My non Review of Eat, Pray, Love and why I started traveling

I also visited Bali but did not fall in love with any hot Brazilians
I also visited Bali but did not fall in love with any hot Brazilians
I finally got around to seeing Eat, Pray, Love the other night. I have not read the book (nor do I plan to) but given that I write a travel blog I’ve had many people ask me what I thought about the movie, so I figured I should see it.

To be honest I’m not a movie reviewer and I’m not sure the world needs another review of this film. As a film, its mediocre. I guess you can watch it on cable or DVD if you want to see what Italy and Bali are like.

As far as Elizabeth Gilbert, I really have no opinion on her trip. As I have stated before, I really don’t care how other people travel. If she wanted to go stuff herself full of food in Italy, follow a guru in India and seduce old, Brazilian guys in Bali….that’s her business.

I don’t understand the mania surrounding the book, but then again I am not the demographic that the book is appealing to. I will leave it to others try to figure out why women find the book so appealing.
Continue reading “My non Review of Eat, Pray, Love and why I started traveling”

Read my first article for the Huffington Post

I’ve published my first article for the Huffington Post today. Please check it out and leave a comment!

20 Things I’ve Learned From Traveling Around the World for Three Years

On March 13, 2007, I handed over the keys to my house, put my possessions in storage and headed out to travel around the world with nothing but a backpack, my laptop and a camera.

Three and a half years and 70 countries later, I’ve gotten the equivalent of a Ph.D in general knowledge about the people and places of Planet Earth.

Here are some of the things I’ve learned:

1) People are generally good. Many people are afraid of the world beyond their door, yet the vast majority of humans are not thieves, murderers or rapists. They are people just like you and me who are trying to get by, to help their families and go about living their lives. There is no race, religion or nationality that is exempt from this rule. How they go about living their lives might be different, but their general goals are the same….


Buh Bye Newfoundland

My Route in Newfoundland
My Route in Newfoundland
I’m currently in Guysborough, Nova Scotia as a guest of Authentic Seacoast Resorts. I wish I had more time to spend here because it is a beautiful little town and it would be an excellent place to just come for a short vacation.

My Newfoundland part of the trip is over and even though I still have a quite a lot of driving ahead of me, the stretches shouldn’t be as long as what I’ve had so far. The highlights of my time in Newfoundland would have to be L’anse aux Meadows and Gros Morne National Park. L’anse aux Meadows is the location of the first European presence by Vikings around the year 1,000 AD. Gros Morne is a vastly underrated park which in many ways reminded me of New Zealand, especially Milford Sound. I plan on doing separate posts on each location at a later date.

I spent last night on the ferry from Newfoundland. I took the 5 hour ferry to Port aux Basque to get the Newfoundland and the 15 hour ferry from Argentia to get back. In theory, the ferry had internet, but in reality is was far worse than dial up. I have a hard time complaining, however, about the quality of internet while I’m in the middle of the ocean and the bits are being bounced from geosynchronous orbit and back. Continue reading “Buh Bye Newfoundland”

Project Pringles: Update #3

Japanese PringlesIt is time once again for the crispiest, most homogenous, artificially flavored update in the world: Project Pringles! If you are not familiar with the project, I’m attempting to document, with the help of other world travelers, every flavor of Pringles in the world. Pringles are, I believe, the most widespread snack food on Earth.

If you would like to participate it is very simple: just check the Project Pringles page to see if the flavor you’ve found has already been submitted. If it hasn’t, take a photo of the can and email it to me (gary (at) If you are the first to submit a flavor, I’ll give you credit and if applicable, a link to your website.

I know there are many missing flavors from Japan, Korea and China. If you are in those countries or plan to visit soon, keep an eye out at the convenience store.

Also, in other Pringles related news, fellow travel blogger Debbie Dubrow found that Pringles cans make for a cheap children’s toy when you are on a flight. Continue reading “Project Pringles: Update #3”

Old Town Lunenburg

UNESCO World Heritage Site #119: Old Town Lunenburg
Old Town Lunenburg: My 119th UNESCO World Heritage Site

From the World Heritage inscription for Old Town Lunenburg:

Old Town Lunenburg is the best surviving example of a planned British colonial settlement in North America. Established in 1753, it has retained its original layout and overall appearance, based on a rectangular grid pattern drawn up in the home country. The inhabitants have safeguarded the town’s identity throughout the centuries by preserving the wooden architecture of the houses and public buildings, some of which date from the 18th century and which constitute an excellent example of a sustained vernacular architectural tradition. Its economic basis has traditionally been the offshore Atlantic fishery, the future of which is highly questionable at the present time.

Lunenburg is a quaint, old fishing village about an hour south of Halifax, Nova Scotia. In addition to being a colonial town, it was also where Norwegian Sailors trained in WWII to take back Norway. From what I was told on Twitter, I just missed Kevin Costner by a few days.


Old Town Lunenburg

The Old Town Lunenburg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Canada. This sleepy town is one of only two urban communities within North America that was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. This town is located in the province of Nova Scotia.

When UNESCO recognized it as one of the world heritage sites, it earned that distinct by being one of the best surviving British planned colonial town in North America. This town has over 400 years of history behind it as exhibited by the colorful homes and buildings that had been preserved from the time that they were built. To this day, you will see moors and ships that are anchored on the port. Guided tours are available for tourists who visit this town and want to explore a bit of its historical past.

About: Old Town Lunenburg

The Old Town Lunenburg was established in 1753 as a British colonial settlement in North America. It was inscribed into the UNESCO list n 1995. The original layout and overall appearance of this time from the time of the colonial settlement to this day has remained largely intact. The inhabitants of the town today have managed to preserve the colonial identity and look of this town for several centuries. The wooden architectural homes, the colorful buildings, the harbor and the port are all the same in terms of their appearance from the 18th century. Some have even dubbed it as postcard-quality ship-building village.

Old Town Lunenburg

There are 33-hectares of land that are covered within the UNESCO world heritage property, which encompasses the town, its houses and the port. The fortifications that surrounded this town were not included in the heritage listing since there are no surviving remains from that fort. Nonetheless, there is a 48.72 hectare buffer zone that is included within this world heritage property. When UNESCO evaluated the Old Town Lunenburg as a World Heritage Site, they considered the authenticity not just of the look and economic significance of this town, but also the materials, designs, and functions of the buildings and port. The functioning waterfront is indeed of significance to the entire community.

There are some parts of the town that had undergone development. However, UNESCO recognizes that these developments were done to better convey the heritage value of the town and its structures.

Why Visit?

The Old Town Lunenburg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its cultural significance. Hence, that alone is enough reason to go. But here are more reasons to consider a visit:

  • This is an 18th century village that looks something like it did by the time it flourished. Exploring the colorful buildings and houses within this village makes you feel like you stepped back in time.
  • You will be able to have the chance to tour the legendary tall ship Bluenose II that is docked in this fishing village.
  • Ride a 42’ fishing vessel and catch some lobsters. You will be able to get lessons from a Maritimer on how to cook and enjoy your lobster.
  • Witness the humpback whale go up into the surface of the water and blow.
  • Visit local wineries and sample their famed blueberry-and-currant wine.
  • Take part in the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival, which happens annually.

When to Visit

Old Town Lunenburg

Before planning your trip to Old Town Lunenburg, it is important to know the weather and climate conditions beforehand. The weather in the south shore of Nova Scotia (where Lunenburg is) is moderate.

The ideal time to go is from June to September (also the summer season in this town) to enjoy sunny weather and refreshing breezes. Nonetheless, the winter weather is mild in this town. However, the average temperature from December to March is below zero degrees Celsius.

View the complete list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Canada.

View the list of all of the UNESCO World Heritage sites I have visited on my travels.

Last updated: Aug 1, 2017 @ 9:34 pm

Joggins Fossil Cliffs

UNESCO World Heritage Site #118: Joggins Fossil Cliffs
Joggins Fossil Cliffs: My 118th UNESCO World Heritage Site

From the World Heritage inscription for Joggins Fossil Cliffs:

The Joggins Fossil Cliffs, a 689 ha palaeontological site along the coast of Nova Scotia (eastern Canada), have been described as the “coal age Galápagos” due to their wealth of fossils from the Carboniferous period (354 to 290 million years ago). The rocks of this site are considered to be iconic for this period of the history of Earth and are the world’s thickest and most comprehensive record of the Pennsylvanian strata (dating back 318 to 303 million years) with the most complete known fossil record of terrestrial life from that time. These include the remains and tracks of very early animals and the rainforest in which they lived, left in situ, intact and undisturbed. With its 14.7 km of sea cliffs, low bluffs, rock platforms and beach, the site groups remains of three ecosystems: estuarine bay, floodplain rainforest and fire-prone forested alluvial plain with freshwater pools. It offers the richest assemblage known of the fossil life in these three ecosystems with 96 genera and 148 species of fossils and 20 footprint groups. The site is listed as containing outstanding examples representing major stages in the history of Earth.

The Joggins Fossil Cliffs are on the Bay of Fundy, the location of the world’s largest tides. The fossils which the cliffs are famous for can be easily seen in situ in the rock just a few meters from the visitor center. The nearby town of Joggins was once a coal mining town where they mined the coal seams laid down during the Carboniferous Era.


Joggins Fossil Cliffs

The Joggins Fossil Cliffs is a natural site listed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Canada. It is located in the province of Nova Scotia in Canada. This site was inscribed by UNESCO into its list of World Heritage Sites in Canada in 2008.

The Joggins Fossil Cliffs is located within a rural community in western Cumberland County. The entire coast stretches to 15 kilometers in length where the Joggins Fossil Cliffs can be found.

About Joggins Fossil Cliffs

The Joggins Fossil Cliffs, known simply as Joggins, is known for its fossil remains. These fossils can be found within an extensive rainforest ecosystem that had been around for more than 300 million years. In fact, these fossils were dated by expert archaeologists that have originated from the Pennsylvanian Coal Age.

Joggins Fossil Cliffs

The coastline in the Bay of Fundy exposes the Coal Age rocks. The action of the tides coming from the Cumberland Basin has gradually exposed these rocks into the surface. It was in the late 1820s when this site captured the attention of top geologists in the world. Since then, there have been many geologic and archaeological teams that have come to the site to study it. But it was in 1852, when Sir Charles Lyell came to the site to perform paleontological studies when it gained international fame. He referred to this forest of fossil coal-trees as one of the “most wonderful phenomenon” that he had ever witnessed. With his reputation as the father of modern geology, it was unsurprising how this statement caught the attention of many.

The 300-million-year old coal trees that Lyell studied are mostly scale trees (also known as lycopods) that were named as such due to the patterns on the tree barks. In his return trip to the site, Lyell brought with him the pre-eminent geologist of the 19th century, William Dawson of Nova Scotia. They both uncovered more fossils at the site include those of reptiles. To this day, these reptile fossils remain as the oldest terrestrial creatures ever uncovered. Aside from reptiles, the fossils of amphibians and land snails were uncovered at the site as well.

Know Before You Go

Joggins Fossil Cliffs

Are you planning a visit to the Joggins Fossil Cliffs in Nova Scotia? Here are a few things you need to know before you go:

  • It is located in the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia.
  • This is the 15th site to be added to Canada’s list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  • It is open to visitors from late April to late October.
  • There are guided tours available at the site provided by the staff of this World Heritage Site. You can contact the staff of this site to learn about the tours schedule.

View the complete list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Canada.

View the list of all of the UNESCO World Heritage sites I have visited on my travels.

Last updated: Aug 1, 2017 @ 9:33 pm

Independence Hall

UNESCO World Heritage Site #117: Independence Hall
Independence Hall: My 117th UNESCO World Heritage Site

From the World Heritage inscription for Independence Hall:

The Declaration of Independence was adopted in 1776 in this fine 18th-century building in Philadelphia, to be followed in 1787 by the framing of the Constitution of the United States of America. Although conceived in a national framework and hence of fundamental importance to American history, the universal principles of freedom and democracy set forth in these documents were to have a profound impact on lawmakers and political thinkers around the world. They became the models for similar charters of other nations, and may justly be considered to have heralded the modern era of government.

Independence Hall is one of the few cultural World Heritage sites in North America which is not related to native Americans. Visiting the site is very easy as it is in the city center of Philadelphia. Within walking distance, you can also see a number of other historical attractions including the Liberty Bell, Ben Franklin’s home and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from the Revolutionary War.


Independence Hall

The Independence Hall is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the US. This building is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is listed into the National Register of Historic Places and National Historic Landmark. This is the building wherein the United States Constitution and the United States Declaration of Independence was debated and signed. Hence, it is a historic landmark in the formation and the early history of America.

This building is the centerpiece within the Independence National Historic Park, which is one of the National Park Service Sites in Pennsylvania.

About the Independence Hall

The Independence Hall features Georgian architectural style and is a work of Architect William Strickland. This building sits on 51-acre property. The building was completed in 1753 and became the principal meeting place for the Second Continental Congress from 1775 to 1783. It was also the same venue for the Constitutional Convention in 1787. And as such, it is known as the birthplace of America.

Independence Hall

The Declaration of Independence and US Constitution are two documents that uphold the universal principles of democracy and freedom in America. These same documents have influenced lawmakers from all over the world. When the building for the now Independence Hall was first constructed, this is where all three branches of the colonial government in Pennsylvania were conducted. This is where George Washington was appointed as the Commander in Chief of the Continental Army in late 18th century and where Benjamin Franklin gazed upon the “Rising Sun” chair. Meanwhile, important documents such as the Articles of Confederation were also signed here.

The building consists of many different rooms that serve their individual purpose. The Assembly Room is where the US Constitution and Declaration of Independence were both signed in. This room was later converted into a shrine that helped establish the nation. In fact, within this room you will find a painting of the Founding Fathers along with the Liberty Bell.

Another important part of this building is the Courtroom of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Today, this supreme court room was turned into a museum and is open for visitors who wanted to get a glimpse of the past and how the judiciary branch worked. The museum also houses important artifacts related to the founding of America.

During tours within the Independence Hall, here are other key rooms that are explored by visitors: Long Gallery, Governor’s Council Chamber, and the Committee of the Assembly Chamber.

Tips for Visiting

Independence Hall

Want to visit the Independence Hall in Philadelphia? Here are some tips to consider to plan your visit:

  • Independence Hall is located on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia. It is located right between 5th and 6th Streets.
  • To enter the Independence Hall, you must pass through a security screening area via Chestnut Street.
  • This is open daily from 9AM to 7PM. But on special holidays, it could extend to 8PM.
  • Entrance is free on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Independence Day.
  • Same day distribution tickets are FREE. Only those reserved tickets are charged with $1.50 fee per ticket.
  • Only those with tickets for timed tour are allowed entry into the Independence Hall. You can get them at the Independence Visitor Center in the 6th and Market Streets. This is the only place where you can get tickets for timed tours.

View the complete list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the United States.

View the list of all of the UNESCO World Heritage sites I have visited on my travels.

Last updated: Aug 1, 2017 @ 9:09 pm