The Group Trip That Changed My Life

I love my solo travel. It is a massive part of who I am. However, I have also had incredible experiences on group trips. One in particular stands out more then any other group trip I have been on and participated in – my trip to Tanzania with UGO Impact. It has now been one year since my trip with them, and the continual impact from it in my life has not ceased to amaze me. It transformed my being and changed my life.

The program itself is a 3 month transformational coaching program, the trip was 2 weeks, and it consisted of a one week volunteer project working alongside the Dare Womens Foundation and then a one week trip to summit Mount Kilimajaro. There is group work and individual work focusing on personal development before and after the trip. This served to open us up before the trip so the experiences can have a deeper meaning, and after the trip so we can get the best long term success with everything we had just experienced during the trip. Another great thing about the group calls pior to the trip is that it gave us the opportunity to get to know eachother on deep personal levels, and when we arrived to Tanzania it was all warm hugs and embraces, as we had already began our journey together in the video chats.

I am very much into personal development, so when I read about UGO Impact combining it with travel, giving back, and then completely challenging ourselves with Kilimanjaro, it spoke to my heart and soul straight away. A magical combination.

I love doing volunteer work, one of my favorite jobs I ever had was when I used to lead volunteer projects in the remote jungles of Central and South America. It had been far too long since I had done something like that, so the first week working with the Dare Womens Foundation and alongside the community lit my soul on fire in so many ways that I couldn’t have imagined. It was as though I was suddenly back to a place where I feel so fulfilled inside. I actually had no idea it was missing from my life until I got on the trip.

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The whole week we sang, we danced, we worked, we ate, we laughed, we connected.

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We always made time to do our group coaching and personal development sessions. Some days I would go into the session not thinking it would be too profound and then after the session I was once again mind blown at my self discoveries. One week on the volunteer project truly didn’t feel long enough. Although, the excitement for Kilimanjaro was also pulling at us all.

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By time we got to Kili, our group bond was super tight, and it was exciting knowing we were all about to embark on the next level, life changing journey together.

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Even through the highs and lows of challenges on the mountain we still did our group work and coaching sessions. Saying that it brought a deeper meaning and impact, almost feels like an understatement. I mean, I feel like I should have much more profound words to use, as it is so hard to sum up into actual words the effect it all had. When you are mentally opening yourself up and digging deep within yourself in a group of love and support, you will automatically have a much more transformational experience in the other activities you do surrounding the mental work.

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As you go through the challenges everything you experience suddenly can become a metaphor for your life – who you are being, and how you are showing up.

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Kilimajaro was incredible and also life changing in and of itself. It was something I had wanted to do for many years. I am so glad it never happened until I did it with UGO Impact. If I would have just went and did it without this amazing coaching program, the great foundation from the volunteer work, and my amazing group that I was so connected with, it would have still been life changing, but not nearly to the level as with the combination. Not even close.

After Kilimajaro I found a determination in myself that was not there before, I found grit and drive that was buried deep within. I realized I have so much more in me then I was giving. I also learnt that some things in life don’t need to be rushed, it is more about the perseverence and taking it one step at a time. On the mountain they said ‘pole, pole‘ which means ‘slowly, slowy‘. We need to get acclimatized at every level so our body can keep going. As in life, we climb the mountain towards our goals, we can’t always run towards them, sometimes, we have to take it slowly, one step at a time, making sure we have our bearings for the next step and the next level. As long as we keep going in the direction, we will always reach our summit.

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On this trip I also fine tuned and discovered more of my deep values, and I realized I had stopped living my passions. Somehow I had let them go to the side and in turn I stopped feeling like my true self. Thanks to my trip with UGO, I found myself, I remembered what is important to me so I can live my best life, and give the world the best version of me. We all deserve to live our best lives.

It amazes me that a year later I am still having so many takeaways.

I am so excited that my friends, the founders of UGO, Jill Valentine and Nicole Hrinco are running this program again this fall! These two completely lead with love. They are there fully for your success and transformation.

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Photo credit to UGO Impact.

Courage, Community, Kilimanjaro 2020 – is happening this fall!

Every single person on the trip had such life changing transformations that they had to create the opportunity again. If I could, I would do it again, one hundred percent in a heart beat. It was that good. One of the most epic experiences of my life.If you are searching for more meaning in your life, and are excited about the idea of getting your hands dirty helping a community in need and climbing a mountain while connecting with the most amazing group of people, send me a message or comment on this post so I can connect you with UGO – truly two of my favorite women.I came back from this trip a better, happier and more aligned version of myself. For that, I am forever grateful.20190117_1442286647181426608491816.jpg

How Solo Travel Changed My Life

In the begining of my traveling days, I never thought I would turn into a full fledge solo traveler and take the term ‘the world is your oyster’ to such great lengths that it became my lifestyle.

As I write this I am on a solo trip in Spain. Last year I did participate in my first group trip in about 10 years, and then of course in true Petrena fashion, after the group trip, I was off on my solo adventures once again. Previously to all of this, I backpacked all around Central and South America, and completed a solo trip across Africa, from South Africa to Egypt, carrying a portable massage table. As much as I love traveling with people, I also love traveling alone for so many reasons. Solo travel enriched my life in countless ways.

My passion for travel and adventure also has me incredibly excited for this travel event coming up in Calgary on March 19th, 2020, hosted by Nomad Junkies called #Nomadtalks, showcasing and inspiring others like you to travel further, longer.

It got me thinking of the ways solo travel have impacted my life.

1. Pushed Me Into Growth

There is nothing like showing up to a country that you know nothing about, do not speak the language and are not familiar with the culture. It is exciting, nerve wracking, at times mentally exhausting, and the best way to uplevel your mindset in a very short period of time. You are in charge of navigating, communicating, keeping yourself safe and also finding the most epic adventures that the destination has to offer. Your intuition will become sharper and shaper as you continue to use its guidance to get you places. You will be challenged in so many ways, and suddenly the comforts of home are not an option. Through it all you, you will gain massive leadership skills, and I mean leadership of self. Which is priceless, as you can not be a great leader of others if you are not first a great leader of self.

2. Got To Know Myself Very Deeply

The best way to get to know yourself is to actually spend time with just yourself. Put yourself in new and foreign situations and you really start to see what makes you react and also what makes you tic. You have plenty of time to just be in your head and in your thoughts. You begin to discover things about yourself that you never knew, or perhaps forgot about since your early days. Passions new and old will arise. It is almost as if epiphany after epiphany happens. You return far more grounded in yourself, your values and who you are then you could have ever imagined. For this relationship with myself, I am forever grateful to my solo travel experiences.

3. More Connected With People As A Whole

This for me was so amazing. There was countless times where I have been in very remote places, and also very metropolitan places that I do not speak the language, and they also do not speak my language. Yet, through alot of charades, broken languages and at times frusteration as we had so much we wanted to say, we were still able to communicate. I formed deep bonds with people all over the globe not speaking the same language at all. Nowadays things are even easier as we have google translate. Last year when I was solo in Zanzibar, I met another solo female traveler from Russia who didn’t speak a word of English, and my Russian is also non-existent. Thanks to google translate we had the best time and lots of endless laughs. Picture the two of us having a cocktail at the bar and passing a phone back and forth cracking up. My biggest lesson in this respect is that no matter where we are in the world, people are people. We can be very different in values and beliefs, but at the end of the day we are all the same. When you realize that, you can connect with virtually anyone, and that is a beautiful feeling.

4. Greater Appreciation For The World

Unless we get out from our little bubble, we will never see all the endless beautiful and amazing things this world has to discover. Alot of times we can get stuck under the impression that the world is a very scary place, so we play it extra safe and don’t venture off too far. For myself, the further I have gone the further I want to go and the more beauty I find, the more beauty I want to discover. Of course there are dangers, and we must use our wits about things, but we should never let fear take over and stop us from discovering all of lifes splendors.

I have had the pleasure of staying with locals in the townships of South Africa, to rural villages across the continent and likewise in Central and South America. Places where most other travelers won’t go because they are told never to visit there unless you are on a tour. I prefer getting the real experience, so in my solo traveling history I have always made friends with locals and families who invited me to come and stay. When you are there with locals from the community, you are always well taken care of. Many times people endlessly thanked me for coming as that never happens. I have gained such an apprecation for everything this world has to offer. There is so much heart opening beauty.

5. Proved To Me That The Only Cure For The Travel Bug Is To Travel More

Those of you who have gotten biten by it know – the travel bug is relentless. There is no real cure. You can simply put it into hibernation for a bit by giving it a taste of what it loves so much. I feel like I was born with the travel bug, it was engrained in my being. At times it calms down and I settle for awhile, but that never lasts forever as when he doesn’t get his travel fix he begins to awaken from his slumber demanding some adventure. The travel bugs appetite is insatiable. Of course I have also grown to love my travel bug, so I like to be a good host. I mean what else can I do, he seems to be with me for life. Plus, the cure also happens to be what sets my soul on fire. Why work against some things, when it is so much easier to work with them.

Has solo travel been something that you want to discover for yourself as well?

Something I didn’t have when I began my global travel was tools. Tools and knowledge that would have made the whole process even more smooth. I just jumped right in and went for it, which is also great. I love learning as I go, but it is even better to have some mental preperation and also know your options.

If you dream of traveling for 6 months or longer, then knowing your options and how to make it happen, will help immensely. If you are interested in learning more about the nomadic lifestyle then I definetely suggest checking the #Nomadtalks event that will be happening in Calgary. Nomad Junkies will be hosting their first ever event in Western Canada presented by International Experience Canada, and in partnership with Tourisme Alberta on March 19th. I am super excited to also announce that I will be a guest speaker at the event.

Tickets are available here.

I will also be hosting a giveaway on my facebook page, so go give that a follow if you want to be kept upto date on how to win your seats!

The event will consist of three talks, all of them travel related, and all full of amazing tools to get you on your way to treking the globe.

The first talk will be by David Xiao of Trailing Adventures. His talk is ‘Hiking from Mexico to Canada: Everything You Need to Know to Trek the Pacific Crest Trail‘. David is an adventure blogger and has great inspiration to share. This is an amazing trek that I would even love to do one day. I am very excited to learn about this.

The second talk will be by Safia & Emilie from Nomad Junkies. Their talk is ‘Work Your Way Around the World: How to Make the Most of Your Working Holiday Visa‘. Being the founders of Nomad Junkies, these two ladies have done loads of traveling and have a wealth of knowledge about how to work and travel. Working holiday visa’s are amazing. I have had one myself before. It is such a great way to travel further, longer. So if that is what you want, this talk will be for you.

The third talk will be by none other then myself! My talk is ‘ The Ultimate Guide to Solo Travel: Wild Stories from a Woman Who Travelled the World‘. Solo travel is my jam. I have had some insane and also completely magical experiences. I have learnt the right and wrong way to do things, and I am excited to share all the knowledge I have gained on my global adventures.

The MC for the event is Rudy Desjardins of Radio-Canada’s Le Cafe Show.

There is an incredible giveaway too!

You could win a 1 week surf & yoga retreat in El Transito, Nicaragua.

The winner will be randomly picked on stage at the event on March 19th. So get your ticket!!

See you there!

Massive thank you to Nomadjunkies for collaborating on this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own and I share from personal experience.

Time to pack our bags!

5 Ways Taking High Quality Multivitamins Changed My Health

At one time I used to think that I don’t need a multivitamin as I eat very healthy and I include plenty of superfoods in my diet. Plus, I never actually felt a real difference when I did take multivitamins. Prior to taking a high quality multivitamin, I had no idea that you truly should feel and see a difference from ingesting these nutritional gap fillers.

We don’t know what we don’t know, until we know. Am I right?

For most of my life I had taken various multivitamins on and off, yet it never was a full time lifestyle as like I said, I had not experienced any substantial benefits. That is, until I found a high quality multivitamin that was giving me results from the get go, and three years later I still continually see results. It is just a natural part of my everyday lifestyle now. Why would I ever not want to feel this good?

I will say, multivitamins do not make up for a bad diet. They are gap fillers and an addition to make a good diet – great! In this day and age it is no secret that our soil is depleted and so is the nutritional value of our foods. Adding in the vitamins to fuel our cells gives our body what it needs to combat what it’s missing. Feeding my cells this nutrition is also what aided my body to have a successful summit on Mount Kilimanjaro last year.

Here are 5 ways my health changed from taking a high quality multivitamin.

1. I have increased energy

This I noticed withing the first two weeks of taking the multivitamins. It was the first thing I noticed along with a general sense of more wellbeing. I was really surprised. Throughout the day my energy remains much more consistent. Instead of crashing and burning mid afternoon, I remain much more high every, alert and clear minded.

2. Clear skin and healthier hair

This has been a progressive change. Within the first month of me taking these multivitamins, people were commenting on how I was glowing and asking what I was doing different. As the vitamins I use work on a cellular level, they do say you will get a ‘glow’ after a period of time on them. Once people began to comment, I was suddenly aware of the glow they were talking about. Over the last three years my skin and hair look better then they did 10 plus years ago. I feel like they just keep getting better and better.

3. A more balanced appetite

This was unexpected. However, from providing my cells with the highest rated cellular nutrition, my appetite became much more balanced. I used to be plagued with cravings for sweet or starches, alot to do with being an emotional eater growing up and suffering from various eating disorders. My cravings completely plateaued and became much more natural to manage. I love how balanced my appetite now is.

4. Reduced stress and built my immunity

Stress is the number one killer in the world. Like a domino effect, if our body and minds are under stress, ailments will begin to arise and multiply. Stress also suppresses the immune system. Stress and immunity work hand in hand. By fueling my cells with the proper nutrition, it has assisted them in repairing, renewal and protection. Which in turn has reduced stress in my body and made my immunity even stronger. I rarely get sick and if I ever do, it’s just a touch of whatever flu is going around. A barely there touch.

5. Faster recovery after working out

This was a recent and very exciting discovery for me. I have gotten back into high intensity HIIT workouts lately. Things such as Orange Theory Fitness and Crossfit. Prior to this high quality supplement lifestyle, it would take days for my body to repair itself after some of these workouts. Literally, I would be hobbling around for days until my muscles bounced back. This was even though I was taking aminos and eating plenty of super foods. Now I do these workouts and no matter how intense they are, my body always bounces back in a day. I was blown away. I love high intensity workouts and I also love a fast recovery.

It is so important to know the quality of what we are putting into our bodies. Without even realizing it we could be putting our money down the toilet and getting no real beneficial results. I use this book that rates over 1500 supplement companies from the America’s edition. It is a great tool to know exactly where you are putting your money. Health is an investment and we want to be sure we are getting the most sound return.

No matter where in the world I am, my action steps to support my health and well-being always come with me. For myself there is no way I want to just let it all go because I am on a trip. Doing damage control when I get back is not my cup of tea. Although, I do of course end up indulging a bit more then usual when I am off adventuring.

That being said, my health kit is more stocked then anything else in my bag. Well, I do also have a soft spot for beauty products. At the moment I am traveling in Spain so I just ordered my vitamins to be delivered here as it is a non-negotiable in my lifestyle.

If you are interested in what I take, I use Usana. It is the highest rated supplement company in the world, and the results speak for themselves. I take my healthpaks daily as they have my minerals, antioxidants, calcium, magnesium and a cell booster pill(to take the cellular nutrition to an even deeper level).

The healthpaks are a bit more expensive then just buying the bottles of minerals and antioxidants. So, some months I will just buy the bottles if I am on a bit more of a budget.

Whatever your taking be sure to know the quality of your products as your body deserves the best. The better we are to our bodies, the better they will be to us in return. Because, without high quality health, we can not have a high quality life.

The Most Beautiful Village In Spain – Fornalutx, Mallorca

An idyllic mountain village sprawled in the mountain range of the Serra de Tramuntana is precisely what you can expect when you visit Fornalutx. The spectacular views from the village are what dreams are made of.

When I was informed of this village that has claimed the title of ‘The most beautiful village in Spain‘ on two separate awards occasions, I knew I must see it for myself.

It is located very near to the town of Sollér on the west coast of the island. To reach Sollér from Palma you can drive or take a bus. I took the 40 minute bus ride which came to a total of €5.40 return trip, as I intended to walk from Sollér to Fornalutx. To reach Fornalutx you can also drive, however there is limited parking in the village, so in the high season this could be a problem. You can take a bus, or like I did, enjoy the beautiful 40 minute scenic trek from Sollèr. The scenery along the journey is in a sense – mindblowing. The picturesque landscape makes one feel as though you are walking through a real life painting.

The trails are very early marked so you will not get lost on the journey.

As I approached Fornalutx, the small village of 700 inhabitants that was sprawling down the mountainside looking so perfectly nestled between the mountains, I could not help but feel in complete awe.

I was surrounded by the many orange and lemon trees and the blossoming almond trees. It was pure magic.

The history of Fornalutx beginnings dates back to over 1000 years, to a time when it was an Arab farmstead. The gothic church in the village dates back to 1639. The villages architecture from the 13th century after the Catalan conquests has remained virtually unspoilt and is also why the village is known as an architectural jewel. At one time Fornalutx was actually a part of Sollèr, however in 1837 the village gained its independence.

Once you enter the village you will be welcomed by narrow winding streets, stone houses and the most beautiful stone steps.

The square known as Plaza de España has a couple of cafes, a small food store and a bakery. It is a great spot to just relax in the tranquil atmosphere. This is a small village however there are a good handful of restaurants to choose from. They range from local Mallorcan cuisine to Italian and Indian.

Fornalutx is also a great starting point for many exceptional hikes. It is right on the flanks of the Puig Major, which is the highest mountain on the island with an altitude of 1,445 meters. I did partake in a short 1 hour hike up a trail which brought to me an incredible view of the mountains and valley. The trails are easy to use as they are more like steps and very easy to navigate as they are also all marked.

After my hike, I sat on the terrace at the restaurant Ca N’Antuna where there was the most incredible view. It was the terrace that caught my eye as I was passing by and inclined me to go and bask on it. I did not actually eat here, I just enjoyed a nice cold caña. However, the menu boasted plenty of Mallorcan dishes and I was told they make an incredible paella.

I would absolutely set a whole day aside to come and enjoy the history, architecture, hiking and then finish it off with some local cuisine on a stunning terrace taking the unforgettable view. This whole experience had such a romantic feel. With a good selection of hotels for such a small destination, it makes for a great place to book a romantic getaway.

After visiting Fornalutx, I can absolutely see why it has won the title of ‘The Most Beautiful Village In Spain‘ on two different occasions. It is small on size and very big in beauty. An absolute bucket list must if you are visiting the island.

I Tried Six Forma Facial Treatments And Here Are My Results

Touted as a ‘non-invasive’ facelift, the Forma Facial is a favourite of many A-list celebrities. It uses radio-frequency to target deep in the layers of the skin to improve skin elasticity and help build collagen. Recently, I received 6 forma facials in Calgary, Alberta at Rejuve Your Body which is in Kensington. Rejuve is exactly as the name, the most amazing place to rejuve your whole body.

I was on the search for something that could help with the loose skin under my chin. I like to keep things as natural as possible, so the less cutting or injections was what I was after.

I actually had no idea what to expect when I headed in for my first treatment. Forma was something I had not even heard about prior to this. However, when Rejuve owner Elanna Halisky explained to me about it, and how it was non-invasive and simply assists your skin to tighten, tone and produce more collagen – I was in.

From the first time I walked in the doors, every person I came in contact with was incredibly welcoming at Rejuve. To me it makes a massive difference walking into a warm environment. The treatment starts at the doors.

Before you begin the treatment you use a cleansing cloth to clean off all of the makeup and dirt.

And then it’s go time.

The wand of the machine used to do the treatment heats up and a large gob of gel is placed on the end of it and on your skin. This gel barrier is what makes it possible for the laser to be on contact with your skin and then also gives it the ability to penetrate deep into the layers of your skin.

The treatment itself actually feels very warm and relaxing. The temperature strength is adjusted for each individual person’s needs. As I laid there with my eyes closed melting into the treatment, I felt a sense of relaxation over my whole body. It really does not take long at all, it is about 30 – 45 minutes, depending on the areas you are getting done. This is why the nickname is the ‘lunch break’ facial.

After the treatment your skin is slightly red, simply due to the heat from the machine. However, there are no other side effects, and you can immediately notice a tighter smoother look to your skin. Depending on your personal goals a series of 6 – 8 sessions is recommended for the most dramatic and long-lasting results. Luckily, Rejuve has packages that make this a much more doable process. I did 1 treatment a week for 6 weeks, and my results blew me away.

One thing I noticed after a few sessions was a renewed self confidence. Not that I lacked confidence before this, but it definitely brought it to another level. I never imagined a facial would do that for a person.

It has now been a month since my last treatment and my face just continues to change for the better. The forma facial tightened all my loose skin and as I am working out and eating healthy to transform my body, my face is following suit. I feel the forma facial gave my skin a massive boost which has enabled it to continue to progress and change. I am definitely a believer thanks to Rejuve Your Body.

Self care is always a good idea.

A Luxury Stay In Radium Hot Springs

Steaming hot springs and refreshing outdoor pools aplenty, that is exactly what you will find when you visit Radium Hot Springs Village in British Columbia. The drive into Radium from Calgary was absolutely beautiful. I had not been there since I was a child, so everything was new to me. I was actually shocked that it was such a short drive from Calgary and that I had not visited more often.

As you cruise along the highway the mountains sprawl on the sides of the winding roads. On the outskirts of Radium, the road is carved through mountain walls. It feels so majestic and dreamy. I was driving through it all, with the snow lightly floating down, and in complete awe of the beauty that was engulfing my eyes.

The destination was Bighorn Meadows Resort. It is different than your typical resort, as these are self-contained condos. That being said, these are not just any condos, they are luxury condos. There is the opportunity to own a condo, or you can just spoil yourself and your loved ones with a rental getaway. I would not mind owning a holiday home here in the slightest.

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The condos are incredibly spacious, much grander then you would expect walking up to the door. As you enter, the long hall leads past the two bedrooms onward to the open concept kitchen, dining and living room area. The view from the windows is spectacular.20191217_1132124108673947330798273.jpg

The fireplace is the perfect place to sit and unwind on a chilly wintry evening. As soon as I laid my eyes on it, I knew I would be planting myself right in front of it with my slippers on to unwind for the evening.

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Why settle for one fire? Go ahead and double it up.

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There was the most amazing welcome package waiting for me. It had everything a lady could ask for upon arriving. A welcome package after my own heart.

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Plus a fridge and countertop stocked with snacks.

They do take great pride in making everyone at their resort feel extra special. Whether you are a condo owner on the property or a rental guest of a beautiful suite. They will tailor things to your individual wants or needs.

The kitchen is fully equipped with everything down to a blender. If you stay for two weeks you will have everything you need to make gourmet meals, or even just enjoy a light meal with a view.

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The balcony boasts a fantastic view as well as a barbeque and it makes it easy to envision gatherings with family and friends there.

The bedrooms have the most comfortable beds, and each room also has its own TV.

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There are two bathrooms, one connected to each bedroom. The bathrooms are stocked with organic toiletries, which of course my nature-loving heart was instantly impressed with.

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The master bathroom was huge. It was almost the same size as the bedroom. Hands down one of the largest and most spacious bathrooms I have ever used.

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There is a jet tub in there to ease your tired muscles from outdoor adventures. If that is not enough there are even the outdoor hot tubs. Those were my happy place.

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They are located right outside the gym and on the other side of the fence from the little ice rink.

A good workout, followed by a nice soak in the outdoor hot tubs surrounded by the snowy mountainous landscape – pure magic.

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This destination is a golfers haven, as there are 2 golf courses right there and 12 others in the area, along with ski hills, lakes and year-round mountain activities. Did I mention hot springs?

The Radium Hot Springs pools are very accessible and nearby. When I say near, don’t forget we are in a village. Everything is near when you are here.

If you want to get more rustic and immerse yourself in nature you can take an hour’s drive to the Lussier Hot Springs. Set on the side of a river, you can soak in the mineral-rich hot springs and then enjoy a cold jump into the river. Every hot spring you visit will welcome you with the aroma of sulphur, or to some, it may be more like rotten eggs. It doesn’t take long for your nostrils to become accustomed to it. Once you’re in the water all your woes will melt away and the scent will be a thing of the past.

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Don’t forget to remove your silver jewellery or the minerals in the water will turn your rings some very interesting colours. Nothing a good polish can’t fix.

A quick pitstop at the Fairmont Hot Springs is not a bad idea either. You can do a short hike up the mountain and see where the hot springs originated and take in an incredible view.

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The condo at the Bighorn Meadows Resort had such a home away from home feel and was so comfortable. My trip was to short and I didn’t go explore any of the culinary scenes in the area. I simply took in the idyllic setting and fabulous ambiance that the resort had to offer. When something is that you good, sometimes you just need to bask in it. This was a place that was checked off my bucket list only to be put back on again.

Beating Anxiety, Inflammation And Insomnia With The Best CBD Oil

CBD oil is a hot topic right now. As is anxiety, inflammation, and insomnia. With so many brands popping up in the market, it’s difficult to find a quality one that we can feel confident investing our money in and that gives us the results we are looking for.

Our bodies all contain an endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for creating homeostasis feel within our bodies. When our bodies are relaxed, they are capable of doing what they are made to do – heal themselves, and with more cannabinoids, it can do this at a higher level. We do create our own cannabinoids, however, due to poor diets, stress and toxicities to name a few, we do not create adequate amounts. So by supplementing our bodies with external cannabinoids, we nourish our endocannabinoid system.

Last summer I tried my first bottle of CBD and I totally lucked out with it, it worked fantastically and showed immediate benefits. It for sure helped with my anxiety and gave me an overall relaxed feel, plus it took away the pain and inflammation in my collapsed ankle. I was super excited about it.

Not long after that, the brand I first used was discontinued, and I had to begin a search for a new kind. Little did I know it would be a long and disappointing search. I ended up trying 10 various brands over the course of 8 months and I was not getting the results I expected or that I knew were possible from a quality CBD oil. I was beginning to get very discouraged and so was my wallet.

I had a list of requirements I was looking for, and potentially my standards were high as I had such good results initially. Long behold I came across Calm By Wellness. After I inspected the website, I could see every minute detail about the oil. The company had it all there, very transparent.

Calm CBD oil is organic and full spectrum, which means it has all of the cannabinoids minus the THC cannabinoid which is the psychoactive cannabinoid. Full spectrum is important to me as having all the cannabinoids means that it has further health reach within our bodies. Plus Calm is made in Loveland, Colorado. Colorado has some of the strictest agricultural laws out there, so you know it really is organic and all that it says is in the oil plus how it is made is legit. They also infuse it with love in good ol’ Loveland. It was checking all the boxes.

Calm has two different flavours of drops. The Strawberry Lemonade and the Peppermint.

 

Flavoured with essential oils, sweetened with stevia, infused with organic hemp seed oil and fractioned coconut oil, it was an easy choice as the ingredients were things that I would naturally put in my body. I love the peppermint flavour myself, as minty fresh things always get me.

When I started my first bottle of Calm CBD oil, I did not have high expectations, nor did I want to. It all looked amazing in writing, but I needed to see if it lived up to that. I had been disappointed enough times already.

After the first dose, I immediately felt ‘calm‘. Exactly as the name. I have suffered from insomnia off and on for years as it runs in my family. However when I take a dose of my Calm CBD at night, I am asleep within 30 minutes, and I have an amazingly restful sleep. I have never experienced sleep this good in all of my adult years. My anxiety that was slowly creeping back disappeared and any inflammation is gone as soon as it starts once I take a dose. I have been completely blown away. It is better then I could have ever imagined, and now a part of my everyday lifestyle and my ‘can not leave home without’ stuff.

I also tried the gummies, which not only are delicious, but fantastic after a workout to reduce post-workout inflammation.

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I feel so lucky I found Calm By Wellness it truly has been a CBD game changer, and the best part is, they ship all over the globe! Set’s my little travelling soul at ease knowing I can order some of this no matter where in the world I am. If you are interested in checking it out, I will link it right here.

http://bit.ly/calmbywellness

Health is the best investment we can make. Without high-quality health, we can’t have a high-quality life. Plus I love getting better with age – just like a fine wine.

 

THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE, OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE.

Waterton National Park – A Southern Alberta Gem

The windiest place in Canada. That is what Waterton National Park is known as being. Having clocked winds of up to 170km an hour. It is also known for its mind-blowing beauty. Prior to this trip, I had no idea of either of those things. How on earth did I not know?! Surely I have been living under a rock.

A short 3 hour drive from Calgary and you will find yourself in the little town of Waterton. The drive itself was beautiful. As you enjoy the country landscape, suddenly you find yourself amongst the wind farms.

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It was the first time in my life I was surrounded by so many wind turbines. So many firsts for me on this trip. It is incredible how majestic these turbines look and feel when you are up close and personal with them. I was in total awe.

As you head into the gates at Waterton National Park your eyes become immediately fixated to the view of the lake engulfed in the mountain range. It doesn’t take long for you to recognize that you are in a very special place.

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The first structure that greets you upon entering the town of just over 100 people is the iconic Prince of Wales Hotel.

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Established in 1927, it has an old world charm to it. It also has the most picturesque view in the whole town. It is as if you don’t want to blink, so you do not miss a moment of the splendour.

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Although sometimes you DO have to close your eyes and feel all the energy surrounding you.

The high tea at the hotel is something not to be missed. An elegant session of pure indulgence, with a view that is equally an indulgence for your eyes.

As you stroll through the quaint little town, the feelings of peace and tranquillity overcome you. My soul was feeling relaxed simply being amongst it all.

I stayed at the Bayshore Inn, which is a hotel that boasts lovely views of the lake. You are short walking distance to all the local restaurants, so it is not a problem to dine.

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Cameron Falls is a short walk from downtown, a beautiful spot where you can enjoy a bit of nature and take some nice photos while on a leisurely stroll.

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The area is known for its fantastic and very accessible hiking. It is amazing to see the aftereffects of the forest fire that nearly wiped out the town in 2017.

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The charred remains with the blanket of regrowth sprouting from the earth show all too well just how big and scary that fire must have been. That being said, the hiking is still incredible. An activity you must partake in when in Waterton National Park.

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Hiking to Bertha Falls is a great 2 hour excursion that is the perfect way to spend a bit of your day. The sights along the way will not dissapoint.

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I happened to be there during the Taste of Waterton food festival and part of their festival includes a pie cruise on the lake. It is exactly what it sounds like, a boat ride with pie. This time was a very special cruise as Country music star Paul Brandt hosted it.

Paul Brandt spoiled us with some music, and we cruised over to the United States side of the lake and back.

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It was anyway exceptional way to spend a rainy afternoon.

Waterton National Park is a very special area. In some ways, I am glad I didn’t know about Waterton prior to this visit as the shock and awe of its beauty went far past what my expectations would have been if I had heard of it. It left my imagination wide open. A bucket list must for all nature enthusiasts.

If you would like to watch my vlog about the visit you can have a peak right here.

The Enchanting Bridal Veil Falls In British Columbia

Strolling through what feels to be an enchanted forest full of mystical creatures and possibly little fairies flying around. That is the exact feel you will get when exploring the woodsy area around Bridal Veil Falls in British Columbia.

From the minute you enter the wooded area the smell of nature is intoxicating. It instantly fills your nostrils and then engulfs your whole being.

20190325_141102.jpgThere is a green moss that covers many of the trees along the branches and up the trunks. This blanket of moss adds to the enchanted feel.

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With the streams effortlessly flowing the sound of water will create ambient music that will entice your ears. I don’t know about you; I find the sound of flowing water so soothing.

Ferns sprawl across the land in many areas. Which could also explain the amazing, clean, crisp, aromatic air.

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It was actually my first time in my life seeing wild ferns in their natural habitat. I am so accustomed to seeing ferns in homes as opposed to out in nature.

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The walk to the waterfalls is a very short distance. As you approach the waterfalls, you can feel the energy pulsing.

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Even with small waterfalls the energy always runs high, or right off the side of a cliff. It always amazes me how majestic waterfalls of all sizes feel.

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At Bridal Veil falls you can easily hike right up to the base of the falls where you will feel the mist lightly falling on your skin. While you sit there basking in all the splendour, you can feel your soul recharging. If you close your eyes, you can heighten your senses and absorb it even deeper into your cells. Like a powerful surge of pure healing bliss penetrating into the depths of your soul.

Of course, the shoes came off. I can’t be in the enchanted forest and not do some grounding a tree hugging.

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I was also keeping my eyes open for the infamous Sasquatch, as apparently, this area has had many Sasquatch sightings over the years. I am very intrigued about this whole Sasquatch possibility.

Have a peek at the video I made of my visit to the falls.

If you find yourself in the Chilliwack area in British Columbia, then a pit stop at Bridal Veil Falls to stroll around the mystical forest is highly recommended.

My Top 5 Activities While Visiting Nungwi, Zanzibar

Sometimes you dream of being in the most magical place, surrounded by an endless array of beauty to ignite your senses. Then suddenly one day you wake up and you are on the island of Zanzibar. Your dream is now your reality.

Ten years ago I was privileged enough to spend many months in Zanzibar, diving every day and enjoying the postcard life. Since that time, Zanzibar has always been in my dreams. I knew I had to return one day; I didn’t know when that would be. Then recently I woke up and there I was.

Well, maybe after a few plane rides across the world, then a small plane ride across the Country of Tanzania and a good sleep from all the travel, I woke up and there I was. Back in the place that left an unwavering imprint on my mind.

 

 

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It is always surreal to return to a place after so long. So many things change, and so much new infrastructure goes up. With infrastructure also comes more people, and life seems so much busier than I once knew there. It took me a day to absorb it all.

One thing that has not changed is the beauty. It is still there like the most amazing buffet you have ever feasted your eyes on.

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Zanzibar is known for its diving, and for its spices. Its nickname is spice island. Diving and spice tours are popular activities when visiting the island. I did none of this, this time around.

This time was for relaxing, being present in the moment, and taking in every second.

One thing I should add is there are no ATM’s in Nungwi, so you must bring enough cash to fund your whole trip. There are a few places that accept credit card, not many, so I would not rely on that. The closest place to withdraw money is in Stonetown.

That being said, here are my top 5 activities that were simple and brought me a great deal of pleasure, while I enjoyed life in and around Nungwi, Zanzibar. Simple yet strong enough reason’s for me to recommend that you take a getaway to this incredible destination right now.

  1. Enjoy the beaches, grounding with the earth, and swimming

I think this goes without saying; I am saying it anyway. Zanzibar has some of the most beautiful beaches you will ever set your eyes on and dip your toes in.

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The water is such a crystal clear blue, so warm and refreshing, it will not only cleanse your body but also your soul. Some of the best grounding/earthing is done when you are barefoot on the wet beach. You get the ultimate recharge from the earth. Mother nature has it on offer and she is so generous with her giving, that it is hard not to embrace it to the fullest. It was my daily rejuvenation.

2. Walk to Kendwa

Four Kilometres from Nungwi is my favourite beach on the North coast – Kendwa beach.

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When the tide is out, the walk from Nungwi to Kendwa is absolutely amazing. It takes about 30 – 35 minutes to walk, yet it is pure bliss every step of the way. Not only is the view incredible at every angle it is a great way to get a bit of extra exercise. Especially when you are relaxing and enjoying the chill life. I did this walk almost daily. The beach in Kendwa is so vast and with a lot fewer people than Nungwi beach. The swimming is pristine, and extra inviting. It is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy an afternoon.

3. Enjoy all the amazing food

From the seafood to the street food your tastebuds are in for a treat. This is the time to enjoy every morsel. Take the word ‘diet’ out of your vocabulary and just indulge. If you eat seafood you are about to be in seafood heaven. Every day the fresh catches are prepared for your delight. My favourite in Zanzibar is the Octopus. It is the most tender you will ever have in your life.

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Mama Mia – one of my favourite restaurants in Nungwi, they boast an incredible view, and they accept credit card.

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The street food and local restaurants are equally delicious and a fraction of the price you will pay in the touristy restaurants. Be prepared to eat though, the local restaurants are not shy with their portions.

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Let’s not forget about the fresh fruit. You can go anywhere in the village and buy fresh, beautiful, sweet tropical fruit in abundance. I could not get enough fresh passionfruit juice. It was a splurge on the daily.

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4. Swim with turtles

I never knew that swimming with turtles was on my bucket list until I did it. At the Nungwi Natural Aquarium, you can swim with rescued turtles. These turtles were caught in fishermen’s nets and injured. The aquarium will actually give money to the fishermen for the turtles, they will rehabilitate them and then release them back into the wild.

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They live the good life in the aquarium, getting loads of love and food all day long. They are such gentle creatures.

Although, move out of the way when seaweed gets tossed in as they will push their way past you to get a mouthful. I even got a turtle bite on my arm. It did not break the skin, just nipped me with a hard pinch. Not his fault, there was a piece of seaweed right next to my arm. I was actually proud of my turtle bite. Hands down one of the coolest things I have ever done.

5. Take in all the sunsets

The sunsets are stunning. It is the refreshing cool down from a hot day. The finishing of another beautiful day of being alive and the welcoming of the evening ambiance.

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I love a stroll on the beach in the evening. The stars light up the sky, and when the moon is fuller, it lights up the earth in such a magical way. As you watch the sun disappear over the horizon, you can not help but reflect and bask in the beauty of life.

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I will be back!

This trip to Zanzibar was about filling my soul, being present and overflowing with high vibe energy. The more you have, the more you have to share. Not every activity has to be extravagant when you travel. It is the simple things that when appreciated will bring the most pleasure.