Siem Reap, Cambodia, February 2018

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Apparently, the third time is the charm. I finally made it to Siem Reap, after booking it 2 other times.  First impression, not what I expected.  Mainly I thought it was going to be extremely hot. The heat was bearable, but this could have been because it was “winter”.

The main reason for my trip was to visit Angkor Archaeological Park. The park was the capital cities for the Khmer empire from 9th to 14th century.  It’s the largest religious monument in the world.  It’s also quite large and spread out. So I hired a guide and driver. You could easily do it yourself, a guide is nice but not required.

And let’s be honest, it was also nice to have someone to talk photo’s of me.

And no trip to Southeast Asia is complete without some random monkeys running around. Including one guy getting a massage.

After getting my temple fill, I choose to walk around town.  I stayed at the Park Hyatt, which was a great location. Which I remember reading somewhere about the challenge of crossing the street. I figured it out, but man, I should have just hired a driver. I took a tour of local art center. Saw how they make hand make stuff. Of course you end of in a shop at the end of the tour. No comment about what I purchased…….

Siem Reap is being the process of being developed. They have a significant tourism traffic with people flocking to see Angkor Wat, one of the most know temples. You need a visa to entry and the Cambodia government got wise a few years ago. If you fly in, you are required to stay over night.  It’s evident that money is being put back into the local community.   The photos below, show how different one street could be from another.

It will be interesting to see what it looks like in 5-10 years time. There is so much more to Siem Reap then just visiting the temples. Hopefully if you are reading this, when planning your trip, maybe stay more then 24 hours and see what it has to offer.  Oh definitely avoid the monsoon season. February was idea. It was warm but quite bearable. And you are visiting a religious monument and need to be dressed appropriately.

I am glad I went and would go even go back, in the cooler months.

Next up, my adventure booking a low cost carrier in SE Asia…


Adventures in Australia-February 2018

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It was finally time for me to head back to Brisbane. It felt like I had been gone forever! I could not have planned my departure any better. There was this white stuff on the ground………

I was SO happy to see these blue skies…..

And then I walked in into the best welcome EVER at the Hilton Brisbane. aka “home”.Felt a little bit like a rockstar.


I arrived back in Brisbane to catch the last few days of the Yayoi Kusama exhibit at the the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art. I stood in line for 45 minutes to see the Soul under the Moon for 30 seconds.

It was interesting. But since the exhibit was in final days, they already started taking some of it down. I did manage to see quite a bit. I am glad I braved the heat to check out.

Until next time safe travels……..

Goa, India- January 2018

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I have been to India a few times now, and I’ve always enjoy

I need to get my health back on track, so I decided to go to Goa, India for 2 weeks and do a cleanse. I joked that I was going to eat street food and let nature take it’s course. The look of horror on people’s face. If you are not able to drink the local water, it’s not advised to eat street food. This is an international rule. FYI, the drinking water is not kind to the western stomach in India.

My “cleanse” was more of no drinking and making better food choices. And lot of walking around taking sunset and landscape photos.

I spent two in total in Goa. Which in my opinion was a week too long.  I did change hotels 1/2 way thru. For the first week, I stayed at the Park Hyatt and then 2nd week the Grand Hyatt.  If I were go back, I would choose the Park of the Grand. Only because if you are in Goa to relax, the Park is much calmer and quieter. The Grand was quite active. In fact I gate crashed about 4 wedding during the week I was there.  And I worked on taking more landscape photos.

I did manage to lose weight, so mission accomplished.  Most people would not travel that far for that but it worked for me.

Until next time, safe travels.


Rio de Janerio, Brazil- January 2018

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Back in 2002, I went to Santiago, Chile and I was pick-pocketed. My travel wallet was stolen, which had all money, credit cards and passport. It was experience to say the least.  Since then I’ve had no desire to return to the South American continent. Which was just ridiculous.

So when presented with the opportunity to go to Brazil for the holidays, I agreed.  It helped that I was in the States for 3 continuous weeks, so I was able to get a visa issued. And for some odd reason I was able to book saver flights with my miles. You know that’s like the traveler’s equivalent of winning the lottery.

I took a friend’s suggestions and signed up for the Eat Rio Tour on my day of arrival.  Not normally my thing, but I am SO glad I did it. I had a lot of fun, and the group that day was actually great! We started the tour at local produce market. Tom, the guide, was very informative.  (P.S. I was excited to use my new Iphone X,  hence the better quality photos).

I am not going to go into great detail of my day, because honestly, you should just stop reading this right now and book a ticket to Rio.  Once that is done use this link, Eat Rio , to sign up for the same tour.  See how easy that was…

If you are considering traveling to Brazil and have safety concerns, ask yourself why?  What is the crime like where you live? If you live in a community in middle of nowhere and it’s safe to leave your doors unlocked at night, then you may have a problem traveling to Chicago, never mind Brazil. IF you live in place, where crime is an every day occurrence, sorry to say like Chicago, then you will be fine traveling to Brazil.  At the end of the day it’s common sense.  Do not ask for trouble, and trouble will probably ignore you.  Every time I mentioned I was going to Brazil, I heard, BE CAREFUL. I should have asked those that told me to be careful, if they have ever been there? And if so did something to them? Or had something to happened to someone they actually know? Or was it, like it most cases, a friend of friend’s brother’s girlfriend’s Uncle who heard of it may happen? Common Sense is your friend. If you can’t afford to lose it, don’t bring it. And maybe leave the shiny stuff at home.  This is just my opinion. I spent 7 days in Rio de Janerio and not once did I feel unsafe.  Not to say crime does not exist just that I was lucky enough not to encounter it.

I rocked in the New Year, eating a ridiculous amount of cheese and watching the fireworks,



I did the required sites one must see while in Rio, including Christ the Redeemer, Sugar Loaf, Selaron Steps and yes the famous Copacobana and Ipanema beaches.

And of course then there with fun times with these two…..

Most of my photos moving forward involve porn, food, but still. This is a public blog. So I will only share this one taken at Gringo Cafe, a cafe with an American flair in Ipanema. Since you will already be in Rio, remember you booked your ticket earlier, stop by and say Hello to Sam!


So we stayed at the Grand Hyatt which is in Barra di Tijuca. It’s a newer area and felt quite safe. I probably wouldn’t recommend it for sightseeing in Rio, as it’s a bit a drive from the Copacabana and Ipanema.  BUT if you are Hyatt loyal, that won’t stop you.  The hotel, has great views. And an amazing staff. I can’t speak highly enough of the concierge, Felipe and Caia, dealing with my 50,000 requests. Or Ramon, making sure I have coffee for breakfast. Or Marlon that keep feeding me cheese on New Year’s. I would go back for the staff, the property could use some TLC.

Until next time, safe travels!

Krakow, Poland- November 2017

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I’ve been wanting to visit Poland for years. I had several co-workers that would from various parts and would always say how nice it is. I had tried to go a few years ago, but no surprise I had an accident and could not walk.  It also helped that there was a direct flight on Austrian from Vienna to Krakow, and I could use miles.

*Travel Tidbit*- I fell off the stairs of the airplane when we were deplaning. I luckily was wearing ugly sturdy shoes, so no damage was done.

First impression of Krakow. NOPE. I arrived at 2pm and it might as well as been 7pm. It was dark,dreary and cold. I was crabby because I took out too much cash from the ATM. And it was pouring rain. So I just took a time out. I stayed in the hotel and did some work. Horrible I know give how little time I had in Krakow to begin with.

I booked a tour to Auschwitz-Birkenau. It was an interesting choice on my part. It was Thanksgiving Day in the US, a day that we give thanks. I opted to tour a memorial of where over a million people lost their lives.  I have no words to describe it. So I will not.  It should be noted that if you happen to visit, remember it’s a memorial. Where people died. It’s NOT a place to use your selfie stick and pose for photos.

After my tour I went to the Oskar Schindler factory. But it was just too much history for me take in for one day. I wish I had done the factory tour on a different day.  I headed back to my hotel and since the sun was out decided to check out the town. How AMAZING.  Oops.

A friend had given me some suggestions for dinner. I went to Szara, because hunger and laziness kicked in, and it was the easiest one to locate from his suggestions.  It was SO good! High recommend it, if you happen to be in the main square in Krakow.

I also checked out the Wieliczka Salt Mines.

I timed my visit in just in time for the opening of the Christmas Markets. I actually met a fellow solo American traveler, who I was able to tour around the market with.  It turns out we were on the same flight heading to Munich.  Such a crazy world.

In the end I did not spend nearly enough time in Krakow. I would like to go back but maybe not in the winter, I have to imagine its beautiful in Spring.

Too soon I was back in my happy place heading off to my next adventure.


Until next time… safe travels.

Vienna, Austria-November 2017

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It’s Christmas Market time! My favorite time of year! Before moving to Australia, I would  take advantage of the airline fare sales. I would choose my destination based on wherever it was cheapest to fly to.  Well the airlines adjusted their business model and realized it would be better decrease capacity then offer fare sales. So this year I actually had to think about where I would like to go. Which actually harder then I thought it would be. SO many markets to choose from. In the end, the decision was made for me.  I was able to use my miles to book a direct flight in Austrian Airlines to Vienna and from there to Kraow, Poland.

Fun Fact, Austrian Airlines has a chef in Business Class!IMG_2732

Another reason I chose Vienna, I was able to use my points to book in the Park Hyatt. It’s in an old bank building. In fact the pool is in the old vault. Funny enough I never did make it to the pool. Oh well next time!

I was settling into my room, when the phone rang. ” Good Morning, I just saw you check in and you looked so familiar, it’s me Kevin from the Grand Hyatt Berlin.” I met Kevin in lounge in November, 2014 and he actually checked me in during my birthday stay in July, 2016.  Got to love this “travel” world I live in.

I arrived early enough to catch breakfast in The Bank. It’s the old reception area for the bank. It worth checking out, even if you are not staying at the hotel. The coffee alone is worth the visit.

Then it was time to start exploring the town. Lucky for me it had stopped raining. A bit unlucky for me, the first thing I see when stepping out of the hotel?  A Christmas Market!
I went to check out St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Where musical great, Joseph Haydn once sang and Mozart was married.

It started to rain, so I headed over to the Jewish Museum. The history of the Jewish people in Vienna was quite fascinating.  I had not known what they had to go thru to be able to live openly in in their faith.

And then I did what anyone rational would have done on a cold rainy day in Vienna. I found a cafe for a Hot Toddy and some Strudel.


And then I couldn’t put it off any longer, it was time to hit the markets. It seem like every time I turned a corner I found another one. Unfortunately, I was unable to partake in my normal gluhwein indulgence. I was worried about walking on the uneven surface.

I had grand plans of going to the Opera while I was in town, but in the end I did not get organized in time to secure tickets. So instead I opted for a tour of the Opera House. I also walked around quite a bit and took in the sights.

And of course I eat some really good food, and some bad… the Langos was bad. Like really bad.

As you can tell from the pure volume of photos, I really enjoyed my time in Vienna. Something that made my visit even more magical? The staff at the Park Hyatt. They were just so nice and engaging. Which is ideal for me being a solo traveler. On my last night I ordered room service. It was a rainy and I had a long day of walking around the city. I just could not be bothered to find food. When my food was delivered I said something about missing out on the Christmas market food due to the rain. The room service guy asked if I had any gluhwein and I explained how I had to limit myself because I was afraid of falling. (So sad).  Imagine my surprise about 15 minutes later, there was knock on my door. The room service delivery guy was back with glass of gluhwein from the market across the way.  UNBELIEVABLE.

I was sad to leave but it was time to head to Krakow. Until next time, Safe Travels!

Hong Kong, SAR- October 2017

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Hmmm I can’t remember why I booked Hong Kong for 7 nights. At this point, it does not matter. I booked a trip to Hong Kong for week. You could probably just stop reading at this point and just look at the photos. I was pretty boring on this trip.

Coming from Brisbane I was prepared for warmer weather. BUT I was not prepared for the humidity.  I did manage to walk over the Avenue of the Stars, part of it was under construction but it was still fun to see.

I also checked out the Hong Kong Museum of History.  Which was quite fascinating and in depth about the history of Hong Kong.

I also spent a lot of time staring out the window and watching people swim over at the Holiday Inn.  And the sunsets too!


I probably would have enjoyed it more, if I had been with friends and healthier. My bones were not up for running around in humidity yet. I am happy to report, though, that the concept of slow travel has caught up with me. Gone are the days of trying to see the entire city in 2 days. I’ve learned to enjoy the moment. I’ll see what I see. I know I am missing stuff, but that is okay. I rather stop and have a coffee or meal, then feel like I need to rush off to the next sight.

Until next time, safe travels.