My A to Z On Travelling

Age of 1st International Trip

My first international trip was a school trip to West Germany, Switzerland and Austria. I was 15 and stayed awake all night before I flew. I tried to imagine what cobbled stone streets would look like, what people would be wearing, what food I would be eating and these questions kept me wired until I landed. Once I stepped foot outside the airport, I was hooked!

Best Drink

My younger version would say the beer at the Hofbrauhaus in Munich, Germany simply for the fact that I was drinking under age! My older version would say the homemade lemonade in Cuzco that I drank by the gallon last summer.

Cuisine (Favourite and Least Favourite)

My favourite cuisine was in India but even then, at the end of the trip, I was eyeballing the pizzas coming out of Domino’s. Yes, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing! My least favourite was in South Korea. There is only so much red pepper paste and kimchi a person can handle and I had a year of it!

Destination (Favourite and Least Favourite)

This is impossible for favourites. I would go out on the travel limb and say Cambodia, Guatemala, India and Morocco. This will probably change but who knows? My least favourite is South Korea.

Event (most exciting/interesting)

I can’t narrow it down to one so it is a toss-up between the sandstorm in the Sahara desert, the ride through the jungle in Guatemala in the early morning on the way to Tikal listening to the howler monkeys, the first time I laid eyes on animals in the wild in South Africa, cycling down a mountain in Peru or hiking the Inca trail in Peru.

Colombia and Peru 2014 271

Favourite Mode of Transportation

My absolute favourite mode of transportation is the back of a motorcycle. My mom and I hired motos in Cambodia and saw the country side with the wind whipping through our hair (or what I had left of it from my bout with malaria). My second favourite is the train which I loved in Vietnam and hope to love really soon, once again, in Sri Lanka.

Greatest Travel Feeling

My greatest travel feeling is when I shared with my family their first experience to travel overseas. There is nothing that beats seeing people you love have their eyes opened to what awaits them via travel.

Hottest Place I Have Lived

I have lived in some hot countries but Suriname takes the hot cake on this one! I would wake up very early in the morning and go to work ( a day care for children with physical and mental challenges) and then by noon, return home to fall asleep stuck to the couch. By 5pm, I would wake up and begin the day all over again. Usually I would go out very late in the evening and stay up most of the night with my friends dancing and partying and then begin it all over again the next day.

Incredible Service

I do not feel comfortable staying in fancy hotels where service is expected nor can I afford to do so! So given that, I would say service in restaurants both in Morocco and in India stand out from the rest.

Journey I Won’t Easily Forget

The ride on the camel in the Sahara Desert hurt the most physically (my butt says never again) and a bus ride in Morocco when my daughter needed to desperately use the bathroom and couldn’t might have been one of the most stressful!

981569_10151838222317390_850290847_o (1)


When we got married in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia (Canada) one of our daughters, aged 11 at the time, bought us an ornament of a bride and a groom getting married. It will always be very special.


Let-Down Sight

Fish River Canyon in Namibia was this for me! After hours and hours of driving with little to see, we got there and I said, “This is it?”

Moment I Fell In Love With Travelling

When my parents returned from Central and South America and my dad showed me his blow dart gun from the jungles of Peru and my mom showed me packages of junk food that were written in Spanish. I knew I needed to travel.

Nicest Hotel Stayed In

Oh boy there are many.. the one in Ubud in Bali, the many in Morocco, but the one that has the most memories is in Santiago Atitlan in Guatemala (Posada de Santiago) where we could swim in the pool or soak in the hot tub and look over Lake Atitlan surrounded by volcanoes. Truly gorgeous and breath taking. At night we could step outside our little bungalow and watch it storm over the lake while eating snacks bought in the local town. Perfection.

guatemala 166

Obsession With This

Markets… I just love them. I love to take pics of markets, I love to wander them, and every now and then I even buy something. I enjoy pretending like I live there, imagining my life as a local or at the least, as an expat. I can never have enough markets!


I have had a lot of them in my life and some have been heavily stamped. I have never lost one or misplaced one… knock on wood!

Quaintest Place

I can’t choose just one. It might be Patzcuaro, Mexico or Bevagna or any town in Umbria in Italy or Ollantaytambo, Peru or Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala or Ubud (a long long time ago) in Bali or Luang Praband (a long long time ago) or Pleasant Bay, Cape Breton

Recommended Country

I highly recommend Guatemala if you live in North America and want an inexpensive shorter distance to travel to and a world of experiences to follow. I highly recommend Morocco if you live in Europe and want an inexpensive and shorter distance to travel to and a world of experiences to follow. And I highly recommend India to anyone who wants to have an experience each and every moment. You will never forget it and you may just fall in love with it!


We splurged when we visited Niagara Falls in Ontario and took a helicopter ride over the falls. Best money spent. We also splurged in Morocco on nicer accommodations as the country is known for its beautiful older residences (riads) and this was money well worth spent. We don’t do it often but when we do, it is meaningful.


Touristy places can be ruined if “tacky” prevails but sometimes touristy spots are eye-opening such as Alcatraz in San Francisco, Times Square in NYC, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Machu Picchu in Peru, the Colosseum in Rome… just to name a few of my personal favourites.


I will probably never forget my most miserable experiences (malaria, dengue fever, being robbed, Delhi belly, field hospitals, cockroaches) but it is the most exciting ones that keep me researching where to go next. Travel for me is an addiction…but I choose to see it as a healthy one…I never forget that feeling of a new place and am always looking to replicate it elsewhere.


Visas are a pain. A royal pain in the backpack! So many countries (particularly in Africa) are requiring visas to be obtained ahead of time. If a visa is needed, those given upon arrival at the airport are my favourites. Unfortunately they are becoming fewer and fewer. 😦

Winning At Travel

I used to think the perfect job was to be a professional travel blogger. Having joined a few FB groups, I have learned that this too has its stresses. Competition can creep into anything… even into travel blogging. I am happy to win at travel by doing what I want to do and not having to research constantly 20 Ways You Too Can Get Off The Beaten Path. Or maybe I am just trying to convince myself….

eXcellent View

I have been blessed to have experienced many views over the years but recently seeing Machu Picchu with my family from Sun Gate stands out as one of the great ones.

Years Of Travel 

Uhhmmm….nope not going to go there but I have had my share of years of travel but more importantly, hopefully, many more to come.

Zillion More Places To See

Well, there is maybe not a zillion more to see but at least a lot! As I get ready to move to Cairo, my travel wish list is becoming more of a reality. Sri Lanka, one destination that has been on the list forever, is soon to be checked off in September! I can’t wait 🙂

Anything you would like to share about my A to Z? I would love to hear from you 🙂

10 Things I Love and Hate About Travelling

Thanks to S.D. Gates whose blog shares the most amazing true ghost stories I have ever read, I have been asked to highlight 10 things I love and hate. Oh I could go on about how I truly hate how my bangs curl up and how I love the sound of rain on the roof but oh no… that would mean following the rules (why did I think law was a good choice for me, ever?)… so, I am going to focus on my true love (sorry to Chris and my family) which is, of course, travel.

10 Things I Love About Travelling 🙂

1. I love that feeling when you have just landed and step out of the airport, ready to face a new country, never knowing exactly what awaits you.

2. I love the “ordinary” within each country – the laundry, the stores, the houses, the animals, the markets, the squares, the food. Oh how I love the food!

3. I love when my choice in restaurant/ hotel is friendly, clean and cheap.

4. I love when the negotiating is done (I am rotten at it) and I walk away with something I love.

5. I love meeting new people who brighten up my life.

6. I love when I see something and it is way more amazing than I ever could have anticipated. (Taj Mahal, Angkor Wat, Machu Picchu, Sahara Desert, wildlife in Africa, souks in Morocco…)

7. I love waking up very early and wandering around when there are no tourists and only locals, getting ready for the day.

8. I love trying to speak a new language and someone actually understands (or pretends they do).

9. I love people watching. If this was an Olympic event, I would have medalled many times.

10. I love reading about a place and knowing that what I am reading is just outside my door.

10 Things I Hate About Travelling 😦

1. Leaving to come home

2. Seeing that cockroach scurry behind the hotel furniture, knowing that there are a million more in hiding

3. Wondering if the person “helping” me is really “helping” me or has other intentions (I usually try to stay on the positive with this one until proven wrong a few times in a place)

4. Getting that crampy feeling in my stomach and knowing that the “western style” toilet doesn’t work (as a result, I am a fan of squat toilets that do work!)

5. Choosing the wrong thing on the menu

6. Mosquitos (having had malaria and dengue fever, these are not a girl’s best friend)

7. Sitting at the back of the bus, suffocating for fresh air and nauseated from its turns.

8. Not being able to drink the tap water and wash with my mouth open (try showering and never getting water in your mouth….not easy… or am I just challenged in this area?)

9. Trying to learn the money and how much it is worth in my currency (after years of this, I still suck at it)

10. Packing and unpacking and packing and unpacking…

As I was always the one who broke the chain letter when I was a kid, I am afraid I still do as an adult. So if you would like to write about what you love and hate, just say that I nominated you 🙂 and go for it!

What do you love/hate the most about travelling?

8 Reasons Why I Hate Travelling

1. I have to stay in a hotel! You mean I can’t stay in my own home, the one infested with mice and now spiders?

2. I have to eat in a restaurant! You mean I can’t eat in my own kitchen (the one that is 23 inches by 53 inches) and cook another uninspired meal that would make food bloggers shutter in their aprons!

3. I have to shop in a local food market! You mean I can’t go into my own grocery store and buy imported products 10x the local price and 10x older?

4. I have to people watch in a town plaza! You mean I can’t just sit in my living room and watch Miss Neighbor walk her cat for the umpteenth time down the sidewalk?

5. I have to speak another language! You mean I can’t just keep practicing my own language over and over in the hope that someday I sound sophisticated and overly educated?

6. I have to buy authentic handmade souvenirs! You mean I can’t just go to Walmart and buy the latest plastic toy guaranteed to break in one play date?

7. I have to use real money! You mean I can’t just mindlessly use my debit card and then forget how much it cost?

8. I have to take my kids along! You mean I can’t just tell them I will be out and forget to return?