• Asia,  Bali,  Food,  Travels

    Bali Part 1: Ubud

       Quiet, except for the singing cicadas.  Thick air, the smell of incense heavy and slow in the steaming heat.  Green leafy trays of floral offerings along the pathways.  Orange marigolds, strung around the necks of Ganesha or placed on stone steps.  This is waking up in Ubud. I love this “island of the gods” that is Bali and Ubud is the spiritual heart, located in the middle of the island, amidst the lush green rice fields, far from the pulsing beats of the bars at Seminyak.  This is my third trip here and I can confidently offer some suggestions for you, if you’re planning a trip. Wander the charming…

  • Chinatown
    Singapore,  Travels

    Returning “home” to Singapore

      This week, I’m returning to my former “home”, Singapore.  It’s been over 7 months since I left Singapore and I had been missing it so much.  Returning after only 7 months is nice because things haven’t changed so much here yet that I feel like I’ve lost touch.  Most of the friends I had are still here, and I’ve even been able to crash at my old flat, so I’m truly feeling like I’ve returned home. When I am in Vancouver, Singapore seems like a dream, so long ago, but back in the stifling steamy heat of Singapore, I feel like I’ve never left! But Singapore doesn’t slow down. …

  • Bucketlist Collage
    Travel Bucketlist,  Travels

    My Travel Bucket List

      The good ol’ travel bucket list; who doesn’t love to dream and make a list of places they want to visit eventually? I’ve been lucky to have lived in a few different countries and have taken the opportunity to visit many others.  Knowing myself, this list is always going to be a certain length because the more I see, the more I want to see! My current list, in alphabetical order… Argentina – Buenos Aires and the rest of it Belize Bhutan Boston Brazil – and catch Carnival China – a big trip Colombia – all the parts I didn’t see yet eg. Bogota, Ciudad Perdida, Salerno, Cali Czech…

  • Santa Marta waterfront
    Colombia,  Travels

    Santa Marta | Gateway to adventures in Northeast Colombia

    I took the bus from Cartagena to Santa Marta, planning to use it as a base to discover what the North East corner of Colombia had in store. The town of Santa Marta itself is tiny, with a few hostels and restaurants catering to passing tourists.  Hot & sunbaked, I wandered around with my camera, capturing a few sleepy moments of the golden hour.                                     From Santa Marta, there are a number of interesting places on the backpacking trail including: Tayrona National Park, Minka, Palomino, Ciudad Perdita, and Aracataca (only of interest to…

  • Ajiaco
    Colombia,  Food,  Travels

    Las comidas de Colombia | Food of Colombia

    For me, one of the best parts of travel is to taste the different foods of another culture.  Colombia has not disappointed so far, and though I am not a fan of ALL the food here, I love observing and trying. Colombia is not the land of healthy green juices and salads (at least not yet, but it’s coming fast I’m sure).  Tis the land of fried empanadas, platanos, french fries, fried chicken, fried dough balls, and more.  If you like greasy fried food, you’ll be in heaven. Some classic Colombian food… Empanadas – corn flour “dumplings” filled with beans, cheese, and meat.  Relatively easy to make!  We made these…

  • Sunset views by Santa Marta airport
    Colombia,  Travels

    Aeropuerto El Dorado | El Dorado Airport

    Bogota’s El Dorado airport has been a pleasant surprise.  Big, modern, with decent amenities, I am impressed.  I even had a chance to chill at the El Dorado lounge, thanks to my Priority Pass access and was blown away.  Nicer than many Airline VIP lounges, I got a chance to snack, eat, drink, and use the WIFI at this expansive and opulently decorated lounge.  Inside the lounge, there are plenty of seating areas, reclining chairs perfect for sleeping, showers, a beauty salon (no joke!), and a full on bar. Within the international wing of the airport, there is an Avianca Lounge, an Avianca and Star Alliance Diamond lounge, and a…

  • Cartagena
    Colombia,  Travels

    Cartagena de Indias: amor a primera vista | love at first sight

    I fell in love as soon as my taxi conducir drove through the narrow, balcony-shaded laneways of Cartagena’s old walled town.  Charming, beautiful, cute, photogenic, insta-worthy?  Si Si Si!  Like a slightly bigger and busier version of Galle, a cleaner and shinier version of Zanzibar, this old Caribbean city is a photographer’s dream and oozing with beauty and charm. Back in the 1500s, Cartagena was an important port for the Spanish Empire for exporting riches from South America back to Europe.  Like Zanzibar, it was also a trading post for slaves from Africa.  Today, Cartagena is a popular vacation destination for Colombians and international visitors alike.  The streets in the…

  • Sydney Harbour
    Sydney,  Travels

    Sydney walks

    One of the most beautiful cities in the world, thanks to it’s vast and splendid harbour, Sydney has so many gorgeous walks for visitors to enjoy.  While living in Sydney, I never owned a car so unfortunately didn’t explore some of the more harder to get to walks; I did manage to get to most of the ones relatively close to the CBD.  Sharing my favourites with you now. *** The showstopper – the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk.  No visit to Sydney is complete without doing this walk.  I try to do this every time I visit and it never gets old.  On a good day, you might even…

  • Sydney Opera House
    Sydney,  Travels

    What to do in Sydney

      I had the good fortune to live in Sydney from 2010 – 2014 and made sure I made the most of my time there.  If there was a night noodle market, an outdoor movie, or a new restaurant, you betcha I tried it out.  In the last few years, I’ve had to travel to Sydney every couple months or so for work, so I was still able to visit my favourite haunts frequently.  This is a list that covers some of the popular tourist spots and the neighbourhoods in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney.  I had to save the F&B recommendations for another post as this was already becoming…

  • Colombia Immersion school
    Colombia,  Travels,  Uncategorized

    Colombia Immersion Language School

      According to my Spanish profesora, 5 years ago, there were no Spanish language schools in Medellin. Perhaps 5 years is a bit of an exaggeration, but the point is that in very recent times, there’s been an explosion of casual Spanish schools being offered in Medellin, which speaks to the growth of tourism in the city/country, and the popularity of learning Spanish. I chose Colombia Immersion for my language classes in Medellin after a recommendation from a fellow traveller I met in Jaco. With two locations (the original in Envigado and the newer one in Laureles), small classes, and the option to choose between full immersion or several different…