By Bob Waite
Ottawa – On August 9, 2021, Canada began allowing entry to American citizens and permanent residents currently residing in the United States who have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days prior to entering the country.
The United States, on the other hand, has yet to reciprocate. Canadians continue to be barred from crossing the land border. This despite the fact that Canadian vaccination rates are significantly higher than those of their American counterparts.
So what gives?
In a word, politics.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the border opening not long before calling an election. There seems little doubt that he heeded calls from the tourist and hospitality industries to open things up before the summer slipped completely away.
Politics was also undoubtedly behind the American decision to keep the border shut tight – although it is impossible to get an official U.S. government spokesperson to… Continue reading
The best part of planning for retirement is imagining yourself in your new lifestyle — Including having the freedom to travel.
By Rick Pendykoski
According to the 19th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey, two-thirds of American workers spend heavily on travel in their first year of retirement. Many plan to travel abroad, while others may want to retire overseas. (Take a look at this abroad retirement checklist to see if the expat life is financially right for you.)
But even if you come up short on that checklist, you can still travel affordably in retirement. The key is proper planning. Here is a seven-step guide to follow:
Set Your Goals & Make a Bucket List
Spend some time thinking about your retirement goals. Those who plan for retirement are more likely to find a happy retired life than those who don’t.
Get into as many details as possible, and list the… Continue reading
I confess — other than Latin, I was never very good about picking up foreign languages (and alas, speaking Latin won’t get you too far these days).
I used to joke that I could say the word for “beer” in 18 languages, especially since some of them were variations of the word “beer.” And even I couldn’t forget how to say cerveza. (I was also fluent in vino and café.)
I have been able to draw on my somewhat less-than-stellar performance as a French student in high school and college and, during months of travel in Spain, learned enough, among other necessities, to ask for the hombres room after drinking too much cerveza.
All this is to say that I wish I had absorbed more of the local languages while traveling, especially in my younger days, since so many people around the world now speak English that it’s… Continue reading
In Part I of Two Boomers, One Bike, Ken and Francie Gass — married 43 years and both celebrating 70-something birthdays in 2021 — detailed the training, equipment, and teamwork required to complete a six-week cross-country trip on a tandem bicycle.
The trip tested their fitness, stamina, and trust in each other.
While their bike (which they dubbed the Momentous Green Goddess) was well equipped to survive an arduous road trip across the Southern Tier of the U.S., the intrepid couple still faced an obstacle course of steep hills, bumpy roads, strong crosswinds and headwinds, and saddle sores as they pedaled from San Diego, California, to St. Augustine, Florida.
Here’s Part II of their epic journey:
By Ken and Francie Gass
When my wife and I completed a 40-mile bike ride down the Jersey Shore from Ocean City to Cape May, NJ, one morning some years ago, we were quite pleased with our accomplishment.
Then we met up with my old boyhood chum, Ken Gass, and his wife, Francie, who stopped in Tucson earlier this year while biking their way across the United States, and found that 40-mile morning workouts were easy days for them — they would average almost twice that, day after day for six weeks, pedaling from San Diego to St. Augustine.
And they were doing it on one bike, which presented its own share of challenges and rewards. Here is Part I of their entertaining and instructive tale of adventure, grit, and how to keep a marriage together on a bicycle built for two:
By Ken and Francie Gass
For 44 days — from the end of… Continue reading
Second in a Series.
Venice’s maze of 3,000 streets, 150 canals and 400 bridges can bewilder the most savvy traveler. Of the city’s millions of annual visitors, it’s fair to say that relatively few venture beyond the main tourist haunts. This is especially true of the many day-trippers, most notably cruise ship passengers, who may have only a few hours to spend in this magical city.
As we noted in our last post, Venice: The Theme Park City?, Venice will be charging an entrance fee and limiting visitor admissions starting in the summer 2022. It’s a strike against overtourism, in which a mass influx of sightseers literally threatens to love a destination to death, or at least makes it a far less enjoyable place to visit or live in.
If it’s your first and only time in Venice, of course you’re going to descend on St. Mark’s… Continue reading
Venice has always been one of my favorite cities. If there’s a more beautiful city in the world, I haven’t found it. And millions of other people would say the same.
And therein lies the problem: Millions of people visiting (and tromping through) one of the most fragile cities on the planet — at the rate of 80,000 per day in summer, far outnumbering Venice’s own residents.
After all, the city is built on a lagoon, canals snake through its heart, and its centuries-old palazzos, churches, and art treasures are subject to erosion, flooding, and tsunamis of tourists as well.
It’s been called a “poster child for overtourism” — meaning, simply, too many tourists for its own good, compounded by massive infusions of cruise ship passengers and other day-trippers. It’s remarkable that any gondolier worth his stripes can maneuver his full craft through the gondola-traffic-choked canals and still… Continue reading
It was the cultural touchstone of my generation — three days of peace, love, and, of course, music, mud, and skinny-dipping.
Somewhere between 400,000 and 500,000 young people somehow made their way to Max Yasgur’s farm in New York’s Catskills, drawn by almost mysterious forces that seemed to transcend even the lure of hearing Jimi, Janis, Joan Baez, Joe Cocker, Country Joe and the Fish, and Jefferson Airplane perform at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair, as it was formally known.
More than 50 years later, the joke goes, at least ten times that many aging baby boomers swear they were at Woodstock, too — perhaps aided by memories of watching the movie and listening to the soundtracks while engulfed in a smoky haze appropriate to the occasion.
I can say with certainty that I was actually there — until, that is, I became one of the few benighted boomers… Continue reading
I don’t envy the Japanese officials who are trying to stage an Olympics in the middle of a pandemic. In fact, word is that they considered cancelling the whole shebang just three days before the Opening Ceremonies.
According to polls and protests, a majority of Japanese aren’t on board with the Games, due to rising COVID cases, limitations on their activities, cost overruns, and, of course, the usual scandals that surround any Olympics. Sponsors like Toyota aren’t happy either, and are downplaying their roles.
Some $15 billion has been invested in the Games so far, with no spectators allowed except for the media and a smattering of VIPs. How many bento boxes from the mostly deserted concession stands can they consume?
The weather is hot and muggy and may be brewing a typhoon.
The director of the Opening Ceremonies was… Continue reading
I know I am. And it appears from the graphic below that most other Americans are as well, though caution still prevails among some — and I can’t blame anyone for that.
After conducting a survey on travel sentiment earlier this year, IPX1031 re-visited the topic six months later to see how feelings toward travel have changed now that vaccines have been rolled out and many restrictions have been lifted across the country.
Here are the highlights of the survey findings:
- 85% of respondents are optimistic about traveling in 2021 (up from 48% in January 2021).
- 75% plan to travel in 2021 (up from 58% in January 2021).
- Among that 75% who plan to vacation this year, 71% plan to travel within the U.S.
- 55% have already booked their trips.
- 71% of respondents feel safe flying right now (up from 48% in January 2021).
- 59% of respondents have budgeted… Continue reading