Monday, December 21, 2009

The trailer for my Travel TV show is online!!

Tons of travel, a trip to Spain, a week of filming, 22 solid hours of footage, 3 1/2 months of acquiring a computer, getting it fixed up, editing, finding music, testing it out on people, getting it color corrected, fixing the titles, fighting with youtube and its finally online!!! Check out the trailer for my new Travel TV show "Travel Yourself" !! Check it out on my main website:
Also check out two new posts about myself and the show here on and on !!
Also be sure to follow me on Twitter: OR and become a fan on Facebook! .
Stayed tuned for my next trip in January! Possibly Brazil!!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

First post!!

My first real travel writing post is online today!! Check it out HERE , and a big thanks to Janice at !!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

In the Coast this week!

Myself and my Travel TV show are featured in Halifax's weekly newspaper The Coast this week!! Check out the article here!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Filming a Travel TV Show

It has now been almost a week since I have been back home from filming the first episode of my Travel TV show in Spain. I've caught up on my sleep, gotten rid of my cold and am slowly adjusting to the slightly colder weather. At the moment it doesn't seem like that trip has even happened it (cliche) went by so fast, but honestly one of the biggest stages of making this show is now complete! Now to edit it and shop it around and sell the darn thing! Easy right?....
There were a couple times before we left that I was worried the whole thing may not come together and go crashing down at my feet, but luckily at the last moment it all came together. I definitely don't think it would have happened with out the great film/TV community in Halifax that helped us pull all of our equipment together.
I think Cam and I both agree that if we were to (when we do) make another episode there are definitely things that we would do different like have 2 days of work and 1 day off, to rest and actually enjoy the places we are visiting and possibly have a vehicle to lug more gear around with us instead of killing Cam's back. I would've helped carry things but I'm on camera all the time so it looks funny if I'm carrying a huge tripod right?? haha
It was an intense week, filming non-stop Valencia, La Tomatina Festival, Barcelona, Madrid and traveling to every place. I felt like I needed a vacation from my vacation after all of this so when Cam jumped back on a flight to Canada after only one week I stayed behind and visited the South of Spain and Morocco to try to relax.
I stayed in a small town called Mijas in the South of Spain with a German friend I met on two films I worked on this past summer who lives in Spain. I ate lots of great spanish food, did some touristy things, laid out on the beach and took a day trip to Tangier, Morocco. I've lost count of my countries, but I think with Spain and Morocco I am now at 19! Also having been to Morocco now checks another continent off of me list! 4 of 7 now visited!
Time to get another job, make some money, plan the next trip/episode, edit the first episode, shop the first episode around and sell it!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Busy, busy Spain!!!

This trip hasn´t been nearly as relaxing as my normal trips because we have been so busy filming and seeing and doing so many awesome things! There has been hardly any time for the internet at all so I am so far behind in my blogging and everything else!
I had a great 3 nights in Valencia and stayed at the Purple Nest hostel ( )
which I highly, highly recommend! I knew nothing about Valencia really before going there, but now am in love with the city and wish that I had stayed there longer, its high up there on my list of favorites now, right next to Edinburgh, Scotland.
The La Tomatina fight in Bunol, Spain was easily one of the craziest things I have ever done and have ever scene. Picture a wicked awesome party, then add tons of tomatoes and then spread out across a whole town of 9,000, but then throw 40,000 extra people into it! It was unreal, definitely a check off of the old bucket list for me. Last night Cam and I (my friend/camera man who I have convinced to follow me around Spain with a video camera to make ) took a bus from Valencia to Barcelona. It was an Alsa Bus but was Supra+ , we had no clue what the ¨supra+¨part of meant but just that it cpst 5euros more, but was at a time we wanted. We got on the bus and were handed a bag full of food. The seats fully reclined and there was so much room because there were only 3 seats going across the width of the bus instead of the standard 4, sooo awesome. I instantly fell asleep and when I woke up was in Barcelona!!
Now I´m sitting here exhausted with a bit of a cold and alot of city dirt all over me. Today may have been one of the most intense days of the trip as we had one day to do everything possible in Barcelona and I think we got quite close to achieving that goal. We saw so much Gaudi and got a great high up panormaic view of the city, but some souvenirs of course and had some great food. Its time to hang out for a bit in the hostel before bed, Madrid in the morning!!
Stay tuned, tell your friends and be sure to check out the other site!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

On the way to Spain !

Currently I am sitting at the Pierre Elliott Trudeau airport in Montreal on my way to Spain! Do to the threat of hurricane bill hitting the maritimes I took an early morning flight to Montreal to make sure I made it to Spain and because of that I had a 9 hour stop over here, but it was a great one. Of all the places I've been in my life and in the past couple years, I have never made it to Montreal. Now as I sit here waiting for the plane to Paris with my belly full of poutine I am happy to say I have "been" to Montreal. 2 buses and 12 stops on the metro took about 25min to get me into the city where I went to Mount Royal to see the "tams" (I think) (groups of people who drum in the park on Sundays and local artisans selling clothes, jewelry and knick knacks). After getting some sun and enjoying the scenery it was off to eat some poutine for lunch at a little diner recommended by a local. Mmm it was good. With another province checked off my list this trip is starting off as a good one and I'm still in transit to my destination.
On this trip I am being followed by a camerman as well while making a pilot for our travel tv show called "Travel Yourself" ( ) so far we have some great footage and we have only just begun! Stay tuned!

** this is being wriiten on my iPod touch, please excuse my bad punctuation !!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Less than a month left until Spain!

Blogging with a full time 14 hour a day job is a very hard thing to do! I swear I will get better at it, especially since we are in the last week of filming for the 2nd German film that I am working on which means I only have 2 weeks of work left! 3 pay cheques however, but not as much as I would like to have before I take off for Spain. I had assumed that I would be starting another job right away after this one which I would have to take a week off from to go to Spain, but as it turns out in the world of freelance work that job went away and I may now not work again until October! No complaints really though, as I now have more time to travel and may extend my trip to Spain and also hit up Portugal and maybe Morrocco!! That would be even more countries knocked of my list of places to see and a whole other continent possibly!
Things are slowly coming together for the tv show ( ), I've been working like crazy as has Cam my Director of Photography but so far we have our sound gear rented, the website is up and running, we have our plane tickets, most of our accommodations booked and hopefully today I will lock down a balcony in Bunol, Spain to film from for Tomatina, the big tomato fight/festival. We also have yet to get a camera locked down, we are looking for a P2 camera and we will either rent one or buy one (eek!) there goes more money, but its something that needs to be done. ( if you or a friend have one that they want to rent please let us know (hopefully you dont later mind the smell of tomatos.... haha)).
I feel like I should also start planning or thinking more about what I am going to do while there but it almost goes against my traveling style. The filmmaker side of me wants to have everything planned out to the last little thing, shot lists, scripts, ideas, and so on, but the laid back solo traveler in me is saying "naaahhh don't worry about it, whatever happens happens, it will be fine..." I like the solo traveler in me. It will work out.
More from me later, be sure to let me know what you think about the show, thoughts, ideas, comments, I'm open to anything and everything!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Travel TV website Launched today!

Today is a very exciting day as I am finally launching the website for my very own Travel TV show called "Travel Yourself". Check out the website here!
I'm a filmmaker by trade and a big time traveler so why not put the two things I love together in one package!? That is exactly what I am trying to do with this show!
I will be going to Spain at the end of August and I am taking a camera man with me to follow me around in Valencia and Bunol at the Tomatina festival, in Barcelona and Madrid!
Check out the website for more info and let me know what you think!
Thanks for reading and soon thanks for watching!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


is this two updates in one day? I don't even know if that happened when I was traveling!! haha just an update because I'm excited that I just got added to Nick Bowditch's " list of influential travellers on twitter"............ well maybe I suggested that he add me but he took the suggestion and now I'm on it! haha exciting!!!!!!!!

check me out on twitter!! @

more June updates

I've come to a bit of a snafu in the planning of my travel tv show, as I (fingers crossed, with bated breath) waited to hear if I was going to get some aeroplan points from a relative to help fly my camera man and I to Spain I find out that no there are none available. Upset, yet determined I won't let it stop me. I now just have spend much more money than planned.... eeek!! However I am now accepting donations of aeorplan points!! I need only 60,000 points and my boss has already offered up 5!! so 59,995 points left to go!! Please be sure to let me know if you are interested in donating :) it would be greatly appreciated and I will put your name in the credits of the show I swear!
On a happier note I have recently been excited to exchange a few emails with the great Canadian travel tv show "Departures" producer Steven Bray who has given me some great tips on filming in other countries and making a Travel TV show.
I've also booked the hostel for my camera man Cam and myself to stay in when we get to Valencia and have spoken with the manager about filming in and around the hostel. Also I am currently trying to figure out how I can get the permission to film from a balcony in the small town of Bunol to film over the crowd of Tomatina! If you have any friends or relatives there please let me know!
I have also met tons of awesome travel people on twitter! I just signed up for it one day to check it out and am amazed at the travel community on this site!! Such an invaluable resource for myself with great bloggers like @solotraveler @whereivebeen @lonelyplanet @Journeywoman @theplanetd @traveldudes @globtrav you can follow me on there as well @cailinoneil

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I haven't blogged in a month and a half because I haven't been traveling anywhere except from home to work then back home every day! A week after my last trip I started work again as an Assistant Production Coordinator on two new films being made for German TV. "Two Sisters" and "Second Honeymoon" which are adapted from books written by Joanna Trollope.
These films are being shot here in Canada which is being used as a double for Boston. The characters in the film all have American names however the language being spoken in the film is German. Since they are being made for German TV German actors and German crew have been flown in to make these films. So even though I'm not traveling at least it still feels like I kind of am because I'm constantly hearing a foreign language. It's nice to hear aside from the fact that I am working 12 - 14 hour days on these movies.
I will be blogging again soon though as I have started planning my next trip! This trip will be to Spain and maybe Portugal if I can fit it in! The plan is to go to Spain around the end of August and I am going to take a camera man with me and we are going to film the first episode of my very own travel tv show! The show is called "Travel Yourself" ( and I am putting all my ideas together and am planning it all myself. However yesterday I told my current boss of my plans and it turns out that she has some of her own plans for me. I am suppose to be done work around the first week of August with these German films which would give me time to prepare for my trip and alow me to have a trip longer than just one week. Apparently though I am starting on another film right away and the week I'm planning to be in Spain is the last week of Prep before we start shooting! Not so good - but at this point since I've already planned so much and I hope to be in Spain for Tomatina which only happens once a year, I think I might take the trip over the job. There will always be more jobs and there will always be more trips - so why not take the better one right? Or even better maybe they can find someone to cover for me while I'm away - sounds easy - but is a hard thing to do on a film as we aren't working that long on it to begin with! Alot can happen in one week. But travel I must!
Stay tuned this summer for more updates and exciting news!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Last day in London!

Friday May 1st.
My last day in London :( I woke up early, grabbed my traditional english breakfast and went to Oxford St. for some more shopping and bought a pretty cool picture frame that looks like a TV. Then I rushed back to my hotel to meet with the wonderful Oli, a friend of mine who I met in New Zealand but is from England.
It was a great last day as Oli and I tried to do some of the many things in London that I have not done yet. First we went to the London Dungeon where I constantly screamed like a little school girl and he didn't seem phased at all, pish whatever... Oli.
Sadly one of their rides was broken but the rest of it was pretty cool, I really liked the Sweeny Todd part of it and we learned a bit about Jack the Ripper too. After getting freaked out at the London Dungeon we had a quick a lunch and then decided to head over to Hyde park and go on a paddle boat ride of the Serpentine. It was a great day for a boat ride too as the sun was shining and it was quite warm out, no winter jacket for me like I had been wearing in Scotland and Ireland. After watching other paddle boats being "attacked" by geese we hopped out, strolled through the park and tried to find a place for Dinner.
The plan was to go on the Jack the Ripper walking tour at 7:30pm so we headed to the part of the city where it starts from for supper and ended up at a great Italian place looking over the Thames with great views. Dinner ran a little longer than expected so we had to quickly get to the meeting point of the tour but oddly couldn't find the group. Oli then texted Q&A i think it was called. Q&A is this great texting company that you can text any question and they will send you back the answer. (this was also good at resolving a few other questions that day) After texting them we realized we couldn't find the group because we were on the wrong side of the Thames and in the wrong spot. Ooops! However if that hadn't happened we wouldn't of gotten to walk across the Tower Bridge which was pretty cool as we tried to find the tour group, but with no success we just went and had some ice cream in Leicester square. Always a great way to finish the night! and a perfect last day to a great trip!
Saturday May 2, back to Halifax - time to get a job :(

Back to London

Thursday April 30th 2009
Left Dublin today and flew back to London!! Aer Lingus flight, very very cheap. At the airport I drank my last Guinness and bought my last souvenirs. A great pashmina scarf for my mom with celtic knots on it. I always feel like a slacker buying presents at the last minute at the airport, but I was still in the country and sometimes the airports have the best presents!!
I got back into London around 3:30pm and dragged my increasingly heavier suitcase down to the Undgerground and into the city. Next trip I'm hiring someone to carry my luggage for me everywhere!
I checked back into my hotel, did some interneting and then went out for supper and some shopping on Oxford St. That was when i discovered the Topshop! The Selfridges clothing store is attached to it and I had been there before but never to Topshop and I am amazed at the size of this place, 5 floors and it was so big it had its own nail salon, hair salon and restaurant and it was pretty much just like an H&M not even a department store. There were so many things!
I then had a lovely dinner at an italian place in the Covent Garden Market and watched Dan Magness attempt a world record at keeping a soccer ball in the air for 24 hours. It was pretty cool but that must be tiring!! head butting and kneeing and kicking a ball for that long!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

I kissed the Blarney Stone and it was awesome!

Wednesday, April 29th 2009.
I woke up at 6am to catch my 7:10 Paddy's Wagon bus tour to go to Blarney Castle!! The girl who booked my tour for me with Paddy's Wagon said she had heard great things about their tours and so did a couple other people that I spoke to so I was excited to do it and it seemed like there would be a younger crowd of tourists on it like me. Their slogan is even "Award Winning World Famous Tours of Ireland" but that it was not, at least not from my experience.
Normally I think I'm a generally happy easy going person and I don't let things bug me but right off for this trip there were whining older people complaining about the weather, eating their stinky breakfast on the bus. Then as we drove the bus got all steamed up so we couldn't even take in the views of Ireland as we drove through it and also the 'tour guide' was just driving us and not giving us any info or history about Ireland. All he did do was repeat a few times where we were headed and that there were 2 groups of us, one group that I was in going to the Blarney Stone and the other group staying with him and going to the cliffs of Moher which he then says no trip to Ireland is complete with out seeing them... great for the 9 of us who aren't.... then he repeated a few times what the cliffs people would be seeing and never told us once what The Blarney people would do. Half way to Blarney we stopped to view the King Johns Castle in Limerick and the 9 of us got an even smaller bus to go to the Blarney Castle. This new tour guide/driver was Kevin and he was a way better tour guide with his thick accent from Cork and tried to fill us in in everything he knew about Ireland. He told me an interesting fact too! the Gardia (police) that they have don't have guns! they only have batons and just recently the government has thought about giving them tasers. I'm pretty sure they are the only police force in the world that don't carry guns! What do they do when someone is running from them?? "Stop! or I'll throw this stick at you!"?? but recently i think it was in Limerick they have been dealing with alot of gun violence so they brought in a special police force who carry guns to get rid of these bads and then they will leave once the job is done. Crazy eh?
Once we got to the Blarney Castle I was much happier, the Castle was beautiful!!! and was sitting on acres of land with beautiful trees and flowers around it, unlike some other castles where the city is built right on top of them. Quite smaller than I had imagined, and pretty much just walls, when you climbed up to the top where the Blarney stone is you can look down right through the middle to the bottom floor. Once i was

at the top it started to rain a bit but it was time to Kiss the Blarney Stone to get my gift of gab and eloquence!! I just took these photos off the net as I can't upload mine at the moment but this is exactly what I saw. In the first photo you can see the Blarney stone at the bottom, its just that little sliver of rock that looks dirty from everyone kissing it..... eewwww haha and then you can see in the other photo how one would attempt to kiss the Blarney stone. You lay down on your back and shimmy yourself backwards and an old old man holds on to you as you lean back. But looks may be decieving once you are actually trying to do it, it is much farther away than it appears!! Its kind of scary because literally you are hanging upside down over the side of a castle thats at least 3 or 4 storeys high and all you have is an old old man trying to hold you up!!

This picture that I found on the internet shows the castle and where the stone is. Not sure if this person put BS for Blarney Stone or for something else.... But that is exactly where it was and there is a big gapping hole where the arrow points so you are literally hanging out right over the edge!! While there I also learned that this is on the Discovery Channels list of 99 Things to do before you die! So I have at least one checked off i tried searching for this on the internet but couldn't find it right away so i couldn't be bothered at the moment... haha After the Blarney Castle I had some lunch and watched the news as I ate it and was informed that more and more people in Europe are getting the swine flu..... i'm in europe ...... oh well! :)
Then we drove back to Limerick to get back on our original bus and headed back to Dublin and we drove for 3 hours straight! The guy just bombed it in with no washroom breaks or anything. I'm not recommending these guys to anyone... but to each his own.
After I got back to Dublin I met with my friend Matt from Halifax who has been living in Dublin for the past 2 years at least and lives only 2 blocks from the hotel I was staying at! We caught up and I had another Guinness which I now really quite like and a few snake bites! I'm going to the miss the cider! Hopefully I can find it back home. It was a successful day altogether! :)

My Goodness, My Guinness!!

Second day in Dublin Ireland!! The first thing I did was eat a traditional Irish breakfast which includes toast, bacon, eggs, mushrooms, grilled tomatoes and some kind of pudding - I of course left the mushrooms, tomatoes and pudding to themselves.... eeww hahaha so really it was a normal breakfast. Then I hoped on a city tour bus and took it to the Guinness factory! The interior of the Guinness store house is shaped like a 7 storey pint of Guinness and if it were filled with Guinness it could hold something like 14.3million pints which is what the entire world drinks in beer in a day and a half. They had a really neat graphic wall surrounding you like looked like Guinness was actually being poured all around you it was pretty cool. The tour of the place was self guided with a map you followed around with arrows on the floor and interactive tv screens every where you went it was great . With your entrance ticket of course you also got a coupon for a pint of Guinness if you wanted or any other drink, but really who would want anything else if they are at the original Guinness Brewery from 1759!!! Funny thing about the acres of land that Guinness owns right in downtown Dublin when Arthur Guinness first signed the lease for this land he made it out for 9,000 years!!!!! and this year they are now celebrating 250 of brewing!!! they have 8,750 years left on their lease at this location! its unreal really!! They teach you the whole process of how they brew the beer and then on the 6th floor you get to learn how to pour your own perfect pint of Guinness but as I'm about to do it I get told that if I pour my pint on the 6th floor I dont get to drink it on the 7th floor where the bar is, so of course I skipped the pouring and headed up to the 7th floor. The 7th floor is the head/foam of the beer and is circular and all glass giving a full 360 view of all of Dublin and is full of tons of people! I take a few pictures, hand my ticket in and watch my first official Guinness being poured. I'm a bit worried at this point as I've never enjoyed in a Guinness before, but when in Rome!! The bartender hands it to me and informs me to properly enjoy it I have to let it sit for 2 minutes to let it set. I find the only seat left in the place, wait my two minutes and drink one of the best Guinness's I've ever had! It was great!
After the Guinness tour I hoped back in a city tour bus and went to the IMMA (irish museum of modren art) and quite frankly it was quite lame and didn't compare to the Tate in London at all! After that I did some more city bus touring and went to Pheonis park which holds the Dublin Zoo this park is so huge it has over 300 dear and could hold two New York Central Parks in it!! It is also where the Irish President lives from what I could figure out and where the US diplomat lives. Sweet place to live thats for sure! I did some more city touring and some gift shopping then went to bed early as I had to get up for my trip to kiss the blarney stone the next day!!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dublin, Ireland!!

Monday April 27th.
I had to wake up at 5am to catch the airport bus to the Edinburgh Airport for my 8:20am flight. When I got there, there was no line to check in but then the line for security had to be at least 200 to 300 people it was the craziest thing I had ever seen, but thankfully was moving really really fast. After I got on the plan within an hour I was in Ireland! Country #16!!!!!!!!
I took another airport bus into the city where I was let off at Trinity College founded in the 1500's by Queen Elizabeth I to educate the Irish. Its pretty much dead center of the city and has a huge campus and holds the "Book of Kells".
I found my hotel "Adams Trinity Hotel" just a few blocks down the street hidden in a bit of an alley way, checked in and slept for a good 3 hours.
Later that afternoon I explored the city and took a sight seeing tour to check everything out and that is where I first saw the Guinness Storehouse
that would be high on my list of things to do for the next day.
I also discovered the Temple Bar area which forever took me to figure out that it wasn't just a bar called Temple Bar but that the whole area of pedestrian roads and bars and shops were called Temple Bar.
At 7:30 I met the lovely Caroline Hall at my hotel. Caroline and I met a year ago and were on a Contiki Tour together of the East Coast of Australia and is from Belfast herself but is currently studying at Trinity College. Turns out she had won a radio contest and had a coupon for a free meal for two and a bottle of wine at this great place called Cafe Novo and the food was amazing and free!! We were so full afterwards but still had enough room for my first real irish cider. We went to the Temple bar area and drank what is called a "Snake Bite" which is cider mixed with black currant syrup. mmmmmmmmm it was good! here is a link about the cider i need to drink more of this when i get home!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Finally I've found an internet place with a card reader and since its raining I have time to upload some pics!

This is Edinburgh Castle in Edinburgh, Scotland and me trying to take a picture of myself with in in the background.

This is a photo of the Scot Monument in Edinburgh, Scotland at night time and to the right is a photo of the Three Sisters mountains on the way to the Loch Ness from Edinburgh very very foggy day.

Some lovely Loch Ness Mash that I drank on the boat cruise of Loch Ness and a picture of me with Lock Ness in the background and Urquhart Castle and some stupid person who wouldn't get out of the way.


I did see the Loch Ness monster I swear! and I have pictures on my camera but this internet cafe doesn't have a memory card reader so I can't upload the photos :(
Sunday was a very early day getting up at 7am to go on a day trip from Edinburgh to the Loch Ness and further up to Inverness before returning back to Edinburgh at 8:30 that night. My tour guides name was Brian, not the most authentic Scottish name but is accent and kilt definitely were. It was an amazing trip through the country side of Scotland driving past locations where Hagrid's house in the first Harry Potter films were shot, passing the William Wallace Monument and seeing many many castles. My favorite castle was probably Urquhart Castle which is now in ruins and is located right on Loch Ness. Right by this castle is where most of the sightings of the monster have happened. (all of my photos from Saturday and on are just taken from the internet as i am unable to load my own at the moment.) I got to go on a boat cruise of the Loch Ness where I bought a great book about the whole history of the monster and it's sightings and also I drank some Monster Mash, Loch Ness Monster Nessie Beer which was extremely good!! After the boat cruise we then drove the whole length of Loch Ness and continued on to Inverness. The country side was beautiful to see and the rain off and on with all of the fog just added to the experience, its hard to describe in words and I am dying to get my photos uploaded! We also stopped for lunch at the bottom of the Ben Nevis mountain which is the highest point in Great BBritain but it was so foggy we couldn't see the top so instead I tried some famous Ben Nevis Whiskey, straight up, it was nasty, but could I of expected anything less?? So I bought some! and of course I bought myself my very own Nessie. One of the best quotes of the day from the tour guide was 'You don't need a dictionary to learn Scottish you just need a spittoon!'
On the trip there were also many a 'Hairy Coo' spotted!! yes I said Coo not cow, one in particular was named Hamish and I got to feed him and we got along quite well! However I'm not sure if we got along as well as this guy did with him. (this pic was also taken off the net.)
Also I learned some things Loch means Lake, Glen means valley and Ben means mountain. Also we drove through a marshy, boggy, wasteland type area which was called Rannoch Moor with Moor meaning wasteland. When I googled a picture of it this is one of the images I came up with. I think I missed seeing Castle McDuck though... But take out the castle and thats exactly what it looked liked!!
I have now made it to Dublin, Ireland and have booked a tour on Wednesday to go to Cork and Blarney Castle to kiss the Blarney stone!! I'll update more later!

Saturday in Scotland Part 2

At the Antiques sale in Edinburgh I had some great purchases. I found an old reel of 16mm film and from what the box says it might be an old Charlie Chaplin film and bought that for only £2. Then for £1 I got a great little gold charm bracelet with charms of different monuments in London hanging off of it, and also a great big huge cocktail ring that is really old costume jewelery. Just as I was leaving I spotted a great Egytpian charm like bracelet and bought it right away as it matches similar ones that I have from France and Italy. It has Pharaohs and Elephants on it. Really great but I can't post photos here :(
The rest of Saturday I did a few hop on hop off bus tours of the city which I thought were all the exact same trip aside from what the tour guides tried to tell me, luckily though a ticket for one bought me a ticket for all their tours so I wasn't that mad about it aside from the fact i wasted 2 1/2 hours hearing the same thing again....
I also got to Explore the Castle in the city! The first thing I checked out was the Crown Jewels.After waiting in line and being told the history and seeing paintings of the Jewels or fake jewels for 30mins finally I saw what is in the above picture. That was it, cool, but kind of a waste of time.... but cool. After that I went to the Prisoners area of the Castle which was really cool as they still had some of the original doors to the prison where prisoners had carved their names and stories into. Also they had their living quarters and all the art and things the prisoners use to make to waste their time and would then sell to locals through the gates for money and tobacco, and projected on the walls of the prison they had silhouetted videos of prisoners arguing and talking about their capture which was really great.
After the castle I also climbed all 287 steps to the top of the Scot Monument. Edinburgh is such a beautiful city and is in the top for my favorite city I've ever been to. That night I went to the famous grass market where a long time ago anything that ate grass was sold. Funny way to come up with the name of a place but that was it. I checked out some of the famous bars like 'The Last Drop' named that not because of drinks but because of the last hanging that took place in that very square. Also I went to the Three Sisters (not sure of the reason for the name) but it was a great bar in the city with tons of Hens and Bucks in the craziest costumes ever.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday in Scotland Part 1

I have a whole day trip planned for Loch Ness tomorrow so I'm not sure when I'll get to write about my events on Saturday but I can write some now as its mid-day saturday and write the rest Monday maybe.
This morning I got up really early and had an amazing breakfast on George St. at Centotre I think it was called which was conviently located right across from the Antiques sale i had heard about that was happening at the Freemasons hall. Good boiled/grilled bacon/ham stuff awesome scrambled eggs and toast with fresh squeezed juice for only £8.00 not bad i guess. I keep thinking these are canadian prices so I think they are great deals then i calculate in my head and worry about how much i've actually spent.... oops
After breakfast I went to the antiques sale and it was very small but awesome and I got some amazing charm bracelts, one was from Egypt!!!
but ill write more later!

Long Train Rides and lots of Sudoku

Friday April 24th.
A good chunk of my day was spent on the train from London, England to Edinburg, Scotland yesterday. 4 and 1/2hours to be exact right in the middle of the day but it didn't seem so long and was a nice scenic ride through the countryside. I think something that made the time pass quicker was Ian the guy sitting next to me who was from Massachusetts and is on a 3 week break from the Navy. Conversations with new people who work on submarines and playing many a game of the addictive Sudoku make long train rides seem to guy by very quickly!
After I got off the train in Edinburgh I was amazed at the beauty of the place even though there is construction everywhree as they are setting up for a new tram system. As I excited the train station I looked to the left and way high up on the hill was the beatuiful Edinburgh Castle! I had never seen anything like it it was really amazing!
I pulled my typically overpacked suitcase about 4 blocks until I got to my hotel which is beyond amazing (and it should be for the price!) tonight it is costing me £129!!! thats like $250can but last night (friday) it was only £65 and tomorrow it will be that again thankfully!
After I dropped my bags off I explored the city and took some great photographs of the Castle, the Scots Monument and of the city. In the Princes Street Gardens I met a wonderful old Scottish man who was talking to me about the Castle and the City but I quickly ran away after he was asking me to sit on the bench with him and hang out with him all weekend..... he was such a nice looking old man too haha I quickly made an excuse and took off and went to have some dinner. Tempted by the Hagis on the menu I decided to go for the real fish and chips and for only £9.50 along with a pint of beer it was probably the best fish and chips i've ever had. However at dinner I met two lovely ladies from Saskatchewan that I talked to about traveling and one of them who is originally from South Africa even invited me to go with her and her family the next she goes in September! That would be amazing if that could happen, but at the moment I need some more cash flow before I can even think about it! this trip is definitely draining away all of the government money i just got back and then some. But its worth it! After dinner I planned what I would do the next day to get the best out of Edinburgh and I booked a tour to Loch Ness for Sunday!!!!!!! I am so excited to be going to Loch Ness and am determined to get a photo of that damn Nelly Monster. I know no one has really been able to yet but thats because I've never been and I have a good feeling that I'm going to get it and make millions!!... we'll see I'll keep you posted....
internet is running out i apologize for errors...
more pictures to come!

Friday, April 24, 2009

On the Way to Scotland

Just about to catch my train to Scotland in 2 hours!!
Country #15, slow and steady wins the race right?
Yesterday was another great day in London, met with a few friends and ran into my tour guide from a european tour I did in December 2007. Its such a small world!
A good part of my day was spent planning. After paying an arm and a leg of course I have my travel and accommodation finally booked for the next week. Today I will take a 4 hr and 30min train from London to Edinburgh, Scotland and then stay at a ridiculously priced hotel for 3 nights and hopefully maybe make it up to visit Nessie. Then on Monday I fly from Edinburgh to Dublin, Ireland where I hope to track down some O'Neil's and hopefully kiss the blarney stone! On Thursday the 30th I fly from Dublin back to London for a couple of nights and then maybe I'll come home!
I also went and visited the Tower of London yesterday (which is a Castle but no one ever told me that! haha)
wikipedia says
''The Tower of London is often identified with the White Tower, the original stark square fortress built by William the Conqueror in 1078. However, the tower as a whole is a complex of several buildings set within two concentric rings of defensive walls and a moat.''
I was suppose to be meeting up with some friends and also because it costs £17 I didn't actually enter the Castle but got some souvenirs and took some pictures but might go back next week.
Can't wait for some yummy Hagis tonight!

''Haggis is a traditional Scottish dish.
There are many recipes, most of which have in common the following ingredients: sheep's 'pluck' (heart, liver and lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally boiled in the animal's stomach for approximately three hours.''

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tate, Tate, Tate!

Wednesday April 22, 2009 my second day in London. The plan for the day was to get up early and go to The Tate Modern and the Tower of London. I ended up waking up late and only seeing the Tate, but still had a great day. I wasn't sure how much I would like the Tate especially since I was just going in blindly and not knowing much about the place or what exhibitions that it currently was showing.
As I walked across the Millennium bridge towards the Tate I looked down into the Thames and thought of taking a picture of the water, just like an artist I learned about at NSCAD had done and made a whole photographic book about the water in the Thames, but didn't and just kept walking. However I was extremely excited just by a sign outside of the building before I even entered. The sign read 'Roni Horn aka Roni Horn'. I'm sure this doesn't mean anything to most but while I was at NSCAD I took about 3 different courses from this one teacher Stephen Horne and in every different class he spoke of Roni Horn. I've spent hours learning about her and have even written a few papers and now all of a sudden I stumbled on Roni Horn's first major showing of work in the UK and hadn't even known it. This also just happened to be the very artist I had just been thinking about as I walked over the Thames.
One half of a whole floor of the Tate was given up just for her work and it was very exiciting to see. However sadly you weren't allowed to take any photographs. The Tate then kept surprising me as I walked into one Gallery room I was excited to see actual prints and contact sheets of Robert Franks a favorite photographer of mine, then some Ed Ruscha paintings and of course some Andy Warhol!! I decided not to rush my visit and to spend time enjoying it all so sadly I took so long that the Tower of London was just closing as I left the Tate. To the Tower tomorrow! Later that night I wandered around and took some great pics of Big Ben. Tomorrow the Tower, seeing some friends and booking my Scotland and Ireland trips!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Europe April & May 2009

My first trip since I started my travel blog and I find myself in London, England. This is my third time here so sadly doesn't count as a new country. However on Friday I have plans of going to either Ireland or Scotland and then the other of the two on Monday. (Not sure which one I'll go to first). The plan is to go to Dublin in Ireland and maybe Cork so I can kiss me some Blarney stone. When I head to Scotland I hope to go to Edinburgh to check out some Castles and other interesting things! Before that I hope to maybe take a day trip to Stonehenge and Wales.
Its now the end of my first day here in London and all I've done so far is sleep and take pictures of Russell Crowe. Much more to do tomorrow like visit the Tower of London, see the Tate and hopefully meet up with some friends!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Where I've been so far.

So far in my life I have traveled to 14 of the 195 countries in the world. The first of course is the one I was born into Canada. (In Canada I have been to 6 of the 10 provinces and none of the 3 territories.) Second was the United States of America. ( I have been to 7 of the 50 states.) However in the next year I hope to go on a North American road trip with a Canadian friend of mine who I met in NZ and hopefully we will cover all of those provinces, territories and states that I am currently missing. The third country that I traveled to in my life wasn't until 2006 when I went on a 21 day tour of France, changing airports and planes in London, England on the way to France. England becomes my 3rd and France my 4th. That trip to France was with my university and we checked out art and castles through out the country from Paris all the way to Nice in 21 days. My next big trip wouldn't be until December of 2007 when I went on a 14 day, 9 country tour of Europe with Contiki. ( The trip I went on was called the European Discovery tour. The trip started in London, England and on the first day we drove to Amsterdam, driving through Belgium (5th) making the Netherlands my 6th country. We then continued on for the next 14 days traveling to Germany (7th), Austria (8th), Italy (9th), Vatican City (10th), Switzerland (11th), and finishing in France.

That Europe trip as short as it was had to be one of my favorite trips of my life so far. I reckon I met heaps of keen Australians on that trip that I made great friendships for life with.
My next trip in April then took me to Australia a place I had always wanted to visit and now because of all these new friends I had a good excuse to go. Australia being my 12th country I spent a lot of time in Sydney but also did an East Coast tour of the country from Hamilton Island and the Great Barrier Reef to Sydney and everywhere in between on another Contiki tour.
I fell in love with this country and its people, causing me to want to go back and I did just that. The following November I made it back to Australia and then that next January and February I was there as well. During my November trip I made a quick 10 day trip over to New Zealand where I did yet another Contiki of the North Island. New Zealand country # 13! It was one of the most beautiful places I have seen so far and I didn't even really get to see the South Island which is supposed to be one hundred times better.

My Jan-Feb 2009 trip to Australia again was another great trip where I saw more of the country, met up with old friends and got to be a tour guide for my family. However landing back home in the winter again, with out a job had me itching to get out of town and so three weeks after being home I left again. I never thought that I would ever want to do an all inclusive type trip, but 2 of my friends were going to Cuba and not having work I figured why not!

Cuba my 14th country was a great decision and I'm so happy i went on that trip, I learned so much about that country and culture and it was extremely refreshing to just relax and be waited on hand and foot and to be away from the hustle and bustle of the world.
14 countries however is not enough! I am still dying to go to everywhere else that I can get to!
Where I've Been:
1. Canada
2. US
3. England
4. France
5. Belgium
6. Netherlands
7. Germany
8. Austria
9. Italy
10. Vatican City
11. Switzerland
12. Australia
13. New Zealand
14. Cuba

Where I hope to go to next (not necessarily in this order)
Egypt, Cambodia, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Peru, South Africa, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Spain, Portugal, Estonia and everywhere else but those are the highest on my list!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

195 Countries by June 1st, 2014??

It's about time I started my own travel blog with all the traveling I have done in the past 15 months in particular and with all the traveling I hope to do specifically in the next 5 years.
I have always loved to travel and thanks to my parents have done a lot of it so far in my life. In the past fews months I actually created a goal for myself to travel to every country in the world by the age of 30 and hopefully I can reach this goal! According to the UN they currently consider there to be 195 countries in the world to which I have been to 14. 181 to go! Here on my blog you can track my progress and also see where I've been so far. I can't be traveling all the time so I may also add some day to day life tid bits as well.