May roundup: Montreal mopeds, polar bear trains, and Miami music

canada flag

This week I’m in Toronto for the annual TBEX conference, a meeting of professional travel bloggers and tourism boards from around the world. It’s always fun to meet up with my peers, chat with industry folks, and see what kind of lavish social events they have planned for us.

In addition to my week in Toronto, I’m visiting the city of London, Ontario for a couple of days, and then taking a loooong bus ride home to Chicago. I can’t wait to get some more Canadian content on the site, so I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to work with some of the Canadian tourism boards in attendance to plan future journeys. I’d love to do a month-long road or train trip across the entire country.

Here’s what I was reading this month from around the travel blog world, with a special emphasis on Canada since I’m in maple leaf country right now.

Featured personal link:

Reconnecting With My Amish Roots in Berlin, Ohio

If you missed the story of me connecting with some long-lost Amish relatives in Berlin, check it out. I found my grandfather’s name in a genealogy book owned by a local Amish family in Ohio. It turns out we were fourth- or fifth-cousins. I have dozens of Amish relatives and it was an incredible experience to finally get to know some of them!


May travel links of interest:

Hike Bike Travel: 8 Great Canadian Train Trips

Speaking of Canadian train travel, Leigh uncovered some of the best train trips in the country. Canada is so beautiful, and the train seems like an ideal way to see the countryside, in addition to visiting hot spots like Vancouver, Calgary, Churchill, and Quebec. I want to take all eight of these trips – especially the ones that would allow me to head way north into polar bear territory.

Travel for Wildlife: How to See Beluga Whales and Polar Bears on the Same Trip

Did someone mention polar bears? Cristina explains that you can see both polar bears and beluga whales during the same visit to Churchill. You can even go into the water and swim with the belugas. And the companies involved are environmentally-conscious. I am totally sold. Yet another reason to love Canada.

JDomb’s Travels: Montreal by Moped

Jennifer explored the awesome city of Montreal by moped. She actually failed the moped test and had to ride as the tour guide’s passenger, which worked out better because it afforded her the opportunity to take many more photographs (I need to remember that trick.) This looks like an awesome tour and a cool way to see the city. Just last month I took my first Segway tour; now it’s time for me to upgrade to a moped!

Hecktic Travels: Why We Are Proud to be Canadian

I don’t have much to add to this one, except to say that it’s brilliant and I’m almost ready to switch my citizenship after reading. Give it a look!

Travel With Bender: How to Save $40 at Rio Camuy Caves Park

Often, stories about bad travel experiences are much more entertaining than gushing recaps. That’s the case with this post from Erin. Don’t let its title fool you – this isn’t about finding a coupon or discount code. The way you save $40 is by not going at all, since the park is, as she describes it, “tame, commercialized and all about not being sued.” Having to put up with pre-recorded audio bites in a cave is about as far from a true nature experience as you can possibly get!

Where in the World is Lola: Ultra Music Festival – Miami Edition

As a hardcore music festival junkie, I was excited to see this post by Lola and Roxy about Miami’s Ultra Music Festival, an annual event that brings the biggest EDM and dance music stars to town. I have never gone to Ultra, but I’ll accept any excuse to go back to Miami. They did a great job of capturing the vibe of the event – and apparently there’s an Ultra Fest in Croatia later this summer. Who knew?

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About Scott Shetler

Scott is a Seattle-based journalist and blogger who puts a quirky spin on travel adventures around the world. He has been featured in Travel + Leisure, Connect Magazine, Matador Travel, and the Washington Post.

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