June 2015

Most everyone who goes to Europe wants to see London and the Louvre. Not to mention Rome. But there are so many great places to go that aren’t quite as obvious. So here are five of my favourite cities and countries you should check out on your next European trip. VALENCIA A very under-rated city, I think. You’ll find a huge beach fronted by lovely cafés serving all kinds of great seafood, including paella; a favourite in this part of Spain. I love the beach, but I think the city centre is even nice. Here you’ll find one of architect ... continue reading →


I wrote this blog for the Toronto Star last year after a nice visit to Buffalo. From what I hear, things have improved even more since I was last in town… BUFFALO, NEW YORK – Mea Culpa. For years, as I recall, the head of media/public relations for Buffalo Tourism had been bugging me to come on down and check things out. I envisioned cool architecture and chicken wings and a nice Frank Lloyd Wright building Ihad heard about. I covered the Buffalo Bills off and on for the Star’s sports section in the early 2000’s, but I didn’t have ... continue reading →


We in eastern Canada hear a good deal about Vancouver and Victoria and the rest of Vancouver Island. Likely anyone who reads travel stories is familiar with Whistler and probably the Okanagan, home to lovely deserts, wineries and more. I’ve had a good deal of experience with those locations, so when the folks at British Columbia tourism last year suggested The Sunshine Coast, I jumped at the idea. Over the space of three or four days it became one of my favourite spots in Canada; kind of a cross between B.C. and California; with great hotels, lovely scenery, nice spas ... continue reading →


Summer’s (almost) here, and the time is right for getting your butt out of your chair and setting off to see some of this magical land we call Canada. With that in mind, I’ll be writing regular posts over the next month or two, looking at some of the marvellous places in Canada I’ve had the privilege of visiting in the seven years since I became a full-time travel writer. Hope you enjoy them. I know I sure did. First up: St. John’s, Newfoundland. 1. The people: I remember my first trip here for the Toronto Star’s Golf magazine. I ... continue reading →


Maybe it’s the booze. Or it’s the jet lag. Perhaps it’s that travel makes us feel free of our normal societal bounds. Whatever the reason, it seems a lot of us act like buffoons on the road – whipping off our clothes, carving our names into ancient relics and assuming ridiculous (or, worse, offensive) poses in sacred places – before posting our antics for all to see. It’s gotten to the point, I think, where you could call this an epidemic. The latest example comes from Malaysia, where the government has kept two Canadian women from leaving the country following ... continue reading →