Halifax was the perfect place for a solo escape.
I’ve written before about 5 travel splurges that were worth every penny. Sometimes having a splurge is the best possible value – it creates a memory or an experience that becomes the highlight of a trip.
Recently, I heard people on Twitter chatting about #ChardonnayDay and I had an instant flashback to one of my favourite travel splurges that was a chardonnay soaked experience!
In 2001, I returned to my home province of Nova Scotia after living and studying in England and backpacking around Europe – a wonderful 8 month experience that played a huge role in shaping my love of travel and writing. Being back in my tiny Cape Breton community felt stifling and I sent myself off to Halifax to stretch my legs a little bit and – on a more practical level – collect some belonging from the long-suffering ex-boyfriend I had broken up with while living overseas.
Halifax is a great city in the summer. It has a beautiful waterfront, lively patios and pubs, and fantastic outdoor activities like visiting the historic Citadel. On the day I resumed custody of my old computer and sweatshirts, however, I found myself indoors. I had made my way to the Nova Scotia Art Gallery and eagerly sought an acquaintance with its air-conditioned interior. It was wonderful to be surrounded by art once again and I took a special pleasure in the gallery’s one of a kind collection of Maud Lewis paintings, folk art, and artifacts- even her house!
At the end of my visit, I popped into the gallery café for lunch. I can remember having this overwhelming need to just treat myself, take care of myself, transition from one world – of travel, study, a failed relationship – to another. After months of backpacking in Europe on a budget of $35 a day (yep, transportation, accommodations, food, EVERYTHING!), eating out was a big treat.
My memory of the meal is a bit fuzzy – squash soup, light salad maybe, definitely dessert, but I remember thinking how novel it was to not order the most inexpensive, calorie dense item on the menu! And then I did something completely out of character – I ordered a glass of wine!
I had an icy cool glass of Jackson Triggs Chardonnay. It made me feel sophisticated, grownup, worldlier than the naive girl who left for Europe 8 months earlier. Chardonnay is not always my first choice for wine, but now I choose it when I feel the need to treat myself and start afresh. It reminds me again and again that budget travel is a great choice, but sometimes you need the value of an unplanned splurge to keep things on track!
Have you ever had a small splurge that made you feel like a million bucks? Share your experiences in the comments below.
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