As I look back over photos from the past 12 months, my year looks a little inside-out. I spent the winter in nice warm New Zealand walking the 1200-km long Te Araroa. It was a great year for long-distance hiking. In the spring I returned to Canada to hike the Great Divide Trail – which looked a lot more like winter even though it was summer! I spent the second half of the year travelling around the world – my first ever circumnavigation of the earth. Cycling in the Netherlands, exploring the ever mysterious North Korea, celebrating China’s 70th anniversary in Beijing, learning yoga in Sri Lanka, scuba diving with sharks in the Maldives, and eating everything possible in Singapore.
Singapore doesn’t just have cat cafes. There’s now even a dog cafe! I was a little skeptical of the concept. Dogs like to run around and make messes and bark. But they can also be wonderfully social and they certainly love attention. We Are The Furballs pulls off the idea quite well. Continue reading “We Are The Furballs: Singapore’s first dog cafe”
Singapore is an exciting city where you’ll never tire of fun things to do. It even has three cat cafes! I visited one on my first trip to Singapore a few years ago, so I’m excited to check out another.
What do you do when you have a 23-hour layover in Dubai? Maybe grab a bite to eat?
Dubai is often called “Las Vegas of the Middle East”, only bigger and better. That’s pretty accurate, I’d say. It’s big and flashy with opulent “7-star” hotels, massive water fountain displays, and exorbitant man-made islands. It’s also much less seedy than America’s Sin City. Continue reading “23 Hours in Dubai”
The great social experiment of the latter 20th century that was Communism is finally coming to an end. I’ve just visited the last bastion of Communism – North Korea – for my second time and the changes are dramatic. Continue reading “North Korea: Communist No More”
When most people think of North Korea they imagine a dictatorship closed to all outsiders. Surprisingly, it’s actually quite easy to visit. The hardest part is applying for a Chinese visa, as you have to go through China (or Russia) first. Here’s what it’s like to fly from Beijing to Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea.
Continue reading “Flying to North Korea”
China has an ancient history but the country is technically quite young. After a brutal occupation by Japan up until the end of WWII and a civil war that forced the losing side out to Taiwan, Mao Zedong and his Communist Party formed The People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949. Seventy years later, I just happen to be in Beijing. What better place to join in the celebrations.
Day 11 – Haarlem – 60 km
We catch a free ferry to Amsterdam. I like how everyone rides their bikes off the boat instead of walking.
Day 9 – Utrecht to Hilversum – 36 km
After visiting the vibrant collage town of Utrecht, we join a cycling path along the Dutch Water Line. Now a peaceful greenway, this series of sluices, dikes, and forts was constructed beginning in the 1620s as a military defense against the Spanish, French, and English. It took until 1815 to complete! When you live in such a low country, flooding low-lying areas to keep attackers out is a brilliant idea.