Skip to content
Home » Travel Blog

Travel Blog

Luxury Amazon Cruise

ECUADOR AMAZON CRUISE

Experience the Amazon while on a small-ship luxury cruise. When you enter the Ecuadorian Amazon, you are entering a world that few people have the opportunity to experience.
The smells, sounds, and tastes are all different.

Of course, so are the cultures that live within the communities.

Packing Tips by Keri

Packing. Ugh. Just the thought of it stresses me out which seems odd as I do it so often. I travel about 20ish weeks of the year, essentially living out of a bag for a great part of the year. I can’t say that I have a fool-proof packing agenda, but I have definitely learned a few things along the way. KERI‘S PACKING TIPS FOR ALL TRIPS:If you can carry-on, by all means, do it. It saves you so many potential headaches. I’ve had my checked bag go on many adventures without me (finisterra.ca/walking-across-tuscany-blind). However, if you must check your bag, I cannot stress the importance of packing your carry-on bag with all your essentials. Besides medications, extra contacts/glasses, chargers, etc, I always recommend carrying a change of clothing which is appropriate for the destination (ie/ if you are going on a hiking trip, make sure you are carrying a hiking outfit as well as appropriate shoes, hat, etc) just incase you are without your bag for a few days. KERI NEVER LEAVES HOME WITHOUT…A headlamp, phone portable battery pack, sunglasses, extra contacts/glasses, tiny speaker, downloaded maps on my phone, little black dress, Birks, Steripen for water purification, thermal water bottle, scarf, little back-pack, waterproof shell, a purse with a cross-body strap… 1. PACKING TIPS FOR VARIED CLIMATES:We always get asked, “How are we supposed to pack for this kind of trip?” For example, our most popular destination, hands-down, is Peru, and for good reason. Peru is a stunningly beautiful… Read More »Packing Tips by Keri

Southern India & Captivating Kerala

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] Traveling to Kerala is not for the faint of heart, however it is absolutely worth it! In September 2016, Keri and I braved the journey to Southern India to attend the Kerala Travel Mart. We were fortunate enough to be invited on a tour beforehand, taking us from Bangalore to Cochin for 10 days. We arrived into Bangalore after 30 hours of travel. We were immediately surprised at how modern it is. As Bangalore is the tech hub of India, the majority of the population is a younger, richer generation. Bangalore also happens to be the beer capital of India, so for our first night, we went to a craft brewery for dinner. We got a flight of beer, which made Keri extremely happy, and the most delicious lamb chops and prawns. After our stay in Bangalore, we headed south towards Mysore, which was previously the capital of Southern India. We visited some sights around the area, including a massive monolithic statue at the top of many stairs, and the Mysore Palace. After our visit to the palace, we went to the market in town. The market was wonderful – we were the only foreigners there, and they had everything from scented oils to jewelry to fruit and veggies. Just outside the market, as we were waiting to head back to the hotel, a group of 10 elephants came down the street. Turns out they were the royal elephants, practicing for a parade that was happening the next day.… Read More »Southern India & Captivating Kerala

Fumbling Around Tuscany

Tour leading is an amazing way to see the world. For sure. It is not without its challenges however. I’ve had many mind-blowingly incredible experiences with a smattering of terrible ones. When asked about my most difficult tour leading experience, I have the same reaction – I pause, tilt my head to the side and smile as snippets of 75+ countries, countless groups, and a myriad  bizarre tour leading moments flash before my eyes. One of my favourite travel tales? Leading a walking tour through Tuscany…blind. Not the kind of “blind” that we use in the industry for doing a tour for the first time, but “blind” as in extremely visually impaired. I had just finished leading a tour in Spain and was on my way to Italy to lead a walking tour through Tuscany. My flights seemed simple enough – Seville to Madrid then Madrid to Rome. Now as much as I like to fancy myself a savvy traveller, I am self-admittedly a terrible packer. I sometimes get a bit lazy when I pack and just toss everything in my checked bag. When I’m on the ball, I pack a carry-on bag with all the essentials such as important documents, guide books, glasses, lipgloss (yes, it’s important), change of clothing, jacket, and extra contact lenses. In this instance I’d been so busy with my group in Spain, that I was not on the ball and therefore didn’t take the extra 5 minutes needed to pack my carry-on well. I… Read More »Fumbling Around Tuscany

Terrorism, Nepali-Style

“Good morning, sir. I am Maoist terrorist. Please give me twenty thousand rupees.” These are the words that greeted Cal, the first of our trekking group to emerge from his tent, as soon as he popped out his head. It was a crisp October morning and we were camped in a field in Eastern Nepal, three days’ walk from the nearest road, snow-covered peaks glimmering in the distance. It was 2003 and the country was caught in the depths of a vicious Maoist insurgency and equally brutal government counter-insurgency. We were trekking through Maoist-controlled territory, so we had known that we may encounter their forces, but we never imagined it would be quite like this. The words had come from a small, unassuming man wearing a vest; he looked more librarian than terrorist. Who knows how long he had patiently stood outside our tents, waiting for us weary trekkers to rise. He was accompanied by a scrawny boy, perhaps fourteen or fifteen years old, who carried a machete. He didn’t hold it like a weapon, though; it was harvest season and he was probably on his way to work. For a pair of self-proclaimed terrorists, they weren’t very intimidating. Cal composed himself and woke Bhim, our trekking guide, and the rest of us. We all, terrorist and boy included, sat in a circle and drank tea together while Bhim and the terrorist calmly negotiated. In the end it was agreed that each member of our group, along with the few… Read More »Terrorism, Nepali-Style

Flying During A Pandemic

Late July 2020, during a pandemic, Nicola decides to travel overseas…all in the name of love. She travels from Vancouver, Canada, to the Canary Islands, Spain and tells us about her experience flying internationally during COVID 19. These are her travel tips on how to keep safe while flying during a pandemic.

Top 10 Reasons to Rise Early While Travelling

During my tour leading career I have been cursed at by group members for setting pre-dawn wake-up calls, I’ve encountered mini-protests within my group when informing them of departure time, and I’ve literally dragged people out of bed. Why? Am I a horribly sadistic person? Nope…in fact the opposite is true. It’s my desire to showcase a location in its purest form; untainted by hordes of people or extreme heat. So I’ve compiled a list of some of my favourite reasons to get outta bed ridiculously early while travelling: 1. BEATING THE CRUISE SHIP CROWD. The cruise ship crowd doesn’t get up and going before dawn, so you should. Get your butt out of bed early. Anyone who has visited sites such as Pisa, Santorini, or the Venice knows that once the cruise ships arrive, all pleasure you experienced exploring is immediately drained and panic sets in. My favourite quote from a cruise ship goer was at Ephesus in Turkey stating with a southern drawl, “Where are we? I don’t even understand why we came here…everything is just old and in ruins.” Yup. 2. HOT AIR BALLOONING. Whether it is over Luxor, Cappadocia, Bagan’s Temples, or the Serengeti, hot air ballooning at dawn is a surreal experience.  In the darkness of the early, the glow of the fire filling the massive balloon is an impressive site in and of itself. For me, the serenity at dawn rising above the vast golden-hued plains with hundreds of grazing zebra and wildebeests below in the… Read More »Top 10 Reasons to Rise Early While Travelling