Pearl McCallum joined the travel industry in 1998 with a passion to discover new places and experiences, and to help others do the same. Her travels have taken her to five continents, at times via cruise ships. While embracing adventures such as zip-lining in the Mexican jungle, Pearl also appreciates the serenity of moonlight walks on the beach. Favourite destinations include Southeast Asia, the Netherlands, and for winter getaways, the Mayan Riviera. Her conclusion about the best way to travel? With family and friends. “Sharing experiences means enjoying them 100% more.”
What are Pearl’s TOP 5 travel experiences:
Climbing to the top of El Castillo at Chichen Itza in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula
Enjoying a glass of wine and watching the sun set over Mazatlan as the ship sailed away to Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World”
Linking arms in a crowd of strangers to sing English songs at the Nuremberg Christmas market
Flying Vancouver to Hong Kong in the bubble of a Cathay Pacific 747
Hiking across Kilauea crater in Hawaii
What is Pearl’s closing comment?
A ship in harbour is safe, but ships are not built to stay in harbour. Go and experience the adventure of the world around you!
Coming to the end of 2021, another difficult year for travel, I think back over my time in the industry. More than 20 years ago I went to college to become a travel agent because, well, I loved to travel. The job was presented as hard work for little pay; but the idea of learning about and perhaps experiencing the world outweighed the drawbacks. I was enchanted by the excitement of discovering exotic destinations, tasting different foods, and experiencing traditions unlike my own.
Many of us are eager to begin exploring the world once again, but may be hesitant because of uncertainties surrounding travel these days. The most frequent question asked by our clients is, “What happens if the unexpected happens?” Fortunately, Great Canadian Travel has the answer! Our two insurance partners offer coverage that ensures you receive the care needed in case of illness, even Covid-19, while travelling.
As the world continues to follow physical distancing and shelter in place orders and travel remains largely “on pause,” we are reminded of how important it is to connect with one another. Now, more than ever, it’s necessary to help each other overcome isolation through inspiration.
This awesome video from Ensemble, a consortium our agency is a member of, highlights the intrinsic value of travelling and using us, your travel consultants and advisors, to connect to our amazing world.
Travel truly does bring people together. We will travel again! But, in the meantime, we hope you enjoy this short video and that it inspires you to keep dreaming and keep planning your future trips. We’re sure there are lots of Best Days Ever! ahead for us all.
What comes to mind when you think of your Best Day Ever? Achieving a lifelong goal? Your wedding, or the birth of your children? A once-in-a-lifetime travel opportunity?
When it comes to travel, my list of best days ever includes my honeymoon. Following a fabulous wedding with family and friends, my new husband and I flew off to spend a week at the romantic El Dorado Resort on stunning Maroma Beach. This charming property caters to couples and was the perfect getaway for us after a busy time. The best way to unwind? A couple’s massage in a palapa on the beach, where the sound of the water heightens the sense of relaxation.
A favourite activity for us was enjoying the gourmet offerings at the resort. From an outdoor feast of freshly-prepared paella to the delightful variety of international cuisine, there was no end to the culinary delights. A highlight and our best evening ever included a private candlelight dinner on the beach.
A vacation on the Mayan Riviera offers a dizzying array of activities, from nature parks to ATV adventures; camel rides to shopping. We chose to tour the magnificent Tulum ruins, perched atop a cliff on the Caribbean Sea. Our guide wisely planned a morning visit to beat the full heat of the day, but we were still grateful our time ended with a refreshing dip in the cool waters of a cenote.
The Mayan Riviera, and specifically the El Dorado Maroma, holds a special place in my heart where I have spent some of my best days ever.
When considering a sophisticated, urbane destination, Glasgow does not immediately spring to mind. The city’s rough-and-ready reputation has followed it through time, due partly to an industrial history of railways and shipbuilding. Glasgow has sometimes been unfavourably compared to the Scottish capital of Edinburgh, with its castle and cobbled wynds. However, the Dear Green Place is surprisingly rich in culture. Besides its magnificent 12th century cathedral and world-class School of Art, Glasgow boasts a myriad of museums. Read More >
Travel to The Netherlands is always a treat for me, combining the fun of exploring more new places with an opportunity to visit friends in the northeast province of Drenthe. My recent visit was no exception; this time we spent a day exploring the Open-Air Museum in Arnhem. World War 2 history buffs will recognize the city’s name from a major battle, the largest airborne operation ever. In September 1944 the Allied Forces failed in an attempt to break through German lines in and around the city. The battle is chronicled in Cornelius Ryan’s A Bridge too Far. Read More >
I have been in the travel industry for many years and have travelled to many different places. And in all these years and all the different places, I have learned quite a lot. Here is my top five things that I have learned while travelling: Read More >
Vietnam is a wonderfully diverse country offering experiences that are found nowhere else. Its storied history has resulted in a unique blend of language, tradition, even religion. My friends and I began our adventure in Ho Chi Minh City, with its bustling markets, underground maze of tunnels, and ever-present traffic. Our Canadian eyes were opened to an entirely unfamiliar way of life, and of course that is the reason we travel in the first place. Delicious pho is found at too many restaurants to count, and for those so inclined there is a high end shopping district. Read More >
Travelling during a destination’s off season has both benefits and drawbacks; prices are lower and attractions less crowded, but there can be risk of being swept away by a hurricane. We were fortunate that this year’s major storms missed us on the Yucatan Peninsula, although we did have three days of quite heavy rain.
Edmonton to France is a long way to go for two days, but fortunately KLM is lovely so the flights were actually a great part of the trip. The connection in Amsterdam was about five hours outbound, six hours on the return; long enough to run into the city. However, Amsterdam’s airport, Schipol, is almost a destination unto itself, offering many shops and restaurants to fill time between flights. Better yet, plan a stopover to spend some time enjoying the many highlights of Amsterdam. Read More >
The relaxed pace of river cruising is one of the major benefits of this type of travel. Picture yourself enjoying a European coffee while sailing serenely down a scenic river. As you are travelling with only 100 – 200 other guests, you may experience the comforts of a luxurious ship without feeling crowded. Take in the view from the outdoor sun deck, the comfortable lounge, or perhaps even your own stateroom’s panoramic window or balcony. Staterooms are well designed to maximize space. Motion discomfort is rarely an issue, as the ship’s movement is extremely smooth. Read More >