Photos: Nice views of the Netherlands

I’m a day late, but May 5th is celebrated in the Netherlands as Liberation Day, the day that the country was freed from Nazi-occupation during the Second World War by Allied Forces. Canadian soldiers did a lot of the heavy lifting during that campaign and their sacrifices are still remembered and honoured by the Dutch today, something that I think is pretty cool.

If you’ve never been to the Netherlands, it’s a wonderfully, laid-back place for visitors and a beautiful place to spend a  holiday. Here are some views that give you a tiny glimpse of some of its beauty:

Photos: Marvellous views of the Marshall Islands

Marshall Islands

If you are lucky enough to be spending May 1 in the tiny state of the Marshall Islands, you’d be celebrating Constitution Day.

On that day in 1979,  the Compact of Free Association was adopted which formalized the relationships of free association between the United States and the three Pacific Island sovereign states of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. Together, these nations are sometimes known as the Freely Associated States.

These photos offer a glimpse of what the Pacific-Island paradise is like:

Photos: Gorgeous views of Guadeloupe

The French territory of Guadeloupe is a favourite Caribbean destination thanks to its fine beaches and exciting culture. It’s also become a popular stop on the cruise-ship circuit which means even more tourists are discovering this heavenly archipelago.

This day, May 27, marks Guadeloupe’s national day (territorial day?). It marks Abolition of Slavery Day, an event that was a long time coming for the islands.

Even though France’s King Louis X proclaimed in 1315 that any slave setting foot in France should be freed, the nation continued to allow slavery to prosper in its overseas colonies well into the 19th century.

Originally annexed by the Kingdom of France in 1653,  much of the native population was wiped out and was stocked with African slaves to work the territories’ sugar plantations.

France then abolished slavery in 1794 then re-established it in 1802 during the French Revolutionary Wars when French slave-owners threatened to move their colonies under British control. The reestablishment of slavery in Guadeloupe sparked a rebellion, but it was repressed.

The second abolition of slavery took place under the Second Republic on April 27, 1848 and it wasn’t until May 28, 1848 that it was permanently abolished in Guadeloupe.

When the day comes that we get to travel again to places like Guadeloupe, here’s a taste of what you’ve been missing:


Photos: Positive views of Paraguay

The date of May 14 marks Independence Day for Paraguay, not from Spain, but from Argentina where it broke away from in 1811 after it defeated Argentinian military efforts to retake the breakway province. In honour of the South American nation’s national holiday, here are some photos that give you a quick peek at what life is like there:

Photos: Tantalizing views of Taiwan

I was lucky enough to be invited back to Taiwan for a press trip in February and what made it special was that it was during the country’s Lunar New Year celebrations. Highlights included the Taiwan Lantern Festival and the Yenshui Beehive Fireworks Festival. Disappointed that I missed the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival, but I was able to get to the mountain town to launch a sky lantern of my own. Here are a few photos from my time there: