My Experience Traveling Egypt As A Solo Female

History, pyramids, desert, camels, perfumed oils, sheesha, tea and yummy food you eat with your hands. Those are just a few of the amazing things Egypt has on offer. It is a land full of wonders, rich in history and holds a very real energy that one can feel almost pulsing out of the land.

As magical as it is, it can also be very full on. Egypt was my last stop in my solo trip across Africa which began in Cape Town, South Africa. By the time I arrived to Egypt I was very well seasoned to what to expect as a blonde hair, blued eyed solo female traveler in Africa. Or so I thought….

I came up through the South and one of my first stops was Luxor. For some reason to this day and before that visit when I think the word Luxor I think of Las Vegas and the luxor hotel there. That image is in bedded in my mind. I was SO excited and also extremely tired upon my arrival. It was a long trip getting to Egypt and I hadn’t slept in about 2 days while on route. So tired was an understatement.

The first thing I learned when looking for a hostel to stay at, is everything seems to be named after Bob Marley. Hotels, hostels, boats. So it only seemed fitting that I chose to stay at a place called The Bob Marley Hostel.

Even though I was totally exhausted when I arrived, I knew I had a limited time in Egypt as my return flight to Canada was only 2 weeks away, and I had extended it so many times over the course of a year and half that I could no longer extend it anymore. Two weeks for me is a ridiculously short period of time. This is coming from the women whom if she likes a place she will stay for a few months to get a real feel for the people and culture. Short time frames don’t always work for me. Seeing as how I had to wait for my room to be cleaned before I could check in, I figured I mine as well head out and do some sight seeing. After all, time was ticking.

I was warmly welcomed at the hostel, and offered a ride to and from the Luxor Temples from one of the guys there. Now usually when you are offered things like this in Africa, it is never free(something to be very well aware of), and many times people tried to charge you ridiculous prices for any assistance accepted solely because you are a foreigner. If you accept, they will do it, but then demand money after, and sometimes a very substantial amount. Trust me, I learned the hard way. But at the same token in a lot of these places it is survival of the fittest and they do what they can to make a few bucks to get by.

Now being on a very tight budget, I made sure to double check that they were in fact offering out of the kindness of their hearts and not going to surprise me with some large fee at the end. To my delight, they said they really just wanted to help me and be hospitable. Sounds good to me! I was in.

Of course as with all the other countries I visited in Africa, the attention from people was instantaneous. Although even a bit more then usual, as in Egypt the attention came not only from men, but from kids, and families.

I got dropped off to the Luxor Temples, which date back to 1400 BCE where I signed up for a tour, and even though I was exhausted, I was super excited to see my first historical site.

It was a fabulous way to start my Egypt trip, but the extreme lack of sleep started to kick in and had to go retire for the night. The next day I had booked a taxi to go and see some other sites.

Being alone and having already experienced a massive amount of attention the day prior, I made arrangements for the taxi to wait for me while I explored two different sights, Temple of Deir al-Bahri (Queen Hatshepsut’s Temple), and Valley Of The Kings, that way I wouldn’t be stranded or unsafe.

Temple of Deir al-Bahri (Queen Hatshepsut’s Temple)

From the minute I was walking to the temples through the markets along side the road, I was having the men from the market stalls yelling things like Shakira, Claudia Schiffer(no complaints about those nicknames), and running up trying to offer me gifts and inviting me to their booths for tea. I kept telling them as I briskly walked past the stalls that I would be back after my visit to the temples so I had to go. It was pretty darn intense actually.

Once in the temples, I was being approached by people of all sorts wanting photos with me. Literally, kids, adults, families, and even police. So I posed with everyone whom approached me and asked for one. I actually felt like I was experiencing what it would be like to be famous.

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The Temples were incredible!! Seriously unreal. Just to stand there and imagine the people whom have walked there, the events that took place, and the thousands of years that they have been there. Imagining things that long ago and in comparison to how life is today – total awe from my side.

I am totally memorized by the hieroglyphics, and the time they invested in carving it all into the walls.

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Upon leaving I was already mentally preparing myself for that walk back through the markets. The nick names starting being called and the men were running to me offering me gifts and tea. I kept telling them I don’t have money for their gifts, and every single one of them responded to me saying ‘they are really gifts’, they don’t want my money and I can come pick whatever I like.

So stall after stall I kept getting to pick gifts, and I would try and have a sip of tea with each merchant out of respect also, and soon my pockets were so full of gifts I had to turn the rest of the merchants down. ‘Thank you so much but I can’t take anymore’ was the line of choice for the next 5 minutes, and possibly rushed sounding as there was a lot of them and I was high tailing it to my taxi. Which was more like my knight in shining armor at that point. I was pretty eager to just relax and enjoy a bit of solitude.

That was a full on, but pretty exceptionally awesome day, and I now had loads of souvenirs for my friends and family back home in Canada. Worked out perfectly as I was on a tight budget.

I was spoiled at the hostel in Luxor as the guys whom were running it invited me to breakfast everyday.

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My new friends from the hostel also arranged for me to go on a Felucca trip, which is the term used for local wooden sail boats. They arranged it with a friend of theirs in the Southern town of Aswan so that I would not be bothered, taken advantage of physically or financially. It is always a great idea to make friends with locals, they know where to go, will help keep you safe, and can also help you not to get ripped off.

No surprise that the Felucca I was on was also called Bob Marley, although the captains name was Mohammad, as large majority of guys I met there were named Mohammad. Bob Marley & Mohammad, the two most popular names in Egypt.

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I went for an over night trip and we had to sleep below deck in a very small area. There was only room for sitting and then sleeping. It was so fun though, we ate typical Egyptian food, exchanged cultural stories and were up at the crack of dawn to enjoy some more sailing. He even arranged for me to do some camel riding with his friends on an island.

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Let me tell you getting up on a Camel is not easy! They have long legs, and its front legs go up first, so you have to push hard to keep yourself upright while they then get their back legs up. It feels like you are going to fall right off.

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Lulu the camel. She was a great camel to enjoy my first camel ride experience on.

Being in the area of Aswan I had to make a trip to the temples of Abu Simbel. For many it is the highlight to their trip to Egypt. It was absolutely a highlight for me.

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This area was absolutely awe – inspiring.

I even found the key of life.

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From there I made my way up the country to Cairo where I met some other travelers at the hostel I checked into there. One of the best parts about staying at hostels, is that you will always immediately make new friends.

Of course in every country I visit, I love eating street food!

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Something about eating with your hands really makes you feel more connected to the food you are putting in your body also.

Horseback riding through the desert, past the pyramids should be a MUST on everyone’s bucket list if you are in Cairo. Amazing!!

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I am not just talking trotting along, I am talking full speed galloping!

I have never been on a horse at full speed before that point and I was hanging on for dear life. Seriously by time we got to the little shack in the dessert where we were due to have tea, the adrenaline in my body was pumping so much that my legs were shaking, hard, and I could barely walk.

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And Yes, in the days to come I could still barely walk. Clearly my legs were latched on for life when I was on the horse. Trust me, there was no way I was falling off.

The view was incredible.

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It’s amazing how small the Pyramids actually are. I always expected them to be huge, but they are not at all.

The view did get even more spectacular when I visited the pyramids up close and personal. Awe inspiring and majestic. They are hard to sum up in words. If you ever visit, you really need to make sure you are totally present in the moments and taking every second of it.

That view was so good I had to go back and see it by Camel. Of course it looks totally different then by horse.
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I ended up heading North to Dahab and Sharm el Sheikh. Totally unplanned and spontaneous. When I went to the bus station in Cairo I asked where would be a good place to go, and they put me on a bus up North. So when I arrived in Sharm el Sheikh, I had no idea what to expect and no place booked to stay. Like I said, I was tight on money, so I was very surprised to see it is a resort town when I got there. Resort = Expensive. So do taxi’s. So I had to walk with all of my stuff for like 3 hours until I could find a place to stay.

I finally found a place that had huts for rent for $20 US a night. I was sold. Little did I know it was at the top of a mountain, that I had to hike up with all my stuff. Still struggling to walk from that horse riding excursion.

It was a painful experience getting up to my hut, every single step up came with me saying ‘OW’, very loudly in my head, right until I reached the top.

The hut was so cool. It was a grass hut and inside was a couple of single beds, a night stand, a fan, and a lamp. At least I thought it was cool until after the sand storm.

Upon arrival I put my stuff down and hobbled straight back down the mountain to the restaurant to have a well deserved beer. While I was there a sand storm hit, so I was stuck in the restaurant for a couple of hours. In that case I figured I should indulge in a few well deserved beers. When the storm subsided and I made my way back up to my hut, I was astonished at what I found.

I opened my door to the hut to find that EVERYTHING was covered in an inch blanket of sand. Literally, the bed, the tables, the floor, my backpack, everything. Yes of course, what else would you expect when the walls are made of grass.

I had to go in and start uncovering everything. Let me tell you, wiping off a blanket of sand is not easy.

What a sandy mission.

I was due to head out at 3am to go and hike up Mt. Sinai.

You know, where Moses read the 10 commandments. 6:30 am was sunrise so we needed to make it on time for that. My sleep was rough, it was as though there was sand in the air, and I woke up feeling as though there was sand in my lungs – and there most likely was.

Egypt is HOT, but when you hike up a mountain in the middle of the night it is a different story. It was freezing. Luckily a guy that worked at the resort I was staying at lent me a winter jacket.

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At the top you can rent blankets for $20US, and get a hot chocolate for like $10US. It’s a pretty good business, as when your up there and freezing your ass off you will pretty much pay anything for warmth.

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The sunrise was worth every penny.

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We took turns warming up around the little gas stove.

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There is the Monestary at the top as well.

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Let’s not forget about the burning bush where god spoke to Moses through.

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Ending my trip across Africa with such an over the top incredible trip across Egypt was like the cherry on top of a trip of a life time. I was spoiled, pampered, challenged, and got a taste of what fame would be like. I went with no expectations and left with my mind blown and my heart opened.

 

Egypt is one of those almost mystical places that you have to see to believe, and I will absolutely make it a point to return there one day.

How To Feel Safe When You Are Traveling Solo As A Female

Solo travel. It can sound so daunting sometimes. Time and time again I have had so many people question me in regards to the matter. ‘How do you do it?’, ‘Aren’t you afraid?’.

I literally just do it, and don’t really think about it. It is something that comes very naturally to me. I love traveling alone, although if you are in the company of a very good travel companion(which can be hard to find) then I much prefer traveling with someone at times. It truly depends on where I am going. Every continent and culture is different.

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There are pros and cons to everything in life though. When you are alone, you get charged higher prices for everything, you get harassed more(again, depending on which continent your on), and when you get lost and have no idea where you are going, you have absolutely no one to lean on. It’s all on you baby.

Although on the plus side, when you are alone you get to go where and when you want, there is nobody holding you back. You meet plenty of more people and locals where you are, and there are always people that want to help you. If you are with someone, people tend to leave you alone and not reach out in the same way.

However if you are alone, there are some tactics you can use to make sure you feel safe.

Always be aware of your surroundings and situations. Kind of like how your peripheral vision works, you want to make sure your keeping mental tabs of what is happening around you. When you are aware that also means you are alert, which in turn will help you stay safe. I mean if someone was following you, it would be a lot easier to pick up if you are being aware. Be very careful going wandering alone when you have been drinking.

Make eye contact with people when you speak with them. You can tell so much by looking into someones eyes. If they are dodgy it will for sure show in their eyes and in their mannerisms. It has always helped me read people much faster.

Don’t wear expensive flashy things. It will only draw attention to you and make you a target. When I am traveling in destinations that have high crime rates and poverty, I stick to handmade local jewelry, and I don’t carry a lot of cash or valuables with me.

I always carry a purse, but I always choose a purse that goes across my body and closes very well. That way it stays close to me and is not easily broken into. If I am on a bus and sleeping, I make sure that I am holding my bag straight beneath my hands. That way if anyone tried to grab it I would already have a hold of it.

It doesn’t hurt to get a money belt for under your clothes as well.

Take a photo copy of your passport. I usually lock my passport in the safe where ever I stay, that way I know it will be safe. In place of it, I always have a photo copy and an extra photo ID.

Having a cheap cell phone with a local SIM where ever you go, will make sure that you always have a means of contact. If you ever feel scared or alone its so nice to be able to call or text someone. Also if you are heading on a long trek with some dodgy traveling, you can make sure to keep in extra contact with help if you needed it.

Make friends with locals. It has also really been a great advantage to feeling safe when I make friends with locals along the way. If I get good vibes off someone I will always strike up a chat. When you are with a local, people will leave you alone and the other plus is you will get local prices in the places that way up charge tourist. Trust me, I have been ripped off a couple times in my travels. But generally the locals always love to meet foreigners, and I have made some amazing life long friends this way.

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Definitely carry a lock. If you are staying at hostels and things, the majority of them will have lockers in the rooms for your valuables and bags. Now make sure its a good quality lock as locks can be broken. There was a time in Malawi that I had a funny feeling in my gut when I checked into this hostel, so instead of locking my bag in the lockers, I stuffed mine under the bed. It could barely fit, but I got under. Turned out that the rooms and lockers got broken into, passports and valuables taken, and since I listened to my gut, my stuff was fine.

Which leads me to another point. Always listen to your intuition. We have it for a reason and it is always right. Any time I ignored it, something went wrong.

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Make sure to always have a little stash of backup money tucked away. Being prepared for everything and a little more will always keep you at ease.

Sometimes you just have to be strong minded. When I was traveling in Central/South America and Africa, I had to just be strong at times. Particularly with how I carried myself. Men can be very forward and quite aggressive. So I would always make sure to walk confidently and with purpose, and if they did harass me I would make it clear not to come to close simply with my demeanor and body language. It would usually end the men whom were trying to be pushy telling me I am very strong(I was just a well seasoned traveler) and they would retreat.

Dress appropriately. Unless harassment and male attention is what you want, it is better to be a little more modest then usual. It is best not to attract the wrong kind of attention when you are alone.

Always be very mindful of your alcohol and recreational fun. All it takes is for you to turn your back for one second to have something slipped into your drink. You never know what a stranger will give you, so be very aware and cautious.

Don’t arrive to a new place after dark. After dark is when things always get more dangerous. If you are going somewhere new, try and get there when it is still light, and only take registered taxi’s. Also it is very wise to have a room or bed pre-booked before you arrive.

Solo travel as a female generally does just come down to common sense. I have done loads of global solo travel and had the most amazing experiences of my life. Some tough of course, but that is to be expected no matter where or what you are doing with life.

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Also it is so easy to meet other travelers along the way, and many times you end up traveling for awhile with some of them. It can happen so often I would sometimes have to purposely choose to go on, on my own, so I could enjoy a bit of ‘me time’ again.

There truly is something so invigorating and freeing about solo travel. If you have often thought about it, and yet havn’t, then I highly suggest giving it a go! It will shape your mindset in a whole new way. Happy Trails!

Relishing In The Unique Beauty Of Early Winter In The NWT

With Winter having arrived in its early stages, there is always this unique and stunning beauty of the area around Hay River, NWT. Being built on the shores of the ninth largest lake in the world, the Great Slave Lake, and in very close proximity to a few different waterfalls – the ice always freezes over.

As it is still the early stages, the freeze is not totally complete yet. I absolutely love appreciating the abundance of beauty this area has to offer all year round. With each changing season, the beauty alters to another unique state.

With the weather being so mild, I decided it was the perfect day to go on some ‘me time’ adventures, and do a bit of cruising. One of my favorite past times in life is my solo adventures, and going on scenic drives. I figured I would go to the beach and check out the lake before heading out to Alexandra Falls.

The beach was so pristine and tranquil.

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With a thin sheet of ice blanketing the top, no wind, and not a sound other then my shoes crunching in the snow to be heard. It was incredible. Moments like that totally sooth the soul.

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In the distance not far out you could still see a bit of water where the ice has not covered yet. It will not take very long to be totally covered with the cold snap that is due to come in.

I was feeling so relaxed on this peaceful walk, it was one of those soul soothing moments for sure.

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I hit the road towards Alexandra falls after I was done frolicking on the beach. A nice 40 minute drive. The snow was lightly falling, and it added to the early winter feel. Cruising on the highway and being in my thoughts is another very relaxing place for me to be.

As I was walking on the trail to the falls viewing point I could already hear water flowing, so I knew the falls were not frozen over yet. I was so pleasantly surprised with the showcase that the falls had on display.

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Half frozen, half flowing. Such a stunning contrast. It is one of those things that you can get lost in. It is so easy to just sit and stare, and listen to the sounds, it becomes mesmerizing. Well it’s without a doubt healing and soul soothing.

There was beauty to be appreciated from all angles.

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I took it in as long as I could before getting a chill. The wind out there was a bit nippy.

Seriously though, the sights here never get old. Growing up here, I must have done the tour hundreds of times, and yet, every time is better then the last. It is never boring or run of the mill, instead it always just makes me feel so darn amazing.

 

I highly suggest getting the North on your bucket list.

If you are interested in veiwing my YouTube Video of the excursion you can check that out here.

Top 5 Travel Memorabilia I Found While Doing A Deep Winter Cleaning Of My Life

Here I am doing a complete overhaul in my life. Cleaning it out, making space for new energy, getting rid of the clutter – when I suddenly started coming across some hidden gems. I think that is a given when you are cleaning out old clutter, you will always find some treasures tucked away.

Some more exciting than others, and in this instance I was pretty excited to find these items. It gave me a chance to reminisce with some of the best times of my life. When I was doing some of the most incredible adventures.

Here are the top 5 things I found on my cleaning adventures in my house.

1– My finds began with my very first travel back pack. I remember searching and searching for the perfect back pack for me. At that time, it was my first trip leaving Canada, so I wasn’t so knowledgeable about the qualities I personally needed in a good backpack. However, after trying on at least 30, I finally decided on this one.

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I bet a bit of that dirt is from Africa. Maybe a deep clean of the backpack is in order.

This exact back pack ended up coming with me across Central and South America, over to Europe, and then straight across Africa, from South Africa to Egypt. It was my mobile home for many years, and a few different continents. There were times I hated it, like when I had to hike mountains with it, or walk very long distances, and the straps would start to dig hard into my shoulders, or the times it wouldn’t fit all of my stuff inside. All in all though, I loved it. We always made it in the end. We were a travel team. We went everywhere together.

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Ok, it was alot fuller(like ALOT) when on the road.

2 – My next find was my first Spanish lesson book.

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Looking a bit tattered now, it also did some long treks through Central and South America with me. It all began after I completed my first volunteer project in Central America, and the organization I was with offered me a position as a Group Leader.

There were some requirements though, and one of those requirements was for me to speak Spanish. I was determined to be a Group Leader, so I assured them I would learn Spanish. I spent hours looking at every kit the book store had to offer, trying my utmost to find the perfect kit for me. Finally I chose the kit which included this book.

3 – My first MP3 player, which I had transferred all the CD’s from the language kit on as I was off back to a English speaking project in South America. Three months later, practicing day in and day out in my hammock in the Jungle, I could speak Spanish.

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Yes at this time MP3 players were all the rage. Now they seem to be ancient history. I used this MP3 player to the full extent, although now it seems strange how limited my music collection was back then with only this little bad boy to fill. Think about how many times I replayed those same songs on there. Over, and over and over…… Well you get the pic.

Once I started traveling I didn’t stop. Flash forward 12 years later, and this is the first time since then I have spent over a full year in Canada since I began, and now I am getting more eager then ever to get back out there. My travel bug is gnawing, and there ain’t no putting him back to sleep.

That aside, it became very important to me to try and learn as many bits of languages as I could, especially when I arrive to a new country with a new language. As long as I could at least say hello, please, and thank you to begin with. I always felt it was only proper manners and culturally appropriate to show the effort to speak a small portion of the local language. People always treat you better for it and totally show their appreciation for your effort.

4/5 – So these two pieces of paper from various language lessons brought a big smile to my face.

This one was from when I was living in Africa and learning Swahili with some of the local women in Tanzania.

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I had such a blast meeting with the local women everyday, exchanging cultures and languages. African women can be very shy and reserved, but I would never failed to have them all cracking up and laughing, completely coming out of their shells. I love watching people open up.

This other piece was from when I met and ended up traveling with a couple Israeli’s for a stint of time.

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As they were always speaking Hebrew together, I figured I should hop on the band wagon and try and join in. I felt like part of the posse when I could throw a few words in. Even though my pronunciation could be quite entertaining at times.

Oh look they even taught me how to tell someone they are sexy. Clearly, A must know in every language.

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What can I say?! You never know when you will come across a fine specimen that you need to compliment. Best to be prepared for all situations.

I absolutely love learning new languages, it is one of my favorite past times. I just wish I had a piece of paper from all the lessons I have ever gotten. Alas, these two do a great job of bringing me back. Can you say Scrap book?? I have a collection of things that I intend on scrap booking soon.

How awesome is it to find memorabilia?! The energy attached to these pieces that have traveled the globe with me is pretty amazing. I feel like it would make it difficult for me part with them. Perhaps I should keep them in case I ever open a museum. Or I will just keep them so I can reminisce again sometime.

Heck yes to stumbling across some of your favorite memorabilia that you have never really lost yet somehow once again found?

 

Hiking In Glacier National Park

Do you ever just do things spontaneously? Unplanned, unexpected, just on a whim? I sure do. Seems more often then not in my life. When adventure is dropped in front of me, I have no choice but to do it. My adventuring nomadic soul just won’t have it any other way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I decided a night or two in Golden, British Columbia was an absolute must. The area, and the place always fills my soul with high vibe energy. This time around I figured I would check into a hostel. For ol’ time sake. It had been quite some time since I have stayed in a hostel. Although I am no novice, as my many years of backpacking around the globe brought me to many different hostels in my treks. I figured it would be a nice change, and being low season at the moment, I knew it would be super tranquil. Which it was.

It didn’t take me long to meet another solo female traveler. It is amazing how fast you connect with people in a hostel environment. That is one thing I absolutely love about hostels – you meet so many people. Don’t get me wrong, I love my ‘me time’ in hotels, but on the flip side, I am also a social butterfly.

My new friend Laurence, had mentioned to me that she planned on going for a little hike in Glacier National Park. I was instantly perked up to the idea of a good hike out in nature. It took basically no convincing me at all to join in. Being totally unprepared for hiking did not even cross my mind. I was all in.

Before we even ventured off for our hike we stopped at the National Park information center to find out about hikes in the area, as well as weather status. We ended up deciding on Illecillewaet Valley, and a cruisey 4.2 km hike.

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When we arrived it was colorful, and beautiful fall weather. So it seemed. As we progressively climbed higher it began snowing, and by time we finished the hike it was as though winter had arrived. It didn’t take away from the amazing experience though. Not in the slightest.

The trails are incredible, very well maintained, and the scenery is amazing.

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The scenery also continually changes as you climb. From deep forest to rocks and bushes sprawling across the mountain valley. I was in awe. Considering I was not dressed for hiking, I managed to do pretty well.

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Although the way down was damp, as the snow was very wet, and by time we hiked a ways down, I had a nice blanket of it on me.

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That hike was so good, that I could not pass up the opportunity to do a second hike the next day. This time a longer one. 6 km up, and approximately 6 hours in total for time. The same mountain, just a different route. This day I was a little more prepared for the journey.

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This day looked like winter when we arrived, and as we climbed the snow just got deeper and deeper. Also steeper and steeper.

I was loving the trails on this one, and the absolutely stunning scenery along the way.  It was along side a never ending stream, and the sounds were so soothing.

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By time we hiked nearly to the top, visibility was becoming quite poor, the snow quite deep and we had worked up appetites. So we decided it was time to dine.

Of course every classy lady is equipped with her portable kitchen.

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We found the perfect rock to sit under and catch a bit of a break from the snowy conditions.

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A simple lunch of Mr.Noodles, and coffee was on the menu. It is so rare I eat anything like Mr. Noodles, and let me tell you, I have never been so excited for it in my life either. That steamy warm soup was so darn good, especially when you are cold and hiking up a blizzardy mountain.

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Going down this mountain was a bit more of a feat. It was steep, snowy, and slippery! Seriously. I bit the snow a couple of times, and so did my travel buddy. All in the spirit of adventure! I felt pretty good about only wiping out 2 times though. I expected a lot more.

These hikes were ridiculously awesome. I felt so accomplished after a couple days of mountaineering. It made me want to for sure spend a heck of a lot more time enjoying expeditions in the mountains. It was also so fantastic to hang out with another lady who loves solo travels and pushing the adventure limits as much as I do.

This little adventure came at the perfect time, just when my travel bug had been really acting up and gnawing on my insides. The stay at a hostel, adventures with a new friend from abroad, whom which I have so much in common with, and immersing myself with nature – it all calmed my travel bugs woes for the moment. Kind of like a nap. ‘There, there little travel bug, just have a nap and before you know it you will be waking up to another global adventure’……

The best part is, for a few moments I felt like I was back on my global adventures. It both soothed the soul and stoked the fire.

Let’s just say, keep your mind open to spontaneous activities in life, because more often then not, it will be better then you imagine, something you won’t soon forget, and exactly what you needed.

 

A Little Bit Of Fall Love

Fall is hands down one of my favorite times of year. From the colors, smells in the air to the temperature outside. With the cooler temperature comes layered fall fashion and warm drinks. I love it all. The only problem is that fall is way to short. If feels as though, that as soon as it arrives, it’s gone. With that said, I am always motivated to get out and take it all in.

Nature walks during the fall season, never cease to me stunningly beautiful. The crisp feel of the temperature is perfect for a brisk walk. Not to hot and not to cold.

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I enjoyed a beautiful stroll here in Quesnel, BC at 10 Mile Lake.

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What a stunner of a spot. I could imagine how fantastic picnics would be here in the summer. I was also totally diggin’ the outside theater.

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I would have no problems planning a few awesome events for this little location.

The smells in the crisp fall air was absolutely intoxicating, I could not help but to continually inhale as deeply as possible to take the aromas in. From berries to trees, they were exuding scents of bliss. Nothing like pure clean oxygen to fuel your cells with.

With all the chaos in the world, it can be hard to stay mindful and present, and not let fears and anxieties take over our thoughts.

I always make it a point to ground and center myself. To live as mindfully as possible and stay in this present moment. Mindfulness is a state of being, something that takes daily practice to maintain, but toning that mindfulness muscle will enrich your life and create bounds more happiness for you.

For myself, being in nature is the best place for me to re-energize and be present. Soothing my soul, nourishing my mind, and taking a moment to reflect on everything I am grateful for, so I have endless high vibe energy and love to share with the world.

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It is amazing what taking a moment to stop and just appreciate all the beauty that surrounds us keeps your heart open to seeing more and more endless beauty.

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I also love nourishing my body from the inside with loving  and warm things in the fall.

For instance I indulged in some warm homemade miso soup. It was divine! It’s so easy to make. Literally 15 minutes, and just a few ingredients. Miso, nori, tofu, green onions and water. So simple, and yet so comforting.

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Accompanied with a fresh green juice and some of the highest rated cellular nutrition in the world, and you are well on your way to having a healthy high vibe fall.

If you are interested in fueling your cells and having tailored supplementation for your individual needs,to get your glow on, skin rejuvenated and energy soaring you can learn more about that here.

You know, at times it is as simple as taking myself on a ‘me time‘ date and indulging in a warm coffee at pristine location.

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I do love my ‘me time’ and I always provide myself with some pretty darn good company. If I do say so myself. Not to mention, I always pick the best places to take myself.

Heck yes to being awesome, and treating yourself to the best. Happy Fall beautiful people! xoxo

The Sugar Shack – The Best Poutine In BC

Fried Potatoes, cheese, and gravy – a traditional Canadian treat. That gooey goodness that is total comfort food. Not something I indulge in very often, but from time to time, I don’t mind treating myself.

In 70 Mile House, British Columbia, there is an inviting little establishment called The Sugar Shack, where it boasts to have the best poutine in the west. Located right on the side of the highway with plenty of signage to make you aware of it, you can’t really miss it.


I really liked how it was built out of a garage, and one of the entrances is a large garage door. I was diggin it.

I was also diggin the rustic, beautiful varnished wooden interior.


They are not only famous for their poutines, but you will also find every maple syrup and maple syrup product under the sun.

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Maple Bread, maple chocolates, maple jerky, heck if you want maple syrup on your poutine you could absolutely have that.

I tried out a coffee with maple syrup in it, and I must say, it was pretty darn tasty. Never had I even thought to put maple syrup in my coffee, but really, why the heck not?! It is a natural sugar.

Seeing as how I don’t eat poutines very often, I was pretty excited to give it go. Let me tell you, they are very generous on their portions. Go with and empty belly, and in sweat pants. You will not be leaving hungry, or a size smaller.
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Look at that proud poutine in all it’s glory. My pants were getting tighter just taking it in with my eyes. When I put the fork in to take a morsel, the cheese was sooo gooey and stringy, it was poutine perfection.

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What made the difference was that they use cheese curds. Glorious cheese curds. They really don’t get enough of the spotlight.

The gravy was delicious!! I love gravy, particularly good gravy. I think the only thing I would have opted out on was the smoked meat. Not because it was bad, but because I really am only there for the gravy and cheese on those crispy potatoes.

With the owner, Robert, being from Quebec, it was all making sense. The Maple Syrup, the poutine, and the cheese curds. These things are his art and in his blood.

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He is fantastic! And truly goes above and beyond to be sure that everyone whom steps in his door has a memorable experience.

If you are interested in seeing the video of my experience, have a peak at my Youtube Video.

I can honestly say, that if your after a unique experience, and you happen to find yourself in 70 mile house in BC, then The Sugar Shack is a must do.

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Highlights Of An Impromptu Reunion Weekend In Vancouver

Vancouver is such an awesome city. It has good vibes, mountain views, sea views, and endless things to do and see. I always had a long time love of Vancouver, but as I hadn’t been there in years, my recent visit totally served to rekindle my love for it.

Considering it was an unplanned weekend pit stop, I didn’t really have anything major in my mind to do or see. It was more of a go with the flow kind of weekend. I was more excited that it was turning into an unexpected reunion weekend. Those sometimes are the best though! No expectations, just open to whatever adventure arises.

For a spontaneous Vancity girls trip, I was pleasantly surprised. Here are a few highlights from what was an absolutely top notch reunion weekend.

Taking in the views of the city itself are fantastic from all angles. Even with overcast it didn’t make it any less serene.

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I was loving the little Ferries cruising the bay, and eagerly anticipated getting on one. Not like I haven’t sailed across the Atlantic ocean a few times, or spent years sailing and being on water in general. It’s simply just the little things sometimes, and I just happen to really enjoy being on water.

The girls and myself decided to take a leisurely cruise over to Granville island to check out the sights and indulge in a few classy glasses of vino.

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Once again, the sights of the bay were superb! It brought me back to my time I spent in Miami. Cruising all over the city on yachts. Nothing like a good reminisce session.

It is such an energetic area, full of life. Living in that area must be so nice.

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The small house boating community we cruised by caught my eye. I have a big admiration for house boats. I always thought it would be so awesome to own one of my own – and this trendy little community is pretty appealing. Houseboats and stylish tree houses, two things that totally intrigue me.

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Vancouver has such an awesome beach life as well. I was loving it. Everyday there was a new beach to check out. The sun was shining and the weather was ‘oh so sweet’.

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Wreck Beach pictured in the photo below was my first experience visiting a nude beach. How do I sum that up……. Birthday suits all over the show! What could one expect really, it is a nude beach. Once you become accustomed to it, it’s pretty cool to see people just being free with no sort of attachments to it. I suppose I can check nude beach off my bucket list. Even though I didn’t know it was on my bucket list. Check, check, check.

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We did a day trip to Chief mountain near Squamish and and enjoyed a good leg burning hike.

 

When I say leg burning. I mean LEG BURNING!! Most of the hike is going up stairs, and when the stairs finally end, you are going up more stairs that have been dug into the mountain walls. Tough! Especially when you indulged in a bit of vino the night prior. What an incredible view though. It is all worth it. I do love a good calorie burn.

Vancouver has a bit of everything and more, and I can absolutely see why it is such a sought after place. It’s a new happy place of mine – that’s for darn sure. Impromptu weekend adventures for the win.

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Top 5 Sights To See In A Day Trip To Wood Buffalo National Park

Wood Buffalo National Park is one of the biggest parks on the planet, sprawling over 44, 807sq km of sheer natural beauty. It spreads between Northern Alberta and Southern Northwest Territories. The park was found in 1922 in order to protect the worlds largest free roaming wood bison, with the population believed to be over 5000 at this moment. The park is also home to a nesting site of whooping cranes.

I had toured around the park when I was taken there on a school trip in elementary, however that was quite some time ago now(not that you would ever guess). It had been on my adult bucket list to go and visit it once again for many years.

What amazed me was that some of the places that I remembered, looked exactly as I envisioned and recalled them. One could say, ‘Just as beautiful as I remembered’. There was that and the discovery of new places that I didn’t know existed.

The town of Fort Smith, Northwest Territories is known as the gateway to Wood Buffalo National Park. Located in Southern NWT, its a charming little town that is well worth exploring on its own. So in reality this is also on the list of top sights to see. You can’t really enter the park without entering Fort Smith.

Once your in, if you only have a day to tour around here are the top 5 sights to see that are easily accessible, and each uniquely beautiful.

  1. The Hamlet of Fort Fitzgerald

Fort Fitzgerald is literally a settlement, it is located on the NWT/Alberta border and is the most Northern hamlet in the regional municipality of Wood Buffalo. With only approximately 9 people residing there, it is for sure one of the smallest communities I have visited.

 

This little hamlet was a unexpected diamond waiting for me to discover it. The river is huge, and is basically the back yard of the community.

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Absolutely worth checking out if you are in the area.

 

2. Mountain Portage Rapids

In the area of Fort Smith there are plenty of rapids to play in or just appreciate from a shoreline view. Of those, the Mountain Portage Rapids are some of the most easily accessible.

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Just a little trip down a steep hill and you will arrive.

 

Whether you want to get in or enjoy the sandy shores which make for a beachy feel, it’s a fantastic spot to enjoy.

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Although my visit was cut short due to a bear encounter. Not just A bear, but a mama bear and her three cubs. Let’s just say, the shore line became a distant memory pretty darn quick. A gentle reminder to always be bear aware in these areas. Made for some good adrenaline for the day.

 

3. Take A Dip In the Turquoise Water At Pine Lake

Located 60 km from Fort Smith in the middle of the Boreal Forest is a hidden gem called Pine Lake. The water is the bluest I have ever put my eyes on in the North.

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It was created by a series of 3 sinkholes, and is a getaway destination for the residents of Fort Smith. There are campsites, cabin rentals and plenty of picnic spots in the area. You can also enjoy kayaking, canoeing, as well as swimming(watch out for leeches though).

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I booked us a table for lunch….. You coming??

This is a MUST visit spot if you are in the area. The campground is open from May long weekend to September labour day weekend. So get your wiener roasters ready and head on out.

4. Visit The Sea Of Salt Crusted Ground At The Salt Plains

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When you stand on the crystal like ground looking to the vast flat expanse of the salt covered ground, you can’t help but be in awe.

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The Salt Plains were created from ancient seas, that left behind saline water in which pushed the salt to the surface.

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At times you can see wood bison grazing on the plains, or even whooping cranes. When you look at the ground beneath you, you can observe the myriad of animal tracks left behind.

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There is an energy to this place that is undeniable – you can run and frolic in the open air of the plains, and if if your feeling adventurous you can give the ground a little lick. Trust me – it’s salty.

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5. Observe The Wood Bison In Their Natural Habitat

Clearly when you are in Wood Buffalo National Park, you must keep your eyes peeled to see the buffalo. I think that is a given. Although it’s not hard as they are all over the place and do tend to enjoy hanging out on and beside the highways.

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These very large and majestic creatures are something to be appreciated, and seeing them up close and personal are something you won’t soon forget. It adds the extra magic to your unforgettable visit to the park.

It is amazing what you can accomplish in day in this park. Although a day just doesn’t seem like enough, it is more like a warm up for my next lengthy visit. Wood Buffalo National Park – Get it on your bucket list.

 

A Day Sail In Mallorca

The summer heat is Mallorca is intense. Can someone say, ‘air conditioning’?! Yes as much as I am not a fan of air conditioning, it became my best friend in Palma. It can be hard for one to leave the air con in the mid afternoon heat, because as soon as you do, you will be sweating buckets.

Sailing is one of my favorite past times, and being on the water is a sure way to refresh your sweaty soul and make you feel reborn. Sails up, a nice keel, the wind in your hair, incredible scenic views of the island, and a refreshing dip in the sea. Sounds pretty amazing doesn’t it? Well trust me – it was.

As the heat was getting a bit much to bare in the city, sailing was the only viable answer I could think of to cool off. There wasn’t a huge amount of wind that day, but just enough to do some nice leisurely cruising.


You do not need to go far to enjoy incredible seas and scenery when your in Mallorca.


The coastline is lined with caves and rocky cliff walls that leave for memorable view. From the minute we left the dock, the breeze was already rocking my world.

Although it got even better once I took a dip in the sea.

Better, but salty. Very very salty. Like literally wiping salt off my skin, and my hair was stiff with salt build up. After I dunked my head a few times, it almost felt like I had salt up my nose and on the brain. Who even knew that was a thing?! There is mud baths, and then there is salt baths. Beautiful blue salty as heck water. Well worth it for the swim adventures.

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Looking out you can see the young kids getting there sailing lessons.

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It’s actually really cute. All these mini sailing yachts, and some very small little tykes cruising along. I always think that would have been so cool growing up sailing like that from a young age.

Well this afternoon was so fantastic. If you haven’t yet sailed in life – you should get out and give it a go. If you are on an island and its incredibly hot, and sailing is an option. Then you should get out there and get refreshed! Moral of the story…… Sailing is awesome!