Greetings from Thailand!
And Happy Canada Day! It's both a pleasure and an honour to both connect with my fellow Canadian travellers via this community, and to bring our likeminded Canadian-ness to all the places we visit.
By that I mean the general openmindedness, civility toward others, and willingness to engage with the world at large, which is at least how I like to think about what Canada represents to the rest of the planet.
Values like these are of course not static - they require people and other vehicles of expression, which is also how I like to think about Wheel & Anchor. We're bringing our community to other communities to exchange energy and ideas, and I'm proud to travel with others who think the same way.
One of the few downsides to being Canadian is that we mostly all live far apart, and thus it's quite a job to get us together. Which also means it should be celebrated when we do! Exciting adventures to far-flung places are my favourite cause for such celebrations, and I do hope you'll join us for one in the months ahead.
And speaking of adventures in the months ahead, I'm pleased this week to release two new trips through Italy, the first to the Campania and Puglia regions in our Southern Italian Sojourn, and the second to explore the often overlooked island of Sardinia, both happening in April 2024.
When I went down to do my reconnaissance in the fall for Sardinia and a few weeks ago for Puglia, I wasn't entirely sure what I'd find, not having visited the region in some decades.
In both places however I was blessed with several delightful serendipitous moments that told me we were on the right track.
Things like walking in a restaurant in Alberberro not long before closing, and meeting the owner who connected me with the lovely family of the masseria we'll be staying in nearby, and meeting our guide in Puglia from a conversation I had with another local in a coffee shop.
I try and go to the places we visit beforehand exactly because finding the right local partners is very difficult without being able to meet them in person, and when it flows like this I consider it a very good sign for the trip to come.
Whether it's your first or fifth trip to Italy, I think you'll find both itineraries quite unique and as good an excuse as any to visit The Boot, and if you come to Sardinia the Soccer Ball (Football?) as well. Both can be found in your newsletter.
As for upcoming webinars, I had to cram in a few in short order in the week ahead amidst an indirect route back to Canada. I'll be presenting the aforementioned Sardinia Sojourn, a trip to Cornwall and Devon in the southwest of England, and the 2024 edition of our Gardens of England and France program.
Do join me for those if you're free and curious, and otherwise I hope the sun brings some shine and that you have a wonderful long weekend. Do get in touch should you have any questions or feedback.