Posts by: Michelle Holmes

Baton Rouge spices

Baton Rouge: Explore, Shop, Feast, Repeat!

Have you ever been an understudy, won second place, or been the runner up — lingering in the shadows cast by a shining star? When I was plotting my trip to Louisiana, I wondered if that was how Baton Rouge might feel – a child neglected while everyone fawned over Mardi Gras down the road in New Orleans. But after exploring the city for a few days, and eating everything in sight (even the ‘crawfish’), I am convinced this city is more than worthy of being in the spotlight. Continue Reading →

Baton Rouge shrimp

Beware the Crawfish – A Feeding Frenzy in Baton Rouge

I have a terrible confession to make.

Seafood gives me the creeps. I really struggle to eat anything that looks like it did when it was alive, or spends its life scuttling along the bottom of a body of water in all that muck. But, when I was invited to Baton Rouge to spend my days eating, I knew I’d have to put on my big girl panties and a brave face. Had I known, I would have also put on my stretchy pants – I didn’t just taste the local cuisine, I gorged. I’m so ashamed, there’s a whole world of eating to be discovered, and I’ve wasted decades of my life! I did my best to make up for lost time. Continue Reading →

Mekele_Priest

Ethiopia?! Yes, Ethiopia. Right Now.

Close your eyes for a second, and picture Ethiopia. What did you see?

I bet you three bucks you’re wrong. I’m willing to wage such high stakes given all the people that scrunched up their faces and went “Really, why would you want to go there?” as if I had blurted out that I wanted to visit downtown Baghdad. And I get it, I really had no idea what Ethiopia was either. I had the Bob Geldof songs in my head from the Live Aid efforts in the 80s, I’d seen the heartbreaking charity commercials that make you uncomfortably change channels. Dry, dusty, dismal.

Despite my impression of Ethiopia, I was still desperately curious and inexplicably smitten. Ethiopia had been whispering my name for years. I can’t explain it – my travel cravings have always been based on a gut feeling colliding with my insatiable curiosity. I just knew I had to see it. Continue Reading →

St. Georges

Dancing the Night Away in Lalibela, Ethiopia

I was doomed from the very first moment I saw him.

It was late, the sky was inky black, and I was wandering alone through a sleepy village, lost. In Africa. Lalibela, Ethiopia to be precise. Oh so lovely Lalibela. I had ached to see Lalibela for years, a result of a couch bound weekend of pouting over lost love. The television, in an effort to console me, tempted me with pictures about not just Africa, not just Ethiopia, but LALIBELA. I’m not yelling, sometimes I feel like it deserves to be written in capital letters, and bowed down to. Continue Reading →

Lenin_Statue

Travelling to Transnistria and the U.S.S.R. Era

Transnistria is a breakaway territory in eastern Moldova and the Canadian government says is not overly wise venture this far. The United Nations doesn’t recognize it. Basically, if all hell breaks loose, you’re on your own. Upon entering Transnistria, you have to fill out some paperwork – basically the same form twice, one for you, one for the extremely cantankerous looking Russian military guy with a gun. It comes with a stern warning – you have 8 hours to visit, any longer and you will be arrested. Continue Reading →

JellyBeanRow

Long May Your Big Jib Draw! St. John’s, Newfoundland

  Newfoundland had long whispered my name. I can’t decide whether it was the foggy, jagged coastlines, bohemian-coloured homes, witty humour, or I-have-no-idea-what-he-just-said colloquialisms, but I got myself sucked right in. And yep, I even kissed a giant dead fish. I’m not exactly sure why, but I blame the Screech. Oh, the Screech. It was … Continue Reading →

Dubai_desert

Getting Lucky In Dubai

As I stepped into the room, a man I hadn’t noticed slipped behind me and abruptly turned the deadbolt. Well, this is it, I thought. Lost in a tangled maze of alleyways in the heart of Dubai, locked in a room with two unknown men. No one would miss me for days. I had been … Continue Reading →

Cuba

The Naughty Way to Catch a Havana Taxi

Thou shalt only take designated tourist taxis. That’s what my trusty guidebook had dictated in my pre-trip studies. For once I thought I might actually do some serious research on my destination prior to my arrival. I had never been to a communist country, my Spanish was limited to ‘dos cervazas, por favor’ and I was travelling solo. On day two of my trip, I left the well-highlighted, dog-eared guide in a taxi, all of my homework sped away into the streets, liberating me from such nonsense. Continue Reading →