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Australia/New Zealand/PAC

As if mountains and Mounties and our 150th birthday party next year weren’t enough, now the world has another reason to visit Canada. A survey from Booking.com finds that Australia is the only country in the world with a reputation for friendlier and ­­­happier locals than Canada. Respondents in the survey were asked to name the planet’s cheeriest and most relaxed locals. Australia came first with mentions by 35 % of respondents, followed by Canada (33), Italy (29), Spain (25), the U.S. (24), Thailand (20), Japan (20), France (20), New Zealand (20) and Brazil (19). The survey of travellers around ... continue reading →

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I was in Budapest recently. It’s a city I had heard a lot about and it was quite nice. That being said, if I never went again it wouldn’t bother me. I also was just in Sydney (Australia, not Nova Scotia). I’ve been a few times now. And I never went again I’d be really pissed. Maybe it’s the water and the sailboats gliding under the Harbour Bridge. Maybe it’s the beaches and the small, rocky coves you pass on the way to Manly Beach. Maybe it’s partly my memories of a four-week stint there covering the Olympics for the ... continue reading →

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A beautiful reef that’s far closer to shore than the Great Barrier Reef. Tropical islands in the Indian Ocean I didn’t know about. Fantastic wineries, river cruises and luxury lodges. Oh, and a series of gorges with brilliant waterfalls and that famous Australian red rock. I just finished up a visit to Australia for what’s called the Australia Tourism Exchange. They had writers from around the world, including two Canadians, fly to Brisbane for a conference held in Surfer’s Paradise, about an hour south of Brisbane on The Gold Coast. All to talk about tourism and travel opportunities in Australia. ... continue reading →

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NOTE: All thoughts about destinations and the kayak.com websites are my own. But KAYAK paid for the posting of this blog and for me to let people know about the blog via social media. The Internet is a wonderful thing when it comes to travel. But sometimes a bit terrifying at the same time. The choices are seemingly endless. Iceland’s hot springs and towering waterfalls look funky and off-the-beaten-track. But the temples and beaches of Thailand are tempting, too. Not to mention the pristine hikes you could take among the Alberta Rockies. On top of all that, the options for ... continue reading →

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World class wines in an area that resembles the Napa Valley of California. Fabulous lodges with great food. And kayaking in deep blue waters that feel like the Gulf Islands of British Columbia. I arrived in the Marlborough region of New Zealand, the far north end of the South Island, knowing I’d be tasting some of the world’s best – and most popular – Sauvignon Blanc. Somehow I didn’t realize the area had such jaw-dropping scenery, as well. Upon arrival at the small airport in Blenheim, my guide from Marlborough Tours and I motored over to Fromm, an old-school style ... continue reading →

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