Top Tourist Attractions of Bali

Bali Indonesia, though a tiny island, has a lot to offer to its travellers. The exceptional scenic beauty of this tropical island has fascinated tourists for years. Lofty hills, rice terrace fields, lush rain forest, pristine beach, great volcano – there is no such thing that is missing in Bali , so much to explore, that a short visit is not enough. Here are some of the major Bali attractions that you should not miss during your stay here

Bali Kuta surf
Bali Kuta surf

Kuta: The famous surfing area of Bali, Kuta offers a lot of things to enjoy. If there is one place that will help you to see a lot of the best of this island, it is Kuta. If you are just off the plane, come to this place to get the local flavor.

Ubud: Nestled to the north of Denpasar, this region is home to the Balinese royal family. Situated in the mountains Ubud is extremely beautiful. It will give you the opportunity to see some traditional villages. It’s a different world altogether where you can come close to the unspoiled old culture.

Barat National Park: Are you interested in wild life? Did you ever know that Bali has its own unique leopards? Yes Bali has a rich wildlife. If you don’t visit the Barat National Park, you are sure to miss a lifetime experience.

Kintamani: Once the biggest city of Bali, Kintamani was created by a volcanic crater. Nature lovers would simply hate to leave this place. Surrounded by mountains and jungles Kintamani offers a feel of a lost world. The beaches and hot springs add to the beauty of this place. Great site to spend your time with your beloved ! For more ideas about holiday gateways for couples check this site http://weekendgetawaysforcouples.net/

Denpasar: If you are wondering, what is the best shopping destination of Bali, the answer is Denpasar. It is the most popular shopping district where you can find good souvenirs, craftworks and the best thing about this place is that you can do some pricing.

Several Bali holiday packages are offered by travel companies these days. No matter which package you choose, make sure these places are included in your package.

Bruneau Dunes State Park

Destination:
Bruneau, ID
Bruneau Dunes State Park
Eagle Cove Campground

Bruneau Dunes State Park Map
Bruneau Dunes State Park Map

When I booked my reservation online, I was surprised to see that the Eagle Cove Campground was virtually wide open with just one reservation; while the nearby Broken Wheel Campground was nearly sold out. And that was perfect for me since I was taking a large group of campers with me, making it easy for everyone to make their own reservations and still have us all be centrally located on the same loop. I learned later why this campground was wide open, and the other nearly fully booked.

Bruneau Dunes has 82 serviced camp sites providing 15/30/50 Amp Power and water, and 16 additional standard sites. The free RV dump is conveniently located between the two campgrounds making it easy to dump either on your way home, or at any point during your stay.

The sand dunes and lake at the Bruneau Sand Dunes State Park
The sand dunes and lake at the Bruneau Sand Dunes State Park

Bruneau Dunes is home to the tallest single-structured dune in North America. Rising 470 feet above the desert and small lakes of the park, the dune covers about 600 acres and is estimated to have formed over a period of just 12,000 years. Activities at the park include fishing, birdwatching, camping, hiking, swimming, and my personal favorite: star gazing. Bruneau Dunes is home to Idaho’s only public observatory, with star watching programs available most Friday and Saturday evenings in the summer months. The stars are just spectacular out here. There isn’t a city light for many miles, and that makes for spectacular star viewing.

What I recently learned about the Eagle Cove Campground, and what you need to know about it, is this: It’s HOT at Bruneau Dunes, and ALL THE TREES are in the Broken Wheel Campground. So if you find yourself camping at Eagle Cove, bring your own shade. Also, try to park in spots 94-97 to make best use of your RV & Awning as a sun shade in the afternoon and evening hours. Spots 73-74 are also oriented well for providing shade. It also tends to be quite windy at Bruneau Dunes, so come prepared for heat and wind (think convection oven) – and bring a kite!

DESTINATION – Central & South America (Leg #1)

Central & South AmericaMy final countries destination list for Central & South America is significantly shorter than anticipated. Although I initially wanted to do 12 countries, the expensive flights and inconvenient routes of Central & South America became a hindrance. So as a compromise, I chose to stay longer at each place instead of visiting more countries. This also cuts down on administrative costs & time, and will allow for a mix of hectic exploration and relaxation

I am approximately under 5 months away from my date of departure and considering I have to get my passport renewed, get visas, etc, this leaves very little time to apply for visas for more than 3 countries.

This is where I really had to return to my  Travel Mantra, I had to think about what I wanted to get out of the experience and from there, cut the fat

FINAL LIST:

– Honduras

– Colombia

– Brazil (including flight to & from Manaus)

– Argentina

– Bolivia

– Peru (Including a flight to Cusco from Lima)

PLACES I HAD TO CUT OUT (but really didn’t want to):

Ecuador / Galapagos Islands – While it has been my lifelong DREAM to go to the Galapagos Islands, this excursion alone would add upwards of $1000 to the trip and considering I have to budget for the whole year, this seems like an obvious cut. Not one easily made however

Chile – I really wanted to go to the southernmost point of South America via Chile, and also to the Easter Island, but the Island is basically halfway to Indonesia and Chile has expensive visas & I thought about how awesome it would be to lump my eventual Chile visa with an Antartica trip when I can afford it

Mexico – Even though my only Mexico visit was to Acapulco during spring break in college (I succumbed to peer pressure – *sigh*) and I really wanted to experience the Mayan ruins, its close enough to the US that I can visit another time. And besides, this is probably not the safest time to be traipsing around drug-lord infested Mexico.

Venezuela – I’m sure Venezuela is incredible, and its both mine & Justin’s dream to visit Angel Falls, we would need an aerial tour to really experience it, and the cost of visiting the falls + airfare would be close to 1000 USD

Fernando de Noronha – This incredible escape in the Northeast corner of Brazil looks AMAZING, and I’m dying to go, but besides the 200+ USD flight to Recife, the flight from Recife to the islands (upwards of $600) and the expensive accomodations ($120+ / night) – this escursion would’ve cost us close to $1200, didn’t seem worth it

PLACES CONSIDERED (BUT SKIPPING):

Costa Rica – I’ve always fantasized about Costa Rica as this amazing place, the jungle, the surfing & beaches, but 99% of my well traveled friends pretty much agree. Once you’ve seen great beaches, & the rainforest, its kind of the same thing. And I’ve done the whole zip lining thing so it seems like an obvious choice to omit

Caribbean – Both my boyfriend and I have been to the Caribbean plenty, and not to generalize, but again, once you’ve seen a few, the difference is marginal

Panama – was on our original itinerary, but a few people who have been there told us its OK to skip that in an attempt to shave down our airline expenses

AIRFARE COST:

We had a lovely agent (Andrew) at http://www.airtreks.com help us price out our different itinerary options. Andrew was SO patient with us as we tried to rejigger everything to make all the dates work and the costs down.

In the end our fare was approx $3600 (16 flights) – including taxes & fees & the base travel insurance

And just to be sure, I priced out the itinerary via Kayak, Skyscanner and Vayama and AirTreks ended up being WAY cheaper.

International health

636752_1378852492.7927_wlDone! After you saved your money, you’ve booked your ticket to escape the monotony of your city!But before you go to your first safari with your latest digital camera or make personal Beijing Express must take some precautions to prevent turista.

*Preparation of a travel

Before the trip, it is very important to be updated at your vaccinations before the big day against these following:
– Polio
– Tetanus
– BCG
– Hepatitis B
You’ve finally found your health record to a cupboard and you’re awesome day but do not claim your victory too soon, know that there is also a vaccination against specific destinations!
• Yellow fever → for African countries
Regarding yellow fever is an injection which is valid for 10 years. We can not vaccinate children under 6 months.
• Typhoid fever → For Eastern
This vaccine, Vi Typhim is valid for 3 years.
• Cholera → South America
The vaccine protects only 50% and is valid only 6 months.
• Méningicoque → Maghreb, Middle East

• Hepatitis A → Asia
The vaccine protects for about 10 years.

• Malaria
Against malaria unfortunately there is no known vaccine to date!
In the case of malaria? Must go to the doctor who will prescribe treatment before leaving! Beware the anti-malarial treatment is started one week before departure and continue for 1 month after the return!

If you have already reached its destination and have the toes fan at the beach do not panic you still use the net with insecticide. The evening will be necessary to put socks and also if possible a long-sleeved pajamas. Finally, use regularly repellents.
Note that these tips are equally valid prescription of a treatment against malaria.

Emergency kit

In your kit you should find:
– Antiseptic for small or large wounds of all kinds
– Anti-diarrheal for water in some countries may be infected by the turista
-Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, aspi-venom in case of bites of bizarre creatures such as scorpions, snakes or spiders (not exhaustive but do not cancel your trip so far!)

Tablet for disinfecting water or if the preferred mode of tea or soda. Do not forget to disinfect the water even if it is to brush your teeth, washing vegetables or the body.
And plan to finish a good sunscreen and… The necessary sunglasses!

During the trip
Apply the advice we gave you.
Obey the rules of food hygiene and food cooked advocate.

* After the trip
You are returned with images filled his head and tons of photos!
Depending on where you spent your holiday you suffer the consequences more or less important time difference schedule, it will fade after a few days.
If you return after you have diarrhea, fever or are tired consult your doctor.

The conclusion is that the traveler has to be aware of any health trouble in order to solve it quickly.

Electronic ticket

The electronic ticket is a new trick to travel cheap. Indeed, rather than going into an agency, travelers can buy now their tickets by computer.

Buying an electronic ticket is an economical way financially that saves more time in queues at the counters. The tickets, for example, are purchased directly on the Internet and sent to your email address after payment of order.

The flight booking is thus made and you only have to print it to go to the airport in order to fly you to the destination of your choice.

One advantage of e-ticket is its ability to combine several passengers in the same ticket printer. So rather than having three or four tickets when traveling in groups, they need only one.

In order to purchase a cheap electronic ticket, you can use a price comparative for airlines.
Most of times, the charter flights are the cheapest.

That is why the electronic ticket becomes an essential way to make a booking and travel around the world. Discovering new cities and many other enjoyable landscape.

How is the food in Vietnam?

How is the food in Vietnam
How is the food in Vietnam

Vietnamese cuisine is distinguished by its delicacy and lightness. The abundant use of various vegetables and spices makes it a unique culinary flavors. Overview of a kitchen that smells the exotic.

Composition of Vietnamese cuisine

Westerners often confuse the Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine. The latter is however characterized by its finesse, lightness and variety of its dishes. There are nearly 500 Vietnam national dishes! Vietnamese cuisine is characterized by the omnipresence of nuoc mam sauce, fish sauce that gives flavor to its dishes, while Chinese cuisine is rather characterized by the use of soy sauce and oyster.

The Vietnamese cooking also uses a wide variety of herbs such as coriander, basil, raoram the Tiato (kind of mint), or citronella, most often added to dishes to give them a subtle fragrance. Rice and rice noodles make up the base of most dishes.

Vietnamese dishes are generally rich in vegetables. These are preferred crisp and tasty, rather than boiled in water and softened. Vegetables are usually fried, seasoned with garlic or ginger. Leafy vegetables are in turn when they are boiled, thrown into simmering water containing a little oil. Boiling water should be avoided so that the vegetables retain their freshness and green. After being drained, you can include them into salads and season with fish sauce sauce or oyster sauce. You can find many nice pictures about Vietnam food and cuisine in this Fan Page voyage vietnam , nice ressource to check before you go to Vietnam

There is less meat in Vietnamese cuisine as fish or crustaceans. Numerous dishes include the use of shrimp, whether grilled, fritters, in soups, or crushed sugar cane (chao tom). The crab is also very popular in salads or stuffed.

There are many exotic fruits that embellish meals or for desserts or dishes themselves: Khaki, jujube, green dragon, star fruit, longan, mangosteen, sapodilla, corrosoles, rambutans, toffee apples, jackfruit, passion fruit …

To visit vietnam, get your visa vietnam and don’t use water from tap to drink

Best Places to Visit in Montreal

Botanical Garden

Visitors to Montreal Botanic Garden can enjoy color and fragrances from around the world in any season and is called one of the Best Places to Visit in Montreal. Here you can explore Chinese, Aquatic, Japanese, Rose, City, Lilac Collection, Peace garden and many more. Visitors can enjoy different flowers such as Lilacs, Lotus, Cacti and Succulents, Orchids, and Gesneriads.

Best Places to Visit in Montreal
Best Places to Visit in Montreal

Biosphere Environment Museum

Museum is a architectural masterpiece and spectacular structure and is among the Best Places to Visit in Montreal. Biosphere has two wind turbines that produce 13kwh per day. Biosphere also has a geothermal system that helps to save 30-40% energy savings.

La Ronde Theme Park

La Ronde Theme Park has more than 40 rides and attractions specifically designed to delight people of all ages and theme park is truly a complete family entertainment. Here visitors with kids going to enjoy and will spend time in a perfect family fun atmosphere.

Notre-Dame Basillica

Notre-Dame Basillica is a historic building in old Montreal. The church’s Ghothic Revival architecture is among the most dramatic in the world and is one of the Best Places to Visit in Montreal. Its interior is colourful, its ceiling is deep blue and decorated with golden stars, and the rest of the sanctuary is a polychrome of blues, azures, reds, purples, silver, and gold.

Park Safari

Here families with kids going to have tremendous time as kids will enjoy to see animals as well as wild rides. Here kids can also explore the Nairobi game park and older children will enjoy playing mini-putt. Here visitors will see the wild animals from around the world and will witness why this is among the Best Places to Visit in Montreal.

International DE JAZZ DE MONTREAL

This festival is world’s largest Jazz festival and for the past 30 years Montreal is the venue for this festival. This festival hosts some 30 countries for 11 days.

Grand Prix Du Canada

Every summer Montreal hosts the Grand Prix Du Canada and thousands of race loving people come to see and enjoy the race.

Old Montreal

Old Montreal has a history dating back to 1642 when settlers from France landed at the edge of the St. Lawrence River. Here you can see some of the oldest buildings dating back to the 1600’s.

Above is the only few places to visit in Montreal and there is much more to explore.

Rex Hotel in Hochiminh city

Rex_Hotel_in_Hochiminh_city.serendipityThumbWe then proceeded to the magnificent REX HOTEL, where we had booked our five days stay. Rex Hotel started as a garage and trading center. Since then it has been renovated into a 6-storey hotel. It was used as a meeting and entertainment venue for United States military personnel.

Rex is a four star hotel. The rooms are nice and ornately appointed with rattan furniture and handicrafts. Plus they always serve daily newspaper, mineral water and fresh fruit.

The central location of the hotel makes it a top place to explore the city by foot without the need for transport. Adjacent to the People Committee House, within steps of the famous Ben Thanh Market and historical Opera House.

We feasted everyday an unforgettable buffet breakfast at the Hoa Mai Restaurant (inside Rex Hotel) that serves traditional Vietnamese cuisine together with Western favorites.

I LOVE this restauran! A major mouthwatering experience! BuUuRP! Oops, excuse me.

ADDRESS:
Rex Hotel
141 Nguyen Hue Boulevard,
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Room Rates : $95-$290
Hotel Class: 4

You can order a travel package vía a local agency as http://voyagevietnam.co/ that i’ ve tested !

How to Choose the Best Ski Lessons

How to Choose the Best Ski Lessons
How to Choose the Best Ski Lessons

If you are a beginner to skiing most resorts offer lessons with more or less the same program of ski instructor training involved. The classes tend to fill quickly so before you leave for your vacation it’s a good idea to book online. Ski lessons are normally a menu item at a resort’s home page. In addition to being able to book (either via email or through a provided telephone number), you’ll find a description of what you will learn and the kind of equipment used.

Before You Book

There are some questions you will want answered before you book. These include:

What Does The Lesson Actually Teach You?

It is important to know what the lesson actually involves. Does it teach you the basics such as turning, stopping and how to control your speed? Obviously these are extremely important ski techniques to learn in order to control your movement on the slopes and to avoid serious injury.

Check That You Are in the Right Age Group

If you are booking the lesson for yourself, the last thing you want to do is wind up with the wrong age group. For example, if you are a 40 year old adult, you do not want to book your lesson with the 15-17 age groups. Likewise, if you are booking a skiing lesson for your child, you don’t want them in with the adults. So always be clear what age group you are booking with and double check that there are no mistakes.

Private v. Group Lessons

It is always worth thinking about whether you would be more comfortable learning with a group of people or if a private lesson is more your style. Group lesson can enable you to meet people but some people are simply too embarrassed to learn in front of other people. Consider your personal comfort level and don’t ignore it. You need to understand the skiing basics no matter how you can best absorb the information. You’ll find other ways to meet people if group lessons just aren’t your thing.

What Are Then Costs Involved?

Be clear about the cost of lessons. Private instruction will cost more but sometimes if you book online and well in advance you can find discounted prices.

Is There Any Equipment Included With The Lesson?

If you do not own your own equipment, it is essential that you find a lesson which includes the use of their equipment. The equipment you will need includes ski boots, skis, poles and a helmet. If equipment is not provided with the lesson, investigate what rental sources are available through the resort.

How Long Do The Lessons Take?

How long are the lessons exactly? Do you need to set aside a morning or a day? You need to know so that you can take time out of your schedule.

Are The Instructors Certified?

The last thing you want when you go to a skiing lesson is to have somebody teaching you who haven’t really got a clue what they are doing themselves. All skiing instructors should have a ski instructor certification and you should be able to see documentation to that effect.

How Do You Choose The Best Travelling Place to Release Pressure

How do you choose the best travel to release pressure? Many people have been asking themselves this vital question whenever they are making their choice before going for a vacation. The following are some of the tips that you need to use while making your decision of traveling;

First, you need to find out the cost of the Travel destinations before making that ultimate choice of making your decision of visiting this place for your holiday. Why do say this? We have many countries in the world offering the best tourism destinations, making a perfect choice while visiting can sometimes be hard for those people who do not have information. With the many countries, the price should always assist you in making that decision whenever you are choosing some of the best places available in the world. When you do your research, you will always be in the best position to identify some of the best place that you can use while reducing on the cost. Ultimately, this will help you save money that you could otherwise spend when touring these countries or places.

The reputation of the countries offering Travel destinations is also vital when you are planning of making a visit. You have to make sure that you make the best decision if you are thinking about making the best decision of visiting these places during your holiday. How do you check for reputation? Through the Tourism news from the people, you will have to make sure that you buy the best places that are available for you during your journey since this will always help you make that ultimate decision. As a special tip, never buy these Travel destinations from those countries that have compromised reputation in the world since this will always affect the quality of comfort and fun that they will be selling for you. This process in the past has helped many people make informed choices when compared to the earlier days when the process of finding the best tourist destinations was hard.

For those people who may have problems choosing the best destinations, the use of tourism agents can be one of the options that you can use if you are thinking about making that decision in the market. They will always give you advice not only on how to make a decision and this that you should expect once you make your choice. Remember that most of them often have experience needed whenever you are making ultimate decision of traveling to a place. Ultimately, with their help, you will always be in the best decision to make an informed choice before traveling.

You should also make sure that you do your research on the internet if you are thinking on making an informed choice on places to visit for tourism purposes. In the internet, you will always ensure that you make the best choice if you want save money when buying after using the best information on webs or choice other e cig store that is available online. In conclusion, the above tips will definitely help you make the best choice before deciding on the best tourism destination in the market.

Short guide for Travel Health Insurance

Short guide for Travel Health Insurance
Short guide for Travel Health Insurance

If you are heading abroad then don’t forget to arrange your travel health insurance before you go.

Whether you are simply going away on a short trip for a few days or planning an extended stay overseas, it is vital that you have a suitable travel health insurance plan tucked into your baggage just in case.

Nobody wants to be sick and, thankfully, most of us are reasonably fit and well and have enjoyed many holidays abroad without ever having a problem. But we probably all know people who have not been so lucky and also know that it is only a matter of time before we run into a problem ourselves.

Most countries today have reasonably good healthcare facilities and, indeed, many have facilities that are even better than we enjoy at home. But care is rarely free of charge and often comes at a very hefty price, for even relatively mild complaints.

For example, on a recent trip to the Far East I was unlucky enough to contract food poisoning after a lovely evening out at a local seafood restaurant. Now, fortunately, I recovered quite quickly but I did nonetheless need to be taken to the local hospital in the middle of the night by ambulance and spent that night and the following night in the hospital. The care I received was excellent but the bill was very high. It was at that point that I was very happy that I had taken the trouble to arrange travel health insurance before my departure for the trip.

In most cases the really stupid thing is that arranging cover couldn’t be easier, is not all that expensive and can give you considerable peace of mind. If you would life a free quotation then simply pop your zip code into the box above, indicate whether or not you are currently insured and how many people you are seeking cover for and click on the “I’m Ready To Continue” button.

San Diego – Would a City by Any Other Name be as Cool?

If you live in San Diego, there’s a good chance that you have no idea how the city (and county) was named. Well, San Diego was a real person, but not one who ever lived here.

Saint Didacus, painting courtesy San Diego Historical Society San Diego (born in 1400) was a Spanish peasant. He was named after St. James the Apostle the Greater, the Spanish patron saint. (Diego was a common alternate for Santiago or Saint James; In Latin, the name translated to Sanctus Didacus). Santiago joined the Franciscan order, and devoted his life to good works, prayer, and tending to the sick.

It is said that San Diego performed miracles. The most enduring tale about him is that he was caught sneaking some bread out to the poor. When his superior questioned him, asking what was under his cloak, he opened it and there were only flowers. Some considered this a miracle. It is also believed that after his death (in 1463 in Alcala, Spain), his relics cured Don Carlos, son of Philip II, of a grave illness.

San Diego was canonized (attaining sainthood) in 1588 by Pope Sixtus V, becoming Saint Diego (also known as St. Didacus).

When explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo first saw our bay in 1542, he named it San Miguel, because the archangel’s feast day (September 29) was the first full day his party spent here.

Later, on November 11, 1602, explorer Sebastian Vizcaino renamed it San Diego de Alcala de Henares because his flagship (the San Diego) was in the bay on their patron saint’s feast day. He claimed that the reason that he renamed this land is that Cabrillo’s observations were so inaccurate that he could not find the lands Cabrillo named.

So would this be the same town if it were San Miguel? I don’t think so. Vizcaino may have had no right to rename our fair city, but I’m glad he did. Aren’t you?

Cooling Down in the San Diego Heat

San Diego
San Diego

San Diego awakened this morning to glaring sunshine and warm, dry breezes. With temperatures rising into the eighties (and the nineties in outlying areas like Ramona), students across the county couldn’t wait to get out of school and cool off. Solar covers were flung off of swimming pools faster than a frisbee to a forehead, and anyone without a pool in the neighborhood probably spent their afternoon in the sprinklers or sitting in front of an air conditioner.

Tomorrow’s temperatures are predicted to be even higher, up to 98 degrees in Borrego Springs, continuing to rise on Wednesday morning.

This all might sound enviable if you’re looking at severe thunderstorms in Texas, or tornadoes in Kansas, but the San Diego weather is not without worries.

Just a few days ago the Union-Tribune reported that California is facing the worst fire conditions in almost a century.

Several indicators, especially fuel moisture levels, add up to tremendous fire potential

said San Diego fire Deputy Chief of Operations Jeff Carle. This is particularly frightening now, with the memory of the Cedar wildfire, which took 2,400 homes and fifteen lives, still fresh in our memories.

Historically, the state has declared fire season between May and June, but the California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection (CDF) declared that fire season started last Monday in San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego counties. Today they kicked off CAL FIRE Wildfire Awareness Week with a tour of public events, which should arrive in El Cajon on Friday.

For the elderly in particular, the heat can be both expensive and dangerous. If you live on the coast, you can do without air conditioning, letting the ocean breezes do the cooling on most days. Those living inland are not so lucky, and many of our aging population must forego air conditioning to cut down on expensive energy bills.

Each year, dozens of people, most of them elderly, die of heat-related causes in California. Hoping to save lives, San Diego’s Aging and Independence Services (AIS) is now coordinating Cool Zones, offering places for senior citizens to escape mid-day heat and reduce their own air conditioning use. People with special needs and the general public can also visit these sites, normally located in senior centers and public buildings.

SDG&E is working with AIS to enable seniors without transportation to get to a Cool Zones site. They are also offering free portable fans for seniors and the disabled, if they cannot afford them.

To find a Cool Zone in your community, call (800) 510-2020, or visit the Utility Consumers’ Action Network or the San Diego Eldercare Directory and click on your area under Cool Zone sites.

Mia – finally arrived in Canada to her forever home.

Canada
Canada

I am sitting at the computer with a beautiful red-head at my feet. Mia arrived on Thursday night to her new home with me. I was a little nervous about receiving her as I had not met her “in person” so to speak. I was in contact with two of her three foster Mom’s who had cared for her over the past year and they told me everything they could about her, so I was pretty sure of my choice but still – a change in my lifestyle and also a change for Mia and Sadie, my cat.

The worry was all for nought as Mia is a beautiful dog, both inside and out with a sweet, open-hearted nature and loving disposition. She is always wagging her tail and has a smile on her face. I fell in love pretty quickly and now am so happy I didn’t let my worries stop me from adopting beautiful Mia. I should let you know that the Mia means Missing In Action as she is a rascal and in 2 days has wiggled out of her harness and leash. Luckily, the last time, my bossy voice stopped her in her tracks as I yelled ‘STOP’ as she merrily ran down the street. My worst nightmare come true. I have another harness that will be substituted as soon as I figure out how to get the contraption on her.

She follows me everywhere, even to the bathroom but I noticed today she sat apart from me downstairs in the living room as I was reading my emails on my Ipad. I think with time and security she will become independent as she does have a stubborn nature if you want her to do something that she doesn’t want to do.

Poor Sadie has had to make some adjustments to her new roommate but I think with time, she will become more accepting. Mia is very good with her and is curious and looks at her but doesn’t approach or chase her. I think Mia just wants to be friends and that includes a sniff but Sadie will “have none of that”. Today I noticed that Sadie has calmed down and came down to her room for her breakfast and litter box as long as Mia kept her distance. We all have to make some adjustments but I love having animals in my house. It makes a home so cosy.

Mia doesn’t bark, she is really quiet but if someone comes to the door, there is a warning bark and she looks at me as if to say – is it OK? I just renewed my security system but am thinking “what for” with Mia now guarding the entrances. As soon as I tell her “No Mia” she stops and realized the people are OK and wags her tail at her new friends.

There will be more coming on the addition to my home but for now, it feels perfect having a dog at my feet, a coffee at my side and a fireplace going in the room. I feel peaceful and happy!

Cold Calgary and first thoughts about the Artist’s Way

Calgary
Calgary

It is wicked cold in Calgary right now. We always get short spells like this in early winter. I swear the coldest month of the year is November/December and right now it is -28C with a wind chill. That means that I am stuck in the house with my poor pets who are getting bored. Mia and I missed our early morning walk, we attempted to but had to turn back because it was just too cold for her tootsies. She did her business and then we came home.

I am continuing to work on the Artist’s Way and have been pretty good with keeping up with writing my morning pages but the other exercises I find a little more difficult. We are suppose to think of the three people in our lives who created barriers for our artistic endeavours. Really I couldn’t come up with one, my family was always supportive when we were kids. I remember I wanted to play the guitar and I got one for Christmas and it last a few months and then sat in my closet. I think my biggest barrier is myself and my tendency towards laziness when finishing a project. Not in my work life but definitely in my hobby life. I have knitting sitting unfinished, patterns on my sewing machine, a bag of my drawing attempts. I like to try different things and then I move on. Hum, not a good trait for developing an artistic skill. So I wrote about that in my journals. I may have more answers as to “why” down the path.

One of the other exercises I am suppose to do is think of five creative art lifestyles I would like to have pursued in my life. I can’t think of five but I can think of one. I sort of play the violin and I would always daydream of playing in Loreena McKennitt’s band. I think she is the coolest person I don’t know. She is such an artist and also surrounds her self with quality artists and lives the most interesting life. Many people are not aware that she is Canadian and in fact has a big farm and recording studio in the Ottawa valley. She is extremely popular in Europe and usually does a summer tour in European venue. I would love to see her perform at the Acropolis or Alhambra. One of these days I will follow her to a show. Last year she performed in Istanbul. I have seen her live three times and I could see her live again. I love both her cellist and violinist.

Travel Inspires the Literary

March has been a trying month for writing. It’s also been inspired. Such is the conundrum formed by moving to a foreign country and commencing a full-time job within the same week.

Along with an overabundance of unclaimed time that I never can quite enjoy while staying in the US, gone are the days of uninspired writing. While staying in Ohio and Tempe over winter (in the northern hemisphere) it was all I could do to get out a professional blog post, let alone one for my own blog. It was all I could do to write a journalistic article for my Hong Kong publisher. And heaven forbid I actually complete composing and/or editing any literary work. Everything sort of blends together. Little passion or inspiration comes long for the taking.

Peru, conversely, fuels my literary side. During my six-months in Lima last year, I started or advanced almost half a dozen literary essays and memoir pieces. Since the day of departure from the US on Thursday, 1 March, I’ve begun and completed composing two essays, a Q&A with a newly publisher writer, two professional blog posts, advanced editing of a third essay, and (as of this writing) am on my ninth ATW blog post for March. (All without reliable Internet connectivity for two weeks.) In addition I’ve sent out three submissions. Let’s hope that doesn’t turn into more, as I’m particularly wanting this Q&A to be accepted by the journal last submitted to. (Admittedly here lies a bit of humblebraggadocio.)

Considering my new full-time job started on 5 March, it’s surprising that I’ve accomplished even what writing I have. My free hours have plummeted since days in the US like Wiley Coyote down a canyon wall. There is no more self-pitying time than when the literary spark hits an obstacle like time commitments. The experience has me rolling my eyes less frequently over the number of I’m-too-busy-to-write posts available online. Rolling eyes has turned to empathizing.

Anyway, here’s an update about a piece cooking up in my literary kitchen, a CNF piece limited to 750 words.

This may be one of the most difficult pieces I’ve ever written. Then again, I could say that about anything I’m working on because each gives me courage to dig further and further into myself. They also give me ability to distance myself further and further away from the subject matter, in turn letting the piece become literature.

Lessons: To have the courage to stay in nonfiction rather than chickening out and pretending it’s fiction, which lends authors the ability to vent and to lie. The tight envelope of 750 words imposed by the publication that inspired this piece rather constricts. It also helps to write single moments poignantly, like time-lapse videos of water drops or insect action.

This length urges writers to choose content and verbiage wisely, perhaps more poetically, to use more skillful double entendres. “Keep it tight and honest,” Hemingway might have said.

As my first third-person piece, I’m elucidated to distance myself from the subject matter– a confounding, emotional one– to tell a story, not merely to dwell on me (as I’m doing ever so lengthily here).

Status: Composed all but complete; major editing required before submitting before the publication’s deadline.

As March closes, and this I-perspective blog post, thanks are in order. The flame of inspiration illuminates my days. Balance has not evaded me; I’m able to slow down when the flame becomes a torchthrower. My new job usurps more time and energy than expected yet has resulted in better planning and daily structuring, more productivity in literary output and quality, and clarity in other aspects of life.

By Nichole L. Reber

About Nichole L. Reber

Nichole L. Reber writes about the built environment, the writing business or lack of it, and tales from her usually highly mistake-strewn globetrotting experiences. She has, however, also covered topics as funky and diverse as international business, art, nipple Nazis, state politics, sports psychology, engineering, alternative energy, and the education system. When she’s lucky enough to trick an editor into paying her for writing, she gets published in books, blogs, and magazines around the world such as the Los Angeles Times, Florida Design, Big Builder, and Perspective.