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Miami to Maldives, Abu Dhabi to Hong Kong: Travel blogger’s year in review, pt 1.

shinjuku hanazono shrine torii, red shinto gates

Ready to ring in the New Year?

If you’ve been following my blog for some time, you’ll know it’s time for my annual Year in Review. This gives me a chance to reflect on the past 12 months, and share some bonus photos with you. So let’s head straight (or gaily forward, as my friends would say) to the first half.

art deco girl, 1930s hair curls

My site’s focus and projects grew significantly in 2013. At this point, I’m traveling at least once a month to a far-off place, usually with my film team or a TV show. It’s my passion to report first-hand on alternative cultures around the world.

Last January, I escaped the cold at Miami Art Deco Weekend. I caught up with friends and did this retro 1920s photoshoot with Mayleen G. Enjoy the Florida posts, including a Bettie Page runway show, in this category.

david bowie theme restaurant cafe

I’ll never tire of going to Tokyo. I continue to be in Japan several times a year for television hosting and arranging jobs. Each time, there’s something new to experience, like the David Bowie cafe, Alphonse Mucha exhibit…

pirate themed restaurant japan

… and King of the Pirates theme restaurant. Best of all, I get to have fun with my friends. (Interested in hiring us? Learn about our TV production and consulting services.)

maldives boat ride

Next, my filmmakers and I were invited to a very special place: the Maldives. We fell in love with eco-luxury resort Gili Lankanfushi, and I got to live out my Treasure Island fantasies. Here’s our Maldives video and all the sunny photos.

abu dhabi head covering mosque

We also landed in the Middle East for the first time. Dubai was a sci-fi wonderland, and I loved walking through the egg-like Grand Mosque of Abu Dhabi. Discover the Arabian peninsula’s grandeur in these blog posts.

montreal bagel shops

There’s no need to jet to far-off places to have an adventure. I featured my home country – Canada – in a series about Montreal’s Goth culture and Kinetik Festival. One of the highlights was bagel-tasting with Aesthetic Perfection’s Daniel Graves.

hong kong model, fashion blogger

It appears a lot of people read my site for the Hong Kong travel guides, which makes me happy. This city is full of energy and pop culture oddities, like cute food and giant floating ducks. (Intrigued? Then see my Hong Kong tips.)

japanese prayer cards, shinto ema

I leave you with an image from Shinjuku’s Hanazono Shrine. Shinto worshipers write wishes on these little wood plaques (called ema), and leave them for the kami to hopefully deliver.

On that note, do you have any New Years resolutions? What do you hope to achieve or improve in 2014?

british shorthair coupari fold

I think we can all resolve to take care of ourselves, do meaningful work, and treat our furry companions like the kings they are! I’m shooting everything with DSLR now, so you can expect more images like the one above.

Coming up next: part II of my annual reflections.

Maldives travel video: Pirate Style! Five star resort Gili Lankanfushi restaurants, wine cellar & chocolate.

maldives nature, greenery, outdoors

I’m pleased to present my travel team’s latest video… about our Pirate adventures at Gili Lankanfushi in the Maldives!

We’ve come a long way with our filmmaking, and are very proud of this latest episode. Won’t you please take a second to watch?

I wrote an article about our Maldives experience, which you can read on Business Insider. My filmmakers and I put enormous effort on this, and we would hugely appreciate your support via a Like or Share (click below).

Gili Lankanfushi, northern male atoll, resort

In the jungle, the mighty jungle… La Carmina wore:
Oversized polka dot sunglasses: Marc by Marc Jacobs (a present from Seby)
Bat strapless dress: gifted by Sourpuss Clothing

jungle party, fashion, big sunglasses

This award-winning resort keeps everything eco-friendly, including the torches that illuminate the paths at night. (Don’t worry, there aren’t any wild animals roaming about.)

wine cellar, chocolate tasting

The natural design of Gili Lankanfushi’s wine cellar is astonishing.

driftwood table, stone cellar wine cheese

In the center: a table made from a huge piece of driftwood that washed up during the 2004 Indonesian tsunami.

maldives wine tasting, cellar, vintage

I raise my glass to the extensive wine selection.

wine collection, basement, hotel cellar

The resort’s sommelier walked us through a five-part chocolate tasting, paired with wine. The lemon truffle and Hungarian tokay were standouts.

travel tv crew, travel filmmakers

What a dream, to be able to experience places like The Maldives and make travel videos with my friends! All these island photos and video are by the ultra-talented Melissa Rundle and Eric Bergemann.

maldives villas, beach, ocean

Each day, we ate lunch at the Overwater Bar and Grill. Baby sharks circled the waters below the restaurant.

maldives islands, scenery, beaches

As you’ll recall from my previous Maldives posts, the water jugs are for washing your feet of sand (since going around barefoot is encouraged).

fresh sashimi, raw fish, japanese sushi

Located in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives Islands are known for their seafood, especially hand-reeled skipjack tuna. The sashimi was out of this world.

maldives restaurant, grilled seafood

You could have fresh-grilled job fish, prawns or calamari. Or how about all of the above?

tropical salad bar, hotel resort restaurants

Too many organic, fresh salad dressings to choose from.

paleo diet, recipes, paleo meals, food

My plate ended up looking like this. Nothing like tropical fruit, seafood and salad for the summer.

Maldives huts, gili lankanfushi
travel blogger instagram, social media

Thank you to the kind staff at Gili-Lankanfushi for having us. To learn more about this paradise on Earth, take a peek at their website.

tennis court playing, female tennis outfit dress

What do you think of our latest professional travel video? Did you laugh at my tennis-playing failure?

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