Author Archives: bfoulkesadventures

Summer adventure, Life adventure

I have found that fear is a powerful motivator for me; in my running days I had a fear based training program. Set an impossible goal, then use fear of failing to motivate the necessary training.  A few sleepless nights … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Walking with Purpose III – Switzerland and Italy

The Via Francigena is not for the easily distracted or for those who desire instant gratification; it’s a 2000 kilometre path that starts in Canterbury, England, traverses northern France then wends its way through Switzerland and crosses into Italy over … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Walking with Purpose II

Last summer, I started a major walk; the Via Francegina, from Canterbury to Rome. It follows the path of Sigeric the Serious, the Archbishop of Canterbury who made the trek to be appointed Cardinal. His return trip was documented; he … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

A Cautionary Canada Day tale

Joseph Stiglitz is a Nobel Prize winning economist, a past chair of the US Council of Economic Advisors and a past chief economist of the World Bank. I may be going with my gut here but I’m thinking he has … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

History is messy.

What’s history? In my schoolchild days it was a long, complicated series of dates and names to be memorized; kings and queens of western European countries, battles and maps and heroes and villains. It was dead white men of privilege … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Jewels in an Uneasy Crown

I’m not an historian, I’m an opinionated blogger, an undisciplined student of whatever is on my mind and an itinerant traveller with a superficial grasp of the facts. I have a thin patina of knowledge, enough to make me dangerous … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Base Camp Basel

Over the last five years, I have enjoyed the warm hospitality and my very own bedroom in Basel, Switzerland courtesy of Kristen and Christopher. A few weeks ago, I made what is likely my last visit to Basel. They are … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

My Digital Dependency

I signed up for Twitter about a month ago; Trump tweets were the catnip for joining. I NEEDED to see Trump’s tweets directly; news casts blaring BREAKING NEWS and showing me the feeds were not enough. I wanted to go … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Smart Shopping.

I’m going to change my bank this week. I have decided, despite knowing that this will be a pain in the butt, I’m moving my bank accounts to Vancity, a British Columbia credit union with more than 500,000 members. Vancity … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Jungfraujoch, Top of Europe.

There is a restaurant called Bollywood at Jungfraujoch, an amazing Swiss tourist site in the middle of the Jungfrau range. It serves authentic Indian food to some 1000 happy customers a day. An Indian restaurant in the center of an … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Man’s Search for Meaning.

Victor Frankl is regarded as one of the world’s foremost psychologists. His most popular book, Man’s Search for Meaning, was published in 1946. The book has been translated into 24 languages; more than 12 million copies have been sold. It … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Walking as Inspiration

If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk. – Raymond Inmon My first response to anyone who asks, ‘what do you think about when you walk?’ is always … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Walking as meditation.

Over the past few years, I have become a walker, a hiker, a trekker, a wanderer, a rambler and, later in the day, a trudger and a plodder. I have come to enjoy going off on long walks in various … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Sandra gives us more than yoga.

The secret to thriving in big cities is to become a part of the small neighbourhoods within them. The secret of these small neighbourhoods is people who animate them. Our secret in my hood is Sandra. When I moved to … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

China – Shattered Images – #3

I find a visit to any country ignites an interest and a curiosity to know more. I’ve read more about modern China since returning home than I have in the months prior to departing. My interest piqued, I’m trying to … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 4 Comments

China – shattered images – #2

My primary purpose in visiting China was as a tourist; to see the sights, taste the food, hear the sounds, experience the reality. It is after all a foreign place. Is Canadian Chinese food really Chinese? Is the Great Wall … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

China – shattered images – #1

Six years ago, Kristen and Chris returned from their adventure in China astounded. “It changes the way you see the world!” they said. They were obviously right; I am still wide-eyed and speechless after a three week whirlwind trip through … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

What are you thinking?

A few years ago, I was talking with Tiara, my Buddhist friend, about an upcoming walking trip. I told her I was good on the flat ground but climbing hills was tough. Tiara offered a suggestion, she called it walking … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Remembrance and Sadness.

There is no joy to be derived from visiting any war memorial. There is no celebration in visiting the grave sites of the hundreds of thousands lost in any conflict or war. For me, there is only sadness, an unbelievable … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Shared Experiences

Summers are short in Canada. School’s out; carefully husbanded vacation days are spent. We pack them full of activity. We fill our days with friends and family. We break bread; feasting in the age-old tradition of communion. We barbeque, we … Continue reading

Posted in Walking Adventures | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Walking with Purpose

In 990 AD, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Sigeric, walked to Rome; invited by Pope John XV to be elevated to the position of Cardinal. We know this because his return trip was chronicled by a member of his party – … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Why I give to Outward Bound.

Recently, I was asked by Outward Bound to write a short note explaining why I supported Outward Bound. The original note can be found in Outward Bound’s Fresh Tracks newsletter.  http://hosted-p0.vresp.com/122508/4d2dc37fc9/ARCHIVE   I believe in adventures; stepping out of my comfort … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

My Aussie-land

Many years ago, I read the definitive history of Australia, The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes. It was a long, difficult, compelling and, ultimately, rewarding read. Hughes chronicles the early days, the shipment of some 160,000 convicts, orphans and indigents to … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Portuguese Adventurers

Jose Saramago, the Nobel prize-winning Portuguese writer, described the Portuguese as “people who possess little and feel much.” It wasn’t always so. The Portuguese were the world’s great adventurers; for a glorious century, the Portuguese expanded the known world beyond … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Excessive Portugal

As long as I feel the fresh breeze in my hair                                                           … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

The Power of Trust – II

Pierre Trudeau paddled the South Nahanni in 1970; his love of paddling was clear: “What sets a canoeing expedition apart is that it purifies you more rapidly and inescapably than any other…. paddle 100 miles in a canoe and you … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Power of Trust – I

The South Nahanni River is a true Canadian Icon, a World Heritage site. It is rugged, powerful, inaccessible, and indescribably beautiful. Paddling the 200 or so kilometers of the South Nahanni below Virginia Falls in a canoe is a legendary … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Look for the Helpers.

Some adventures in life are not fun, they are just life in all it’s messiness and unpredictability. I have to search within my self to find meaning; sometimes the introspection process is the only important result of the search for … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Wanderwegging in Switzerland

Wanderweg is German for footpath. Switzerland is wanderweg heaven; a maze of thousands of kilometres of footpaths and hiking trails of various degrees of difficulty, every path carefully marked, given a number and assiduously signposted. The Swiss, home of impeccable … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

My Japan Pilgrimage III

The joy and the challenge of adventure is simple. I am whisked away from the comfortable and familiar. Life becomes intense, exciting, remarkable, constantly surprising. My senses are overloaded; tastes, sights, smell, sounds do not register in familiar ways. Every … Continue reading

Posted in Walking Adventures | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

My Japan Pilgrimage II

This is my first trip to Japan. For two months, I deliberately choose to immerse myself in a completely foreign culture – the food, the language, the customs, the sights, the sounds – all will be beyond my ken. My … Continue reading

Posted in Walking Adventures | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

My Japan Pilgrimage – I

I first heard of the 88 Temples pilgrimage several years ago; shrouded in exotic mystery, it was too much to even consider. It was Japanese, Buddhist, long, culturally and linguistically unfathomable; it was too complicated, therefore unachievable and insurmountable. I … Continue reading

Posted in Walking Adventures | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

In the Land of Needless Worry.

There is a difference between vacations and adventures. A vacation is about rest, relaxation and enjoyment. It is, by definition and choice, intended to lower the blood pressure, facilitate mindless hedonism and indulge the senses. An adventure is completely different. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Energy advocacy – what to believe?

It’s been a busy week for energy advocacy. On Tuesday, billionaire Murray Edwards and Brian Ferguson, Cenovus CEO, penned an oped for the Globe entitled Our country – and our companies – are ready for a new pipeline dialogue. Here’s … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Pipeline hubris

Spoiler alert- This is not a travel adventure blog post. Somehow this one slipped through. Someone wise once told me that most of our wounds are self-inflicted. In the context of this weeks noisy debate about pipelines in Canada, we … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Where’s home?

I travel a lot. When I travel, one of the first questions I’m asked by fellow travelers is: “Where are you from?” It is all about establishing your home. This idea of home has been on my mind lately. I … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Hockey and Heidi-land.

Yes, there is a place called Heidi-land. It is in Switzerland and it doesn’t just resemble the movie home of our beloved Heidi; it replicates it. Read the book, see the movie; your internalized, glorified, mythical image of Switzerland exists. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

India and COP21 – not a Travelogue.

My travel goal is to deliberately take myself out of my comfort zone, to cause myself a bit of discomfort. Trips to strange places challenge my conventional wisdoms, confront my biases and cause me to think more deeply about all … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Responsible Tourism

Inscrutable India; she is beyond comprehension to me. I have difficulty understanding Mumbai, how it functions, how it reconciles the extremes evident everywhere. My first inscrutable is why more than 500,000 rural peasants migrate to Mumbai every year.  My second … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Poverty and Privilege.

Today, my third day in Mumbai was both disconcerting and troubling. I travel for many reasons; adventure, to take myself out of my comfort zone, the thrill of new experiences, to widen my perspective, to learn, to see the world … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cool Iceland

It is late November. We are in Iceland. Setting aside for a moment what some might consider the foolishness of choosing such an adventure, Iceland’s wild winter beauty is striking – glaciers and geysers! Blair planned the trip. He loves to … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Plus ça Change…

Everything changes… The October 19th election of the Trudeau Liberals was historic. For many reasons. If last night is any measure it will soon become historic by another measure – the number of people who claim they, and only they, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

They have dared greatly.

On the day before an election, particularly one this long, it is hard to lift my head, look out over the horizon and take the long view. My perspective is shot. One observation has survived and is crystal clear – … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Power of Engagement.

The Power of Engagement Over the past two months I have been fully immersed in the upcoming election; at 78 days, the longest is current Canadian history. These are wild rides. They take me out of my comfort zone; way, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Off the Couch and Out on the Hustings.

Hustings is one of those arcane words that only comes up at election time. The word goes back to 12th century England, it means a place or meeting where politicians make election speeches. I first got involved in politics in … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Adventure of Friendship

Over the years, I have often reminded myself that I have been blessed with good friends. I continue to enjoy those blessings. Blair and Jean have been a profound force in my life since they arrived in Taber on a … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Wherever we go…

Advance warning; the word ‘journey’ will not be used in this blogpost. Having been hijacked and over exploited by the self help industry, it has been retired indefinitely from my vocabulary; suitable alternatives to describe life’s adventures and meanderings have … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

The one less traveled by

Two roads diverged in a wood and I took the one less traveled by And that has made all the difference.  – Robert Frost The Camino Portuguese is a 600 kilometer pilgrimage from Lisbon to Santiago. Unlike the more famous … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tender Mercies

Robert Duvall won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for best actor in a sweet, oft-overlooked 1983 film called Tender Mercies. It’s the transformation of an end-of-the-line alcoholic country singer into a decent man, not by some instant Hollywood epiphany … Continue reading

Posted in Walking Adventures | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Obrigado Portugal

I have spent the last three weeks on the Camino Portuguese, a 600 kilometre Pilgrimage from Lisbon in Portugal to Santiago in Spain. I walked across Portugal, village to town to city, along ancient cobblestone paths, following the Via Romana … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments