This gorgeous, sun-soaked Spanish city is the perfect cozy escape.
What does the perfect holiday abroad look like to you? Does it conjure up images of sun-soaked coastal spots? Maybe it involves getting in touch with your inner art connoisseur, as one can expect with a tour of Barcelona’s famed art museums. Personally, we're partial to cozy locales. And one spot we haven’t been able to stop thinking about is the charming city of Seville, Spain.
Below are a few attractions we highly recommend, especially for first-time travellers, as well as some packing tips to keep in mind.
The Hawk on Cape Sable Island is Nova Scotia's southernmost point and home to its most unusual beach.
When you go as far south as you possibly can in Nova Scotia and the pavement ends, you’ll find yourself at a quiet beach known locally as “The Hawk.” This isn’t your average Maritime beach with soft sand and smooth pebbles. The shores here are filled with thousands of fossilized tree stumps.
The Hawk (most likely named after a schooner washed ashore in the 1800s) is located on Cape Sable Island. No, that’s not the same place as Sable Island, famously home to wild horses. Cape Sable Island sits between Yarmouth and Shelburne and is the southernmost part of the province. There isn’t much in the way of horses in the area, but birds are a different story. Bird watchers love this beach, and The Hawk is part of the Cape Sable Important Bird Area.
However, the wildest thing of all are the fossilized tree stumps, part of a 1500-year-old drowned forest.
Sure, it's hard to resist cool travel stuff but these are nine things you really don't need weighing down your bag.
Within my travel-loving soul, there lies a contradiction.
I love packing light. Like, I really, really love it. You know that joke "How do you know if someone travels carryon? They'll tell you!"? It was written about me. I not only love packing light. I equally love being insufferable about it. Oh, you just took one suitcase for your resort vacation? Well I used one backpack for a six week round the world trip and half the space was taken up with camping gear.
Like I said, I'm insufferable.
But I also love, and I mean LOVE, specialty travel gear. The more task and trip specific, the better. I am obsessed with travel supply catalogues and I haven't met a packing cube that I don't love. But the truth of the matter is that much of this stuff is, well, how do I put this? It's garbage. It's poorly constructed mass produced stuff that preys on our fears of being unprepared, the uncertain nature of the open road, and the shame that comes when you don't keep pace with fast fashion. All of this stuff has weighed down my bag at one point or another and I am here to tell you that you don't need it. Any of it.
Some people explore via food tours or shoe shopping. It seems my destiny is to discover the world one optometrist at a time.
What do Paris (France), Portland (Maine), and Yarmouth (Nova Scotia) have in common? Not much, to be honest. But I’ve come to see them through a new lens – if you’ll pardon the pun – thanks to local optometrists.
Some people see the world through – here’s that pun again – a specific lens. They explore destinations via a particular filter or set of experiences, discovering cities via food tours or shoe stores. I hadn’t thought that approach applied to me until I realized I was getting to know the globe via eye health facilities, one city at a time.
The Cup and Saucer Trail on Manitoulin Island, Ontario, is a beloved spot for adventure. But how would an anti-adventurist like me fair on this hiking route?
I have a rule when it comes to hiking. I have to be able to complete the route while holding a travel mug, full of a delicious latte. If you're going to trudge through the forest, you might as well do with a tasty hot beverage in hand, right? And having a hot drink to balance means you're avoiding anything too arduous. However, while on a press trip to Manitoulin Island, located just outside Sudbury in northern Ontario, I broke that rule all in the name of, well... I'm not sure exactly. Adventure? That doesn't sound like me. Being a bold, brave travel writer? Welllll.......
Like many anti-adventurist excursions, I had several moments of doubt along the way, but I'm ultimately happy that I did it. Here's what it was like to hike the Cup and Saucer Trail - in the rain!
Sometimes the best travel guides aren't guidebooks at all. These ten books will help you see travel, food, wine, life, and culture in a new way.
Do you remember the first book that inspired you to travel?
I have several. I vividly remember the details of Anne's voyage from Prince Edward Island to Nova Scotia to attend college in Anne Of The Island, the third instalment in Lucy Maud Montgomery's Green Gables series. I was enthralled by the packing scenes in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. What does one bring when you embark on a long carriage ride to see Charlotte Lucas and Mr. Collins? Early biographies of The Beatles made Liverpool's gritty streets and warm culture feel not that far away.
I bet you have some memorable novels and memoirs that helped inform your travels, too. And now I have some more to add to your list. I'm confident there's something among my list of ten non-travel travel books that will appeal to every reader. These texts will change the way you look at food, drink, towns, cities, forests, fears, and friendships forever. Tuck one into your suitcase for your next trip.
Going on vacation? This 33-point check list will make sure you get out the door with everything you need (including your sanity). Your to-do list has never been easier!
A long time ago, I saw a funny quip online that said something to the effect of how if you wanted to see someone get six months’ worth of chores done in a day, check them out the day before they leave for vacation and, let me tell ya, I felt seen.
I’m aware that there is absolutely no reason I need to wash the guest room curtains before we leave for a week of camping. I understand that all those platitudes about how “it feels so good to come home to a clean house” come from the cesspool which is productivity culture and patriarchal expectations. Yet I know, deep within my heart, that if anything horrible happened to me when I was on the road and the team from Criminal Minds came to my home to investigate my life to see what kind of person the unsub was targeting, I would die a second, more painful death when they concluded: “Clearly this serial killer was targeting slovenly women who dare to leave their house without tackling the basket of unmatched socks in the laundry room.”
As such, it goes without saying that the day before you leave for vacation is THE DAY in which you need to get every single thing you’ve ever needed, wanted, or considered for your life in order. As if you were going to leave for Florida without alphabetizing your spice drawer. Like you were really going on a summer road trip without finally steam-cleaning those weird spots on your carpet. Sure, that bag of clothing for the donation centre has been rolling around in your trunk for six months but are you really going to ignore it for an extra ten days while you're in Cleveland? I didn't think so.
The day before you leave for vacation should be your life’s busiest, most productive, most incredible list-checking day. It needs to render you so exhausted that anything else feels restorative, even being trapped for ten hours in the middle seat with a screaming toddler kicking your kidneys. See, your front hall closet is organized AND you're grateful for a $6 cup of instant coffee from a machine in Terminal F.
However if for any reason you can’t quite commit to that, here is a list of the most important tasks to get done when there are 24 hours or less to go.
These famous trees in Northern Botswana were first captured by painter Thomas Baines. Here's how you can see them for yourself.
Twenty some years ago, National Geographic devoted a cover story to the topic of Africa and, in doing so, they did something unusual. They declined to use a cover image, rationalizing that there was no one symbol or picture that could encompass the continent.
If they had asked me, I would have made my case for the baobab tree. True, they don’t grow everywhere in Africa but they are an icon of the continent. Residents love them for their fruit, shade, and fibres, as do animals. Visitors adore these funny looking plants that have the appearance of being stuck in the ground upside down. They’re huge, imposing, aloof and yet there’s something about the baobab that’s decidedly homey. Perhaps this is why the Baines' Baobabs in Botswana are so popular.
The Baine’s Baobabs are named for British artist Thomas Baines. Baines wasn’t just a painter. He was also an explorer and an active participant on many of the earliest European expeditions to Africa. As such, he both contributed to and memorialized early colonialism. His work fed a mania for “exotic” images of the continent and his painting of seven baobabs in northern Botswana certainly fit the bill. They’re a little weird, a little other-wordly, and utterly captivating.
Located in northern Botswana in Nxai Pan National Park, the group of trees that Baines immortalized are estimated to be over 1,500 years old. Also know as "The Sleeping Sisters" (as one tree is growing sideways) they’re considered to be some of the tallest in the area, hitting about 20 feet in height. Thanks to Baines’ legacy and the trees' own magnificence, they’re a popular tourist attraction and Ryan and I were able to see them for ourselves during our camping safari. Here’s how you can do the same.
Our favourite things to do in Livingstone include hanging with the rhinos, eating Indian food, going to museums, and relaxing by the river.
You've probably heard a lot about Victoria Falls, one of world's most majestic wonders. But have you heard about its next door neighbour, the small city of Livingston, Zambia?
Livingstone is often treated a bit like a base for exploring other destinations and, to be honest, we were a bit guilty of that ourselves at first. We stayed in Livingstone for about a week as we organized trips in Zimbabwe and Botswana. Thankfully, along the way we clued in to the fact that this is much more than a town that takes care of all the traveling essentials, from groceries to pharmacy, banks to stamps. There is a long list of Livingstone activities to enjoy during your visit and exploring the city was a highlight of our time in Africa. Here's what should be on your radar during your visit.
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