Friday, September 28, 2012

Passport Problems

I've never had problems getting my passport before - and I've been faithfully renewing it myself since the age of 16. So that's 3 renewals that have gone on without a hitch. This fourth one though has been a doozy!
And if you remember anything about me and passports, it's that I'm not comfortable being without it in my possession!

I sent off for it in mid-August. From there their site says 10-20 business days, but in my experience, it has always been faster.

I heard nothing and received nothing for quite some time. Finally, on Sept.5, Passport Canada debited my credit card for the amount. On the 6th, they called to say they didn't like my signature - apparently it changed - so I needed to fax them a blank piece of paper with 4-5 of my signatures on it. I complied. Again, silence.

On the 11th I got another call saying I needed to fax them a piece of ID with my "new" signature on it. Again, I sent it off right away. Again, silence.

Finally, I called on the 19th of September, wondering what was going on! I told the agent my credit card had been charged, but I still had no passport. She told me they only put a charge through when it's accepted. Well, that was a lie!

Anyway, she was helpful enough to give me a tracking number and when I punched that in the Canada Post site, I discovered they had attempted delivery and apparently left a notice card. The notice card was not in my mailbox, however. It's as if someone was out to get me!

Finally, I managed to convince my local post office that my envelope was indeed there and they found a way to track it and give it to me. When I got home from the post office, the card was in my mailbox.

So now I should be good for another 5 years. Unless I temporarily lose it again. But that's another story.

Happy with my passport finally!
Not happy with this fiasco and you're not allowed to smile in  Canadian passport photos. This is close to how it actually looks :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

TBEX 2013

Wow, it seems like 2013 is going to be my conference year! I've registered for TBEX 2013, which will take place in Toronto. Being so close to home, how could I NOT go?

I have watched from the sidelines over the years as I wasn't able to go (pregnant/with infant, no money/bad timing) so I'm really excited to be able to finally make it to one.

See you in June! 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Virtual Travel Vision Board

I've always made (and achieved) goals, but I've always written them on paper - I believe in "write it down, make it real!" It's always best to share them with a friend. The more you put your goals/dreams out there, the more the universe has a way of helping you.

So because I think it would help and also just make a beautiful post, I'm going to post pics of some of the places I dream of going to. If you want to make your own, there are a few places online you can assemble free virtual vision boards also.  Feel free to share them with me in the comments!


I've always wanted to go to Chicago, so when BlogHer announced the 2013 conference would be in Chicago, it was like a dream come true! I wanted to go as a family, but it's looking mighty expensive at the moment, so it's on the vision board in order to help us focus and save as a family so we can all go.

 Picture courtesy of Lonely Planet


Beijing, China

One of my best friends packed up and moved to Beijing about 10 years ago. He married and has two kids there now. I've never been to visit! I've always wanted to see The Great Wall, so I really have no excuse!



Another one of my best friends moved to Aomori, Japan to teach and signed up for another year contract, so I need to get out there! I would do it during the same trip to Beijing. I figure, make the most of it while on that side of the world.

Where do you dream of going? Any tips for me?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

FlightFox Review

Gee, I can't believe I didn't write about FlightFox earlier! I signed up as a Flight Expert as soon as the site went live and I guess I just took it for granted that everyone would know about it. Well, if you don't know, is a fun site that can save you money on travel.

The way it works is this: you input where you want to fly, dates, class, how many stop overs you'll accept and any other details, then freelance flight experts (or Hackers, as the site used to call us) work to find you the cheapest deal, competing amongst each other (and it's fierce, I tell you, fierce! LOL, no, there's nothing wrong with a little healthy competition).
After a few days, you pick the one who got you the best deal and pay them a small fee.

I've seen both sides of the coin: I am still a registered Flight Expert (though since I've been working full time, not so much). It is a fun way to earn a bit of cash and I really do enjoy doing it even though I'm not the best hacker out there.

I've also used it to see if others could get a better flight deal for me because there are a lot of really devoted, expert flight hackers there who are better than me!

I recommend it even if you think you're a seasoned pro because you may just learn about a couple of options that will save you money in the future.

If you want to try it out, use my referral link to get you 25% off.

Read more - they got in the New York Times!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

BlogHer '13

I am so excited - I just bought my ticket to BlogHer 2013 in Chicago!

One, I've always wanted to go to Chicago. Oprah, deep dish pizza, hot dog stands, cool buildings um...lots of other cool stuff, but mostly food! It just seems like such a cool city and I can't believe I haven't been yet.

Two, I joined BlogHer maybe just last year (I know, I'm such a newb!) and it's such a great community! I am so excited to possibly meet some bloggers I've only seen online, like Dagmar Bleasdale and Caz Makepeace.

Can't wait!

Another great thing is I've switched to Disqus for comments on my blogs now, so people can reply and follow comments. So good things are coming up!

Let me know if I'll be seeing you at the conference next year! We'll make a coffee date!