“I really don’t know what to expect. It’s the deep heart of Africa. I have nothing to compare it to. But … maybe that’s the beauty of it.” These are the words I enshrined in my journal in November on the eve of my long, boomerang-shaped chain of flights from Los Angeles to the East [...]
As part of this year’s “Amex Stars” blogger program, we’ve been privy to a wealth of fantastic benefits typically provided to Starwood Preferred Guest American Express cardholders. The latest? Near-courtside seats at the 2012 US Open and an intimate cocktail reception with tennis legend, Lindsay Davenport, in New York City.
Everyone makes sacrifices for love. And when I spent a month in meat-loving Brazil with my vegetarian boyfriend, my sacrifice happened three times a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Brazil is paradise for two-footed carnivores: the serving sizes are gut-stretching and nearly every dish features something that was recently alive. There is no way I [...]
After two days of hiking and exploring Quebec’s La Mauricie National Park, I quickly discovered that the province has plenty of stunning natural scenery to offer. My brief time in the park had quickly come to an end however. And it was now on to Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park for two nights of beach camping, [...]
I had but one full day exploring Quebec City. But (thanks in no small part to Parcs Canada) in a mere eight hours, I relived and discovered more than 400 years of the city’s history. After which, it was time to push on towards the sprawling wilderness of the province’s National Parks.
I came to Quebec to backpack the province’s national parks. To step into the vast Canadian wilderness with nothing but a backpack and tent in tow. To live for nine full days not unlike Les Stroud … if Les traveled in a cush, four-wheel drive SUV, broke for daily coffee runs and relaxed on short-haul [...]
Canada’s always held a special place in my heart. Some of my fondest travel memories are of cramming my five closest high school friends into a beat-up 70s Mercedes Benz and driving six hours north to the (at least to us school age Americans) Xanadu that was Montreal. My grandmother was born and raised on [...]
There are few places in Europe that encompass almost every cultural category or way of life as well as a certain little marketplace hidden in an Industrial Revolution-era canal-side nook. Here you can feel the pulse of the twenty-first century global economy in action, and the excitement of a thousand different faces speaking a hundred [...]
If you’re going to be pickpocketed or mugged in Brazil, Salvador is likely to be the place. – Lonely Planet (South America on a Shoestring, 2007) Salvador da Bahia is stunning, dipped in more beach than it knows what to do with. Crowded on the southern tip of a peninsula, like water pooling in the [...]
The fun of the weekly market at Saquisilí began for me around 4:30 AM when a baby sheep fell off the roof of the bus. It dangled, hooves desperately seeking purchase on the smooth glass of my window. I’d watched it (and eleven others) being hauled up, baaaaaing all the way, an hour before, during [...]
Sitting on the coast of northern Qatar is Zubarah, an ancient town that for several hundred years was the epicentre of the pearling industry. Although most of it remains buried under sand dunes, its location near pristine beaches provides a sweeping view of the waters that made this place a flourishing city. Abandoned for 74 [...]
Despite the fact that I’d been on a near-vertical climb through the rain and fog for the previous five hours, I had yet to reach the summit. Cold, wet and exhausted, my blistered feet and swollen hands ached as I limped up the side of Mount Fuji; the most visited mountain in the world and [...]
Kirsten Amor explores Qatar’s unique, Hollywood-esque ‘Film City’ – a bizarre movie set oasis in the middle of nowhere.
Kirsten Amor explores one of the most mysterious and fascinating sites in Qatar.
Our eighth and final distribution was located approximately two hours south of Hubli in a town called Yellapur. It is known for its two beautiful and natural waterfalls – Magod falls and Satoddi falls. The distribution took place inside of an Ashram. It was beautiful. The grounds were filled with rings of rich purple flowers, [...]
As I mentioned in a previous blog, as a SCAW volunteer, there are many different roles you can play at a distribution – the photographer, the label puller, the counter, the organizer of the kids. One of my favourite roles of all would be the interviewer. Throughout the trip, we were responsible for interviewing a [...]
Our largest distribution took place in the city of Belgaum, population of approximately one million people. We handed out 1,000 bedkits that day and believe me, it wasn’t easy organizing 1,000 children and their parents, but it was done and done smoothly, thanks to the local Rotarians and their families.
Our third distribution was in a town called Harugari, approximately three hours from Belgaum, where we distributed 150 bedkits. We had such a great time at that site. At one point, we had the kids running from the moment they checked in, through to the area where they were supposed to get changed, high-fiving them [...]
Our two days of touring are officially over. We took a flight from Mumbai to Hubli and then drove to Belgaum, our home base for the next five days as we drive in and out of some of the most rural parts of India.
Our second day with our tour guide Amin was even more special than the first. As I mentioned in a previous blog entry, before I left Toronto I sent an email to friends, family and co-workers asking them for donations to an orphanage in Mumbai. As a result I received an entire hockey equipment bag [...]