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I don’t set goals. I never have, but this year I decided to make one. My goal this trip was nothing special. I wanted to read 15 books before I got home from Asia. Then another 5 before the end of Europe. I failed. I only read 13 books before I left for Europe and hit 15 near the end of that trip.

This had me thinking about goals and if they are really positives or negatives on people. I’m not talking about work goals, everyone knows that your boss loves to set goals. I hated each year when I needed to show up with SMART Goals in hand on how I was going to help the company succeed through my personal goals. Most times I just made up some bullshit that sounded good on paper. I mean really, you hired me to do a job, let me do it in peace.

I also got annoyed in January at the full gym of New Year’s Resolution people with all their gusto and motivation to finally shed those 10 pounds, only to be gone two weeks later. I guess that is why I was never set a resolution – why make a promise I am not going to keep? Maybe these were the reason I never set goals.

I mentioned my defeat to a couple of friends and how it disappointed me that I could not do one simple thing I set out for myself. I quickly voiced that people shouldn’t set goals, it just makes them feel bad that they failed.

‘But you didn’t fail’, she told me. ‘You read 13 books. Your life has improved because you challenged yourself.’ I started to think this over, she was right, I might not have read these books if I hadn’t set a number and pushed myself.

At dinner in Copenhagen, I was telling Dirk my objectives when we get home. These included getting on a workout schedule to lose the vacation weight, learning to do 50 pushups a day, getting my website completed, and finding clients for my bookkeeping business.

As the conversation continued, I mentioned my post about ‘Goals’ I was working on. Halfway through my story, I realized that everything I outline as my objectives when we got home were actually goals. All these years of setting targets and timelines to complete something is really a goal. Maybe these were little insignificant goals, but they were goals none the less.

It made me realize that giving people goals or targets or ojectives, even small ones, could push them to be better people. It is all in how you looked at it. People aren’t weak if they fall short of a goal, they are stronger for trying.

The trip is coming to an end, enjoy these pictures of Scotland.


I’ve Got What?!

Traveling for the past year has been a great experience, it is something I would recommend to everyone. We have been asked several times is if we had any sickness while traveling. And we did, as you recall our first day was centred around a lovely visit to the emergency room.

I know that most people are asking about belly issues, but my sickness came in the form of a common cold. It was innocent enough at the start. While in Malaysia I started to hear wind in my ear. Nothing to be alarmed about, just weird. By the time we were a third of the way through Vietnam, the ears were painful and I was now congested. It escalated over the next few weeks and I missed a few days of touring in Vietnam and Thailand.

This escalation included shooting pains up the back of my head and my neck was very sore to turn. Again, part of a cold and swollen glads. Or so I thought.

Returning to Canada in August, I was about done with being sick. The cold had disappeared, but the neck and wind in the ears remained. This has been two months by now, so you can understand the frustration. So I went to the walk in clinic, as that seemed the wisest choice next to continuing to complain to Dirk daily about it.

I hate the walk in clinic. I just sit there, count the people ahead of me and convert that to a time frame I have to sit staring at them. I also have found that at times, the less popular doctors are working at the clinic and I don’t always trust their opinion. Not sure why.

Well, this visit was surprising. After telling him my story, he looked in my ears and had me do a few head movements. The conclusion was fluid behind my ears and whiplash. What did he just say? Whiplash? How the hell did I get whiplash? I wasn’t in a car accident or any accident for that matter. This is also why I have the liquid is being held in my ears due to the swelling of the muscles. Bizarre.

I head home to tell Dirk. He is now starring at me with the same dumbfounded expression. How did this happen? After long discussions we can only think of a very crazy and fast boat ride in Malaysia. But still, I didn’t get hurt, just tossed around in the boat.

A month passes and still no improvement, so I head to my family doctor. I am fully prepared that she is going to call this walk in clinic doctor a quack and prescribe something for me. Nope. She confirmed that I have whiplash and recommended massage therapy. Well, at least she recommended something, the last guy just told me to keep moving my head!!


Irish Times

The best part of traveling is the people you encounter. Some are just getting arrested on the plane, while others add colour to your life in other ways.

One night in Killarney, we decided it was time Dirk’s dad found his traditional Irish music. Finding a great pub, we grabbed our drinks and sat to enjoy the small three piece band. Unfortunately, the band ended less then an hour later leaving us wanting more. Heading out we come to another very busy bar with music pumping. Within maybe 5 seconds, Dirk’s dad and wife leave to find a quieter bar, Dirk and I stay behind for one drink. That was a good idea or we would have never met Kieren. After asking us where we were from (we always say Vancouver as everyone knows that city and not Victoria as much), he launches into his story of being in Vancouver, “”I’ve been to Vancouver, smoked some heroin then got on a bus and toured around.”” Huh? What did he say? “”Sorry I am drunk.”” he adds like it is going to make his opening statement sound less strange. Finally, Kieren parts, but not before telling us he just returned from Australia where he was a crack addict male escort. I am sure this guys was totally over sharing and needed a lesson in maybe keeping a few things to himself.

Stopping in Sneem, as we heard they had a homemade ice cream parlour, we decided that we should check out the local bakery and cheese shop. By the time we had finished our selections and were paying, all our ice cream containers were empty. Asking where we could throw them out, the lady behind the counter points to the garbage. Dirk’s dad and I walk over and deposit our trash. Now, Dirk’s dad is very friendly, so says hi to a little old lady and asks if she is enjoying her tea. Her answer was unexpected. “”You know I have to pay to get that garbage picked up? Don’t be putting your garbage in there.”” The daughter, whom is taking my payment, just raisers her voice, “”Mum, their paying customers leave them alone.”” But Mum was on a role and continues to tell my father in law where he should put the garbage. “”Mum! It’s okay they bought some cheese, leave them be!”” We left there laughing, Dirk clutching his garbage, he was not going to piss off mum further.

We are now over in Scotland, enjoy these pictures of Ireland – should have gotten a picture of these two characters!!