Thursday, 30 August 2012

Sharon Bijo of Geneva SWITZERLAND

21. Featured Traveller 

Sharon Bijo
Journalist : Editor-in-Chief : Traveller 



(Geneva, SWITZERLAND)
                               
Travel where your heart leads you. We grow from our journeys no matter what they are; all of them have secret destinations that we're not aware of.  that's what makes them exciting!”


No matter how busy Sharon is in travelling and blogging, she still finds time responding to our request for an interview so that this blog can share her journey.  At the time of writing, Sharon is in Israel.  It is not her first.

She'd been visiting the country a lot of times and she blogged about her trip on all her destinations for the information of the travelling public.

Sharon tends to travel with her entire closet stuffed in suitcases. Not anymore! She realizes that it is not worth the back pain.  Her advice to fellow travellers is to pack only the essentials; enough clothes to look great on photos.  Travel light, that is!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Review: Himeji Castle is beautiful ~ but be prepared!

Yes, this is either a good review or not-so-good situation to any tourist. Himeji Castle is a castle in its own right. There are so much to see and explore. You will spend so much time going around depending on your curiosity and interest. Prepare yourself for a minimum of an hour and a half to complete your tour. You need to walk a lot and climb the stairs. Not a single elevator is installed within the castle as almost everything you will see are preserved and original.

Moreover, as I mentioned above, it takes more than an hour to spend in the castle. You will spend another one and a half hours wandering around the vicinity like the Nishioyashiki
Garden, Shirotopia Memorial Park, and the three museums namely, Literature, History and Art.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Marysia of Warsaw POLAND

20. Featured Traveller 

Marysia 
Traveller  


(Warsaw, Poland)
                               
Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living” ~ Maria Bean


I am glad to feature Marysia who has been travelling most of her life. Literally, she has travelled the world and more often than not, she is out of town discovering the countries that comes to her mind.  She has explored Austria, Belgium, Benin, Cambodia, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Laos, Lebanon, Luxumbourg, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States and Vatican City.  She reveals that she will continue her journey to the rest of the world without much planning.

When asked about her favourite country and city of destination, she hesitated at first but eventually revealed that it was Spain and Tel-Aviv.

Safety Tips for Children While on a Cruise


Cruising is more often luxurious with awesome onboard activities, delicious dining choices, nightlife, and the chance to explore one destination to another.  We hope you will keep your cruise pleasurable with lots of unforgettable memories. 
While on a cruise, parents cannot rely solely on the security measures that is implemented on the cruise ship.  They should be vigilant especially to their children's safety so as to fully enjoy their vacation.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Cescille Tuazon of Glasgow SCOTLAND

19. Featured Traveller 

Cescille Tuazon
Singer : Traveller  


(Glasgow, Scotland)
                               
The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page”
~ Saint Augustine 

Ces as she is fondly called,  is a native of Pampanga in the Philippines. She has been residing permanently in Scotland with her family for more than fifteen years now.

I am so thankful that she agreed to be featured in our blog to highlight some of her travels and to give tips that will be of help to fellow travellers. Ces is not new to travelling as she has been to Dubai, Muscat, Bahrain, Rome, United Kingdom, Spain, Gibraltar, France, United States, Canada, and Thailand. Her future travel line up are Japan, South Africa, Greece and Australia to name a few.

Enjoying 'chocolat chaud' in Nice
Scotland Flag
I will let Ces tell her story as I believe she can give justice to her travelling spree in spite of the fact that she is going through a lot of personal issues lately.

Well, that is a story that I cannot share with you in this column. If you insist and you are still interested to know more about her life story and what she is going through, I will be giving you a hint at the end of this blog on where to find more information about her. In the meantime, here is her travel story....
* * * * *
Gibraltar
I do a lot of research before I head off to a foreign country especially if my destination is of different culture than where I am at.

I've lived in the Middle East for many years so I am aware how conservative the people of these countries are, and how they strictly follow the laws of the land.


It is here where I learned to practice the old sayings, "When in Rome, do what the Romans do". Oh yes, my life in Saudi Arabia is the total opposite of my life here in Scotland.


Apart from essentials like shoes and clothes, I always carry sufficient medicines when I am on a journey. Do not be stingy with your travel insurance; make sure you always have one, because you do not know what can possibly happen. I always purchase insurance; an advice that I believe is very important when you travel.

My passion in travelling started when I joined a musical band as a singer.  I go with the group of musician to cities and towns and from one country to another. This is one thing that I always like to do - entertaining people through music and at the same time travelling for free.

Waiting for the train in Bangkok
Being a single parent and a working mom, I am saving some cash to go on holiday after an exhausting, but very rewarding job.

I recently went on a 7-day Mediterranean Medley cruise via Thomson Dream Liner where I had the chance to explore Italy's Corsica, Livorno, Pisa, Nice and Antibes, after which our cruise ship headed to France's Toulon and Barcelona, Spain.

Mediterranean Cruiseship
Mediterranean Medley ~ Is it my Dream Cruise?  This is the question I asked in my blog. Whether it is a dream come true, or not, I still can say that going solo on a trip  is all I want to do in my present situation.

Did I enjoy the cruise? Yes, I did!  I am trying my best to move on with my personal life. It is not easy to ignore those jolly Filipino crews on the ship.  They are a bunch of very respectful hosts and good singers in their own right.  These young men serenaded me with beautiful Philippine music that brought back memories of my happy days in the Philippines.  

Aboard the Thomson Liner Cruiseship
I had a hard time communicating while in Nice, France.

Though I attempted to talk clearly in English, not even one staff in the snack bar understood what I was trying to say.


There is a serious language barrier here. All of them don't speak English. The only French words that I could speak and understand are Bonjour, merci, au revoir and je' taime.  Not even one of these words could be used in ordering what I wanted.  I almost gave up.


But wait, a customer close by who understood both languages came to my rescue.  He told them, "this lady want the chocolat chaud". So, I got my chocolat chaud.  Very easy!


I should learn how to use my fingers to do the talking.  I think it would help.  It was truly a learning experience.

For details of my Mediterranean cruise, I invite you to visit my blog, FliPinay Wee Blether. It is not only my journey that you will be reading here. I also shared my thoughts as a single parent and how I struggle to raise my two kids.  I've tried my best to put some humour on the personal side of my story to make it lighter and easier to accept the realities.


Below you will see some of my photos during my recent trip. I'd been alone and cannot pose to have my pictures taken but managed to shoot some beautiful views by myself.


Comment if you like. That will make me feel better! To connect with me, you may also visit my Facebook page, KwentongSingleMom.


From the desk of: 
Freddie Miranda
A blogger and a Canada-based freelance writer. He shares the value of his travel experiences and discoveries with his friends and fellow travellers. Share your passion, join and visit him. Send a message @ fromatravellersdesk(at)gmail(dot)com.

Seaside in Corsica ITALY

Ancient town of Antibes FRANCE


Taken from my cruiseship ~ Toulon FRANCE


Spanish Village ~ Barcelona SPAIN
Costa del Sol ~ Barcelona SPAIN
 
Cathedral ~ Barcelona SPAIN

Leaning Tower ~ Pisa ITALY
Are you a traveller who would like to share your travel story with our blog and our readers?  Then, I'd love to hear from you! 
Please email me at fromatravellersdesk@gmail.com

Related Blogs:
Featured Traveller #1 Norman from Phoenix Arizona USA
Featured Traveller #2 Macit from Istanbul TURKEY
Featured Traveller #3 Aida from Manila PHILIPPINES
Featured Traveller #4 MichaelW from Brooklyn New York USA
Featured Traveller #5 Marie from Sydney AUSTRALIA
Featured Traveller #6 ChrisKo from Vienna AUSTRIA 
Featured Traveller #7 Jeff from Winnipeg Manitoba CANADA  
Featured Traveller #8 Noreen from Cologne GERMANY 
Featured Traveller #9 Armie from Manila PHILIPPINES 
Featured Traveller #10 Nelieta from Cordoba ARGENTINA
Featured Traveller #11 Bojo from Quezon City PHILIPPINES
Featured Traveller #12 Esmat from Kabul AGHANISTAN
Featured Traveller #13 Cris from Valenzuela City PHILIPPINES
Featured Traveller #14 Jeroen from Hoogeveen The NETHERLANDS
Featured Traveller #15 Angel from Iloilo City PHILIPPINES
Featured Traveller #16 Zara from Kuala Lumpur MALAYSIA
Featured Traveller #17 Kwan of Bangkok THAILAND
Featured Traveller #18 Jorn Eriksson of Oslo NORWAY
Featured Traveller #20 Marysia from Warsaw POLAND 
Featured Traveller #21 Sharon from Geneva SWITZERLAND   
Featured Traveller #22 Wesam from Baghdad IRAQ
Featured Traveller #23 MoeAmine from Algiers ALGERIA  
Featured Traveller #24 Ruxandra Ioana from Brussels BELGIUM
Featured Traveller #25 Darwin from Rizal PHILIPPINES
Featured Travellers #26 HiOporto from Oporto PORTUGAL
Featured Traveller #27 Drew from Seoul SOUTH KOREA
Featured Traveller #28 Steven from Lowestoft ENGLAND
Featured Traveller #29 Anje from Knysna SOUTH AFRICA  
Featured Traveller #30 MichaelJ from California USA
Featured Traveller #31 Phebe from Singapore City SINGAPORE
Featured Traveller #32 Brad from Georgia USA
Featured Traveller #33 Antonis from Athens GREECE
Featured Traveller #34 Julio from California USA
Featured Traveller #35 Himanshu from New Delhi INDIA
Featured Traveller #36 Jessica from Oregon USA
Featured Traveller #37 Michael Angelo from Cavite PHILIPPINES
Featured Traveller #38 Omar from Casablanca MOROCCO
Featured Traveller #39 Keith from Singapore SINGAPORE
Featured Traveller #40 Kellen from Shanghai CHINA
Featured Traveller #41 Hanne from Cochabamba BOLIVIA
  
Watch for these blogs! 
They all have been travelling for many years and I can guarantee that all of them have travel tips that all of us can learn and benefit from.  I have to thank all other fellow travellers who have responded to my invite.  I will definitely publish your stories as soon as I have completed the details.
 

Top 10 Most Livable Cities

Toronto City Hall - Old Building
Very recently, The Economist released the most livable cities in the world.  Melbourne in Australia got the top spot.  Canada commanded three of the top 10 spots; Vancouver in British Columbia in Canada claimed the 3rd, Toronto 4th, and Calgary 5th, tied with Adelaide in Australia.  

While it is true that no place is perfect, I am proud that I lived in Toronto half of my life and will be living for the rest of it.


The Top 10 Most-Livable Cities in the World are......
1st          MELBOURNE, Australia
2nd         VIENNA, Austria
3rd         VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Canada
4th         TORONTO, Ontario, Canada
5th         CALGARY, Alberta, Canada & ADELAIDE, Australia
7th         SYDNEY, Australia
8th         HELSINKI, Finland
9th         PERTH, Australia
10th       AUCKLAND, New Zealand

Read the full story written by Lesley Ciarula Taylor of Toronto Star.  Photo provided by From A Traveller's Desk.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Airline loses couple's 10-year old daughter

A Must-Read Travel News Story
The parents of a 10-year-old girl in the U.S. have made public details of the appalling service they got when United Airlines "lost" their daughter midway through her trip from San Francisco to Traverse City, Mich., for summer camp.
Annie and Perry Klebahn of San Francisco have made public a complaint letter to the airline detailing how the company lost track of their daughter, Phoebe, on a June 30 flight during a transfer at Chicago’s O’Hare airport. The journey would become a harrowing one for the family involving a byzantine set of phone calls to locate their missing child as well as her luggage.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

An Interview with the QVIClub in Singapore

I was on my 5-Asian country tour of the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Japan when I decided to stay in Singapore to explore the city for the second time.

Another reason why I decided to re-visit Singapore is to meet the Customer Care staff of Quest Vacation International to further familiarize myself with the club and personally thank them for the job well done. QVIClub also had the chance to know more about my travels in the interview conducted by the Manager of their Singapore Office.

Their office had been very supportive and efficient in taking my hotel and resort bookings from the time I first used my membership up until now.

My first QVI Club trip ~ Ayutthaya THAILAND
Todate, I have been with the club for almost 10 years and will continue enjoying the benefits for the next 20 years of my membership. 

Through the years, I willingly provide the club with my testimonials as my way of recognizing their hard work. The club gave me a good impression from the very first time I used my membership thus agreeing to submit myself for an interview for their Navigator magazine. Read the interview in the link below.

Navigator travel magazine has good news in store for you if you are into travelling. After reading the information, you may be interested to be a member of the QVI Club; something that I can highly recommend to you.

*  *  *  *  *

The Transit Lounge
Grand Tower Inn Hotel ~ My first QVI Club accommodation in Bangkok THAILAND
Page 23 of 28 Pages Magazine .....

This time round, we had a chance to chit chat with one of our Platinum Members, Mr. Efren (Freddie) Miranda. Despite the fact that he has only been a QVIClub member recently, the easy going gentleman has already travelled to five Asian countries including Thailand.

Q: What attracted you to becoming a QVI Club member?

QVI Club membership is affordable and it is very easy to make a hotel/resort reservation.  In addition, the QVI staff are accommodating and supportive and the customer service given is exceptional!

Q: Using your QVI Club membership, where have you travelled so far?


I recently travelled to five Asian countries and I've just come back from a holiday in Bangkok, Thailand.

Q: What is your most memorable holiday experience and why?

We were very touched with the hospitality of our new Thai friends whom we met during our recent trip to Bangkok.  They took me and my family on a free sightseeing tour for 13 hours!

Q: How about your worst holiday experience and why?

I have always enjoyed every one of my holidays and I haven't had any bad experience so far.  If ever, I have to encounter one, I'll make sure I learn something good out of it.

Q: What do you like to do most when on vacation?

Island hopping and snorkeling!  I really enjoy the times when I can marvel at the beauty of nature.
Q: What are your favourite destination spots?

Any place where I can find beautiful scenery and historical architecture.

Q: What is your idea of a perfect holiday?

To be near nature and be able to meet local people and new friends!

Q: Which of the countries you have been to, left you with the strongest  impression?

Without doubt Thailand!

Q: Name at least 3 essential items you always take with you when travelling overseas?

Camera, medicine, sun block.

Q: If you were to be exiled to a desert island and could only take one person and one personal item with you, who and what would you select and why?

My wife and a survival kit!  With my wife around, I don't need to worry because she is like MacGyver that can make impossible things possible!

For information and sponsorship with QVI Club, you may send email to fromatravellersdesk@gmail.com. We will assist and direct you to the department who will attend to your inquiries and registration.


From the desk of: 
Freddie Miranda
A blogger and a Canada-based freelance writer. He shares the value of his travel experiences and discoveries with his friends and fellow travellers. Share your passion, join and visit him. Send a message @ fromatravellersdesk(at)gmail(dot)com.







Sunday, 5 August 2012

Review: You Touch ~ You Pay Attitude in Hong Kong

Yes, HK is supposed to be a shopping haven especially if you are a bargain hunter. I had a week to spend in going around but our intention mostly is to do a shopping spree. My bad experience with the the stores are not what I expect from a country known to be famous for "business-minded" people.


This is what happened. I entered a fabric store with my wife to buy a couple of dress materials. We look around to check the colour and the type of material that we want. Then we found one, we touch it to have a feel of the fabric. The storekeeper did not like it ~ touching their goods. She took the material from my wife's hand and put it back to its original place. Then we leave because we thought they do not want our money.