I picked up a few 'outrageous' lessons in local food when I traveled to Southwest Ontario.
It's not everyday you're invited to a food fight, especially one that takes place in a barn that's over 130 years old! But West Lorne, Ontario, is anything but your usual destination. The community manages to walk the fine line between preserving the past and focusing on heritage while still moving forward with a modern style and focus. And their location in the heart of southwest Ontario's farmlands means that local food is at the heart of all that they do - including the odd food fight!
The local food movement may just be the biggest culinary trend in the world, but there's still a lot to learn about what it really means. And West Lorne was ready to teach me some crucial lessons.
Prince Edward Island is the "gentle island" - but it's anything but sleepy! Read about our top recommendations for travel to Prince Edward Island.
One of the first trips I ever took was as a little girl on a family vacation to Prince Edward Island - and I've loved the island ever since. It's compact enough that you can explore it thoroughly in a short amount of time yet large enough that it can keep you intrigued and entertained for a long time.
I take every opportunity I can to go back to visit and I think it's the perfect place to spend a week - or even just a spare afternoon. And best of all? It's incredibly affordable. You'll find fantastic value throughout the island, especially when you do some of my favourite things.
Barbados is high on my foodie radar... If you're planning a trip to Barbados, these are the sweet, salty, and savoury treats you should try.
Barbados first really hit my radar at the beginning of the year, when I did a post about the best places to travel in 2015. Barbados got a glowing review! But funnily enough it was another warm weather destination that convinced me I had to ramp up my travel plans. Our March visit to Hawaii reminded me of how much I love to connect with the ocean, with the gardens, and - of course! - the food in tropical locations.
Our winter escape to Hawaii was so wonderful that I was immediately planning our next trip and I couldn't imagine a better spot than Barbados. Everything I've ever read about the country, the climate, the culture, and the cuisine has me convinced I've got to go and check out some Barbados vacation packages.
Since it never hurts to start planning a trip in advance, I thought it wise (purely in the name of research, you understand) to start compiling a list of the best food the country has to offer.
Amongst the hustle and bustle of Istanbul's Sultanahmet, there is an oasis of art.
Istanbul's Sultanhamet neighbourhood is no stranger to old buildings. It's home to the Hagia Sophia, which dates back to 537 AD, and Topkapi Palace, built in 1459. By comparison, Caferağa Medresesi is the new kid on the block. Built in 1559, it's a mere 456 years young!
But in its relatively short life, it's had many incarnations. The word medresseh refers to an educational institution and, since 1989, Caferağa Medresesi has been a centre of learning for traditional Turkish handicrafts, such as ceramics, mosaics, calligraphy - and ebru painting, which we were fortunate enough to try.
A bog in the heart of the city? Mer Bleue is Ottawa's best secret hike.
Plants from the Arctic tundra, a secret "sea" left over from the ice age, and one of the rarest micro-climates in Canada? You can find it all on the outskirts of Ottawa and - even better - it's completely free and accessible to visit! The Mer Bleue Bog is one of my favourite places in the city and I guarantee you won't find it listed in any guide book. Let me tell you what makes this place so special and why it should be on every visitor's bucket list.
Come step inside a few centuries of history...
I've been visiting houses of worship around the world for as long as I can remember. I may have all the spiritual sensibilities of a rock, but that hasn't stopped me from enjoying the beauty, architecture, art, history, and geneaology found within the walls of the grandest mosque or the tiniest church. And as a budget minded traveler, spiritual sites top my list of value all-stars. They are tremendously affordable (usually free!), your donations go to a good cause, there are often special events like free music recitals - and you may even get a fantastic meal too!
There are thousands of houses of worship in London and I've only visited a fraction - but I'm happy to share a few of my favourites here. If I do say so myself, I think this is a perfect list for a first time visitor to London as it gives you a little bit of everything. Famous, obscure, old (and really old), music, community, and food. I'm hoping with each subsequent visit to London my list will continue to grow!
Why isn't St. Paul's Cathederal on this list? It is indeed one of my favourites but I haven't had the chance to visit since 2001 and therefore I can't really offer any personal insights into things like their cafe, their music program, or their tours. Hopefully, I'll be back for a return visit soon!
Dr. Frederick Banting is the ultimate Canadian ambassador.
Every now and then, you come across a travel stereotype that's true - or, at least, I'd like to believe that all the travel stereotypes about Canadians are true. Apparently we're quite a likable bunch! But reputations are not built overnight. Modern travelers owe a debt of gratitude to some of our earliest unofficial ambassadors; those who turned a spotlight on Canada and helped us shine.
One such remarkable pioneer was Dr. Frederick Banting. Renowned for discovering insulin and employing it for the treatment of diabetes, Banting was extremely deserving of the honors that flooded in as a result of his research. But as he rose to super-stardom in the 1920s and 1930s, he never lost touch with his roots. And his humble, hardworking persona continues to resonate with Canadians, who voted him into 4th place on the Greatest Canadians list in 2004. When I think of the best qualities of a Canadian, at home or abroad, I think of Dr. Banting. Here's why.
It's time to shine a little light onto your travels.
With all the grace and stealth of a bull in a china shop, I made my way out the tiny doorway of our tree house and across the even tinier landing to our outdoor washroom. The steps were slick with rain, the walls were full of shadows, and the air was thick with the grating call of the coqui frog. But I noticed none of this as my eyes nervously darted back and forth, sweeping the area for the rumored wild pig who called the property home. We were warned to make sure he didn't get into the kitchen hut (HOW??!?!) and I was convinced that a pig smart enough to infiltrate the kitchen could easily secure a foothold in the outhouse to plan an ambush.
I had traveled for years without a headlamp, and then traveled years more with one that stayed in the bottom of my pack. And then, over the course of 72 hours in Hawaii, it more than earned its keep. Here's what you need to know when you buy one - and why I'll never go without mine again.
Let me show you around my backyard.... These are Nova Scotia's most scenic spots.
Where can you go for incredible sunsets, beautiful ocean views, endless white sand, charming cottages, and fields filled with flowers? If you're guessing Hawaii or Ireland or New Zealand - you're wrong. Well, I suppose technically you're right! But I had a much more accessible and affordable destination in mind - Nova Scotia! This is more than just a favourite travel destination of mine - it's home.
I grew up in Nova Scotia, along the shores of Cape Breton Island. While I no longer live there, it still has a warm spot in my heart and I never hesitate to passionately recommend my favourite spots to visitors. Whether you're visiting the province for the first time or the 10th, here are three incredibly beautiful spots you shouldn't miss. Of course, if you think there are other destinations to vie for the title of Nova Scotia's most scenic spots - please weigh in!! I want to learn about your favourite spots too!
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