Running into a friend from home…on a ski slope in British Columbia

Moment of awesome

Thinking I had smoked all the proverbial Lucky Strikes in the pack, it happened again – I ran into a friend in the middle of nowhere! This week, I went skiing with my buddy at Whitewater – known for its amazing powder snow. After our fifth run, while waiting in line for the lift, I noticed a guy who looked suspiciously like a friend from home. I called his name and, in true Hollywood fashion, he slowly turned around. He gazed at me, looking confused. After a few moments a huge grim appeared on his face, acknowledging the fact that, no, we were not in a trashy bar in Amsterdam, but we ran into each other on a random ski slope in British Columbia. I believe the correct terminology here would be: it’s a small world.  IT WAS AWESOME!

Read more about this week’s adventures. Read More

Earth porn

Hills around Whitewater ski resort near Nelson, BC.

Day hike in Lynn Valley, Vancouver, BC.

Food for the hungry soul

Article: 2016 in pictures by the NYTimes.

This page shows the most eventful moments of the past year. It is a rather gloomy picture of the past year, but I think it’s a fair depiction as it shows the global and social change the world is currently undergoing. My favorite picture is the first one in July: An older woman sharing a bench with a Gay Pride participant. 

A word of wisdom

“After I surrounded myself with people who follow their passion, my thinking went from, ‘how can I possibly do this?’, to ‘how can I possibly not?’ “

– Scott Dinsmore (Founder of ‘Life Your Legend‘; a community that has helped me on my journey to find my passion. See Ted Talk).

Dash for cash

Any experienced backpacker has, at some point, used From my experience, the site’s offers a pretty good idea for the quality of the hostels. I find that the ratings usually correspond very well with my personal experiences. All good fun, so what’s the deal here? Hostelworld is a middle man. When you make a reservation via the website, you’re not paying the hostel directly – all you do is pay a non-refundable deposit to Hostelworld (a sales commission for them). The owner of the last hostel I stayed at gave me the following tip: use Hostelworld to find a hostel of your liking. Then, instead of throwing your money down the drain, call up the hostel directly. Not only do you circumvent the deposit to Hostelworld, you are now in the position to ask the hostel for a discount. Here is the script:

– Hi, I noticed your hostel on and thought I’d give you a call directly. I’m very interested in staying at your hostel, and wanted to personally book with you directly. I was wondering if you could provide a discount on my stay as we don’t have to do business through Hostelworld. Does that sound good to you?

I have successfully used this technique on my last few bookings and lo and behold, it worked! Obviously, this example only refers to Hostelworld, but there are tons of other middlemen whose sales commissions you can circumvent. Any website that compares prices for different suppliers is basically a middleman. See if you can figure out when you are dealing with a middleman and avoid the extra charges. Happy savings!

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