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Philippines’ Gem: Palawan (Coron and El Nido)

The province of Palawan is home to some of the most picturesque places I have ever been; I’m talking post-card perfect, no need for photo-editing; just raw beauty. It is rapidly becoming a huge tourist destination for both Filipinos and foreigners and is drawing more and more people every year. While most foreigners seem to congregate in El Nido, we decided to make another stop en-route by first taking an overnight ferry from Manila to Coron, spending a few nights there and then another ferry to El Nido. And I can’t stress how glad I am that we went to Coron – if I had to do it again, I would probably skip tourist-crowded El Nido and just visit Coron. Continue reading

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The Thai Islands

After an amazing month in Chiang Mai, Thailand we extended our Thai visas and spent two weeks island hopping in the south. We were joined by two friends (Dan S. and Cory) who flew out from Vancouver to travel with us for a couple weeks. We all first met in Manitoba working for Kiewit (our employer before we quit to travel the world). For two weeks we island hopped across the southwest coast and southeast coast Thai islands. Dan and I upped our budget a little to stay in nicer resorts and hotels and treated ourselves to a bit more partying and alcohol (that is, if you can call being incredibly hungover a “treat”; also, when did I start getting so old that I actually get hungover – oh how I miss my early 20’s.) Continue reading

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The Netherlands: Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague

The Netherlands far exceeded our expectations and is, according to Dan, his favourite country in Europe and the “only one he could live in.” The country is simultaneously modern and historical, while being extremely organized and efficient. And it’s not just one city; the whole country is like that. My only dislike of the infrastructure design would be the insane crosswalks throughout the country: crosswalks often consist of two or three portions crossing bike lanes (which are everywhere, not surprisingly, and mopeds are allowed to use them!!), tram lines, and car lanes. Continue reading

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Ljubljana: Finally a Couple Days off the Beaten Path

After Venice, we planned to head to Croatia, a country I have heard so much about and always wanted to visit. When we looked at a map, the distance was quite far, so we decided to split the journey in two and stop in Ljubljana, Slovenia; a country I had heard very little about. I had no idea they won “Green City of Europe 2016” award, or that they have a completely unique cuisine or that their forested mountains are reminiscent of British Columbia. Continue reading

Glacier Perito Moreno

Perito Moreno Glacier – El Calafate, Argentina

We stopped in El Calafate for two reasons: it was on the way and to visit its famous and easily accessible Perito Moreno Glacier. We arrived in El Calafate after an 11 hour trip with two buses. We stopped at the border for almost two hours – the most inefficient system ever. Give your passports to the driver, wait 20 – 30 minutes, get passports back; think you’re good to continue – wrong. Wait in the bus for another 30 minutes. Then the driver tells everyone to get off the bus and bring all of their baggage (including checked bags). We then all piled into a small customs building and lined up behind an old x-ray machine which took nearly 5 minutes a bag – partially due to the ladies behind the counter squinting at a 10-year old monitor. Almost every bag was searched by hand; while at the same time there was no system to prove we even went through the x-rays. For example, we had left a carry-on bag on the bus my mistake – no one noticed. Some people walked through with their purses over their shoulder – some had to have them scanned. Oh, and the machine wasn’t even booted up when we walked in. Overall, we wondered why any of this was done when clearly none of it was effective – and all the cars that passed the border while we were inside didn’t even step foot out of their cars… Continue reading