Category Archives: Travel

My New Japan Travel Website – Japanigans

I decided to start a mini website concerning my travel to Japan at the end of this month. I am calling it Japanigans, as I will surely be causing a bit of trouble while I’m overseas. I’m traveling with two other close friends of mine, both of which have never been to see the other side of the world before. The new site is only a day old, and I’m presently writing down all the information I have gathered so far. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Travel Plans for 2010

This year, I plan to travel to the following destinations, if time and money permits.

April: Las Vegas. I don’t know what it is about this place, but it attracts me like a magnet. This year, it’ll be for my brother’s 21st birthday. Of course, my buddies are joining in the fun too. I don’t plan on gambling much; I much rather check out some of the fine cuisine and go back to my favourite steak house, Les Artistes du Steak in the Paris hotel.

May: Japan. It’s been my lifelong dream to visit this country, and I think this year the time will be right. I’m actually flying for free, thanks to the Aeroplan I have been collecting for the past 2 years.

Soon: A few days in New York are also planned, but no dates specified. It’ll most likely be a road trip on a weekend, thinking of at least 3 nights minimum.

Summer: My friends and I are also planning to hit up Wildwood for some sun. We’re going to do a road trip and get into as much trouble as we can along the way. 🙂

Tanning Tips for Computer Geeks

Every year I head down to Cuba for a week to relax and get some sun, but the latter part doesn’t always turn out to be so great. Since I’m always indoors servicing clients’ computers and programming, I don’t get to see the sun so much for my skin to adapt. Whenever I head down south, my skin burns easily within the first day. The reason why my skin burns under the sun without much effort is not because I’m a social recluse, but due to the lack of melanin present in my skin.  Basically, the sun reacts with the melanin (a pigment) in my skin and colours it, you could say. There isn’t any melanin in my skin because my body doesn’t see the need to generate any if I’m not seeing the sun so much throughout the year, so hence the quick burns and no skin colouring.

Luckily for me, one of my clients is a distributor of tanning lotions and equipment in Quebec. I asked a few of the employees that worked there as to what kind of steps I should take to prevent any skin burns, and if they had any sun tan lotions and creams they could recommend for me. Here’s what I learned.

To prevent burns on the first few days down south, you should start tanning a week or two before you depart to get a base of colour on your skin. I suggest hitting up some tanning salons and getting 3-5 tanning sessions a week or two before your departure, each session separated by a full day or two. Trust me, it’s going to be worth spending a few dollars instead of suffering for 3 days being tortured by your burns when you wear clothing (your clothes will irritate your burns like no tomorrow). At the salons, they sell this special cream that can help you “tan better”. They’re known as melanin replenishing creams sold in small packets that should be used all over your body. This way, your body will have something to tan and not burn your skin.

Now, some general advice while you’re on the beach or out walking in hot sunny weather. If you burn easily like I do, you should equip yourself with SPF 30 cream for the first few days and after 3-4 days, you should switch down to SPF 15 and use that for the remainder of your stay. According to my client, this is the safest way to tan and not burn yourself. Don’t expect to get all your “colouring” on the first day, as you’ll easily harm yourself by being hasty. When it comes to tanning, patience is key!

Also, after you take your shower everyday, you should use Aloe Vera and Vitamin E cream to help your body heal itself. The sun damages your skin, so it is essential to use a lotion that helps you recover after tanning.

Just some info I picked up from my client! Hopefully someone out there will benefit with this info. 🙂

Vancouver Trip

Been a while since my last post, mainly because I have been bummed out as of late. My focus has shifted towards EVE Online, a space-based MMORPG that kicks ass. Anyway, I wanted to shed some light on my upcoming trip to Vancouver, British Columbia, which is this January 24th to the 28th. The flight cost me roughly 180.00$ for both ways, as I used my AeroPlan miles to pay for the trip. What I actually paid for was the airport and flight taxes. All in all, quite cheap, yes? The hotel of course is another 200-300$ (staying at a Best Western) along with a car rental (another 100$ for a Dodge Charger). The reason why I’m going to Vancouver is because a good friend of mine is getting engaged to his girlfriend that lives there. They met about 2 years ago and have been ‘dating’ since. I don’t know how some people manage long distance relationships, but alas, it’s not my cup of tea. Regardless, I wish them the best, and I look forward to the party. 🙂 Oh, I’ll also check out Whistler while I’m there and do some snowboarding.

This past holiday, I was mainly with family and friends. Since I’m Armenian, we celebrate our true Christmas on the 6th of January (which was two days ago). It consists of families getting together and eating a lot of good food. I must’ve gained quite a few pounds from this holiday season! New Years consisted of the same thing with the same people (just a different house). After the ball dropped, I went to my friends’ house at about 2:30 AM on New Years Day and had a few drinks with the guys. A decent New Years, but wasn’t as crazy as the time I went to the Bell Centre to check out some famous tech DJs.

Oh, I bought some Sennheiser PXC 250 Noise-Canceling headphones for trip to Vancouver. I will be writing a review about them when I get back.

I Missed the Best City in the World: Montreal

I got back from my vacation last Sunday (August 19th) and wasn’t happier to be home. I seriously missed my friends and the city of Montreal.

Small review of the trip: it was awesome. I visited Denmark, Sweden and Norway in 18 days. Not a lot of time, but any more would have killed me, as I get homesick within 2 weeks. I saw quite possibly the most beautiful places on earth… the mountains of Norway are breathtaking, no lie. Stockholm in Sweden was such a nice, clean city; I found it equivalent to Montreal but more “European” and well-maintained. Definitely a place I would consider moving to, as their living conditions are superb. All I need to do now is pick up Swedish and I’m set. 🙂

Speaking of languages, I have decided to learn German at Concordia. During the trip, I spoke with the tour guide (whom I’ll never forget) that inspired me to learn. She knows six (6) languages! How crazy is that? English, French, German, Swedish, Norwegian and Danish. Hopefully I’ll stick around Concordia for more than six weeks this semester.

My tour group was overall pretty fun to hang out with. Everyone was always in a good mood and respectful towards others. The hotels were decent, except two of them were crap. One didn’t have A/C (it is common in Scandinavian countries, as they don’t usually get continuous hot weather) and the other hotel was a bit ghetto overall (broken hair dryer, missing sink knobs, awkward room design, etc.). The food outside and inside the hotels were terrific, but extremely expensive. A can of Coke was equivalent to 10$ CDN. The Scandinavian countries’ minimum wages are much higher than North Americans I believe, hence the high prices. I got to check out some cool tech and gadgets though; the Sony Ericsson W880i phone was one of ’em. If it was quad-band, I would have bought it in a heartbeat (and quite possibly have buyer’s remorse right after, since I already have a perfectly working phone!).

One thing I found particularly cool was that a lot of people in Copenhagen use bicycles as a means of everyday travel. They have dedicated bike paths alongside cars; that’s how popular the transportation is. Of course, you still have your buses, trains and metro systems which work very well. The bicycles really keep everyone fit there… you sure as hell don’t see obese people around… which brings me to say the girls in Europe are HOT. 🙂