Monthly Archives: June 2015

Learning Spanish Online and Face 2 Face in Mexico

Looks like Oaxaca IS the place for breaking through to the next level of Spanish!


100 Spanish Words You Need To Know

Been back almost two months now and wouldn’t you know it? I miss speaking Spanish! Even with my sketchy accent and shaky grasp of the verb tenses. Use it or lose it. Gotta find a Spanish class or self study program pronto!

Lonely Planet Travel Guides and Travel Information

Just a few more insider tips. I’ve been undecided for the last four months. It feels very good to be ‘decided’. Naturally circumstances can and do change but after a certain period ‘in limbo’ between two choices I just like to decide and make the most of my choice!

Destination: Oaxaca!

Down South in San Miguel | Bella Design and Planning Blog

Here’s another POV/ point of view blog posting about San Miquel de Allende. Today is the Ssssummer Solstice and I’ve decided to table Panama for now and return to Mexico next winter but to another very distinctive area and region;



Easier to access than San Miquel de Allende via Cancun followed by a wonderful bus junket along the highway to Oaxaca stopping off at  a number of facinating places. The Mexican bus lines like Primavera Plus are just so comfortable and economical!

There’s also a tremendous International TESOL/ Teachers of English as a Second or Other Language conference in Cancun in early November. Rentals in Oaxaca are listed on Craigslist and seem reasonable. Will likely just get a well situated, well priced room rental in a secure compound. Back to living out of a suitcase! (Sorry, Suki! I know you want to get out of the rain and you’ve got your poodle sized sombrero packed but Kristine and Neil would miss you far too much!)


My furnished, equipped two bedroom loft townhouse with courtyard that included Telecable, Wifi and weekly maid service (Matilde) will be very, very difficult to beat!



I’m thinking five months mas o menos in Oaxaca intensively working on my Spanish and teaching English
online and one month as an Amtrak vagabond ‘riding the rails!’ Really enjoyed the easy transition returning to my NOB/ North of the Border life via the Coastal Pacific Amtrak train up the coastal route from Los Angeles to Seattle, then Seattle to Vancouver!

Feliz Verano a todo!  Happy Ssssummer to all!


How to Take Professional Travel Photos | Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site

One thing that happened last winter is that I ‘released’ my trusty  Cannon Sureshot renamed Powershot. As a long time blogger now equipped with a Samsung Galaxy Smartphone with an  8.0 camera phone I was increasingly using it so much more than my regular point and shoot camera. I even have camera editing right on my phone to change the images as well as a way cool app called Cartoon Your Camera which gives you a picture with a low resolution grainy look well suited for taking pictures of heritage buildings.

I even used this app to get an Honorable Mention award in the Nanaimo Paint Out/ Shoot Out photography contest a couple of years ago. I drew the Palace Hotel as a locale on that particular cool, rainy day. Anyway, I used that app and received a certificate!

5 Ways to Avoid Expensive Phone Charges When Traveling

Personally, I use option number 3, swapping SIM cards on an unlocked phone. Please note that your home provider may give away your number if you are gone more than three months. But these days when no one really memorizes your number anyway this is not a liability.

Unlock your phone before leaving the country. Keep your Canadian SIM card just in case your number is not reallocated. Just note that provider loyalty is a thing of the past because when you return you can shop around for the best deal with an unlocked phone!

And it’s really, really handy to have a local number wherever you are living internationally. Not to mention much cheaper (than Canada, for sure!)