Colombia’s terrain is not suited for large-scale mechanized production. | Arlene and Robin Karpan photo

Small family farms dominate Colombia’s coffee country

If you’re reading this while sipping your morning coffee, chances are that the coffee beans came from a farm like the one run by Nicolas Spath. We recently visited the heart of Colombia’s famous coffee region where Spath showed us around his small farm with 2,000 coffee trees. We were in the town of Filandia, […] Read more

The Kootenay River’s shallow edges make it a favourite spot for fly-fishing. | Robin and Arlene Karpan photo

British Columbia’s Kootenay National Park turns 100

Kootenay National Park celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. In 1920, the federal government agreed to build a road linking Banff and the Columbia Valley in return for British Columbia donating land on either side of it to be preserved in a national park. When the Banff-Windermere Highway opened three years later, it became the […] Read more

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is the only national museum outside the National Capital Region around Ottawa. | Arlene and Robin Karpan photo

Human rights museum is a top attraction in Manitoba

If the Canadian Museum for Human Rights looks familiar, it may be because the unusual-looking building appears on our $10 bill. The distinctive architecture is not the only unusual feature. Unlike other museums that primarily display artifacts, this one is more about ideas. It’s the first of its kind in the world dedicated to human […] Read more


Phoenix is located in the Sonoran Desert, a striking landscape dominated by huge saguaro cactus. | Robin and Arlene Karpan photo

Phoenix has a natural side that is worth exploring

The most surprising part of Phoenix, Arizona, is the easy access to nature and outdoor activities, even though it is one of the larger cities in the United States. Phoenix is in the Sonoran Desert, a striking landscape dominated by huge saguaro cactus. The best place to get oriented is at the Desert Botanical Garden […] Read more

Aeroplan has made changes recently, and while some are good for consumers, others aren’t.  |  Getty Images

How to receive the best value from your Aeroplan miles

If you’re confused over what is happening with Aeroplan, you’re not alone. Aeroplan started out as Air Canada’s frequent flyer program. Then Air Canada sold it, bought it back again early in 2019, but announced that it will roll out a new program to replace Aeroplan in June 2020. They made a few changes in […] Read more


Tourists in South Africa don’t need to join guided tours to enjoy wildlife safaris. They can simply drive on their own to see an impressive array of animals, including lions, giraffes and elephants. | Arlene and Robin Karpan photo

Independent travel in South Africa is worth the road trip

Earlier this year, we took our sixth trip to South Africa. Over the past decade or so, we’ve visited parts of all nine provinces and most major national parks, plus many minor parks. We’re often asked why we keep going back and how we travel, so we thought it’s time to discuss what it’s like […] Read more

Thunder Bay’s port and grain terminals give the city a rich agricultural history. | Arlene and Robin Karpan photo

Thunder Bay rich in history and natural attractions

Thunder Bay has long been an important Canadian transportation hub. In recent times it has been best known as the western-most port on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system, where grain and other products are loaded onto ships bound for export markets. However, this strategic location for transportation dates back to the early days of […] Read more

The Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens aren’t what many people might expect to find during a visit to Lethbridge.  |  Robin and Arlene Karpan Photo

Garden provides a Japanese experience on the Prairies

The grounds are dominated by a classical Japanese pavilion, home to events such as the ancient tea ceremony. Pagodas, a bell tower, and trees pruned to exacting standards surround a pond. Visitors learn about the time-honoured symbolism from hosts and hostesses in traditional dress. It’s as if we’ve wandered into an historic site in Japan, […] Read more


The meandering Qu'Appelle River, Saskatchewan. | Robin and Arlene Karpan photo

Sask.’s Qu’Appelle Valley makes for the ultimate road trip

Did you know that you can travel a third of the way across Saskatchewan while staying in the scenic Qu’Appelle Valley? Despite this being one of the Prairie’s most stunning landscapes, travellers tend to see only bits and pieces, since most highways simply cross the valley, such as Highway 11 between Regina and Saskatoon, which […] Read more

There’s nothing drab about Dawson City.  |  Arlene and Robin Karpan photo

Dawson City still known as Canada’s icon of the North

Dawson City is a fundamental part of the Canadian psyche. Just think of the North and this icon of the Klondike Gold Rush springs to mind. In the late 1800s, it seemed that the entire world was stampeding to the Yukon, where fortunes were both made and lost. Almost overnight, Dawson City became the largest […] Read more