July 30, 2014

Travel Series - Well-timed Surprises of Bordeaux

All good things must come to an end and my trip to Europe was no exception. Bordeaux was the final city I visited, which turned out to be a series of well-timed surprises. When I booked my trip, I was not aware the Bordeaux Wine Festival would be happening at the same time. The festival featured sampling of various kinds of wine, musical acts, and local cuisine. I was more interested in doing a winery tour and lucked out on getting a cancellation when I got to the tourism office. Through the tourism office, you can book tours for as little as 34 Euros ($51 Canadian), though others can be significantly higher.

July 25, 2014

Travel Series - Culture and Cuisine of Paris


While London can be overrated, given its high costs and relatively underwhelming attractions, Paris is a world class city that delivers. Not just for their attractions and history, but also for their food, outdoor cafés, and ease of getting around.

July 21, 2014

Travel Series - Cycling (and Vices) of the Netherlands

After visiting London, I took my first high speed train ride heading to Amsterdam. Not only do such trains travel at least 300 km/h, the ride is smooth and the trains stop at urban downtowns. This saves the need to travel to airports usually located at the edges of cities. Combined with their smaller ecological footprint, high speed trains make air travel unnecessary for trips of 500 km or less. Unfortunately, Canada is the only G8 country without high speed rail, which they should adopt as soon as possible. Especially along the Québec City – Windsor corridor, where roughly half of Canada’s population resides.
This TGV in Paris is similar to the trains I used to get to Amsterdam

July 17, 2014

Travel Series - Chaos Theory of London

While Portugal can be referred to as an under-appreciated gem, laid back, friendly, and affordable; the opposite can be said about London, England. London tends to be a fast paced city with people addressing each other in a more formal manner by always using sir or madam. While there is no shortage of things to do, many of their tourist attractions are not that great. Before leaving for Europe, I was told by several friends London is an expensive city and they were not kidding!

July 14, 2014

Travel Series - Under-appreciated Gems of Portugal

When you think of traveling to Europe, chances you are more likely to think of big ticket places such as London, Paris, and Rome. However, it is sometimes the less popular destinations that are more enjoyable. Thanks to a suggestion from a friend (Amanda) and a very good flight deal from Air Canada, the first European city I visited was one such under-appreciated gem called Lisbon.

July 07, 2014

Pack your bags and travel!

If there is one thing I can suggest to improve your political (and civic) health, it's to take every chance you can get to travel! Especially when you are in your twenties and do not have as many obligations to attend to! Not only does it allow you to see new places, learn new languages, or try new things; it's a good way to meet new people and learn from their experiences. Personally, I recently returned from my first ever trip to Europe for two weeks.