Money Talk: How much did my 2013 Epic Journey cost!?!

Picture of foreign currency

Money, Budgets, Financial Talk

Whenever someone talks about going on a trip / vacation / holiday / escape / getaway / journey / pilgrimage – whatever it is labeled as, the BURNING question in the back of everyone’s mind… HOW do they afford it?! How much did it cost!?!

If you’ve been reading along on my blog, I tend to talk about anything but money. It’s a cliche thing for a Canadian or a Chinese descendent or in the general global society to be up front about financial matters.

Well today, I feel like sharing and talking numbers – as one of my intention for this blog is to motivate more people to travel – solo or not. So I do not want people to use $$ as an excuse or reason for them to deter from traveling and exploring this beautiful world of ours. Continue reading

Why visit Antarctica?! Reason No.5

Iceberg straight ahead! ~ The most defining moment on the Titanic, made famous on the big screen by the characters portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.

When snow fell on Antarctica many, many years ago, they formed glacial ice made of fresh water. This is also the reason why Antarctica has the largest reserve of freshwater in the world!!

As the glacial move toward the sea and break off – an iceberg is born! Continue reading

Why visit Antarctica?! Reason No.4

The wildlife in Antarctica is abundant and precious. All of them are mesmerizing to me. From plankton to krill to albatross to penguins to seals to whales, they all live in a symbiotic relationship. I could just spend hours and days watching them go about their day.

One of the more entertaining animals in Antarctica are the seals. There are 35 species of seals in the world and only 6 of them live in Antarctica. The seal pups are adorable while full grown seals can be scary to be around. Continue reading

I have a dream…

When traveling, sometimes I keep quiet and observe – people watch. Sometimes I want to participate and interact. Sometimes I want to communicate; listen and be heard.

From traveling I have met a diverse bunch of human beings. Not all of them are fellow travelers. Some are locals who have never been on a long distance bus, train or airplane – never left the town they were born in. Their background varies. Their age varies. Some inspires me. Some humbles me. Some makes me look at life from a different angle. Some distracts me and makes me stop thinking.

Regardless of the length of time we actually spent together – be it a millisecond or hours or days – I am grateful our paths have crossed. Continue reading

Learning to trust my gut, my intuition

A year ago today was one of those pivotal days that signified a new beginning.

View of Ushuaia Argentina Mountains landscape town

View of Ushuaia, Argentina as seen from bow of ship returning from Antarctica with a range of snow-covered mountains serving as backdrop.

January 14, 2013 was the day I landed back on the continent of South America, after an 18 day cruise to the Falklands, South Georgia islands and landing on the 7th continent – Antarctica. With the view of Ushuaia from the bow of the ship, in sight, it was a bitter-sweet moment.

Traveling as a Single Woman and sharing a ship with 183 other passengers and 92 crew members was such a wonderful experience. All the newly formed friendships, the camaraderie that came with sharing such a special journey added to the experience. Continue reading

Single Woman Travels Celebrates 100th post on

Single Woman Travels is celebrating the 100th post today on with a bunch of Antarctic friends!!

A Chinstrap penguin screams to attract attention above Orne Harbour, Antarctica

A Chinstrap penguin screams to attract attention above Orne Harbour, Antarctica.

Two Gentoo penguins screams from excitement above Orne Harbour, Antarctica

Two Gentoo penguins screams from excitement above Orne Harbour, Antarctica.

A tiny Antarctic fur seal pup screams to another fur seal pup in excitement

A tiny Antarctic fur seal pup screams to another fur seal pup in excitement.

Gentoo penguin twist and shout with elation

Gentoo penguin twist and shout with elation.

A single Gentoo penguin shouts out at the top of Danko Island, Antarctica

A single Gentoo penguin shouts out at the top of Danko Island, Antarctica.

Why visit Antarctica?! Reason No.3

Typically when someone mentions Polar expeditions, the word COLD / FREEZING COLD would pop up in conversation. As recent as August 2010, the temperature in Antarctica hit am all time low of -94.7C (-135.8F). However, with the recent Polar vortex dipping South along the Eastern seaboard in North America, Antarctica seems like a winter escape!

As those in the Southern Hemisphere enjoy Summer, expedition tours to Antarctica are in full swing – sometimes visiting Falkland islands and South Georgia islands along the way. The travel season to this region starts in early November and continue until March with departures typically from Ushuaia, Argentina and Invercargill, New Zealand. Continue reading

Why visit Antarctica?! Reason No.2

Waiting with my Antarctic friends for our zodiac to take us cruising and hope to find some wildlife

Waiting with my Antarctic friends for our zodiac to take us cruising and hope to find some wildlife.

Travel to Antarctica is governed and regulated by the International Association Antarctica Tour Operators, IAATO. What was started by 7 private tour operators in 1991, the IAATO now has more than 100 members. It is stipulated that no more than 100 people from each visiting vessel can step foot on the continent at one time. This is why the travelers on the big, huge cruise ships will only cruise by and not be able to make land fall.

On my trip to the Antarctica in January 2013, I was on a ship with 183 other travelers and 92 crew members. Each day, my fellow travelers and I would be separated into 2 groups. One group would step onto the continent while the other goes zodiac cruising. After a designated amount of time, we would switch adventures. Continue reading

Why visit Antarctica?! Reason No.1

Antarctica – the 7th and last continent. Not many people can call Antarctica home, if they do, they’re mainly there for research purposes. It is approximately 2552 miles (4107 km) from the nearest grocery store on the Falkland islands (Islas Malvinas). So you better go prepared!

I chose to go see the frozen continent for a few main reasons: Continue reading

It’s cold outside…

To commemorate the coldest day I’ve experienced while living in Toronto (Jan 3 2013 @ 7:19am -23C, feeling like -39C with windchill) – let’s check out my recent journey to Antarctica!

Antarctica is the last continent for me to visit on this great planet of ours. I had decided to go big or stay home and chose the 18 day journey with Ocean Diamond, a ship that carries about 190 passengers, operated by Quark expedition. On this journey we visited the Falklands and South Georgia Islands. Continue reading