Travel, travel, travel. I love new places, new smells, new food, new people, new stories, new experiences, and the list goes on. Fortunately, I have had a job that gives gave me the opportunity to travel around the world and live in different cities. Unfortunately, having a Niña doesn’t make travel and relocation easy. But she adapts fairly well and is beginning to appreciate extraordinary life experiences. I just wish I had her ability to rapidly overcome jetlag.

About this site: this site (or some rendition of it) has been around for most of the 2000s; it was in 2007 while on a trip to New York that I was inspired to start writing about travel. Days later wend.ca/travelgeek.ca was born.

About me: I’m Canadian (a.k.a. Canuck)… was born in “Upper Canada” (Ontario), spent most of my childhood buried under snow in the Maritimes (Nova Scotia), went to school in Alberta (and got stuck there for a decade), lived in the United States… Europe… India, and recently moved to Québec. I have university degrees in History/English, Archaeology/Anthropology, and part of a Cinema, Television, Stage, Radio and Multimedia (CTSRM) diploma.

I’m a swimmer. Always have been. Always will be. This means that I can be cold, wet, miserable, in pain, starving to death… and still keep going. That’s what swimmers do.

Jobs I’ve had include working as a lifeguard, police research assistant, fitness instructor, archaeologist, geek, photographer, writer, and a berry picker. Believe me, you don’t know hell until you’ve mucked around in mud and berries for an entire summer.

I believe in finding ways to help others be awesome. This includes helping with research and genealogy. My superpower is finding things and people (like here). Feel free to reach out to hello@wend.ca to start a conversation! Please don’t suck!

Cameras and devices used:

  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Canon EOS 40D
  • Canon Rebel XT (modified)
  • Lumix FS 65
  • Pentax Ricoh WG-20 14MP Waterproof Digital Camera
  • Google Pixel 6a

The device graveyard:

  • iPad mini, which I now use as a phone. (Killed by time and permanently attached to my rowing machine)
  • Google Nexus 6P (2018) (Killed in Blue Rocks, Nova Scotia while kayaking.)
  • HTC 10 M10 (Died in Hunt’s Point, NS after acting like a diva for months.)
  • Google Nexus 6P (2017) (killed in Repentigny, Québec after sliding off my dashboard and landing glass first onto my Canon 5D… the gorilla glass actually survived but everything under it shattered!!)
  • Google Nexus 5 (stolen in Magog, Québec; it’s a mystery how… but it was stolen… and we were forced to do a remote kill on the device.)
  • Canon SX-280HS (killed by dropping on a cement floor in Toronto, ON.)
  • Galaxy Note II (GPS died in Jackson, CA. Was resurrected but stopped booting in Los Angeles. For some reason LA is not kind to phones.)
  • Google Nexus 4 (died in Los Angeles; I’m not sure why but it suddenly stopped booting; it was later stolen by a construction guy in Calgary. I hope he enjoys the dead phone.)
  • Lumix LX3 (killed by too much sand, sun, snow, water, + general abuse)
  • MacBook Air (2013) (killed by Vancouver airport security during a secondary search)
  • MacBook Air (2014) (killed in Mountain View CA by a friendly dog and a large soy latte)
  • Google Nexus One (killed by Calgary airport x-ray machines, which I could repeatedly reproduce)
  • Samsung Galaxy S2 (killed by Vodafone Network in Ireland)
  • Pentax K-1000 (killed by sliding off Grotto Mountain in Canmore)

9 comments on “AboutAdd yours →

  1. Wonder if I knew your grandfather? I helped open the RCAF base at Decimomannu Sardinia in the spring of 1956.

    1. It’s possible. Woody was his nickname… and he was a Brit serving in the Canadian military and would have been 34-years old in 1956. He also served in Britain, France and Germany (my mom still remembers kids from the bases). My grandfather passed away a few years ago at 92.

      There’s an old photo of him here (wedding): http://www.wend.ca/?p=5683

      There is an old post about him that seems to have gone missing, which I’ll see if I can find. It’s about stories from WW2.

    2. My father was there for training sometime in the late 50s, probably 58 or 59. His name was John Wall, Canadian, based in France with the RCAF. I’m hoping to find out more about the place and period. Thanks for any information about sources or your own experience if you care to share.

  2. We are cousins, Samuel Maxwell McKinnon is my great uncle. I’m the granddaughter of Cecelia Lillian McKinnon, his sister. I found your article of great interest, and have printed it for my mother. I went to Mill Village with my Grandmother in 1974, and met a number of family members at that time. I’ve been contacted by a number of people by way of ancestry.com, and periodically I try to figure out the connections.

    1. Pleased to meet you, Deborah… cousin! Perhaps you’ve already found my father who has been studying the family history for decades…? I’ll reach out to you via email because I *think* I have a photo or two of your grandmother.

  3. When I did my DNA I discovered back in May /18 that I have a cousin in California named Kirk Davenport (descended from David and Martha Mckinnon via Cecelia. So we have the same G Grandparents. I exchanged some pictures with him.

  4. I have used an article you wrote over Edith Piaf, and need to cite you, do you mind giving me you’re last name?

  5. September 13, 2021
    Hi Just found your web site while researching someone else. My great-uncle Frank Thorsteinson was also in B Company of the 209th, later serving with D Company of the 10th. He was fatally wounded by gas on March 12, 1918 during a trench raid. Also wounded in that raid was RW Maynard, whom you mentioned.
    One thing that may help you locate Max is to note the map reference on his E 13 Graves Registration form. SM McKinnon had a known grave at Sheet 51b, B.5.a.8.4. The soldier I was researching, also KIA on April 28, 1917, was originally buried at Sheet 51b, B.6.a.9.4. Those two map references are not far apart, and may indicate temporary burial grounds.

    1. Hey! Thanks for this lead, James. I believe there was a temporary grave because I’ve managed to track down the spot… and the 4 soldiers from that one particular spot. I’m looking at all the soldiers that died on that day and this group died while crossing the barbed wire (because of a mistake); it’s likely they received a field burial. The gap is it doesn’t match those where were reburied… and I can’t explain it. This is where I am stuck ;).

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