2013 in Hindsight

Today is the last Friday the 13th for 2013, the 13th year of the 21st century, no less. With the last month of the year almost half over, I can’t help but to think of all that has happened and all that I’ve accomplished this past year. And let me say it’s been quite the year for me – EVER!

Let me elaborate a bit…

I started the year by ringing in 2013 on a ship (Quark’s Ocean Diamond), with 183 other travelers from around the world, in the middle of the waters between South America and Antarctica. After reaching my 7th Continent, I knew I will head back to South America, explore Chile, Argentina and Brazil, then head over to Asia and due to return back to Canada by end of July.

This is the framework I gave myself to work with this time last year. With these 3 return flights in hand:

YYZ – EZE – RIO – YYZ
SCL – IPC – SCL
YYZ – BKK – HKG – YYZ

Epic Journey 2013 - Plan for South America and Antarctica

Epic Journey 2013 – Plan for South America and Antarctica

Epic Journey 2013 - Plan for Asia

Epic Journey 2013 – Plan for Asia (a friend I must visit in Singapore!!)

In the end, I finally returned to my home to ‘stay’ at the end of August. My 2013 Epic Journey took me to 14 countries, by all modes of transportation; airplane, ship, boat, subways, buses (lots of buses), ferries, mopeds, trains, etc. If I had a pedometer, that would be one impressive record!!

By mid-April, this was my accomplishments in South America + Antarctica

By mid-April, this was my accomplishments in South America + Antarctica

By end of July, I conquered a bit of Asia.

By end of July, I conquered a bit of Asia.

My intention in the coming weeks and months is to share with you my experiences (spiritual and otherwise) while exploring these 3 continents on my own, as a Single Woman. The people I met are incredible and so are the stories we created together!

From this I hope to create a travel-loving community that will join me and explore other locales together (physically and vicariously) – intuitively, curiously while having lots of fun.

Let’s create memories together!!

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My first time… Paragliding!!

Photos and post by Karen Sze

On October 18th, 2008 I signed up for one of the most exciting and relaxing adventure at that point in my life – Paragliding in Pokhara, Nepal. I literally jumped out of bed with excitement!! I’ve always thought back to my time parasailing behind a speedboat in Phuket, Thailand. To me, parasailing was relaxing, yet super fun – feeling weightless and airborne, enjoying a bird’s-eye view of the world!

Some of you might be rolling your eyes and thinking why would I describe paragliding as relaxing?? My answer: To each their own – for me, I love floating in the sky, breathing the fresh crisp air. But seriously, give it a go and find out for yourself!! Now I get to kick it up a notch with paragliding – move over, parasailing! haha Continue reading

My Bucket List

This is a work in progress…

(Click on the crossed off items for the story behind the experience of a lifetime!)

  1. Just Be in the Tivoli Gardens in Denmark
  2. Scuba dive at Great Barrier Reef, Australia
  3. Go to Carnival at Rio de Janeiro
  4. Be lost in the Potola Palace, Tibet
  5. See the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an
  6. Speak the truth, from the bottom of my heart – every day
  7. Hike up a volcano in South America (Ecuador, Chile)
  8. Collect some beads at Mardi Gras in New Orleans
  9. Ride the Trans-Siberian express to St. Petersburg from China
  10. Paraglide in Pokara, Nepal
  11. Parasailing in Phuket, Thailand
  12. Full moon party in Koh Phangan, Thailand
  13. Swim with penguins at Galapagos Islands
  14. See Madonna in Concert
  15. Stare at the Muchas stainglass window in the St. Vitus Cathedral of Prague
  16. Snorkel in the Red Sea
  17. Climb the Eiffel Tower
  18. Take a ride in a gondola in Venice
  19. Shop the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul
  20. Hike on the Inka Trails to Machu Picchu, Peru
  21. Find balance in my life – work in progress
  22. Spot a condor in flight in Patagonia
  23. Learn to ballroom dance
  24. Attend a concert at Wembley Stadium
  25. Find a wild Blue poppy in Bhutan
  26. Listen to Tibetan monks chant in Jokhang Temple, Lhasa
  27. Witness turtle hatch at Mon Repos Turtle Rookery, Australia
  28. Climb Sydney Harbour Bridge
  29. Watch NYE fireworks in Sydney Harbour
  30. Cross the Antarctic Circle
  31. See the Aurora Australis in Antarctica
  32. Spot a whale at Cape of Good Hope, South Africa
  33. See the Aurora Borealis in Norway
  34. Stay in Neuschwanstein Castle in Schwangau, Germany
  35. Visit the Base Camp at Mount Everest
  36. Swim in the Mediterranean
  37. Skydive
  38. Watch the sunset at Pamukkale, Turkey
  39. Learn to cook every dish I love to eat – work in progress
  40. Eat dinner at a Michelin 3 star restaurant
  41. Sponsor an under privileged child
  42. White water rafting in Australia
  43. Visit all 7 continents
  44. Join the Travelers’ Century Club
  45. People watch on Ipanema beach, Brazil
  46. Drink a pint at Oktoberfest in Munich
  47. Watch sunrise at Mount Sinai, Egypt
  48. Watch sunrise at Angkor Wat, Cambodia
  49. Stand still in the Red Square of Moscow
  50. Honeymoon in the Maldives
  51. Sleep in a Mongolian ger
  52. Sleep in a Salt hotel in Bolivia
  53. Ride a train from Halifax to Vancouver, Canada
  54. Go to Disney World
  55. Catch a squid in the Hong Kong Harbour
  56. Launch a Sky lantern in Pingxi, Taiwan
  57. Design and sell floral arrangements
  58. Enjoy the Daiichi Onsen in Hokkaido, Japan
  59. Drink sake while enjoying the Cherry blossoms in Kakunodate, Akita
  60. Learn to tread water
  61. Do nothing on the beaches of Boracay Island, Philippines
  62. Black water rafting in New Zealand
  63. Be mystified at Ephesus, Turkey
  64. Explore the Great Pyramids of Egypt
  65. Witness Summer Solstice at Stonehenge
  66. Check the acoustics in the Coliseum
  67. Discover the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa, Egypt
  68. Walk on the Great Wall of China
  69. Find artifacts belonging to the old Porcelain Tower of Nanjing
  70. Sit in silence in Hagia Sophia, Istanbul
  71. Try to straighten the Leaning Tower of Pisa
  72. Be a hopeless romantic at the Taj Mahal
  73. Imagine war at the Cairo Citadel
  74. Listen to the choir at Ely Cathedral
  75. Visit the Cluny Abbey in France
  76. Make sure the Transformers didn’t destroy Petra
  77. Talk to Extra-terrestrial life forms from the Arecibo Observatory, Puerto Rico
  78. Share a life time of laughter and memories with my amazing friends & family
  79. Admire the original Starry Night by Van Gogh
  80. Rave in Ibiza
  81. Visit the Temple of 10000 Buddhas in Hong Kong
  82. Experience life in the Amazon
  83. Visit all my main projects after construction; (Atlantis DubaiCanary Wharf, Mazagan, Rodney bay)
  84. Be soaked by the mists at Victoria Falls
  85. Be an extra on a movie set or a tv set
  86. Go from Surya namaska – Sun salutation to a hand stand to a full wheel
  87. Find stillness through meditation – every day
  88. Smell exotic, rare orchids in Costa Rica
  89. Learn to speak another language fluently. (Spanish / French / Mandarin)
  90. Dream a dream in Garden of Ninfa, Italy
  91. Smell the Wisteria flowers at Villa Cimbrone, Amalfi Coast