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.
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.
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.
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?)
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.
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.
Finally, some time to sit down and finish my last few posts on our journey through Sicily. As I start to write I’m transported back in time and place to the stress inducing driver’s seat of our dilapidated rental car, dented, banged up, fender barely attached like most of the bumper cars in Sicily.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Saturday was a great day of exploring as I started my first weekend of touring the island of Hong Kong. I made my second attempt at taking the Tram up to the Peak after skipping it on Thursdays national holiday when I saw the lineups that were over two hours long.
It’s only been a few days but I think I’m starting to fall for Hong Kong! It’s a truly international city, a major port, global financial center and the gateway to Asia. It’s a bustling, affluent city that provides many opportunities for a well-heeled crowd of international business professionals and company owners. Its dense population lives amongst the skies in one of the many amazing scrapers that fill the city landscape.
Last weekend we made a trip out to see my daughter and her boyfriend at their new home in Kamloops, British Columbia. It’s a city where the north and south Thompson rivers meet, about an 8-hour drive from Calgary and perfectly situated in south central BC. It’s about 3 hours from Vancouver, an hour from the Shuswap Lakes and an hour and a half from the Okanagan Valley.
Our stay in Milazzo was awesome and we were sad to leave but excited to be heading to the famed tourist area of Taormina, Sicily. We decided to stay in the nearby town of Pozzillo, tucked away from the tourist zones it is a picturesque fishing village surrounding a small harbor with stunning views of the coastline from Taormina to Catania.
After leaving Cefalu in the morning we drove along the coast to the northeast tip of Sicily for our stay in the city of Milazzo, Sicily. At first, we were a bit underwhelmed with the industrial look of the city and its busy commercial port but once we dug a little deeper we fell in love with this less notable Sicilian town. It is however known as a great base to explore the Aeolian Islands with daily cruises leaving from its downtown port everyday but there is so much more to be had here.