Island Cooking

20 May 2017 - 07 Jun 2017 • 33,439 kms

Canada Cook Islands New Zealand Australia

Asian Adventures Anew: More Good Eats

29 Sep 2016 - 23 Oct 2016 • 6,850 kms

Japan Taiwan Vietnam

There and Back Again: Middle Earth and More

20 Dec 2015 - 13 Jan 2016 • 5,902 kms

New Zealand French Polynesia

Latest Blog Entries

Travel Blogs vagabondvoyager runs

  • Morons in Morocco!!! - What would Christmas be without being away from home? This past summer's trip was last minute, but this one puts it to shame - our flights weren't booked until a week before leaving. Funny how things work out ... I figured I'd essentially be unemployed starting December, as current projects were wrapping up and nothing new was on the horizon. So why not hide out somewhere for a while? Of course, as this trip finally materialized, staffing changes and project delays meant that there would indeed be a lot of work coming in house, so perhaps it wasn't the best time to travel, after all. But this is how it is in the engineering world, where there are no hard deadlines, only delays. The original plan of leaving December 12 never happened, because all signs at work suggested there was work coming. But of course, it never came to fruition, so December 12 could have been possible after all, but because the situation was constantly in flux, it just didn't work out. C'est la vie! Planning for this trip has been a gong show, so we're no more than a couple of morons hoping to see Morocco. Of course, given that most of the planning troubles were my fault, I must be the bigger moron! But also, some would say that traveling with me a third time is a pretty moronic move by Mary ...
  • Beach Bumming: The Balkans, Barcelona, and Basque Country - This year's trip is a bit of a do-over - last year's attempt at a European odyssey with tthe boys, involving either the British or French Grand Prix and running with the bulls in Pamplona was an EPIC FAIL, with Tri, then Tam backing out. Tam's off to Chile for skiing this summer, but shockingly, Tri is going to Europe! By himself!!! But I'm skeptical ... Tri's penchant for flaking out is becoming legendary, and though he sent me a copy of his e-ticket, I still suspect he forged it. I've told him more than once that, until I see him in Europe, I won't believe that he is going. And even then, I would still suspect that it's a clone, or an impersonator. Tri's got his own plans, and mine involve bumming around the beautiful Balkan beaches in Montenegro and Croatia, with a quick little jaunt into Bosnia. There will be no running of the bulls this year, but we will manage to meet up for a handful of days in Spain, with another birthday celebrated in my adopted homeland, followed up by some bouncing around the brilliant Basque tapas bars of San Sebastian's old town.
  • Brazil: Lifestyles of the Bored and Aimless - For years Patricia has been trying to convince me to go to Brazil - all my talk of Spain being the best country and Spanish women being the most beautiful was generally met with skepticism. "Brazil is better, and so are the women!", I was told. So finally, I've listened to my dear friend and am heading to her beloved homeland. Patricia raves about how beautiful Brazil is. Kelly raved about how killer her trip last year was. Now it's time to find out for myself!
  • La Belle Province: Finally, F1!!! - Bonhomme. European cafe culture. Maple syrup. Montreal smoked meat. Poutine. And if there already weren't enough reasons to visit Quebec, there's also ... the Canadian Grand Prix!!!!! It's been years in the making, and can finally be crossed off my bucket list - F1, baby!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Back to the Balkans: Bulgaria - Last year's trek through Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, and Montenegro was killer, full of breathtaking sights and good times, all played to a soundtrack of Balkan beats which strangely, sounded a lot like Eurotrashy techno and Russian karaoke. But for all the tackiness and trashy cheese encountered in Budva, the Western Balkans were unforgettable in so many ways. So why not head east to further explore the region? Off to Bulgaria!
  • Connect the Dots: Mexico, Panama, and Colombia - Time for the annual winter getaway - southeast Asia was high on the list this year, but flight prices were WAY too expensive. Luckily, the old winter standby is always a great option - off to Latin America!
  • Gelato Redux: The Pilgrimage Back to Italian Bliss - This is gonna be epic - Spain, Greece, Macedonia, Albania, Malta, and of course Italy, the land of the finest gelato known to mankind. Though I'm looking forward to visiting all of those countries, you all know the truth - it's just an excuse to go back to Spain and then stop over in Italy to gorge myself on gelato!
  • From A to Z: Alberta to Zimbabwe - Lions, leopards, and rhinos, oh my! Africa is famous for its Big Five game animals, the main reasons for most tourists coming to this continent. By most accounts, a safari can be an amazing experience, but those same accounts also suggest that there can be too much of a good thing, that anything more than a few days can be utterly boring. So we'll still do the typical touristy safari thing for a couple of days, but we're far more interested in touring South Africa's Garden Route, lounging around beaches while sampling some braai, the South African version of barbecue, and downing it all with a few bottles of pinotage!
  • Breaking the Habit: Random Ramblings Across the Globe - Perhaps the most intense period of travel in my life, just over two weeks after we returned from Africa and having finally recovered from the epic jet lag, it was back overseas on a business trip - to Italy!!! Though nowhere near as exciting as the typical Alberta Oil Patch business trip to exotic locales like Fort McMurray and Grande Prairie, it was still a welcome little diversion, and the start of a number of random travels this year.
  • Good Eats: Nibbling Our Way Across Asia - For the first time ever - to the homeland! Well, sort of ... other than brief layovers, we won't be spending any significant time in either China or Hong Kong. So none of the World's best dim sum and Peking duck for us, but we'll have plenty of time for sushi in Japan, curries in Thailand, chili crab in Singapore, and Khmer cuisine in Cambodia!
  • The Bucket List: Summer of George - From Norway to Azerbaijan - this summer's requisite trip to Europe is all about crossing items off of the bucket list, including re-visiting some familiar locations, and venturing further afield to the esoteric countries of Eurasia.
  • Costa Rrrica: Sun, Sand, and Sloths - It's been a long time coming - for many, Costa Rica is the ultimate adventure destination, offering all manner of adrenaline activities, and striking a perfect balance between being just exotic, yet not being overly so. Here, its visitors can live it up on the edge, all while staying perfectly safe in a comfortable tourist bubble, one that has been well formed over decades of gringos trailing all over the country. Perhaps it's for this reason that we've never made it here until now - the idea of being surrounded by fellow North Americans in paradise doesn't seem so paradisiacal, after all. But there's only one way to find out!
  • B2B: Bordeaux to Barcelona, Lil Buddha's First Blog! - I'm tired of no more than just a little prop in Pat's travel pics - it's time for me to step out of his shadow and write my own blog, bitches!!!
  • There and Back Again: Middle Earth and More - Hobbits, Goblins, and Orcs, oh my! From Middle Earth to French Polynesia, I can't think of many other pairs of places that sit at more extreme opposite ends of the spectrum. Who will we meet along the way, during our journeys through Middle Earth? Frodo and Sam? Legolas and Elrond? Gandalf and Sarumon? Hopefully all of them!
  • Asian Adventures Anew: More Good Eats - Our first trip to Asia was all about the good eats, as we nibbled our way through Japan, Thailand, Singapore, and Cambodia. While Japan is once again on the list, this time we will be hitting up another one of Asia's food meccas, Taiwan, and also visiting perhaps our most-adventurous Asian destination yet - Vietnam!
  • Island Cooking - ..
  • The Tradition Continues: Five Consecutive Summers in Europe - Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Holland, Luxembourg, Norway, Spain, and Sweden. This trip, I'm backtracking to a few places I have been before, but also going to many places I haven't been before. I'm just trying to cross a few more countries off of my far-too-long list of places I need to see. Armed with a railpass this time, I can cover even more ground than usual. I'm not sure if that's a good thing, because I don't think it's physically possible for me to increase my already hectic travel pace!
  • South American Culinary Tour: The End of the Road? - The company is closed for Christmas, and Canada is FREEZING - so it's time once again to head somewhere warm. Where, exactly? Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and possibly Brazil. The current global economic turmoil has been dominating TV, the press, and every-day conversations. Could this be last trip I take, for quite some time? Alberta's booming economy has allowed me to go on an incredible run of travel the past four to five years. I knew the run would eventually end, but was determined to stay on the ride for as long as possible. I'll be sad if this truly is the end of the road, but hopefully the economy bounces back, at least until July. Because then I'll be able to go back to Spain this summer for the running of the bulls!
  • Stag Celebration in Vegas: Johnny V's Life Long Quest to Become a Playboy Bunny - August 15, 2009: Judgement Day. John's life as he knows it, will never be the same again - he's getting married! Rather than do a stag here in Calgary, the boys are heading down to Vegas for some scorching desert sun, tacky hotels, and some good ol' fashioned American-style gorging at buffets.
  • Back to Spain and France: Where'd My Mojo Go? - Once again I have lost my mojo, and there's only one real cure - I need to get the heck outta here! This will be the sixth trip to Spain, and the third to France. I'm running out of places to hit up in Spain but for the most part, France is largely unexplored country. The itinerary includes a few places I have seen before, and a bunch more that I haven't. My mojo is floating about somewhere, and I'm off to find it!
  • I'm Here for the Chocolate, Beer, and Waffles! - How did this trip go from a long-weekend in Boston to a week in Belgium? Well, I had a credit for $800 with Air Canada that expired soon, but the terms of the credit required that I use the entire value of the credit no matter how cheap the flight was. Not a very good value to use this on a $580 flight to Boston, is it? So I thought "Why not just fly to London for a weekend?". Though crazy it was definitely a much better value. But then a long-weekend turned into a week ... I actually would go for longer if I could get the time off work. But I also want to go back to Europe this summer so I can't take too much time off now. I've always said that I would travel any chance that I get. This credit was just the excuse I needed!
  • Back to ... what? Why?? How??? Spain???? Again??!?!! - Believe me - I had absolutely NO intention of returning to Spain for the fourth time in just over two years. The original plan was Asia - but plane tickets were too expensive. But London flights were not - and I can cheaply fly from there to several warm destinations. Malta, Morocco, Tunisia, and Turkey all sounded interesting. But it turns out that the Canary Islands have nicer weather compared to those places and of course, it happens to be part of Spain. And the kicker? The cheapest flight to the Canaries from London involves a one-night stay in Madrid! I'll never refuse an opportunity to check out the Spanish women ... uh ... I mean ... Spanish culture. I think it's a sign that I should move to Spain, once and for all!

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