Barry Kaiser


Barry Kaiser

In my late twenties, I decided that I wanted to see the world, but I didn't want to make it too easy, so I decided to do it on a bike. I had taken up cycling seriously a few years prior.

In 1989-90, I cycled around the world, where I visited five continents, 22 countries and logged 22,000 km. I thought that would take the travel bug out of me -- not a chance. I have been cycling in different parts of the world ever since.

The one thing that has been consistent with my trips has been the developing world. The colour, hospitality, food, and culture (in no particular order) are second to none. For cyclists, there is the added benefit of so much life on the roads to keep the day's ride that much more enjoyable.

North America » United States » Georgia » Atlanta » Midtown April 4th 2022

With the skies finally open, my buddy and I decided to reconnect for the first time since the pandemic. We had planned to go to Morocco in March 2020, but the pandemic grounded our plans. Getting there is still a challenge, so we looked at a “Plan B” closer to home. Outside of Florida, I haven’t been to the southeastern United States, so we chose its unofficial capital, Atlanta. I must admit I knew very little about the city before this trip… During our nine days in the city, we explored a good chunk of it. As I grow older, slow travel is a better fit for me. Four things stuck with me after this trip. The first was learning about the history of the civil rights movement in the United States during the 1950s and ... read more
Black Lives Matter
Atlanta Skyline
Neon Sign

North America » Mexico » Jalisco » Guadalajara November 30th 2021

Guadalajara was the first time I had worked remotely in another country, which resulted in its own set of problems. Things I take for granted like phones, credit cards, and online deliveries suddenly became a problem. I will need to figure out how to set up a dual sim card for future travel, so I can still have people contact me from home while using a local provider for data. I had all kinds of problems with my credit/debit cards, either not working because of PINs, not being able to use them online, or not being accepted everywhere. Finally, Amazon in Mexico has nothing to be worried about with IKEA. I ordered a desk through IKEA, but the whole delivery process was a complete disaster. I ended up ordering a new one through Amazon, which went ... read more
Interesting Contrast
An Old License Plate to go with an Old Truck
This is How You Service Mezcal

North America » Canada » Quebec » Québec City September 13th 2021

With the pandemic into its fourth wave, I decided to stay in Canada for my remote work stint this quarter. I had planned a trip to Quebec City last fall, but it was cancelled as the province went into a lockdown before my arrival. While I had been to Quebec before, those visits were around Montreal. I knew Quebec City had a beautiful old-walled city and culturally more representative of Quebec, so why not make it my stop this quarter. With less than a million people, Quebec City is very walkable. We were set up for a month in the Saint Roch neighbourhood, situated well for walking. What I didn’t truly appreciate, though, was the topography of the city. Parts of the city, particularly those closer to the St. Lawrence River, are high up on the ... read more
First Morning
Canadian Shield

After sitting at home for nearly a year, I realized I could be working from nearly anywhere, given I was close to the same time zone as home. I had also been learning about digital nomads over the past year. The more I thought about doing something in-between, the more I liked the idea. Given my job, I couldn't be a full-time digital nomad. There are things in my career that still need to be face to face, but perhaps I could pull this off for a month a quarter, with the first week being a holiday and the next three being remote work. Given the lockdowns, I knew my first location would have to be in Canada, so why not Vancouver in the spring!?! I knew Vancouver would be well ahead of Edmonton when it ... read more
English Bay from West Point Grey
English Bay on a sunny day
Olympic Park

North America » Canada » Alberta August 13th 2020

Amongst other things, 2020 will be the year where international travel ceased to exist. After getting over the pandemic's initial shock, I needed to regroup and figure out what to do for my holidays. I quickly determined that I have some of the prettiest scenery in the world with the Icefields Parkway, which is only 3-4 cycling days from my home. I then figured out a circle route from and to my home in Edmonton. What was nostalgic about this trip is that the last half will be identical to the last five days of my world tour 30 years ago. I have cycled to and from the mountains a few times while living in both Edmonton and Calgary. The one thing that ride is known for is the prevailing westerly wind coming off the mountains. ... read more
Forest Rejuvination
Canola in Bloom
An Old Train Bridge

Asia » Taiwan » Taipei November 23rd 2019

Over the past 25 years, I have visited China, Hong Kong, and Macau, but never Taiwan. All of these can be classified as Chinese, but with a different history. Fortunately, Taipei is also served directly from Vancouver, so it became my City Tour for 2019. The trip didn't start well, as I misjudged the weather. I quickly realized this as I exited the airport for the subway, and nearly everyone had a jacket on and in some cases a down jacket. While I knew it wasn't going to be overly hot, I didn't realize how cool 18 to 20c can actually be when it is windy and humid. Some of the summer clothes I brought would not be needed. My other first impression was the cleanliness of the city. I really couldn't find a piece of ... read more
Taipei Grand Mosque
Taipei from the Hills
Tamsui Market

Europe » Portugal » Lisbon & Tagus Valley » Lisbon September 14th 2019

Overview This was my first visit to Europe in ten years. I had forgotten how many tourists come to Europe. It might be another ten years until I return... I can appreciate even better now how recent terrorist attacks in cities like Paris can have such a significant impact on a city's economy. I was also interested in getting a first-hand view of the impact of the Financial Crisis from ten years ago. That event is still raw for many Lisboetas. With a minimum wage of €700/mth and rents running the same, more and more Portuguese struggle to get ahead. There was certainly animosity towards the EU when talking to the locals. Two things struck me by surprise. One was the amount of English spoken by the Portuguese. However, in Europe, it is pretty tough to ... read more
Sintra - The Land of Palaces
The Fairytale Town of Sintra
National Sanctuary of Christ the King

Asia » Burma December 16th 2018

It had been five years since I had done an overseas cycling tour. I had actually planned one to Myanmar in 2012 and 2013, but they fell apart mainly for logistical reasons. The one I planned in 2013 was a go all the way up to booking flights. Therefore, I already had a big head-start in planning this year’s tour. The biggest difference this time was that the tourist infrastructure had caught up and surpassed demand. The other notable difference was that Chinese airlines had now become global players. I was able to get a return flight from Edmonton to Myanmar with China Eastern Airlines for $500 USD, which seems just insanely cheap. It wasn’t even a sale price! The only drawback was that I had an overnight in Kunming, China both ways, but I didn’t ... read more
Children with Attitude
The Land of Pagodas

South America » Peru » Lima » Lima » Miraflores January 27th 2018

For the third year in a row, my friend and I headed down to Latin America for our annual City Tour. This year it would be Lima. We had heard great things about the food scene here, while we were in Bogota two years ago. As well, it was as far south as I could get to in one day without an overnight. As I started to plan this trip, the one thing that did stick out was how consistent the weather is at this time of year. Nearly every day was identical with the temperature not varying more than a degree or two. What rain we did have was more like a mist. I have never seen a large international city on the ocean with such dramatic cliffs and such an arid climate. Ironically, my ... read more
Old Man
Colourful Homes

North America » Mexico » Distrito Federal » Mexico City March 10th 2017

I have wanted to visit Mexico City for many years. Canadians have the second largest city in the world literally in their backyard, but few consider it a tourist destination as they generally head to the country's beach resorts. I do appreciate the safety concern over the city, but I was quickly assured when I read the Canadian government's Travel Advice and Advisories for the city. While there are a number of travel advisories for the western and northern states, there is none currently for Mexico City. As it turned out, I felt safe during my entire visit. Once again, I chose two neighborhoods to fully appreciate what Mexico City had to offer. Our first stop was the neighborhood of Roma Norte, which looks more like a European neighborhood than a Latin American one. While it ... read more
What do you really think Mexico?
Shoe Shine
Tres Galeones

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