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Friday, November 24, 2017

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Boo! I have to admit that the advent of Halloween and the 24-hour Fear Fests on TV have got me thinking about why people watch this stuff --what is the great attraction--and how does this transfer over to the world of travel. I will admit that I can’t handle movies such as Halloween or Friday the 13th, and really, the scariest DVD in my collection is Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.

But when we were kids in the 1960’s, it was a real treat when our Mom took us to Buffalo, New York for the annual shopping spree and then we would return across the border to spend some time in Niagara... Read More

The estimated crowd of 5000 world travellers sat with cameras ready and everything from hope to hoax written on their faces. They sat on the grass or stood in groups as they waited. The time was ticking toward the 4:00 pm ‘beginning’. With the clouds hiding the sun, some of the people started to wander to explore the Jaguar Temple and ball court, but kept peeking behind the corners of the Mayan architecture to check on the status of El Castillo, the Castle, also known as the Temple of Kukulkan. For today it is September 21st, the autumnal equinox, when the lengths of daylight and night time... Read More

As a keynote speaker I travel many miles and that means I spend a good deal of time in taxi cabs where you can always engage in light conversation with the cab driver. This as you know, happens in every city in every country, even if you don't speak the native tongue you can have a good ole chat by nodding, waving hands, pointing and laughing. Memories of me in the back of a cab in Cairo and the answer to every question I asked was... you got it, "Yes." The taxi ride I always remember is this one when the taxi driver asked me about God.

Enroute to Toronto airport the cab driver... Read More

The expression “fair weather friends” refers to those of your acquaintances who are there for you as long as everything is going well (i.e. the weather if fair). But as soon as you start having problems and wish to discuss them with your friends (i.e. stormy conditions are on the horizon), then these people are nowhere to be seen.Hmmm… sounds familiar from a travel point of view.There are a lot of travellers who are convinced that a sun-shiny warm vacation is expected all the time and anything that deviates from this is, you guessed it, the fault of their travel agent. But we know that old expression:... Read More

Some of you may have seen the reality TV series. “Ice Road Truckers, Deadliest Roads”. The program was filmed in India where three truckers, transplanted from the ice highways of Alaska, were challenged by the notorious road conditions that included narrow mountain passes, irate drivers forced to follow behind a truck carrying tons of material, trucks passing trucks on disintegrating waterlogged roads, or roads under direct assault from rockslides, waterfalls and wandering cattle. You name it, the IRT drivers faced these obstacles over and over (and over) again every week.How real is real?... Read More

Mr. Inverso, my Grade 11 history teacher is to blame. He had us read portions of The Golden Bough, Sir James George Frazer’s classic study on religion, spirituality, totemic beliefs and creation myths, and then present an example of a local custom to the class. While this was many years ago, I remember talking about one of the Australian Aboriginal creation myths, and while to us at the time, the practices of people that we only knew through reading books sounded strange and story-bookish, the reality of this first flirtation with anthropology was quite profound. Years later I would read The... Read More

Epictetus, the Greek philosopher, determined that “If you wish to be a writer, write”. This was a reflection of his firm belief that people are responsible for their own actions, and therefore ‘wanting’ or ‘dreaming’ to do something can only happen if you actually do it!

This does not imply that you have to be born into the role of ‘writer’. There are many avenues that lead writers to success and in every circumstance, that old adage that ‘practice makes perfect’, comes into play.

When I was 14 years old, I took a five week student trip to Europe. We travelled by ship to various... Read More

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