Morning Song – Vancouver Island’s Feathered Wake-up Call

I’ve always loved birds.  Although, to clarify, I should say that I have always loved the LOOK of wild birds.  Captive birds, however stunning in plumage, have never been of much interest to me.  Oddly, I have also never really been drawn to the hobby of bird watching itself.

Over the last few days, however, I think this is starting to change.

While taking a couple of weeks to relax and visit family on southern Vancouver Island (in preparation for our major move from Canada to Mexico), I was overcome by the sheer volume of song birds in the region.  On my walks through the trails among the tall timber, without much effort, I spotted several species I had never seen before.  I heard bird calls I had never noticed in the past.

How was this possible?  I had been raised in a small seaside town on the west coast where there must have been an abundance of songbirds of every variety.  How could it be that I was only now began to notice such things? Continue reading “Morning Song – Vancouver Island’s Feathered Wake-up Call”

Plan Z: Build an Online Will to Protect Your Interests

I’ve honestly never been too concerned about the big ‘what if’ in life, but with taking on the kind of risk involved in such a long road trip (not to mention , it just made sense to start thinking about how to protect everybody I care about if I should end up on the ‘Plan Z’ exit path.

None of us ever want to think about this ride ending.  But let’s be honest: Sometimes things go horribly wrong, and being prepared is the best way to take care of those who are important to you.  That means maintaining a current and legally binding will.

As I prepared for a major relocation to Mexico and the subsequent lifestyle change from living the “regular” employed routine in Canada, thinking about putting a will in place wasn’t a fun exercise.  Even so, I knew I had to get something in place.

The amount of driving involved in getting from Calgary, Canada to Queretaro, Mexico made me consider the risks involved.   There is no doubt that I will be engaging in what is the most (statistically) dangerous mode of mass transportation – driving a private automobile.  The trip will involve over 4,200 km (2,600 miles) of driving, most of which will be conducted at highway speeds.

Getting to where I am going requires driving.  A lot of driving.  And that is dangerous.

As I started to contemplate this task, I was immediately faced with a thorny question: What does it take to get a proper legal will in place?

Continue reading “Plan Z: Build an Online Will to Protect Your Interests”

Planning Your Big, Fat, Epic, International Road Trip

Planning road trips are usually pretty simple.  You decide where you are starting from, where you want to end up, and how long you want to take to get between Point A and Point B.  Easy, right?

But what if you are planning something a bit more involved than a quick weekend jaunt to visit grandma in Spuzzum, British Columbia?

The logistics involved in this endeavor were staggering.  I was contemplating a road trip of 4,400 km (2,734 miles) across three countries driving my 2012 Nissan Murano.

4,400 kilometres, 1 province, 10 states, 3 countries over 7 days = 1 epic road trip.

As I sat down to plan out the international road trip that was going to relocate me from Calgary, Canada to my new home in Mexico, I realized that this wasn’t going to be a simple exercise that could be planned out in a few minutes.

“Surely somebody has developed a website to help plan this kind of thing.”  A quick Google search later, I had my answer.

Continue reading “Planning Your Big, Fat, Epic, International Road Trip”