Motivation Monday: 6 Travel Intentions for 2016

Travel Intention #3: visit more National Parks like Elk Island National Park.
2016 Travel Intention #3: visit more of Canada’s National Parks like Elk Island pictured above.

Happy New Year!

I’m a fan of New Year’s resolutions and goals. Call me a planning nerd, but there’s nothing like opening a new calendar, writing down dates, goals, birthdays and/or deadlines. This year instead of writing down some hard/fast resolutions (save more money, eat more greens, sleep more, snore) I thought I’d set some travel intentions to act as little nudges for the next 366 days. Sharing these with all of you will hopefully keep me on track.

So here goes – my most public list of travel intentions yet: six ways I’m going to explore, embrace and giggle more in 2016. Happy 2016 – hope your goal setting process was as fun as mine.  Read more

Nostalgia and Inspiration for Cozy Cabin Time Getaways

Cabin time in the Shuswap
Cabin time in the Shuswap. Photo credit: Lindsay & her dad. 

Each Labour Day weekend for about five years a group of us  would flee Vancouver to escape to a chain of lakes called the Shuswap. The agenda: three days of low-key, fun-as-heck cabin time. The chain of warm, clean lakes were ideal for fishing/boating/ kayaking/swimming and were a major draw for vacationers from B.C. and Alberta. Unlike, say, the Okanagan, the Shuswap area hasn’t been completely developed and polished. There are still trailer parks and gas stations that also pose as liquor stores/bakeries/ andgrocery stops. The chain of tiny lakeside unincorporated towns that fringe the north shore of the Shuswap are rough around the edges: they have volunteer fire departments, dusty community halls, karaoke-filled pubs and not a time share in sight (for the most part).

One such gem of an area is Celista, where my friend Lindsay’s family owns a cute little two bedroom cabin that’s straight out of the late 1970s/early 1980s. To get there, you have to drive through some tiny towns, past must-stop bannock seller, across some salmon bearing rivers and around a few hectic narrow turns to arrive at one of the best cabins I’ve ever hung my hat(s) in.  Every Labour Day weekend, Lindsay’s family would let a gaggle of us carouse at the cabin while her and her then-partner James would play host and boat captain(s).  Read more

Motivation Monday: Canadian Crush

Quote by Italian playwright Carlo Goldoni.
Quote by Italian playwright Carlo Goldoni. Photo by me: Ottawa train station.

Currently crushing on Canada….

And the look of a red and white flag with a maple leave flapping in the wind. Positive leadership. The sound of red/yellow/orange leaves crunching under my feet. The gravelly tones of Leonard Cohen’s voice. Holiday traditions. Pancakes slathered in  maple syrup. Conversations in train stations. Million-strong cheers for Olympic hockey games. Mountains carpeted in conifers. Long road trips. Short road trips. River swimming holes. The taste of salt on my lips, neoprene on my body. Endless canola fields. Buffalo scratching their heads. The way the Rocky Mountains stretching towards the sun. Northern Lights dancing on the horizon. Local, fresh produce, meat and dairy. Poppies on left lapels. George Stroumboulopoulos djing in our living room. Snow on the ground. Visions of totem poles on my hard drive. Small town Chinese food. Big city croissants. Parks, parks and more parks. Salmon swimming upstream. Whales spouting in English Bay. Moose strolling across our front yard.

Canada is so vast – I’ve only seen a small portion of it but I’m so excited to travel more, because of all these things. I’m feeling pretty excited to be living in Canada these days – like the future is sunny though we’re heading into the season of short days and low temperatures. Oh Canada, I do adore you so.

What do you love about your country? Is there a smell/taste/feeling that instantly brings you ‘home’? 

Motivation Monday: Slay your Bucket List

Surf Sister surf school with my bests in Tofino, British Columbia.
Surf Sister surf school with my bests in Tofino, British Columbia.

Warning: Imma going all big-sister, preachy on you. So if you’re not in the mood for some un-solicited advice, move on.

You’ve probably read one of those posts – you know the viral ones with the gorgeous photos and trust-fund whiff of bottomless funds: the travel bucket list. As in ‘10 Bucket List destinations in Europe/Africa/Asia/Etc You MUST visit‘ style posts. This topic is so so subjective.

This bucket list post is a little different, because I’m not going to share my list with your per se, because it’s still evolving. My travel bucket list is changing as I get older and take on more adulting, more driving, less flying, less palm trees, more local campgrounds. You get the picture. My travel maps are a little more local these days. And that’s okay.

Why?   Read more