Skip Manila in the Philippines. It is a big, noisy, busy, dumpy, dirty city. Sorry to be so blunt, but that is the truth. Unless you like big, noisy, busy, dumpy cities, that is. Leaving El Nido Leaving the fantastic islands of El Nido, Philippines, was difficult, and as we flew over the Philippines towards Manilla, it was with a wistful goodbye. We will always remember these gorgeous plush lagoons and islands. When we were told that El Nido was voted the best island in the world, we were a bit doubtful. We thought the … More… →
Arrival El Nido Airport The Philippines were gorgeous. We can never forget the amazing colours of the ocean or the sweet people, but something else pops into our heads as soon as someone mentions El Nido, Philippines. The lovely welcome and the not-so-lovely departure from El Nido Airport. We’ve mentioned this in earlier posts (Getting To The Best Island In The World), but we also want to share our videos of arrival and departure with you so you can truly feel a connection to these experiences, and just so you know what to expect if you go to El … More… →
As one of the most beautiful places on earth, El Nido was a week of pure indulgence. Relaxing in a hammock, staring out across an aquamarine bay studded with gorgeous islands, tucking into a good novel, eating great food, and with barely anyone else there, what could be better than that? Really Fresh Chicken For Dinner Of course there were a few surprises. Like the day we were sitting in the restaurant of our resort, Garden Bay Beach Resort, wide shutters open to a soft breeze on a warm day, when we heard a fluttery noise nearby. Looking … More… →
Dazzling Colours 5 of the most stunning islands in the world are off El Nido, on Palawan Island in the Philippines. Majestic and breath-taking views in every direction simply made this one of the most memorable tours (and we usually dislike tours) that we have ever taken. Simply jaw-dropping. We hope our photos demonstrate the true beauty of El Nido, Palawan Island, and the stunning islands surrounding it. Palawan Island was named the best island in the world by Travel + Leisure Magazine, 2016. We were skeptical, but now we have to agree. The jaw-dropping and changing … More… →
Cebu to El Nido We were on our way to El Nido, Palawan Island, Philippines, voted as holding the #1 spot for the “best island in the world” (Travel + Leisure Magazine), 2016. Arriving at Cebu Airport for our flight to El Nido, there were colourful shops with every kind of Filipino packaged foods and snacks. One shop even had the Filipino delicacy, Lechon, proudly displayed in an airport shop window. Lechon is a special dish where the entire pig is spit-roasted over coals, with the crisp, golden-brown skin served with liver sauce. We had to take a … More… →
Maybe I’m A Little Slow, But… Maybe I’m A Little Slow OK, maybe I’m a little slow, but I have been posting faithfully each week on my blog for over three years, and I still can’t figure out all this SEO (Search Engine Optimization) stuff. I have an education and have been complimented on my tenacity and ability to figure things out, but figuring out key words (but not using too many), and using dynamic titles and eye-catching photos (but not too few), and link-building (but not too many) is driving me crazy. What the heck are SERP’s anyway? Oh, and … More… →
Something Happens to People at Christmas It happens to people when they start thinking about the joy people will experience from the gifts they will give. They suddenly feel kinder, more generous, more caring. They want to spread a little happiness! It should happen all year round, but the thought that we should do a good deed or spread a little happiness every day might pop into our heads, but then it promptly leaves when our busy lives take over. If Kids Can Do It… Some of the things people in our local communities are doing to spread … More… →
The Women of Tonga The women in the Kingdom of Tonga are beautiful and large. Many are over six feet all and well over two hundred pounds. In fact, the bigger you are in Tonga, the more respect you have. That’s a hard concept for people in North America – a place where slim and skinny are preferred by both men and women – to grasp. Fat people have little prestige in North America, the exact opposite of the cultural norm in Tonga. Even in beauty contests in Tonga, slim women are not considered to possess … More… →
Tonga: Going to Ouleva Island We were flying from the Vava’u Group in Tonga to the Haap’ai Group, where we had arrangements to take a boat to an uninhabited island, Ouleva. At the airport, as we walked out to our small 8-seater plane, I noticed the pilot was actually leaning out over the nose cone of the plane cleaning the windshield! Tonga Pilot Tongan plane But I’m Not a Pilot A few minutes later, I was standing outside waiting my turn to go up the stairs into the plane, when the pilot came over, pulled me aside, and … More… →
Tonga is probably our favourite place in the world; a gorgeous chain of South Pacific islands with crystal clear turquoise water, white sand beaches, and sweet people. It’s the kind of place that is in your travel dreams. Tonga: Vava’u Group of Islands The second island we stayed on was in the Vava’u Group of islands, at Talihau Beach, at Lucky’s Beach Cabins. In Vava’u it was unusually hot, but we had a lovely fale (small house) at the end of a peninsula where there was the perfect cool breeze blowing off the point, and a gorgeous blue lagoon. Talihau’s … More… →
Yes! Lonely Planet has just named CANADA as the number one travel destination in 2017. Don’t you just love it?! Well, especially if you are a Canadian, that is. Canadian Pride They say Canadians don’t have an abundance of national pride. That just might be because we are also known as a modest and polite group of people. We don’t like to brag. But hey, if you feel like this is a day that deserves a little chest-busting, I think it would be A-OK. Photo credit Mat Kelman Canadians, let the good word be known: Canada is … More… →
Ever since taking an anthropology class at university, and reading about the Kingdom of Tonga, I had longed to go there. Kingdom of Tonga Anthropology of the Kingdom of Tonga Reading that the bigger you are in Tonga, the more prestige you have, shocked me. There was also something about cultural sexual norms hundreds of years ago that included encouraging teenagers to experiment with both sexes. Interesting. And many many years ago – cannibalism was the norm in Tonga. The people were family oriented, gentle and super friendly! Then there was the intrigue of pristine, crowd-less and peaceful Polynesian … More… →
There are a million things to learn when setting up a word press website. Let me say first that while setting up my website, it was so frustrating that I almost gave up. Even for a computer-literate, detail-oriented person, it can be one of the most challenging jobs you’ve ever set out to complete. Of course there are simpler instant website services, but WordPress offers literally thousands of plugins to adapt your site to whatever you want and need. Personally, I like having many options and choices to tailor my website to exactly what I need it to do. … More… →
<a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/14946963/?claim=p7xrnf7smrm”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a> First of all, there is something I need to explain. What you are about to discover is that in this country…. … the bigger and the broader you are, the more prestige you have! Quite a reversal from the cultural expectations in North America! Every time I tell someone about the big men and women on this South Pacific Island nation, especially women, they say, “I want to move there!” And well anyone might want to just that. It is jaw-dropping beautiful! This is Tonga. People in Tonga are enormous, often … More… →
Of course we had to go see the magnificent Panama Canal while we were in Panama. Maybe I expected too much or maybe I didn’t really understand its purpose or maybe, dare I say it – it’s something more appreciated by men, but for me it was quite plain and uninteresting. The Panama Canal is Not Pretty What I saw was not something pretty. The so-called “amazing” Panama Canal was all huge gray cement canals with murky water running through it. So what’s so great about this, I wondered. Big deal. Borrrringgg. What others … More… →
Our helpful Panamanian friends in Tonosi had recommended that the best way to get to the paradise San Blas Islands of Bocas Del Toro on the Caribbean side of Panama, was to take the new highway across the mountains of the Palo Seco Reserve. Lucky To Be Alive Little did they, or we, know the disasters that lay ahead. We can adamantly say that we are extremely lucky to be alive! Boca Brava Island Before heading over the mountains on the new highway, we took a detour to see the island of Boca Brava, turning off the Pan-American Highway … More… →
We were on our way to a cabin high in the cloud forest of Panama, but we still had a few days of driving to get there, and Panama offered more delightful surprises. Playa Cambutal Although there were only crude signs on the sides of shacks and fences, it wasn’t difficult to drive around the bottom of the Panama peninsula – at first. Travelling through rolling hills and lush valleys, we came to the village of Cambutal where we saw signs to the beach. Feeling adventurous, we bounced along to the end of a dirt … More… →
Driving Out of Panama City Don’t be discouraged when you drive out of Panama city on the four-lane highway and see beach after beach packed with people, music blaring, garbage everywhere and noise booming out in every direction. Keep on driving and you will be rewarded with pristine beaches and not another soul in sight. As you get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city and into true Panama countryside, you’ll see things like barb-wire stick fences with green sprouts growing out the top. With such a vigorous growing environment, all you need to do … More… →
A big apology to all adventure-loving readers: we just discovered that our contact widget was not working. It is fixed and working now, so you can easily submit Your Funny Travel Story. See below… Everyone enjoys reading about the comical, amusing or unfortunate experiences of others, right? We all love a good laugh. Slipping on a banana peel, falling in the lake, trying to walk through a glass door – somehow these things are funny – when they happen to someone else! And our readers can’t wait to hear your funny travel story! We are now accepting submissions … More… →
To get from New Orléans, Louisiana, to Destin, Florida, you need to go through the states of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, over the Gulf of Mexico, and known as the Florida Panhandle. All the clichés about the South and blacks and prejudice were undeniable, but there was some surprisingly unique countryside. Louisiana Because we were driving from New Orléans on the Coastal Highway along the water on the Gulf of Mexico, many of the houses at the water’s edge were on stilts. The longest bridge we’ve ever seen was over Lake Pontchartrain, a huge lake just North of … More… →
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