As I mentioned in yesterday’s vlog, it’s been almost a year since we last went on a proper vacation as a family. With that in mind, let’s kick off this month’s speedlink with some travel-related posts before digging into some other topic areas, shall we?

Looking for a peaceful getaway from Vancouver that’s only a short ferry ride away? Valley Mom Kristyl Clark shares some of her thoughts on finding serenity in Sooke, B.C. Located an hour’s drive away from downtown Victoria, Sooke is a charming, quiet community with stunning views, talented local craftspeople, and some perfect hidden spots to find some restful solitude.

Headed to the island with the little ones in tow? Lora Shinn has a great little guide for visiting Victoria with the kids. There are some obvious choices for attractions, like popping by the Fairmont Empress Hotel and Butchart Gardens, as well as recommendations for where to eat and where to sleep too.

In search of warmer climes? Have a look through what Elena Wurlitzer-Fenegan has to say about soaking up family fun in Palm Springs. The popular California destination isn’t far from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, but it offers an entirely different vibe filled with swimming pools, desert rocks, and the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert. Oh, and a giant dinosaur too.

Those cheap flight deals enticing you to whip out your passport? Head on over to Asia as Stephanie Sia guides you through her recommendations for visiting Hong Kong. Not counting the times I passed through the airport, I haven’t been back to the former British colony in over a decade. But yeah, the MTR, the Big Buddha, Victoria Peak and the amazing food are all still there for me whenver I return.

It’s a question that weighs heavily on the mind of many a Vancouver resident. Jami Savage of Adventure Awaits gets the stories of several families who’ve decided to cash out and move out from the city and into somewhere else in the province. Housing costs will naturally be lower, but these families generally feel less rushed too. Consumerism is reduced and connection to nature is boosted. I’m not sure I could do it.

You could say that I’ve written extensively about parenting guilt as it pertains to working from home. It’s really hard to strike a healthy balance. Well, Jen Mackinnon has a simple hack to achieve uninterrupted work time even when the kids are around: use a timer. I wonder if this would work in my situation.

What happens when you apply some pseudo science (not really) to a totally debatable topic? Dr. Josh Misner offers a systematic approach to determining the best year in the 1980s. His methodology? He looks at the movies released each year and tallied up the ones he’d watch with his kids. The distribution surprisingly almost approximates a normal bell curve. Go figure. The chart for sequels released each year, on the other hand, perhaps predicted what Hollywood has become today.

And finally, for all my fellow writers, bloggers and authors out there (and for everyone who has ever thought about writing anything), Jim Dempsey has a very importance piece of advice for you. Money is necessary, but at the end of the day, strive to write something that will change your life. If it’s your 90th birthday and you’re a successful author, what will be in your speech? What would you have stood for? How did you change the world for the better?