that are left behind have … Read More

A Quick Lap Around Cape Breton Island

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First of all, don’t do this. I am a lunatic and tend to push myself farther than any good sense allows. I am stubborn and I don’t know any better.  Do not do Cape Breton Island quickly. Allow yourself time to discover all the nooks and crannies of this beautiful isle, the easternmost section of Nova Scotia. Hike many trails, … Read More

You’ve Gotta Go to Bogota!

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Often when I share my travel plans with others, there is some sort of remark along the lines of “why would you want to go there?” or “you’re going to die!” It was of no surprise when Colombia garnered the same sort of reaction.  Add to that the “you’ll end up kidnapped” and “you’re going to become a drug mule” … Read More

Spending Time in Rehab – Grand Manan Style

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So, we’re all friends here, right? I mean, I tell you about deeply personal things like falling in love, or being infested by monsters. You’ve even seen a photo of my panties. And you keep showing up, tolerating my endless rambles. (Thank you!) I think we might be there – that point where I can trust you with one of … Read More

Ethiopia?! Yes, Ethiopia. Right Now.

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Close your eyes for a second, and picture Ethiopia. What did you see?

I bet you three bucks you’re wrong. I’m willing to wage such high stakes given all the people that scrunched up their faces and went “Really, why would you want to go there?” as if I had blurted out that I wanted to visit downtown Baghdad. And I get it, I really had no idea what Ethiopia was either. I had the Bob Geldof songs in my head from the Live Aid efforts in the 80s, I’d seen the heartbreaking charity commercials that make you uncomfortably change channels. Dry, dusty, dismal.

Despite my impression of Ethiopia, I was still desperately curious and inexplicably smitten. Ethiopia had been whispering my name for years. I can’t explain it – my travel cravings have always been based on a gut feeling colliding with my insatiable curiosity. I just knew I had to see it.

Travelling to Transnistria – Back in the U.S.S.R!

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Transnistria is a breakaway territory in eastern Moldova and the Canadian government says is not overly wise venture this far. The United Nations doesn’t recognize it. Basically, if all hell breaks loose, you’re on your own. Upon entering Transnistria, you have to fill out some paperwork – basically the same form twice, one for you, one for the extremely cantankerous looking Russian military guy with a gun. It comes with a stern warning – you have 8 hours to visit, any longer and you will be arrested.

Dancing the night away in Lalibela, Ethiopia

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I was doomed from the very first moment I saw him. So, I know. I’ve heard it plenty of times, from plenty of worried aunties and concerned friends. “You’ll end up in a snuff video” they say.  “We’re going to read about you in the news, and not in a good way,” they plead. But some things can’t be helped, … Read More

My Love Affair With Moldova

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(Part Two of Three– there’s plenty to say about Moldova!) Moldova was an unexpected treat.  A beautiful tryst that swept me off my feet when I wasn’t paying attention (I was distracted by the wine.)  I’m prone to crushes when I travel – without fail, during each trip I am scooped up by two admirers – a man, and a … Read More

Twist My Arm – One More Glass of Wine in Moldova

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(Part One of Three– there’s plenty to say about Moldova!) I had a hunch when the itinerary said I’d be in a wine cellar at 9am the following day that this was going to be good. I had no idea. Welcome to Moldova. I’ll be honest – I had no idea what a Moldova was. A sweet dessert? An astronomical … Read More

Shark Attack! Exploring Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto

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I have been cursed with two things in my life. Parents who let me watch Jaws when I was far too young, and friends who embrace this fact. I have a serious, irrational fear of sharks. Not just the “stay away from bitey sharp-toothed beasts” common sense sort of fear, but the sort of terror that haunts my dreams and … Read More