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The Worldwide Quest Blog

Enjoy our leaders’ reports from the field, our travellers’ stories and pictures, travel advice and staff picks from trips we’re working on.

A Winter Birding Challenge

By: Justin Peter
Originally published on the Ontario Parks blog.  It’s tempting to say that winter’s not the best time to look at birds in our Ontario Parks. Many species have migrated south. We’re hesitant to venture into the chilly weather.But the quieter (and leafless) atmosphere of our parks during winter provides an excellent and unique challenge for our sense of environmental awar...

Looking Back on Evolution Gone Wild in Madagascar

By: Pete Read
We had two very successful trips to Madagascar in the fall of 2015. The New Year seems a great time to share some of the highlights of the amazing island of Madagascar. Since there were two tours, some of the highlights below apply to one or the other, but there were more than enough highlights on each trip. Every day we found many exciting species and enjoyed many interesting experiences. So let...

Iceland, an Unlikely Nation

By: Ann Kirkland
This is a personal reflection on our trip to Literary Iceland. Like all Classical Pursuits trips, I expected my prior reading and on site discussions, coupled with unrushed and thoughtful travel, to deepen my understanding of a people and a place.In this instance, before leaving home, I had formed some preliminary impressions. I had expected the stark, remote, and beautiful landscapes, but the gla...

Going with the 'Floe'

By: Robin McKie
It was the sight of a beached whale that provided us with a hint that we might soon get up close and personal with one of the planet’s greatest predators. Our party was drifting – in Zodiac power boats – over the icy waters of Coningham Bay, on Prince William Island in Canada’s high Arctic – when the beluga was spotted lying on the shore. A couple of others were seen ...

Tales from the Ioffe: Spotting Whales and Bears in Canada's Northwest Passage

By: Ian Shanahan
Our second consecutive day highlighted by jaw-dropping Arctic whale encounters was drawing to a close. After spending the final day of August exploring the dramatic Gibbs Fjord and sighting 2 pods of Narwhals surfacing against a backdrop of cascading outflow glaciers, September greeted us with glass calm seas, sunny skies and upwards of twenty Bowhead Whales (perhaps the planet’s longest-liv...

Two Japanese Recipes from Diane and Doug Clement

By: Diane and Doug Clement
Diane and Doug travel the world and find inspiration through the culture's cuisine. They recently led our alumni UBC group tour through Japan called Japan: Food, Fitness and Healthy Ageing. They returned home with two special recipes to share with us.'Like many Canadians, Diane and I have a real interest in extending our independence and active years as we age. Can we learn something from Japan in...