Joy is …

Looking back on this vision, I see I now live in this apartment I envisioned early last year. I travelled to some of the places mentioned …. and I trust I made my contribution to world peace. Enjoy

Pamela's travel Blog

Joy is …..

…Travel with awesome people to foreign lands, women holding hands around the world!

…My grandsons playing hide and seek and squealing with delight when I share loving moments and peak around corners looking for their excited faces. Oh, what a delight is Grammie-love!

…Moments of pleasure in reflection on my great life experiences so far.

…Creativity in visualization, extreme positive emotions imaging my future.

…I see a large white bedroom, loft perhaps, on the top floor, penthouse condo, all glass walls. Views of stunning colourful sun rise and set, the changing of the seasons and natures display, birdsong filling the air and calls from the sea. I see a writing table, or two or three, in strategic view points around the expansive and simple floor plan. I see computer screens with stories being written, preparing for my artistic expression. A den with quilting machine busy finishing stunningly…

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2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,600 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 43 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Where are the Women Travel Writers?

I am searching for brilliance originating with women travelling the globe. Funny that Its not real easy to find very many. What does this signify? What I suspect is many women travel and have travelled … Where is their story and how can I get the abridged version also edited by a woman? I search.

The drive to embark upon the adventure and then further, to see it to its completion and write the story, get it published and share it with the world. Is it unusual for women to take the journey?

Kira Salak, as a young solo travelling woman did undertake an adventure to Timbuktu. This story is not about the stay-at-home kind of gal, for sure. An account of endurance, and perhaps personal discovery.

I stumble on Jan Morris, and then names tumble by me on my investigation, my search for female names in the authors of titles.

One of the titles of a book I would write, in my own language and time is “I am reborn Italian”. It will include my love of language, accents, stunning and hot steamy beaches where the sand meets the cool green blue surf of the sea, gluten free foods that taste and have the texture of Italian home made pasta and Napoli pizzeria fame. Fresh ingredients grown in local gardens and sold in corner markets, or from the back of half ton trucks bringing produce from organic farms owned and operated within communities of families for ages of time. Oh, and the wines: prosecco, chianti and all the various regions and varietals of grapes from the heart and soul of Italy. Architecture and history that tells stories of a time and space long before our own.

I discovered a few of my fave actors / actresses from a number of years ago, have written a book “Living in a Foreign Language: A Memoir of Food, Wine and Love in Italy?” I can hardly wait to read it, and have recently downloaded it to my Kindle ereader with my Christmas present coupon voucher from a family member who supports Thank you!

A slight digress: Remember when we would go the bookstore and read the bindings of hard cover books, on sale during Boxing Week, discovering the treats and treasures stored on the shelves? Now researching is easy from the comfort of my home with brand new iPad Air. Ahhhhhh, time marches on and technologies are the domain of the every-person.

Back to my research of Travel Writing and hopefully a gender perspective ….

A few more finds ….The Best Womens Travel Writing volumes up to 9 or more? The Best American Travel Writing 2013, co-edited by Elizabeth Gilbert, who is, by the way, one of my favourite authors of travel writing.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” asks Mary Oliver, poet and author. ‘Writing Away’ is a travel writing guide book written by Lavinia Spalding.

I think I will pause here, grab my fountain pen and favourite journal and get ready for my next travel adventure… Or my new iPad Air coupled with my hunt and peck technique.

Feel free to lend me some assistance, send me a link, or a name and or blog that you have discovered and wish to share. I will be waiting, glass of red wine in hand, candle burning in the window …. Ready for my next woman’s travel adventure.

Ciao for now Bella, mi amica,

Ti Amo … grazie, prego, mi dispiace

Pamella, as they call me in Italy!

“In travel, it is compassion that will bring the peace we desire. It is compassion that will save us all from the stress of covering hundreds of miles in the air with our babies. Remember, compassion comes from within, in each of us. We bring it with us everywhere. We can create a new world by practicing this. Compassion for the children, compassion for the people judging the children, compassion for the parents, compassion for ourselves. What is the alternative? For me there is none…”
— Carrie-Anne Moss

Lost and Found

I wrote a fabulous blog post from my day in Barbados. I wrote about the sights and sounds, the textures and the sensations, the tastes. An explosion of sensory delights. I thought I posted it on WordPress and then it was gone…. From my wordpress and from my writing / drafting page. Gone from the pages…. Never from my mind. I loved Barbados as I knew I would. Somehow you study a place and just know …..

Travel writing makes me a better traveller. I become more in tune with the moment and then I capture it, in words and sometimes with a photograph or two. I learn to create a snapshot in time. I also am trying to paint and take better photographs of destinations of interest for me. So far New York, Santorini, Stonehenge, the forest, the waves.

I travel and I write, I create. I trust my travels make my writing better and my writing makes me a more intuitive and sensitive traveller.

While I have lost my entry from the sunny Caribbean December 2014, I have found that I can remember the heat from the sun on my skin, the cool sensation of drinking room temperature bottled water in my mouth and throat, the feel of the white soft sand under my feet as I walked on the beach toward the surf, the subtle salty taste and scent of the splashes of surf as a wave catches me by surprise, the bright green of the leafy Palm high overhead as I stroll along he Boardwalk on the sea coast.

I can taste the salty green olives after they soaked in my very dirty very cold vodka martini before dinner, at happy hour with friends, back on the ship. The sound of laughing, singing, loud vocals and music in the disco dance party to the wee hours. My dear friend drumming up the courage to sing her first karaoke number in front of the crowd of onlookers and supporters. Breakfast room service arriving and enjoyed on the veranda as we slowly sail in to a new port on a new day. Fresh berries in a bowl after late night dining, and a tea pot of hot water slightly tasting of fresh cut lemon poured in to my mug and sipped as we recall the memories of the day.

I have lost the post and yet the details of the sensations linger when I sit quietly and encourage my mind to wander back to the precious moments that make up my travel memories.

I am starting to plan and rearrange my schedule for 2015 travel trips. I long already to return to the Caribbean and to Europe. I look forward to a few trips … And maybe a few more.

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to hearing, reading and or chatting with you about your travel plans. I hope we can venture out in the world together.

Ciao for now, all


We are who we are, or are we becoming who we are?

Throughout my many years as a Probation Officer, within and out of the custody Center and community offices I learned a few lessons. One loud and clear comes to me now.

We are probably living our life and experiencing what happens to us, in direct reflection of the five people we hang around with most. The thoughts that happen all day long in our heads are reflected in our daily outcome.

What are your five main thoughts or themes? Who are your heroes and buddies throughout your day? How do you spend your time? What is it that matters to you and what do you do about it?

I think about this a lot, for my own life. And never more than now, as we near the end of 2014 and in preparation for the 2015 year.

My last year has been full of changes, retirement, selling condo, downsizing, moving twice, and travel, lots of travel! I anticipate that the changes will keep coming. None of them were predicted at this time last year! Wow!

I hang out with some brilliant people and am always hoping and reaching to meet more, to hear their story and hopefully travel with them. I challenge myself to have positive thoughts. I meditate some, and have plans to further increase my fitness level. I read books and listen to audible. I am part of a business and personal mastermind group that changes my life every week, perhaps every day.

Subtle and radical changes are witnessed and reflected in my journal and my day to day activities. I strive to be a little bit kinder every day, and I invite an Epic lifestyle to be mine.

I believe I carefully select what thoughts I have throughout the day and I am thrilled to have met new travel companions this past year, who are now very good friends to me.

As we wind up 2014 it is with hope that I invite you to share your reflections on the past twelve months, and also your goals and or wishes for the year to come. Where do you want to go? What do you want to experience? Who do you want to be? How do you contribute to world peace by your thoughts and actions? How do you want to show up in your own life?

Stay with me for 2015 as I share with you my thoughts, dreams and actions in the creation of a life of positivity, love, and world exploration.

Ciao to you all … Oh yes, I learned a bit of a Italian this year too! And I drove in Italy for a week on those roads! And I saw places that enriched my life and I spent two weeks with some of the finest women I know …. And …. And. ….

With love, ti amo,


Ps. I really would love to hear from you! Feel free to call, or write or meet me for tea. Add it to your ‘2015 to do list’.

Grazie, Grazie, Grazie.

Reflections and Perceptions

Greetings friends and family,

The rest of the story, despite what you may have read, goes like this.

I have yet to receive my luggage, house and car keys, white linen clothes and beautiful long white silk shirt … And more. I say ” it’s still on the ship”, like, it’s on the cruise even though I came home. Lol

I don’t want to understate the deep sadness of the loss of life of the men who worked on the Insignia that day when I saw her last. I am so sorry for the families and friends, co workers and the world … That this loss of human life surely is. A sad story.

I do want to say that for passengers, travellers and by-standers, we all have a choice as to how we perceive any given circumstance. I have heard, read about and been questioned on how it was the day of the fire on our fine cruise ship, and subsequently.

My story is this. Oceania cruises is a hero. I knew it, since I cruised with them four years ago. I feel it more strongly now. They treat their guests with extra special care.

I watched crew and staff try to give passengers that which they asked for … To get on the ship, to get off the ship, for medications and other items from the ship. I witnessed the emergency whistle and sounds the day we were all removed from the ship.

The staff and crew needed to be free to do what they must in an emergency, what they have practiced and drilled to do. Go to their stations and follow the direction of the very well trained and experienced ship officials. Once the needs of the passengers are met there are other chores to be completed.

Should the fire have happened when we were out at sea, or, should we have been a much bigger vessel with thousands of passengers instead of only six hundred and fifty, the story might have been very different in the telling.

I am, we all are, fortunate that our experience was as it was: Plenty of updates as details changed, extra bottles of water and fresh fruit provided, bathroom facilities and snacks for those wanting something to eat; The president of the company flew to the airport to greet us all as we boarded and flew to Miami; Oceania representatives were out in full force at the Miami airport and hotels as we arrived there. It was done for us. No need to ask … Everything was provided. Well rehearsed and carried out in our time of need.

I can’t say enough about the treatment I personally have received from this cruiseline. I will never hesitate to travel with them and recommend others to do the same.

As a travel agent I need to know I can confidently offer the best product there is to people who trust me with their hard earned vacation dollars. It is my ‘job’ to ensure I make the best suggestions and not to disappoint or mislead.

I escorted a group of 8 women, including myself, to the Caribbean. Some had never cruised before. Many people I would meet on this trip I had never met previously. I feel they all came home with a little taste of why Oceania is a cruise above the rest.

My “perspective” in the time of crisis and also, on a daily basis, was to offer my skills and strengths to as many people as possible. That day and evening, I walked around offering my positive thoughts, my phrases of well wishing and comments of how people were doing so well.

We all had and continue to have the same choice to make every day, and each precious moment within each day.

I called the cruiseline when I got safely home to thank them and offer some assistance with regard to how my luggage will be sent to me and my travel partner.

I tell everyone I talk to about the great job the crew and staff did to ensure my comfort and care.

I want you, my friends and family, to know the truth, despite what you might read to the contrary.

Thanks for reading and believing that travel dreams do come true.

Happiest of holidays,


Flying Home

Flying North

American Airlines is the carrier today for Miami to Dallas Fort Worth and then on to Vancouver. I am on the leg to Vancouver right now as I write this. Sitting beside a couple we met on the cruise and have been seeing and sharing rides with since the disembarkation from the ship.

I really enjoy meeting people. As well I have gotten to know the gals on the cruise travelling with me, even more intimately. We travel well together and look out for each other, say hi and hug. Being through this kind of experience seems to bring people together as much or more than the experience of cruise travel.

We talk about what we like about cruising, travel destinations, luggage, insurance and more. We learn where we are from and we find commonalities like being born in the same Province, or we know same people, or enjoy the same travel experiences. We talk about our travel dreams and expectations.

In the everyday details we find special moments. We share stories, and smiles.

Filling out customs declarations and remembering what was purchased. For me the trip had only just started and precious few purchases were made, flags of new countries to give to my grandsons when next I see them, postcards I popped in the mail for them …. I wonder if they will ever receive them or will they be discarded with other items on board? Time will tell and it is all just stuff. The real value is in the relationships and closeness of the people with whom we share experiences. In that regard I feel richly abundant indeed.

And we get our money back and then some to book again with Oceania. The group of women are already talking and planning to meet up again.

Time to rest again, few more hours till we get home.



Does Dallas ever cross your mind?

I am at Dallas Fortworth airport in Texas making my way home to Victoria.

I think this is my first time here and so exciting. I can see almost forever out the window. Big big sky like Calgary. Lovely clear weather and flat with great sky scapes off in the distance, of city buildings. Flying in I was reminded of the Dallas TV show of years ago. JR Ewing and all that.

Lots of renovation happening at the airport, it is clean and nicely organized. We stopped at a TeaVana store and had a piping hot fresh cup of tea, mint chocolate for me. Yummm

I wandered in to a Brighton store. My mom purchases Brighton jewellery for me during the holidays, often. This store was full of sparkly stuff, colourful bags and a tempting carry on suitcase. I don’t have much time to look around but am delighted by the find.

Getting ready to board

Good bye Miami!

Good morning and good bye Miami

This has been my first time spent in Miami, Florida. The hotel at the Hilton by airport is really lovely and comfortable. We found a little shop and bought the last tacky warm and oversized tourist hoodies, mine is hot pink. We picked up a few necessities and took the shuttle to the mall for some warm clothes for the flight home. Once back to hotel we had a nice leisurely glass of wine and buffet dinner. The salad bar included a black bean soup, gluten free …. Very satisfying.

We are up now … Around 330 am to prepare for the drive to airport and begin our travels back home. The cruise was to be over on 17 December and today is the 13 th I think. I have lost track of days and dates by now, vacations are often like that for me.

We have been offered our money back and more for when we rebook with Oceania for the next time.

Heroes and others

Heroes and others

Crew died in the explosion and fire on board Oceania Insignia yesterday. People, guests and crew were up for more than 24 hours in a state of wakefulness and discomfort. This was a tragic event. The energy was sadness, and compassion. Of personal grief and worry combined with positivity with people helping each other in a crisis.

There was a passenger woman doctor on board that we saw throughout the evening. At some point earlier people had witnessed her delivering CPR to one of the crew. Later as we sat around in wait, she had summoned an ambulance so a few of the elder and more frail guests to have a place to lay out, relax and stay calm.

Most guests moved me to tears. Couples of climbing years and deep affection for each other, in embrace, or sleeping sitting up, beside each other in chairs. With obvious mobility issues and ill prepared for such discomfort and inconvenience were quietly and patiently waiting for what was happening next. Getting each other a sandwich and more water, holding chairs and sitting in quiet witness.

People were walking around in their newly purchased gift shop ware. Probably purchased for an aunt or ailing mom, or even one of the kids or grandkids, ripped off tags and wrapped up for warmth and comfort, ‘Welcome to St Lucia’! Even others were good sports and wore their bathing suit cover ups all day, some twenty four hours without even so much as a towel. Some guests had been swimming in the ship pool when directed to leave the ship by staff, no longer rehearsing a drill.

People in wheelchairs and with walkers finding spots to sit and wait.

Tensions high for some, and in small groups people could work themselves into rage. There is always something to do to help. I walked around wishing people well, touching shoulders gently and commenting on how nice looked or how calm and helpful everyone was. Food was provided, none gluten free, except apples which I am allergic to! My friends found and scrounged oranges and grapes. Water bottles were plentiful and there were adequate bathroom facilities and plenty of places to sit together in groups.

I tried to keep in touch with the other nine passengers I was traveling with and even some new faces I had already met and connected with on the cruise, now fun familiar faces. No one had anticipated this would, so soon, be our only time together.

Lists were provided and plans underway to move some guests to Miami and begin their trip home. The cruise was over, no one could go on ship. Staff milled about and then attended meetings and disappeared. Later we were to see them packed up and heading home and or to other ships for work. This cruise is ended, the ship is cold and dark and not going anywhere, soon.

Everyone feels the discomfort of not having fresh clothes, toothbrush, iPhones, credit cards, and so on. Ships personnel were helpful in locating emergency medications for people and passports needed for the flight back to the United States. Some passengers were adamant to not leave without all of their belongings however this was not to be so.

As the sun rose this morning, 20 plus hours from hearing of the fire, we were the last bus to leave,the ship pier and head to the airport an hour fromCastries, on the island of Saint Lucia. We too were flying off the island. Three and a half hours of uncomfortable flight in a chartered plane, no food or warm blankets, we endured more wakeful discomfort and sure knowledge that our precious belongings were not coming home with us as we had hoped.

Met at the airport by Oceania delegates, after clearing customs (nothing to declare!), we were welcomed and ushered to the bus to spend some time cleaning up, eating and learning of the next travel plan. I was sent to the Hilton in Miami where I was again happy to reunite with some of my travel group for breakfast and purchase of warm oversized Miami tourist hoodies!

Cleaned up, redressed in a sandy tired bathing suit, I wait for my shuttle to the airport to begin a series of flights back to Victoria.

More to come!

Ciao for now,

Tired in Miami,
Love Pamela