While in Botswana, safari camping was at the top of our travel list. But it wasn't without challenges, like how to stay clean.
This picture of me, taken after one day of Botswana safari camping, says it all. I'm wide-eyed and smiling but you can see the worry in my eyes. You can also see plenty of sweaty hair and a cooling, wet handkerchief draped around my neck. And that was my northern Botswana and Chobe safari experience in a nutshell: awe-inspiring, monumental, a bit overwhelming, and really, REALLY sweaty.
In so many ways, I was ill-prepared for the rigors of Botswana wilderness safaris. I had done exhaustive research. I had been camping dozens of times. Heck, I had even lived in southeast Africa before. But the heat, sand, dirt, and sweat hit me like a ton of bricks. It wasn't that I was unhygienic, per se. I was just out of my element in so many ways and feeling cruddy sure didn't help.
Ryan, I suspect, was absolutely in his element. But I was at the outer limits of my comfort zone. And, trust me, life does NOT begin there, no matter what the philosophers say! This is the blog post about keeping clean on camping safaris I wish I could have read before my trip.
I should have been on vacation but I couldn't stop thinking about the next big thing to share with you. If you've dreamed about a travel scarf with pockets, you're going to love this post!
What does summer vacation look like for a travel blogger? Probably a lot like it looks for everyone else! First, there are plenty of indulgent snack foods (hello there, poutine, ice cream, and popsicles). Next, there's a lot of laziness and lounging about in the sun, enjoying the breeze and watching the leaves ripple on the trees. There's even a good amount of time hanging out by the shore, collecting feathers and shells, and generally being thrilled to put social media on snooze.
Of course, there's also the unexpected rain - but we'll get to that in a moment!
This year, our summer vacation brought us to Craigleith Provincial Park for four nights of southern Ontario camping. Ryan and I stuffed our car with camping gear, beer, extra beach towels (but no pillows.... not our finest moment), a backpack brimming with books, magazines, and board games - and, of course, our dog, Oliver! Aside from the pillows, just one thing was missing and this one was intentional. My laptop was left at home and I couldn't have been happier!
But while I had officially banished work, I couldn't turn off the blogging side of my brain. Case in point: while camping, I was able to try out an incredible travel scarf with pockets, something I've been enamored with ever since I first heard about it. And I couldn't wait to tell you all about it! An infinity scarf with pocket features has been on my travel wish list for a while now. Originally I had visions of cuddling around the campfire in a chic scarf, looking glamorous while keeping my phone and keys safe, but Mother Nature delivered a heck of a rain storm that really let me put things to the test.
Check out our video showing just how gorgeous Ontario camping at Craigleith Provincial Park really is - on clear days and stormy ones alike! Then read on to learn more about my new favourite travel scarf (and enter to win one for yourself....)
Planning a Canadian road trip? Here's a roundup of our top travel recommendations for New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland.
The period when late spring turns into early summer is one of my favourite times of year and it's not only because of the great weather and the chance to dig in the garden after a long, cold winter. It's also the time when people ask me a lot of questions about traveling to the Canadian Maritime provinces. Longtime readers know that I grew up in Nova Scotia and that Ryan and I make frequent trips to Canada's east coast to visit family and sneak in a little travel of our own. It's always exciting to see that other people are planning their own trips and we're only too happy to help with the process.
While I hope you peruse all of our Maritime posts at a leisurely pace, I thought it would help you fine folks if I did a round up of some of our favourite destinations, routes, foodie experiences, and Maritime roadtrip tips and tricks. And I've also included links to some inspiring pieces written by other bloggers to help fuel your great Canadian travel adventure!
Whether you're in Halifax for a weekend conference or taking the trip of a lifetime and spending an entire season on the road, I hope you'll come back to dip into this post again and again!
What's the secret to minimalist packing? Maximizing the space in your bag by using straps and paracord, the stealthy workhorses of the travel world.
Five shirts - never four, never six - some brightly colored packing cubes, a couple of hot chocolate sachets... You probably know my minimalist packing list as well as I do! But there are a few items among my otherwise discerning selection of gear that may just catch you by surprise. One of them is a stick of menthol body glide. It keeps blisters and chaffed skin at bay. Another random addition is the handful of colorful pens I always toss in my purse at the very last minute. After all, you can't have ill-coordinated lists, even when traveling! And the most unexpected item of all? Rope.
Yes, this light packing, anti-adventurist gal carries rope in her backpack. Well, not rope exactly, but, depending on the trip, webbing, straps, and paracord might come along! No, I haven't secretly taken up mountain climbing or hang-gliding or even off the grid camping. Can you imagine? Yet this unusual gear is one of the unsung heroes of my packing success. And with our incredible round-the-world trip looming on the horizon, it is going to be more important than ever before.
Saguenay is the best place to go kayaking in Quebec - even if there are a few misadventures along the way.
Brimming with confidence and cutting a dashing, athletic figure, I nimbly slid into the stern of my sea kayak, ready to embrace the elements and be one with nature.
Wait a minute.... that's not me! I've never been nimble at anything I do, let alone anything to do with boats! But when I had the opportunity to kayak the Saguenay, Quebec, Fjord - and specifically be in the Saguenay St Lawrence Marine Park, adjacent to Fjord National Park- I WAS truly ready to be one with nature. The chance to navigate a fjord here in Canada was a rare travel experience I couldn't miss.
As for the confidence.... well... let's just say that I was about as confident as I was nimble. But it didn't take me long to hit my stride, with only a few minor mishaps. And it was all worth it to be better acquainted with an absolutely incredible corner of the world. Here's why I think sea kayaking is among the best things to do in Saguenay (even if there were a few awkward wetsuit moments along the way).
Travel writer Emma Higgins spent a year traveling solo around Ireland and the UK... and didn't shy away from taking some walks on the wild side.
Travel writer Emma Higgins went on a journey through the UK and Ireland for the whole of 2015. Emma travelled around her native land from the Hebrides in Scotland to the far corners of Cornwall, the west coast of Ireland and eastern England. Her book, A Year in the UK & Ireland, which is out now, is a collection of twenty long-form stories about her voyage, with beautiful accompanying photography aimed to inspire you to see the British Isles from a new perspective.
We sat down with Emma to talk about her incredible adventure!
Have you explored your Long Point Provincial Park camping options. You'll love our review of this beautiful park, and our favourite campground, Turtle Dunes.
When I was recently asked what one of my favorite places in Southern Ontario was, Long Point Provincial Park immediately came to mind. As one of Ontario's oldest provincial parks, and the only one to be located in a designated World Biosphere Preserve, Long Point Provincial Park is long indeed on bragging rights. And Long Point Provincial Park camping is the perfect way to experience summer - it's an escape filled with sun, sand, swimming, and more.
Every summer we join friends for our "big" annual camping trip, lasting anywhere from several days to nearly a week, and Long Point is a favourite spot among all of our preferred destinations. It checks all our usual camping boxes (clean sites, clean washrooms, a nice blend of lively but not TOO lively atmosphere) and yet it offers so much more than that.
Here are our five favourite things about Long Point Provincial Park.
Camping in the rain is not for the faint of heart but that didn't stop us!
Check out the crazy downpour of rain! We filmed this from our tent at Sandbanks Provincial Park, one of several wet and windy camping experiences we had this summer. And yet we keep coming back for more! So why, exactly, would anyone chose to go camping in the rain?
Well, I don't know if anyone actually WOULD chose to go camping in the rain but sometimes it's unavoidable. Often camping reservations are made months in advance and most of us don't have much flexibility when it comes to summer vacation plans. So come rain or sleet or shine, camping it is!
Have you ever read Garth Stein's book "The Art of Racing In The Rain"? It's a terrific read for anyone who loves travel and dogs and it always reminds me that there's a bit of an art to doing just about anything in the rain - even camping! Here are some important lessons I learned about doing it with good grace at Pittock Conservation Area near Woodstock, Ontario.
PEI's Cabot Beach Camping Is A Summer Dream Come True!
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