Inside the Þrihnukagigur Volcano – Journey to the Centre of the Earth

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It is not every day that you have the chance to venture into the belly of the beast, deep inside a dormant volcano. I seized the day on June 16, 2013 and made my way deep into the bowels of Thrihnukagigur (Þrihnukagigur) volcano, a short 35 minute drive from downtown Reykjavik. There’s something amazing and new on Iceland’s tourism scene, and in my previous winter journeys, this was inaccessible to me. Continue reading

Overcoming a fear of diving in Fiji

Last year, I found out with about 10 days notice that I was going to Fiji for work, on a whirlwind of property inspections. In a blur of packing, trying to find my passport, and finding a pet sitter for Louder rat, I barely had time to look at the itinerary, let alone research some of the properties I would be visiting and staying at. Fiji is admittedly not my field of expertise in the travel industry – I don’t typically sell it, since I deal primarily with Asia in the context of my job. I didn’t sell it in a previous travel industry job, so it was a big empty hole in my personal knowledge base.

And yet somehow, I found myself sitting on an Air Pacific flight from Los Angeles to Nadi, with plenty of time to contemplate this destination with some of my colleagues. Continue reading

Sakura blossoms

I really like spring in Canada. That doesn’t even begin to cover it. I freaking love spring in Canada, and it’s never more beautiful then after a grueling and long winter. I will grin and embrace all of my seasonal allergies, because summer in eastern Canada is just that amazing. And May is the icing on the cake, trust me. Bring on short skirts, sandals, playoff hockey, and watching everything come back to life. Observe the bounce in everyone’s step. Watch as couples form. The best part of spring are the dogs. Seriously. Have you watched a dog frolic outside, preferably with other dogs? No? Why the heck not? Turn off your computer RIGHT THIS SECOND and go find a dog to play with. I’ll wait. Continue reading

Sometimes I wonder if the world’s so small…

I took a walk yesterday, into the sprawl. An exercise in clearing my head. A chance to relish autumn’s fleeting colours, and feel the crunch of leaves under my shoes. A recent assessment of what I like to do when I travel left me realizing that I don’t take enough day hikes when I’m at home, and it’s something I’m trying to change. A few years ago in Montreal, I hung out a bit with the Montreal Psychogeographic Society and had a lot of fun.

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Diving in the Galapagos

My dive instructor advised me at the end of my PADI Open Water course that you won’t like every dive. I brushed him off when he told me that. How could a dive be anything but magical? I was completely in love with the sport, and the idea of breathing underwater for long periods of time. It was a completely romantic idea.
Snorkeling with sea lions

Chasing after sea lions won't get you very far

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And I’ve gone to look for Ontaaaaaaario

On August 1, I officially became a “resident” of Ontario. This simply means that my good old Carte d’assurances maladie from Québec was no longer a valid thing, and I received a very ugly OHIP card in the mail. (Man. I look like crap on my Ontario ID. I had such a good photo on my old driver’s license and health card, but that’s a whole other story.) Continue reading

New camera

Just a quick note: my new camera has arrived, and I have started playing with it. I got a very simple Olympus dSLR – the E-420 http://www.photographyblog.com/news/olympus_e_420/ to replace my beloved advanced zoom Olympus SP-550UZ that was severely damaged a year ago. Most of the photos I’m posting so far have been taken with my Olympus SP-550UZ, but the display screen is completely cracked and useless. It is a fantastic camera, with an 18x optical zoom and a wide 28 mm lens, but the cost of fixing the display ($200) was just not worth it to me, considering the price of new cameras. My new dSLR cost $350 CAN and my telephoto lens cost another $100, so it was a worth while upgrade.

I also got a little point-and-shoot Olympus X-560WP that goes underwater, but that thing is going back. It takes really grainy photos, which is a shame, since I really wanted a pocket-size camera for moments when a dSLR is a pain in the butt. I’ll keep an eye on the sales.

Next post, I promise to tell you folks a tad about me. I’m not sure who knows me out there, and who has randomly stumbled upon me, so I’ll take a bit of time in the next few days.