Loud Quitting

Princess Märtha Louise of Norway has quit to work with her shaman fiancé. Also, Christian Bluhm, the Chief Risk Officer for the Swiss bank UBS, has quit to become a professional photographer. Bluhm is not just a keen-eyed photographer; he knows how to turn a Euro as well.


But if they (for whom start-up capital isn’t a problem) can shear off in midlife and do something completely different, why can’t we?




1. On Tuesday, the world’s population passed 8 billion. This is more than three times the number of people in 1950. And by next year more people will live in India than in China. Meanwhile, one in nine people in the world doesn’t get enough food, while more than a third of our food is lost or wasted every day. Meanwhile, here in Canada, which makes up just 0.48% of the world’s population, the 38.5 million of us are no longer a tiny country, but one that’s slightly smaller than Poland and slightly bigger than Saudi Arabia.


2. If a Navy Seal can sleep in a freezing foxhole…surely we can sleep in our warm beds. Here’s how they do it and how we can too.


3. The world’s greatest salesman came from Manitoulin Island. When Harold Ritchie died in 1933 at the age of 52, Time magazine’s obituary noted: “Appendicitis was the immediate cause, but it was really overwork that did it. He talked day and night, sat up till 4 a. m. if he could get a buyer to listen to him, never walked, played golf, or took any form of exercise, ate only when he happened to think of it (and then in huge quantities).”


This week, Don Gillmor’s book on this world-famous-but-unknown-in-his-home-and-native-land character comes out as Carload Ritchie.


4. Top feeder schools into Silicon Valley. You’d expect Stanford to be there, of course, and the University of Southern California. But the University of Waterloo is #8 and the University of Toronto is #19. Here’s why.


5. One of the benefits of gender affirmation is paying for it. Montreal’s Desjardins Insurance is one of the first companies in North America to help pay for gender surgery. As part of their group benefits policies, it “enhances the coverage available through public health plans by adding coverage for expenses related to certain treatments and surgeries. These include Adam’s apple surgery, vocal cord surgery, laser hair removal and, in some cases, facial surgeries and hair transplants.” According to Statistics Canada, last year one in 300 Canadians age 15 and up identified as transgender or non-binary.


6. How to pick locks. Not pick as in select; pick as in open. And I’m not talking about once with a hatpin. I’m talking about learning this as a professional skill. Schuyler Towne leads five online sessions via Atlas Obscura next month. Limited to 25 incipient pickers.


7. Things are heating up. More proof of the obvious. Just click on this chart of temperature change by country from 1880 to 2021.


8. World War I’s deadliest sniper. He had 378 confirmed kills, was gassed at Ypres, and fought at Passchendaele, the Somme, and Amiens. Francis Pegahmagabow was from an Ojibwa community near Parry Sound, Ontario. In 1916, he was  awarded the Military Medal and earned two bars, becoming one of just 37 Canadians to win the Military Medal with two bars. When he returned home to Ontario, he was treated dreadfully.


9. Pretty pictures. First, from Britain’s landscape photographer of the year awards; next, from Architectural Digest, homes built into cliffs.


10. Kevin Chen wins 2nd big piano prize. Last year, the then 16-year-old Calgarian was the youngest ever winner of the Franz Liszt International Piano Competition. Then last week he won the 76th Concours de Genève. Here he is at age 9 talking about his playing – and composing.


And now for someone completely different.  Bruce Springsteen plays Thunder Road live last week on Howard Stern.


Not completely different enough for you? How about Daniel Craig changing his image big-time.?




Winter is almost here. Don’t be left out in the cold in securing your escape.


If you know about our trips, they don’t involve lying on a beach for a week, but doing adventurous things with fascinating people.


So from January 22 – 29, 2023, we’ll be aboard the 100-guest National Geographic Quest with 50 of our friends as it sails through the Panama Canal and up the west coast of Costa Rica.



This is with Lindblad Expeditions and we’ve been on two of their luxury adventure cruises before, to Antarctica and the Spanish-Portuguese coast. On board and on shore, we were in the hands of the most experienced experts and crew on earth. One evening during “Recap” with cocktails and appetizers in hand, we saw “The Monster of the Day” that our expedition divers filmed from the ocean floor. Oh, and it’s one thing to kayak on Georgian Bay; it’s another to kayak on the Antarctic Ocean. For one, it’s safer in the Antarctic because the Lindblad people are so on top of it.


All to say, we’ve come to expect the best in comfort, dining, adventure and safety from Lindblad, a view confirmed by Condé Nast Traveler, who last year declared them to be the #1 Small Ship Cruise Line in the world.


Our 8-day trip starts when we land in Panama City, Panama, and ends in San José, Costa Rica. The cost is from $6,479 USD per person, depending on what level of cabin you choose (this includes a special savings for our group of 5% off the standard rates). Airfare, of course, is extra.


So – a good deal on a great break in a hot place with nice people in the hands of the best in the business. As founder Sven Lindblad said: “Think of us as a conduit to exhilaration.”


You may already know RamsayTravels does group travel for people who don’t do group travel. People like you. So as we all sit and freeze this year, think about what you could be doing, and where you’d like to be (and with whom) this time next year and join us.


So please spend some time with the links above. Then, if you like what you see but you have questions, please e-mail or call me at, or 416-822-3452.


Then confirm your place onboard by completing the registration form and sending it to the Lindblad team at You can also book trip extensions and your air through Lindblad, if desired. Jut email them or call 1-888-773-9007.


One last thought: now that we can lift our heads on a different world, isn’t it time to plan what you may have promised yourself you’d do?


If not now, when?


If not you and your family, who?


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