I swear, I haven't been hiding! Just busy! Here's what's making November a happy month for me.
I swear, I haven't been living under a rock somewhere! Life has just been busy, but in a really good way. Here's what I've been up to since mid-October.
Traveling to Pembroke.
Have you ever heard of Pembroke, Ontario? It's a beautiful town just a few hours outside of Ottawa and I was so lucky to travel there in late October, just as the autumn colors were starting to fade, to take part in the Ontario Highlands Tourism Summit.
The Ontario Highlands holds a very special place in my heart, as it was the destination for one of my favourite girls' trips (snowshoeing! dog sledding! art! food!). I loved meeting so many inspiring small businesses in the travel/tourism sector and presenting to many of them on using Instagram.
Here's how I'm making memories in October.
Making my travel memories last a lifetime.
Books and stationary have been the loves of my life even longer than travel has. I love to read, I love to write, and I love to share my adventures - which is why you're all here! But while my blog readers - that's you! - feel like extended family for me, I also have 'real life' friends and family who aren't big online readers. In fact, some don't use the internet at all! I needed a better way to share my trip photos and stories, one that didn't involve an endlessly boring slideshow. What better way than to bring in my book love!?!
There's sand, surf, and sun in beautifully unexpected places...
Europe is the art and history center of the world and you can probably add food, wine, architecture, and fashion to that list. But Europe is a fantastic destination for beach lovers as well. There's thousands of miles of coastline, from gentle sand beaches to rugged rocky coasts. And you don't have to have a yacht or celebrity friends or a film debuting at Cannes in order to enjoy them to the fullest! Here are 5 of my favourite (and more affordable) beach destinations in Europe.
In a bookstore with a humongous reputation, there once lived a small cat...
Have you ever had a wonderful travel memory that started off on the wrong foot, literally? In the summer of 2003, I spent an extended weekend in Paris. Eager to prove my sophistication, I made my first (and, subsequently, my last) foray into the world of travelling with high heels. After all, what are $39.99 sales racks at Sears for if not for strutting across the city of love?
But camel coloured pleather kitten heels and Parisian heat waves don’t mix. By the time I arrived at my destination, the legendary Shakespeare and Company bookstore, I was a hot mess of sweat, dust, and half a dozen pulsating blisters, the smallest measuring in at an inch in diameter. My plans for a quick visit were quickly revised to spend as much time as possible perched among the cooling books. Little did I suspect a cat would cross my path and leave paw prints on my heart.
Here's what's making September a happy month for me.
A final summer camping trip
Our first camping trip of the season left a bit to be desired, weather wise. The first day was ridiculously humid with an unprecedented level of insects. Day two saw an epic rain storm which led us to temporarily abandon the campground for several hours. We knew we needed a camping re-do so we could embrace the final days of summer. I'm so glad we had a last minute Labour Day weekend camping trip to Voyageur Provincial Park (Ontario) with friends. We had PERFECT summer weather - and it was nearly mosquito free! It makes me feel a bit better about the approaching autumn, knowing we had one last perfect summer experience.
Discovering a new writer and an old inspiration
Here's what's making July a happy month for me.
It's hard to imagine a person who embodies the virtues and attributes of being a Canadian quite like Terry Fox. Fox became a renowned athlete and cancer awareness activist after his devastating loss of a leg to bone cancer. He set an audacious goal to first run across Canada, and then to raise one dollar for every person in the country. With a prosthetic limb that was never designed for the rigors of long distance running, Fox set out on a "Marathon of Hope", running an average of 26 miles a day as he made his way across Canada.
At the Museum of History's special exhibition on Fox's life, we learned so much about his struggles on and off the road. How in the early days he was splashed and nearly run off the road by trucks. How he struggled with his new celebrity status as the run gained momentum. And his secret worries about his health. It was a story I thought I knew well, but what I hadn't realized was that Fox was a prolific writer, taking solace in his diary. At the end of brutally exhausting days that combined running and public appearances, he would chronicle his experiences in his diary, sometimes writing pages at a time.
Terry Fox was always an inspiration to me but to see him in this new light, as a writer, makes me admire him even more.
Here's what's making June a happy month for me.
The Blogcation Retreat was a smash success!
On the road in Turkey
Here's what's making May a happy month for me.
Planning the trip of a lifetime to Ireland? Here are our 5 favourite Irish travel experiences.
Ireland is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world - and it's one of our personal favourites as well! I've traveled to Ireland four times now, in visits ranging from 24 hours to an entire summer, and each time I always discover something new that makes me fall in love with the country all over again.
But I also get frustrated with some traditional images of Ireland. There is so much more to the country than wild parties in Dublin's Temple Bar or jam-packed castle visits! Here are five Irish travel experiences we always look forward to that reflect the real heart and soul of the country.
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