Where Should We Go Next?

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For us, summer is the worst time to travel. It’s expensive, it’s crowded, and families take advantage of this time to go somewhere with their kids before school starts in September. Ever since we retired, our adventures are less about travelling like the masses for vacation and more about exploring a place’s culture and living like the locals. That’s why we tend to come back to Toronto to visit family for the summer. The weather is actually nice here, and we can avoid competing with vacationers for rentals and services abroad.

This year, however, we’re going to break that rule. Since we haven’t travelled much for all of last year due to pandemic lockdowns, we are desperate to go back to our nomadic life. However, since borders are still (mostly) closed, travel will continue to be in “hard mode”, so we have to be more intentional about where we want to go.

The good news is we finally got vaccinated! And now that 14 days have passed since our 2nd doses, we’re free to roam again. July and Sept are currently reserved for family but we’re thinking of going somewhere in August.

The big question is: Where?

Should we continue exploring our own backyard now that the Atlantic provinces are opening to Canadians?

Go see our American friends in the good ol’ US of A? Denver, Boulder, and Longmont all have an abundance of Chautauquans we can visit.

Or should we go farther? Maybe to Azores or Madeira, Portugal, both known as the Hawaii of Europe?

What do you think? Can you help us figure out where to go?

In true engineering fashion, we started making a list of pros and cons for each option (yes I know. We’re extremely fun at parties):

Atlantic Provinces:


Of all the Canadian Atlantic provinces, this is at the top of my list because one of our readers offered to show us around! Travelling the world, we discovered the best experiences are always with local Airbnb hosts or readers who gave us the inside scoop on their little corner of the world. This is how you find out about the off-the-beaten path gems that none of the travel blogs or books know about.

Plus, Prince Edward Island is known for its Malpeque oysters, which were judged by the 1900 Paris exhibition as the world’s tastiest oyster. Yum!

Tim Sackton from Somerville, MA, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons


There are 2 things that excite me the most about Newfoundland.

1) “Irish-ness”

2) Fjords

Dubbed as “the most Irish place outside of Ireland”, with dramatic coastlines and friendly people, Newfoundland brings back many fond memories of our 2015 trip around the world. I started reminiscing about the craggy coast of Howth and the happy-go-lucky attitude of the Dubliners. I wonder if the Newfoundlanders will be up for some “craic”?

Oh, and did you know we have Fjords in Canada? I did not. Having missed out on the Fjords in Norway because we had to cut our trip short to record my audiobook in the UK back in 2019 (champagne problems, right?), this is my chance to make up for it.

Located in Gros Morne National park, here’s where we can get a little taste of Norway without having to leave the continent:

Michel Rathwell from Cornwall, Canada, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Gilad.rom, CC BY 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Nova Scotia

With a population of 400 000, Halifax, Nova Scotia is basically the only city in the Atlantic provinces with enough amenities to give you that “big city” feel while still retaining its small-town closeness. It also has 5 universities, which is great since we love university/college towns.

With its much lower cost of living compared to Toronto and Vancouver, it was the fastest growing city in Canada in 2020, so I’m curious to see whether it’s worth all the hype.

Tony Webster from Minneapolis, Minnesota, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

New Brunswick

I know very little about New Brunswick, other than the fact that it’s one of the Atlantic provinces, it’s bilingual and largest by land mass. If anyone’s from there, please educate me about your home in the comments.

© Sémhur / Wikimedia Commons



There are many beautiful places I could visit in the States (Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite, Hawaii, Grand Canyon, etc.) but just like Canada, I prefer to save those places for when we’re older and can’t travel internationally. The main reason I’d want to go to the States is to visit our friends.

And since our best friends, Katie and Alan, are planning to be in Longmont, Colorado (aka Mr. Money Mustache headquarters) in August, we want to take a special trip there to meet up with them! We also have friends in Denver and Boulder, so this makes it the perfect trip to combine a bunch of meetups all into one.

The biggest downside to being in the States is obviously the cost, and looking at Airbnbs in Longmont, Boulder, Denver areas, it costs around $150+ USD/night, which is annoyingly more than I paid in Stockholm! Compared to other places on our list, like Portugal, which is only $1000-$1400 for a whole month (or $30/night) with way better views and transportation at 1/5 of the cost, Colorado is not my idea of money well spent.

If you have ideas for good places to stay in the Longmont, Boulder, or Denver area in Colorado, please let us know in the comments below!

Rocky Mountain National Park. Source: Daniel Mayer (Mav), CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Portuguese Islands:


I’ve been dreaming about going to the Azores for the past 2 years. Somehow the schedule just never worked out. We even nearly booked an Airbnb there last winter with our friends, but sadly Canada got added to the “no go” list and we were banned from entering Portugal.

With a short direct 5-hour flight from Toronto, hot springs, breathtaking hikes, Azores is the perfect place to hide out from the harsh Canadian winter.

The only thing that’s making me pause is that even though, normally, Azores has great value (in January we found a 4-bedroom Airbnb with great walking score for only $2600 USD / month), in August the price has spiked to become even more expensive than Toronto, probably due to all the vacationers revenge travelling.

This makes me think the best time to go is probably winter and not during the hectic summer season.

landscape, sea, coast, nature, horizon, mountain, cloud, sky, hiking, trail, field, sunlight, morning, hill, valley, mountain range, walk, blue, agriculture, ridge, excursion, trekking, plateau, vista, rural area, landform, azores, mountain pass, geographical feature, mountainous landforms, Free Images In PxHere


Luckily, I found an alternative to Azores. Madeira, off the west coast of Africa, is a longer flight (around 7+ hours, since you need to connect in Lisbon) away, but much better value than Azores. This has not historically been the case, since Madeira is more touristy and well known, but the connecting flight during COVID seems to have deterred enough vacationers that the price is now less than half that of Azores. It could also be because it’s a bigger town so there are more options for Airbnbs.

I was able to find this incredible 2 bedroom with amazing views for only $1000 USD/month. This means we can also have a friend come stay with us for free!

Madeira doesn’t have as many hot springs as Azores, but it makes up for it with incredible views like this:

Diego Delso, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Diego Delso, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It’s also possible to get around via public transportation, which means we won’t have to rent a car.


Atlantic Provinces– friendliest people in Canada
– remote and rugged nature
– weather is crappy in winter so summer is the best (and only) time to go
– fresh seafood
– convenient: no need for additional health insurance, no need to worry about borders closing
– not as exciting as international travel
– lack of public transportation
Mmmerica!/U.S.A– friends!
– only 3 hour flight
– Rocky Mountain National park
– expensive
– lack of public transportation
– need to buy health insurance
Portuguese Islands– best beauty-to-value ratio
– culture
– history
– incredible views
– nature and architecture that’s very different from what we see in North America
– public transportation available
– more risky because borders could close again due to covid variants.
– PCR tests required while on island
– need to buy health insurance (though way less expensive than U.S)

What do you think?

Where Should We Go?

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106 thoughts on “Where Should We Go Next?”

  1. Unless you really want to put your vaccine-immunity to a potential Delta variant test, I might pass on Portuguese territory for now (even the islands), as the number of active cases on the islands are slightly higher per capital than in Ontario (https://covidmadeira.pt/ponto-de-situacao/) and there is significant risk of additional transmission, travel restrictions, curfews if the growing problems in mainland Portugal spill over. Plus, you might be very limited in travel options without a stop over in Portugal, which would increase both the risk of exposure (in transit and on plane) and the risk of travel restrictions (e.g. ban on flights, need to get tested at point of stop over etc.)
    Just my two cents. I hate to have to evaluate travel destinations by rate of vaccine uptake, daily case trends etc. It used to be different… 🙂 Hopefully those factors will become irrelevant come mid-2022. They are relevant for now. Good luck, whatever you choose!

    1. Good to know! Thanks for your input. Yeah, we are also worried about having to transit through Lisbon on our way to Madeira. I’m not even sure they will let us in so still researching on that.

  2. Taking a friend somewhere and fjords are both amazing options (and seem to be currently leading the poll) but I think a local’s inside scoop is the most unique opportunity! So I voted PEI.

    1. Thanks, Sam! Newfoundland and New Brunswick are rising up in our list since more readers have offered to show us around there too. Decisions, decisions….

      1. I am not suprised, Newfoundlanders are sooooo generous and friendly! I am from Quebec so I would love to have you here too, but we housesit as a way to access FIRE quickly instead of having a house (and just because it is amazing to housesit), so we cannot invite you over with no house of ours 😉

        Good luck, I am sure you will get the best whatever is your decision!

        We struggle with our decisions as well as we travel half of the time since 2010. We voted for Hawaii as a first step in August/September to go housesitting for an assigment we already been once. We don’t know where after, surprise!

  3. New Brunswick super close – you can drive, beautiful beaches and bilingual experiences (Acadian Peninsula) and see the whales and highest tides in the world (Bay of Fundy) – friendly people too! (I’m from Bathurst NB)

    1. Friendly people is what’s attracting me to Atlantic provinces the most. Hm…maybe like readers suggested I’ll make a joint trip to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick!

  4. I was surprised that the Azores was only a 5 hour flight from Toronto. That’s about same for me to fly to Sydney from Perth, Western Australia.

    I think you would be hanging for a beach break, so definitely somewhere you can both enjoy some sun and a swim!

    We still can’t leave Australia at the moment and with our slow vaccination progress, probably won’t be allowed to travel internationally until at least some time in 2022.

    So will enjoy via you guys!

    1. I know right? Technically more like 5.5 hours or 5 hours and 45 mins, but yeah, very close.

      You’re right. We’re definitely in need of a beach break. If borders were open, we would so choose to fly to Hawaii, then New Zealand, then Australia. But looks like we won’t be able to go to your country any time soon. Oh well. *fingers crossed we can go there in 2022 once you guys all get your vaccines!*

  5. Why not take most of the assets, and invest in a Tri-Plex in Scarberia? Then you could live in that tri-plex for the next 30 years, next to the No Frills, and rent to students, and fix broken pipes all winter that damage the foundations of the house, and learn how to evict people who don’t pay, call 911 when someone starts battling their drunk friend, and spend your summers fixing the roof?
    Why spend your life eating fresh Pad Thai and travelling the world, when you could chain yourself to a tri-plex in Scarberia for 30 years?

      1. I am looking for a life partner who wants to live with me rent-free in Scarberia next to the No Frills in my triplex rental property.
        That is a blues song I am working on.
        The Scarberia Triplex No Frills Blues.

  6. These are all excellent choices…

    Hence, I will actually turn this question around and ask you the same thing. Now that you have bought your “time back”, and have a golden opportunity to spend both of your freedom on what you are truly passionate about, where would you both want to spend it in the month of August? I would NOT think that finance will be a determining factor in your decisions seeing you were able to effectively reduce your expenditures during the pandemic months which enabled you to “bank” extra funds that can now be effectively allocated to more expensive destinations on your list of potential places to visit.

    Personally, and just seeing how your schedules are aligned as well as dedicated to family back at home (which is literally sandwiched between the months of July and September), staying “local” is the most convenient and logical option. Sure it may not be the same as International travel or meeting up with friends down south of the border, but seeing it is STILL (technically) summer, I might as well take advantage of the situation. This would also allow us the leniency of time to be able to observe and assess the conditions abroad from a distance. Remember, being “vaccinated” does NOT guarantee you immunity and so having that “extra cushion” of time simply affords us to determine how less fortunate nations deals with their vaccination efforts, border closures and existing C19 cases still unresolved due to variants, etc with some level of comfort and confidence.

    Knowing how conservative your approach is, this should be the obvious selection BUT you have also been cooped up at home base for quite some time now and so it will not surprise me to see your near end of summer post about some little “paradise” with all places to see, things to do, culinary to eat and complete with a breakdown of cost from both US/CDN currency conversions.

    Hmmm, on second thought… please enlighten us lol. Safe travels you two!!!


    1. “you were able to effectively reduce your expenditures during the pandemic months which enabled you to “bank” extra funds”

      This is very true. So technically I could blow an extra $4000 on accommodations in Colorado without it affecting my finances at all, I think it’s just my scarcity/immigrant brain cells that are like “NO! Don’t do it! It’s a shitty deal! Must optimize!”

      You know how it is. Our upbringing makes it hard to spend money and not feel pain. But I think you’re right, it’s probably a better idea to stay local rather than reach for the Portugal amazing travel deal. Ha ha, but as soon as I’m saying this my brain immediately went to “maybe I can still get a good craiglist sublet in Colorado so I can avoid Airbnbs”. Old habits die hard.

  7. We are holding off on travel outside of North America for the rest of this year just in case there are any other COVID Closures. I think the Atlantic Provinces would be a great trip. My wife loves PEI and has been wanting to go back up there soon. We have even thought about doing it as a road trip with camping….Sounds like good times!

    1. That’s a good idea. You’re right about the risk. Too bad though cause Madeira is winning the poll by a long shot! 🙂 Seems like everyone wants us to go there. But Atlantic provinces are nice too–Newfoundland is in 2nd place!

  8. I’m adding all these places to my travel list! I’m headed to France with a friend at the end of the month and I cannot wait to be seeing things and people and culture and great food!

  9. Hi my name is Karen. I have been reading your blog now for a couple of years. You have been an inspiration! It’s so nice hearing from other Canadians! 🙂 I’m from Newfoundland. You should totally come here. I live in St. John’s in the capital city. I would totally show you around! There are so many hikes (check out the East Coast Trails) Also if your here in August we could go blueberry picking! We have the best blueberries. We also have the cheapest university and it is really good. You can take 10 courses, 1 full year for roughly 2550$. It is actually crazy how cheap it is and the price hasn’t increased in forever for undergraduate students. Anyway, send me an email if you have any questions!


    1. Hi Karen, I know you weren’t trying to sell the readers, but I’m sold! Sounds like Newfoundland is exactly the right place to go in August as a Canadian. I’m hoping to get some East Coast travel in this summer and now I really want to come to St. John’s!!

      1. That’s great! Yes St. John’s is a pretty cool place to visit. In the summer usually there are also a bunch of festivals such as the folk festival (which is outdoors at one of the parks) and George street fest (where the street is shut down and they put a stage in the street and you only pay 20$ and can get into all the bars).I’m not sure if it is going ahead though this year because of COVID.

        Oh also I forgot to mention, I think I remember FIREcracker and Wanderer have their scuba diving licences. My friends family owns a scuba diving company called Ocean Quest. You should check them out and go for a dive if you do come here!

        1. oh HELL yeah! Now you’re speaking my language. *runs off to dust off the ol’ Padi certification card*

          1. Yeah you get to dive and view the 4 shipwrecks from world war 2! Newfoundland is the best. 😊 You know you want to come here! Haha

      2. If you can go between Aug 5 and 20, Michelle, we can have a FIRE meet up in St. John’s with Karen!

    2. I LOVE Newfoundland and can’t wait to go back. I’ve been there a few times and my last trip was amazing. I’m from Northern Alberta (also know as the Little Rock) as we have so many Newfoundlander here. We did so much on our last trip it was mind blowing. We started in St. John’s and made our way across the island. Met and seen so many beautiful places and people. St. John’s was so much fun. We went on a food tour that was amazing.. sorry to go on and on but it was an experience of a lifetimes with some very good friends of mine. ❤️

    3. Yay! Thanks, Karen! Love it when we have locals showing us around. Also love the idea of blueberry picking! FI-friendly and healthy 🙂

      Will definitely e-mail you if we decide to come to St.John’s (Looks like Newfoundland is 2nd place in the poll!)

  10. New Brunswick!! If for no other reason than you know nothing about it! (Recent tel con with an insurance rep in TO. Where do you live? Fredericton. That’s in BC, right? Aargh!) Rent a bike and check out the https://veloroutepa.ca/en . Make sure you stop here https://distilleriefilsduroy.com/en/. If you’re here in August, be sure to be in Caraquet for the Fête nationale de l’Acadie on Aug. 15!! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Acadian_Day. Walk forever on the beaches of Kouchibouguac https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np or check out the word’s highest tides here https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/nb/fundy and here https://fundytrailparkway.com/. Beautiful resort town here https://standrewsbythesea.ca/ (great chefs!) Go kayaking or paddle-boarding on the beautiful St. John River https://www.secondnatureoutdoors.com/ Basically, the whole province is off the beaten track! Check out the staycation series here https://pickleplanetmoncton.com/ideas-new-brunswick-staycation-summer-fall-autumn/
    Wherever you go, enjoy your trip!

    1. Ooh! Great tips! I love the biking recommendation (just like the trail we did in Victoria!)Thanks for sharing, Brad!

      1. With COVID, I would be too apprehensive to travel internationally at the moment. Atlantic Canada has a lot going for it and is fairly inexpensive. I am from Victoria and went to school in Fredericton. It has a lovely downtown area and a great farmers market. If you liked Victoria, you’ll also like Halifax. And you really must check out NFLD at some point – St. John’s is really cool. You could do a week in each province.

  11. Don’t forget about the black flies/midges/no-see-ums in the Atlantic provs. Maybe they’ll be gone by August but if not, they can seriously ruin your trip.

  12. I know you’re both keen to restart some international travel, and I’m in that same boat, but I say you take this opportunity to visit Atlantic Canada. There are many beautiful places, and it’s an underappreciated part of the country. I know that you’ve stated in the past that you had wanted to save domestic travel for when you’re older, but I’m sure that the Atlantic provinces would really value some added tourism now (and nothing stops you from visiting again once you’re old and wrinkled!). The Portuguese islands sound great, but I suspect there’s still a big risk of things not being as open or accessible as you would ideally like right now, so it may make more sense to tag that on to a longer and broader European trip in the future.
    Whatever you decide, all are great options!

    1. Very true! yeah, mostly like the Europe idea won’t fly, though it is tempting since Madeira is winning in the poll 🙂

  13. Wherever you choose, consider choosing people over place.
    It’s basically what you did when you went ‘home’ to Canada to be with family.
    Money is important in that it buys freedom… To spend your time with people you love and doing rewarding ‘work’ of whatever sort pleases you. Since your work is remote, go see people.
    Go to Colorado regardless of the cost (and seriously, some of the FI folks there may put you up for part of the time) if there are people there you want to spend time with or bring people with you if you choose a different place…
    Given the last 18mo should have been a cosmic kick in the ass, really, what’s more important than the people you love?

    1. That is a very good point, Wendy! Technically we booked a $4000 bonus from last year so the high cost of Colorado isn’t a big deal. It’s mainly my scarcity/immigrant brain cells trying to get me to optimize. On the plus side, I did manage to find some craigslist sublets just now, so maybe I can have it both ways–friends and optimized finances too!

      1. Per USA Today
        Canada is easing its restrictions. Starting Monday, fully vaccinated Canadians or permanent legal residents may return to Canada without quarantining. But among the requirements are a negative test for the virus before returning, and another once they get back.

        So factor in the cost and hassle of COVID testing in Canada and the US for a US trip.

  14. Isn’t the Canada/USA border closed still? That’d make the proposed US trip either impossible or pretty difficult. And Portugal (and the US) is in the middle of a delta variant covid surge too. Even for vaccinated people there’s risks. Nothing gives perfect protection.

    Canada is a really big and beautiful country. Maybe just explore there?

    1. Strangely enough, Canadians are allowed to go to the US but they aren’t allowed to come here. Very double-standard. But it does work in our favour. It’s also the reason why we want to go to Colorado to see our friends because they aren’t allowed to come here.

      But yes, the Atlantic provinces trip is also amazing so we’re having trouble deciding between the two. Maybe we’ll go with the most scientific option…and just flip a coin.

  15. Hey FIRE Cracker! I also recommend New Brunswick! Two national parks, beautiful provincial parks, the highest tides in the world, the warmest saltwater beach in Canada, amazing lobster, and more!

    1. You’re right. SA definitely needs more pins. We have been to Ecuador and Galapagos, but Peru, Brazil, Argentina are all on my list.

      Do you think it’s a bit hot to go to SA right now? Would winter be a better time to go?

      1. Don’t forget it’s winter in South America now. The opposite of the North !
        Argentina is getting a lot of snow lately but Brazil any time is time. Uruguay may be a little chilly so is Peru due to high elevation.
        Covid is still not completely controlled and vaccinations just now are catching up with the developed world so you may want to wait another month.

  16. My vote goes primarily to New Brunswick and then maybe the other Atlantic provinces. I came here kicking and screaming in 1991 from Ontario but have grown to love it. I live in Saint John where we have some of the best dining I’ve experienced anywhere in the world. Also in Saint John are two large urban parks with excellent hiking and mountain biking. The Saint John river is known as the Rhine of the North and we’ll take you sailing if you visit. Fredericton is the provincial capital with flatter/easier cycling trails, great river views, and historic charm. The area around Caraquet, Shippagan, Tracadie has fantastic cycling routes and warm waters. Kouchibouguac National Park has great cycling and warm water swimming. Each of the Atlantic provinces is worthy of a visit and fall is probably the best time of year here.
    I would also recommend visiting the Azores but not necessarily during their high season. I visited in March (a few years ago), a bit cool, but fine with a sweater or jacket. The Azores are the most picturesque place I have ever been. No big cities but the most beautiful pastureland everywhere. Their cows have the most awesome views. When the world’s order totally breaks down and anarchy reigns, I’m packing up the sailboat and heading there.

    1. Saint John, NB, versus St. John’s Newfoundland, always trips me up 🙂

      Wow, you guys are making it really hard for us to pick, with all these great tips on NB, and also readers offering to show us around NL.

      Maybe it’s time to just flip a coin.

  17. I say stay in Canada. Canadian businesses need your Canadian dollars, and when else would you visit the Atlantic provinces? Once real travel opens wide again, you will be getting out of here for real, so why not take a peek. But, instead of picking just one Atlantic province, I say pick a few. Currently you need special permission to get into PEI, but I am not sure how much longer that will be. They are beautiful. (No, I am not from there, nor do I live there, but I have been there.) I am thinking of Newfoundland myself this year, as I have never been there.

    1. “when else would you visit the Atlantic provinces? Once real travel opens wide again, you will be getting out of here for real”

      You make a very compelling point, Kathleen.

      P.E.I is letting in Canadian travellers starting on July 16. But now that’s make it really hard to choose! Maybe we’ll just do all the Atlantic provinces!

    1. I would definitely rather splurge on France over Colorado 🙂 Unfortunately, from what readers are saying, might be a bit challenging to go to Europe with the covid variants still hanging around. *sigh*

    1. LOL. You guys are making it way too hard to pick Atlantic, Canada or Portugal. Damn you and your stupid awesomeness!

  18. Azores! So many incredible hot springs and the scenery is out of this world. Especially loved the area around Furnas- like Jurassic Park (minus the dinos). If Iceland and Hawaii had a baby it would be the Azores. Black sand beaches, amazing waterfall hikes. The people are nice and not jaded by tourism *yet.
    Also loved Madeira as it’s a bit more developed and the ocean pools are so cool. The levada hikes can be slightly terrifying (like walking a tightrope with a 300m sheer drop). It’s more expensive and some places a little stuffy with all the older Brit tourists. (Yorkshire pudding w your Sunday roast? )
    But Azores all the way.

    1. “The levada hikes can be slightly terrifying (like walking a tightrope with a 300m sheer drop).”–> This reminds me of Tenerife. Guess it makes sense, since Madeira is so close to the Canary Island.

      Yeah, I desperately want to go to Azores too. Need to get in there before the locals get jaded by tourists.

  19. I vote for Madeira, but Azores also sounds amazing, and that way your readers can live vicariously through you! If you didn’t want to venture off the continent just yet, Colorado would be my next vote just because of the friend factor… it’s great to connect with people after a long period of semi-isolation…

    1. It’s so true. I’m desperate to see my besties after all this social distancing.

      It’s hard to choose! Madeira is definitely winning in the poll though.

  20. Atlantic provinces gets the vote for all the excellent reasons above. Especially as you already have plans with family in Sept – you don’t want to get trapped overseas if things go pear-shaped.
    Portugal and Colorado can wait a few more months.

    1. That’s true. Borders can always close again. Atlantic provinces is definitely the most convenient, least risky option.

  21. If you can be in Colorado before July 30, I say go there cause we’re there for the whole month of July. If it’s after that, then my vote is for the Azores. We went after Camp FINK and absolutely loved it. Hot springs, pineapple beer, and seafood cooked in the ground ☺️

    1. Crap! We’re just going to miss you! *sigh* Rain check for meeting up later this year? Maybe we can see each other when we go back to Vancouver and you guys are back in Seattle.

  22. If you are traveling in 2021 – 2022, below are for your considerations…

    1. COVID-19 rate of infections – there will be many dead people follow once you see the spike of infections. High death number in an area is not an ideal place for anyone to stay for any reason especially just for the joy of traveling.
    2. Culture openness – financial pressure and the fear of Covid-19 have put the citizens around the world on the edge. Pick a country that ranks high in friendliness toward foreigners, yet has not been financially destroyed by the pandemic.

    Travel Safe!

    1. Oh yeah, I’ve heard about it! Does it make sense to stay in Quebec city and drive there? Or find accommodations near the national park?

      1. If you plan a long day you can make it from Québec city but it would be a lot of driving. You can also stay in Tadoussac that is next to the Saguenay river or some other villages in the area.

        1. Oh ok. Good to know. Thanks. Will remember Tadoussac if we end up going to the Quebec Fjords.

          1. There are more fjords in Quebec but they are extremely not-accessible, up near the Quebec/Labrador border.

            Mt. Caubvick is a mountain that contains both the Quebec and Nfld&Labrador highpoints. The highpoint of Quebec is actually not the summit of the mountain, you walk across the summit plateau and get to the summit in Labrador.

            Anyway from there you can see for instance Nachvak Fiord.

            But going there requires some skills or a guide, maybe not the best plan for this summer. August is also getting a bit late for that. We went near the solstice.

  23. I’m seeing AirBnBs in Longmont for cheaper than 100! Also, check out Loveland – it’s a small town in North CO, 45-minute drive from Boulder, half an hour – 20 minutes from Longmont, if you don’t mind driving. There’s good food there.

    There are also tiny towns around Longmont that you could take a look at: Berthoud or Mead, for example.

    1. Oh really? It is shared to entire place? Link please.

      I did notice Loveland on the map (great name!). Half an hour drive from Longmont isn’t bad.

      1. This is the cheapest monthly rental I saw as far as private-ish places go: https://abnb.me/ukLnMAcHGhb. That area is nice — 20 minutes’ drive from Boulder and Longmont, 15-minute walk to the little downtown Lafayette area, which has good restaurants.

        You’re right, though, not the best value compared to Portugal.

  24. I agree Colorado and the U.S. in general are pricey right now. But if you come through the Denver area, let me know. Would love to grab a beer. I’m staying hunkered down until September. I hate travelling in the summer (of course, I broke that rule and just got back from a two week trip haha).

    1. Sure! Would love to grab a beer with you if we end up picking Colorado.

      Where did you did travel to for 2 weeks?

      1. Just a quick trip to Arizona, Utah, and parts of Colorado.

        At this point, you have to be insanely creative to find places to stay that aren’t very expensive due to the post-pandemic boom here.

        And I can’t reveal all my hacks 😏.

  25. Atlantic provinces is my vote. Will they open though? NB is closed now, NS may require tests even for Canadians. I think they are still closed in the “bubble”, that’s why I wouldn’t buy plane tickets until this is more clear. Last I checked there was word of reopening sometime in July for the rest of Canada, so maybe soon.

    1. Nope, NL, NB and NS are open to 2x vaccinated Canadians right now, PEI will be on July 18.

      You need to fill in some paperwork before going, but there’s no quarantine if you’ve had both shots.

  26. West Coast Newfoundland, as an Ontarian, was a mind blowing trip for me. After travelling the world, I realized I could feel I travelled to a different continent, in my own country. Fjords in Western Brook Pond, moose everywhere, hiking Gros Morne, Viking Village in St. Anthony’s, personal whale tour with a local fisherman we met in a diner, the mind blowing site of icebergs in July, the list goes on and on. My 10 year old son understanding the loss these fellow Canadians suffered when the cod disappeared through our stops at National Park sites, with the most amazing people sharing their life stories with you. If not this trip, make sure it is on your list.

    1. Nice! Did you rent a car to drive around? I’m wondering if car rentals will be scarce due to all the demand in the summer.

      1. You can rent a car now – expedia, kayak, booking etc.- to lock the price then pay when you pick up the car, or can cancel 24hrs before. It was cca $500 for 10days in August (pickup in St. John, NB) one month ago. You do need a car to see Atlantic Canada.

      2. Yes we did rent a car and pre covid they were scarce and pricey. So something to consider as well.

        1. Yup, you’re absolutely right. I checked car rentals for St. Johns Newfoundland and they are gone for the ENTIRE month of August. Yikes! Halifax still has some cars left.

          1. If you got to Nova Scota you should spend a day or more in Wolfville. Great bike path, amazing farmers market and beautiful wineries.

          2. Wow! I checked expedia 2 d ago, and there were still plenty of rentals in St.Johns NB, but at higher prices ($770/10days) than 1 mo ago. Now indeed they are mostly gone: found only $1081 midsize for 10 d, with the random date 8/11 through 8/20. Maybe your blog is popular and people just snapped all the good deals since the discussion started …:). I wouldn’t be surprised if what’s left go fast soon.


  27. I’ve spent time in all of the Atlantic provinces but not the Azores. I’d recommend the Atlantic provinces. New Brunswick and Nova Scotia were some of our earliest trips on our own, um, 20 years ago.

    PEI: I’ve only had one night there where we tried to camp and got flooded out, running away to a hotel. So maybe I don’t have that much experience with it.

    I’ve been to St. John’s 3 times now. Definitely the East Coast Trail is worthwhile. We did the Spout Path a long time ago. It’s kind of hard. Got some nice pictures from Torbay Point. https://gallery.patricklam.ca/index.php?/category/963. Would like to go to Western Newfoundland at some point as well, but haven’t gotten there yet.

    Two trips to Nova Scotia, though not to Cape Breton Island yet. Digby scallops were amazing. On one of the trips we drove and just drove west towards St. Mary’s Bay, and the other time we went to Halifax.

    And New Brunswick we just drove around the province. I think I’d rank it below NS and Nfld, though it has its moments.

    In all of these provinces there are friendly people (they won’t get mad at you even if you’re learning how to drive stick shift and your car slides down the hill and bumps them) and great nature. An engineer/climber friend of mine is from NS, lives in Ontario, and would love to live in NS, but jobs. Being old doesn’t prevent interacting with people, but you might actually enjoy the nature more while younger.

    1. Thanks for great tips, Plam! Good to know that the friendly people won’t mind my bad driving :P.

  28. My brother lives in Superior, CO between Broomfield and Boulder. You guys can stay with him if your own friends don’t work out 🙂

  29. Congratulations on the vaccination! It’s a wonderful feeling to know that you’re like 90%+ protected. Still gotta watch out for the minority, but still.

    I can’t wait to start traveling again as well.. I don’t quite feel safe traveling via airplane yet and I hope that the U.S. opens up the country in the next couple of months. There’s only so much being cooped up that I can take, I need to unleash my pent up demand somehow!

    1. Yup. I hear you. The pent up demand is why so many local hotels and car rental are booked up right now.

      Hopefully you will feel comfortable again with flying and get to travel soon! Or if not, drive somewhere nearby for a staycation or local get away.

  30. If you don’t feel safe with the 5% risk of the 4% Rule, you shouldn’t feel safe with the 5% risk of Covid-19 Vaccines either

    1. Why would I not feel safe with 5% failure of the 4% rule? 95% is good enough for me.

      Also, staying at home after being vaccinated doesn’t give you 100% immunity either. If you’re that risk adverse, don’t even leave your house or do anything in your life.

  31. I vote Atlantic Provinces! I’m biased though, because I’m from Nova Scotia. I would definitely suggest going outside of Halifax too; South Shore, Annapolis Valley, Cape Breton highlands/Cabot Trail, lots of beaches – definitely lots of beauty in this province (just like the rest of Atlantic Canada). I live about 30 minutes from where the NS-PEI ferry is – which could be a great way to loop around the three Maritime provinces – if that’s of interest. I’m happy to show you around a few local places too, if you’d like (I have an AirBnb as well). I’ve also gone kayaking around the Hopewell Rocks in New Brunswick which was awesome! And tidal bore rafting in Nova Scotia – so fun. Wherever you choose, I’m sure you’ll have a great time!

    1. Thanks for the tips, Janna. We’re are mostly likely to going to pick Atlantic provinces. Will e-mail you for tips about Nova Scotia! (And definitely going to add Cabot Trail to our list).

  32. Azores are high on our travel list because we have a friend who has a house there and we could stay for free! But it’s just so inconvenient to get there that we never really made solid plans. And then covid hit…

  33. Why would you need health insurance for 1 month in the US? Did you mean travel insurance? Your Canadian coverage would be valid that whole time, right?

  34. One little correction. NFLD & Labrador (its all one province) has more land area than New Brunswick so is the largest of the Atlantic provinces by a large margin (5.5 x). If you meant the Maritime provinces, which does not include NFLD & Lab, then yes NB is the biggest.

  35. Strong vote for any of the Atlantic provinces!! I’d actually vote for a road trip to visit at least NB, PEI and NS… and if you don’t mind adding in the ferry, you can add in NFLD, too!

    Highly, highly recommended!

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