The Calgary Stampede 2018- all the fun and festivities

Calgary Stampede Midway
Calgary Stampede Midway

Well its only taken me about three weeks to finally get to this post but took me that long to recover from all the Stampeding Festivities. The Calgary Stampede 2018 is a wrap and was one of the most successful with attendance way up. The gods brought us some of the best weather we’ve ever had for a week of Stampeding.  The first Friday in July is always the big kickoff starting with the Stampede Parade that signifies the opening of The Greatest Show on Earth. It’s the beginning of 10 days of festivities that transform the city into the wild west and a stomping ground of fun and gluttony. 

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Bragg Creek to Canmore Road Trip

Powderface Trail
Powderface Trail

You gotta love a great road trip and this Sunday drive was awesome with the best of homegrown, Canadian, Rocky Mountain scenery! Bragg Creek to Canmore- I’ve lived my whole life in Calgary and ventured up to Bragg Creek and Elbow Falls hundreds of times. I always thought the road ended in K-Country on Hwy 66 where it stops at Little Elbow until I read an article in last months Avenue Magazine telling of a fabled route out to Canmore.

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The British Columbia Hot Springs Tour

Halcyon Hot Springs, BC
Halcyon Hot Springs, BC

Wondering what to do on your summer holidays?  Here’s a fab trip idea for locals or tourists heading out from Calgary, guaranteed to be memorable! One of our most relaxing and fulfilling trips was a hot springs tour that took us from Calgary and into the heart of the BC Rockies. Our itinerary was focused on visiting the pools of Halcyon, Nakusp and Ainsworth that we hoped would provide the rest and relaxation we were craving but we got so much more.  The natural beauty of the BC Rockies, the serenity, solitude and escape from the usual crowds of summer will fill your soul and leave you feeling more fulfilled than any other vacation.Continue Reading

How much does a year of travel in Europe cost?

Packed and at the airport
Packed and at the airport

I’m ready to answer the ‘Million Dollar’ question that everyone had been asking us:-travel costs ‘How much does a year of travel cost?’ and I’m happy to say its not a million dollars! I kept a meticulous spreadsheet that tracked every penny of our spending over our year abroad. I’ll share it with you but first I have to tell you about how our plan came to fruition. I think its an inspirational story about the universe providing! If you only want the numbers and want to skip my long winded, thought provoking story then scroll down to the bottom.

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How to pack for all four seasons and a year of travel

Trip Planning
Trip Planning

I’ve had lots of emails through the blog asking what we packed for our year of travel.  I did a lot of pre-thinking and planning for it and glad to say we did fantastically well!  After live testing I can offer proven advice and some packing hacks that made our travels go brilliantly smooth. Below is a video while we were in Wales that will walk you through what to pack.

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Palermo-and so the story ends!

Almost a year later and I’m finally finished my travel posts on the places we visited over our year abroad, this will be the last until we get to travel again! The blog has been the best souvenir we could have brought back for ourselves, it’s a living memory of the adventures we had and I’m a little sad it’s all done. I do have a few ideas for some additional posts; ‘what it costs to travel for a year’, ‘what to pack for a year of travel and all 4 seasons’, ‘how to plan a long trip’, ‘how to travel cheaply by housesitting’….so stay tuned.

Quattro Canti, Palermo, Sicily
Quattro Canti, Palermo, Sicily

We ended our trip in Palermo, Sicily for five days before flying to London and then back to Calgary, wrapping up this incredible year at our most exotic locale to date.

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Spectacular San Vito Lo Capo, Sicily


This has been one of my most popular Youtube videos with over 12,000 views. It’s been shared extensively around Italy and the UK! To say this place is gorgeous is to understate it.

On our last day in Marsala we left early in the morning for a beach day in the small seaside town of San Vito Lo Capo. The drive there was beautiful, but it was busy and going into the center was quite stressful with parking extremely difficult to find.  Despite buying a parking pass from an ‘official attendant’ and parking where we were told, I had gotten a $65 parking ticket in the mail six months later which was automatically charged to my credit card by Budget Rentals. (So, save your parking receipt as proof of payment, but who would for six months?)

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Visiting the Medieval Wonders of Erice and Baroque Splendor of Trapani, Sicily

You have to see these amazing scenes from Erice and Trapani, Sicily

From our home base in Marsala we headed out the next day to the baroque city of Trapani where we took the gondola up Mount Erice to its ancient namesake town.  This was one of the highlights of our whole trip, we were mesmerized by the beauty of a city that looked like a live set from The Game of Thrones.  It had the most incredible views from a top the mountain and sweeping vistas looking out over the arid valleys below.

Looking out to San Vito Lo Capo
Looking out to San Vito Lo Capo                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

On one side you could see out towards the mountain looming over the beachside town of San Vito Lo Capo, on the other to Trapani spreading out to the sea and the islands of Levanzo, Favignana, Marettimo and Grande, misty blue in the background.

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Avola, Ragusa and Siracusa, Sicily- visiting the baroque beauties

I’ve left finishing up my travel stories in Sicily for far to long, thought I was almost done but realizing I still have a bit more to finish off. My last post ended in Agrigento where we visited from our hill top villa in Castrofillippo but before we got there I missed writing about the amazing cities we visited from our base in Avola; Ragusa, Modica and Siracusa.

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Agrigento, Sicily and The Valley of the Temples

As I’m sitting by the window watching the snow fall outside during this endless winter, my mind starts wandering to warmer places. Homesick for the warmth of Sicily I pull out my pictures of Agrigento and our tour of the Valley of the Temples deciding I have to render my video and do a post as I finish up the last of my Sicilian blog pieces.

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Pretty Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

On the Boardwalk at Puerto Vallarta
On the Boardwalk at Puerto Vallarta

Last minute plans are the best! Surprises are even better!  I finished up a job on Friday and Janet surprised me with a plan to join a few of my buddies that were leaving on Monday for Puerto Vallarta. My daughter arranged a cheap ticket for me (the perks of her being in the airline industry) and I found out about it all while on a weekend trip with our friends in Banff.  Although feeling more than a little spoiled I thought it would be a nice distraction and I could continue searching for job opportunities on line beside the pool. We got home from Banff, I had Sunday night to pack and Monday morning I was off to Mexico. I was lucky enough to get the very last seat flying standby so it was meant to be.

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Scala dei Turchi, Sicily

Its been months since I’ve posted anything.  Work is so busy these days, I barely have time to look up as I’m focused on building clientèle for a new sales position.  But working so hard in the dead of winter and trying to stay warm in temperatures that had dropped below -30’C last week has me pining for the beaches of Sicily.

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Hong Kong-shopping at Jardine’s Market and touring Victoria Bay on the famed Star Ferry

Victoria Bay Harbor
Victoria Bay Harbor

Yesterday I took myself out on a perfect date in Hong Kong. After a nice quiet breakfast at Starbucks, I got on the MTR and made my way to the Causeway Bay train station, arriving and exiting the station at Exit F. My plan was to wonder and do some souvenir shopping at the popular Jardine’s Market and  walk around in Hong Kong’s Times Square shopping mall. 

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