This summer I'm planning to slowly turn Japanese. Seriously, I will be brushing up on Japanese phrases and simple vocabulary. Mastering the whole language is probably a bit of a stretch, but, hopefully a few phrases will come in handy. In the early Fall, I will be flying to Japan for a month. I am really excited about this trip. It's been over 30 years since my last visit to Japan! My family and I will be visiting Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe to name just a few of the cities. There will be lots of visiting shrines and temples. A couple of nights will be spent experiencing an Onsen - a Japanese hot spring. I've read up on it to learn that there's a lot of nakedness involved (yep, I'm still wrapping my head around that one)! Traditionally you need to shower and scrub down before entering the hot springs in your birthday suit. Fortunately, it is segregated hot springs, men on one side and women on a different side! Phew! But still.....(cue the nervous laughter)!! It's going to be a wonderful trip with a mixture of the old and traditional with the wild and wacky. We will be travelling by train most of the time and staying in rental apartments. I think there might be a couple of nights of sleeping on tatamis, (traditional Japanese bedding on straw mats) too! I'm sure Hello Kitty will factor in there somewhere as well. Last, but not at all least, one can't go to Japan without mentioning the food! So much to see, do and eat! Fortunately, we have a month to take things nice and easy! Back to my vocabulary practice. I'm hopeless and according to my family it sounds more gibberish than any language known to mankind. In the meantime, "Yoi ichinichi o" which means Have a nice day!
Bosco Mo - Food Blogger
My parents are visiting me from Hong Kong this summer. They have been to Canada but they have never been to Vancouver or the West Coast and there is no better time to come to Vancouver than summer. As a proud Canadian, I will show them how beautiful this country is. We will be visiting my cousin in Prince Rupert, going to Okanagan for some wine tasting, and Whistler for hiking and glamping in the mountains. If time permits, we may even drive across the Rockies to Alberta to see beautiful Lake Louise.
While in Vancouver, I will take them to all my favourite restaurants. My dad has asked specifically for seafood restaurants as he heard we have an abundance supply of fresh seafood and our geoduck, spot prawns and king crabs are world famous.
William Ho - Radio/TV Host
Travelling around the British Isles on a cruise for 12 days is what I have planned. Some of the ports of call will be Liverpool, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow. I have been to England many times, mainly staying in the London area, but never really had the chance to see more of Great Britain, so I'm really looking forward to this trip. The ease and comfort of a cruise ship means no hassle with airports and luggage. I'll be travelling with my family on this cruise which is a great way for all of us to be together. I know Deborah is going to Japan and her enthusiasm is so infectious that now I'm thinking of going there too even though I was actually in Japan last year. On my last visit, exploring Okinawa was one of my memorable moments. Japan is one of my favourite destinations. Mm....I might just surprise Deborah!
Jennifer Coosemans - Miss Chinese Vancouver 2015, Miss Chinese International 2016
This summer I am taking singing lessons with my wonderful teacher and performer, Thelma Leung! I've always been playing with instruments, but rarely ever used my voice for music aside from humming notes. At first it's a strange experience not to be hiding behind an instrument and performing, but my learning experience with Thelma has been liberating and confidence building. She teaches me not only singing but her art of performance as a singer, and we are having so much fun!
I am also working on a project with the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra (VMO) this summer! The VMO is presenting the VMO Education Concert Series, and I am so excited to be their hostess and guest trombone soloist for this project! The VMO will be making its way to schools around the lower mainland communities to perform and host clinics in string, woodwind, and brass instrument families! The project is set out to expose and garner interest in music education in young students.
Jessica Yan Macintosh - Lyric Soprano
Last summer my family and I went on a bicycle tour through Italy. We visited Rome, Vatican City, Florence, Tuscany, Valiano, Sinalunga, Montepulciano, Sienna, Asciano, Gaiole in Chianti, Castelnuovo and Berardenga. We would wake up each day, enjoy a fabulous breakfast at our lodgings, don our tour teams bicycle gear and head off. It's not a bicycle race, but more a leisurely but not slow cycle through the countryside and various cities. The tour company had a van that followed us everywhere and if you ever felt tired or needed a break or simply didn't want to ride up hill. You could hop on the van and they take you there. We visited and stayed at many vineyards and Italian castellis. It was a terrific trip. We enjoyed it so much we decided to do it again this summer. Only this time we will be cycling through France. I am really looking forward to visiting vineyards, chalets and villages. I never thought I would enjoy cycling this much.
Esther Ho - youth advocate, charity organizer and marketing
At the beginning of May, I will lead my team of 6 to participate in the Sahara Foot Race. This race is considered the most prestigious race in the world since the Sahara is not only the hottest and biggest temperature difference dessert (day time 50 degrees and night time minus 5 degrees C) but also the program itself is extremely challenging. All 219 participants will complete 250 km in 7 days carrying everything themselves during the whole time. Deciding to take this great challenge is because I also want to do fundraising for four non-profit organizations. For a good cause with charity work behind us, my team and I will take every step with much more strength and love. Currently I am in intense training mode. As I was preparing for the race, I received a lot of support and encouragement from my friends, partners, and everybody around me. On April 25th, we will take off to Namibia. So far this is the most challenging activity I have ever done in my life. I am super excited about it!
OSLEN - Illusionist
I have two goals that I really want to focus on this spring/summer. First of all, I want to spend some time growing some exotic fruits & vegetables that I have never grown before like Watermelon & White Bitter Melon. The past few years I've been using the square foot gardening method so I like to teach people around me how simple it is to have your own organic vegetable garden. My second goal is to get a contract to perform my full scale illusion show on a cruise ship so I can perform & travel around the world which is my dream job.
Benny Yau - Entertainer
I am going to be working on a cruise ship from April to October, so I will be travelling all spring and summer... even for some of autumn! I am looking forward to being out on the open sea and exploring all the ports and places that I will be going to. I never did get the chance to travel too much in my 20s and early 30s due to work, so now seems like the perfect chance to tick a few places off my bucket list such as Australia, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand, just to name a few. Oh, and the food! My taste buds are drooling just thinking of being able to trying some of the authentic cuisines these places have to offer. Other than travelling, I am planning to keep a proper exercise regiment while I'm on the ship, so I can work off the calories from my food expeditions and more. Gotta work on my swimsuit body! Hahaha... I'll be keeping a blog of my adventures on the ship, so if you want to keep up-to-date on how I'm doing while on the open seas, follow along at bennysbigboatblog.wordpress.