Joshua Tree National Park – Palm Springs

A few more photos of the astounding Joshua Tree National Park in Palm Springs, California. Definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area. Check out the link below for more about Palm Springs.

Planning a visit to Palm Springs? Check out:

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A blast from the past and updated website – Postcard Monday

2014-12-08 San Francisco 4

2014-12-08 San Francisco 3I was looking through my old postcards and found this San Francisco postcard that I mailed myself in 2001.  We really did a whirlwind tour of San Francisco back then – we hit all the sites! I feel really lucky that I’ve been able to travel lots and I think as a result of visiting many places, I’ve learnt to slow down and focus on the here and now, to get a feel for the local pulse. I no longer need to see all the highlights to feel satisfied. There isn’t a right or wrong way to travel (as long as you’re respectful) but for now, taking it more slowly and soaking up the local flavours and culture is the way for me. Happy Monday!

Postcard photo credits: Ken Glaser Jr


You can check out my trip to San Francisco from this past summer, 13 years after I first visited San Francisco here. While we’re on the topic of California, I also went to San Diego and Palm Springs this summer.


I’ve also given thetravelingurbanite.com a makeover to make it a little easier to navigate, check out the new homepage and let me know what you think 🙂

Good morning Alcatraz – Running across the Golden Gate Bridge

A view of Alcatraz from the Golden Gate Bridge

A view of Alcatraz from the Golden Gate Bridge

During my visit to San Francisco, I went for an early morning run across the Golden Gate Bridge. It was a fun way to visit the famous landmark and ended up being one of my favourite activities in San Francisco. It can be windy on the bridge but it’s a quick run (1.7 mile or 2.7 km one way). It’s a longer trip if you want to also visit Sausalito. Also, if you want to learn a lesson from my experience, check the ferry times back to San Francisco if you plan to take the ferry (but no worries if you forget, there is also a bus that takes you back to San Francisco). See more from my trip on San Francisco – “Tourist! No Leaning!”. More pictures from the run below. Continue reading

San Diego on a Shoestring – A One Day Highlight Tour and 4 Tacos for $19

If you like to travel and you travel lots, you likely travel with a budget in mind. That being said, I also try to refrain from letting my budget restrict me from truly enjoying a city. Fortunately, San Diego is a great city for budget conscious explorers. First of all, the weather is great almost every day of the year (although I was surprised to learn from locals that September, when I was there, is the hottest month). Secondly, there are lots of great things to do for free. I didn’t set out to travel on a shoestring but all the things I wanted to do in San Diego turned out to be really affordable!

Here’s how to spend a fantastic day in San Diego and really get a feel of the city on a $20 budget. Your best bet for this itinerary would be to visit on a Sunday or a Tuesday. Continue reading

San Francisco – Belden Place, Sauce, and a Bowl of Bacon?

You’re in downtown San Francisco and looking for a place to eat? Would you order a bowl of bacon?

I would recommend checking out Belden Place. This hidden alleyway is lined with a few restaurants with character and outdoor patios. I think I would venture as far as to say that at Sauce, I had the best salmon I’ve ever had (and I’ve eaten all types of salmon in all forms): light and crispy on the outside, translucent on the inside, melts like butter in your mouth (so good!). I also had the portobello mushroom fries and tomato soup accompanied by cheesy, soul-warming bread. The waitstaff were great too.

Bowl of Bacon

You can even order a bowl of bacon as a side dish – let me know if you ever order it, I’m sure it’s amazing. There were also a number of people who came by just to order doughnuts and coffee, if only I wasn’t already so full! Next time!

Planning a visit to San Francisco or just want to do some traveling from your computer? You can also check out my post: San Francisco – “Tourist! No Leaning!”.

San Francisco – “Tourist! No leaning!”

In July, I was lucky enough to be invited on a one week trip to San Francisco and Yosemite. It was the perfect combination of urban exploration and natural beauty. There is so much to do in San Francisco that you can’t even begin to pack it all into two days. We made the most of our 2 full days in San Francisco and I don’t think it could have worked out better. Continue reading

Desert Travel Tips for Hikers and Visitors – 4 Indispensable Lessons from Palm Springs

Joshua Tree National Park - Hidden Valley Trail

I recently spent a few wonderful hot desert days in Palm Springs (check out my post: Palm Springs – A Sunny Hiking Destination). Having been through what felt like a particularly long Canadian winter, summer heat sounded wonderful. I also learnt a few lessons from my most recent travels (which included fleeing a swarm of bees by car) and gained some helpful local tips and advice. Desert travelers, take heed! Continue reading

Palm Springs – A Sunny Hiking Destination

In May, I spent 3 days and 4 nights in Palm Springs. I was looking for somewhere warm and with a view of the mountains: why not Palm Springs? It turned out to be much more than I expected (I expected a desert where people go to play golf – which was only partly true). I didn’t have much planned; with a hotel booked and a car rented, I was ready for the scorching desert heat. Continue reading