Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Travel Writing Biz Part II

Nothing earth-shattering to write about as I have been mired down in actually writing stuff for work. And I scanned 45 photos today -- all but 5 were for starthrowerfoundation.org, a charity whose web site I do.

But no time to put onto the site, at least not for a week or so. At least by then this heat wave should be long gone and I can work without feeling like I am in the tropics.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Business of Travel Writing

Seems I am busy right now being a tourist in my own land, with a story due NOW on Toronto, so time is short. And, it seems, it's finally warm here, so a bit of long-overdue spring fever is kicking in.

Though I've lived on the periphery of one of Canada's largest cities (it might well be *the* largest but I am too tired to fact check right now) for a long, long time, in researching this story, I have learned so much that I am eager for someone to visit so that I have a good excuse to take a few days off and go explore.

There are free guided walks that sound so cool, and great restaurants, and markets -- I can literally 'travel the world' without a passport, with no jet lag or language problems, or any of the other challenges of foreign travel.

But having said that, I am thinking about where I want to go next. I had thought the Atacama, Uruguay and Buenos Aires would do for November, but now I am not sure. Iceland for sure, but not this year. Too soon to go back to Malaysia. So now what?

Going to ponder while I watch American Idol. I May as well join another million or so who are doing the same.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Tourist in my Own Land

For the past decade, most of my travels have taken me outside Canada. Those domestic trips I did take, mostly to British Columbia, were for family visits or events, and as such, I did not consider them to be 'traveling'. Familiarity had bred contempt. I took the area for granted.

But in early May, when I spent a week in and around Kamloops, I was determined to look at the region with new eyes. Tourist eyes. What I saw, and what my photos confirm, is that the area has much to offer visitors, starting with incredible scenery and working around to interesting activities and diversions.

And so, along with return visits to Malaysia and Australia (I have yet to see the west coast), I am making plans to see more of my own country. All except the extreme northern regions, like Pond Inlet and Frosbisher Bay. The air fare isn't bad, but the land costs are out of my reach.

Photo ::

Monday, May 15, 2006

Traveler or a Tourist?

Some years back, I mentioned to Evelyn Hannon, who operates the wildly successful Journeywoman.com web site linking women (and a number of men) travelers from around the world, that the more I traveled, the more I realized that people are more alike than they are different.

"That," she said, "is because you are a traveler, not a tourist."

I found another distinction between the two: A traveler starts planning their next trip before they are home from the one they are currently on. Vis, the couple, ex-Adelaide, Australia, and currently living in Hong Kong, who toured Sabah and Sarawak when I did. Two or three days into our 8-day trip, they were planning to visit a part of Thailand that was new to them. I realized I was doing the same: Already planning a return visit to peninsular Malaysia, not counting the days till I was back home with family and friends.

Mind you, now that I am home, I am entertaining trips to other, non-Malaysia, destinations. Maybe I should put Malaysia on hold for a year or so in order to see it with fresh eyes. I'd hate to fall into the 'trap' of finding a destination I enjoy, then making it the *only* place I go on holiday. (I am thinking of a solo traveler who went to Cuba, found a spot she liked, then went back to the same spot for the next number of years simply because she felt 'safe' there.)

After all, it's a big world with much else to explore.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A Lot of Bang For my Buck!

Back home after a three-week absence that seems more like six months! What a great trip!

I've been on ferries, long boats and motor boats, buses, vans, cars and trucks, sampans and junks, large planes and small, boardwalks and canopy walks, palm-ringed beaches and snow-topped mountains, drenched in the tropical rain forest and cold in sagebrush-strewn near-desert, wandered through guano in cathedral-sized caves and hiked to the Giant Buddha.

I've seen giant butterflies and moths, orang utans and marmots and millions of bats, had a gecko 'bark' at me and stood still for a steer, learned how ginseng is farmed and eaten soft bones baked in a pear.

In short, I got my money's worth! You should go.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Back In Canada!!

Great trip! If you haven't been to Sabah and Sarawak -- put it on your list!

Very nice people -- so friendly, I was still greeting all and sundry back in Hong Kong: They didn't greet me back.

This is the spot for the nature lover -- lots of trails, canopy walks, hot springs and wildlife -- orang utans, turtles, bats and birds. Or for divers -- tons of reefs and islands -- will have to look up the names later.

For mountain climbers, add Mount Kinabalu to your list -- highest peak between the Himalayas and Papua NG -- 4095 meters and growing -- not volcanic, it's granite. For golfers and spa goers, head to Kota Kinabalu. And the food is ever so tasty!

I didn't even get to Miri, in Sarawak -- mainly because I didn't know about it. So I will go back, though not sure just when - and explore the Malaysian Peninsula, and KL.