How Solo Travel Changed My Life

In the beginning 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.

Continue reading How Solo Travel Changed My Life

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. Continue reading I Tried Six Forma Facial Treatments And Here Are My Results

Dolly Parton Concert – Legends And Dreams Come Alive

Dolly Parton. I think that is all I have to say. She is a legend.

I can’t just stop there though, so I shall go on. From a very young age, probably starting around 7, I fell in love with Dolly Parton. That was back in the days of VHS, yes remember those?! Well my grandparents were big Country fans, and they had loads of various Country concerts taped on VHS, including plenty from Dolly Parton. Back then we only got about 7 channels on TV, and that was using an antenna and tin foil on top of the TV, you know,the ones that look like bunny ears. So you taped whatever you could when you were getting good reception so you could replay it.

Yah, so I taped whatever I could of Dolly concerts and watched them all the darn time. I also bought her book ‘Dolly – My Life And Other Unfinished Business’ when I was 10, which I read about 100 times front to back.

I was enamored by everything about Dolly Parton. I thought she looked like a barbie, she sang like a dream, and had the best outlook on life ever. I set 3 goals back then. To see her live, go to Dollywood, and one day meet her in person. 20 years ago she came to Calgary, Alberta, to play at the stampede. I wanted to go so badly, but I couldn’t make it. I was absolutely gutted. I knew though that someday I would have another chance, I just wasn’t sure when…… Until now.

A few months ago, I seen that she was coming to Canada on her Pure and Simple Tour, and Calgary was one of those stops. Seeing as how it was in Calgary that I had the unfinished Dolly Parton concert business, it was a no brainer – I had to finish it there.

I am in the Northwest Territories at the moment for a couple of months of home time before I head back to Mallorca, Spain, and it is a 14 hour drive to Calgary from here. 14 hours to complete a childhood dream of 20+ years, is worth every darn kilometer. I booked myself into the classy Hotel Arts, and lucked out when I got 4th row seats to the concert. I couldn’t believe when they randomly came available. I scooped them up the minute I seen them.

Dolly started promptly at 7:30. I was busy getting myself a classy beverage thinking there would be an opening act. Nope there sure wasn’t though. Dang it! I didn’t want to miss one precious second of Dolly on stage.

We were ready for action

I was in awe from the moment I set eyes on her. Actually I was in tears.


Famous people don’t even phase me, ever. To me people are just people. However, Dolly Parton was someone whom shaped me growing up. Well her and Marilyn Monroe. I had no idea how touching seeing Dolly was going to be. Not only was her voice totally perfect, sitting there listening to all her stories that I read in her book, coming from her own mouth, was beyond words. For the first time in my life, watching someone live, brought tears straight to the ol’ peepers. Especially being in 4th row. Her energy was emanating. She was so damn amazing. Leave it to Dolly Parton to be as inspiring as always.

Man did she put on a good show. From 7:30 – 10:30 with a 20 minute intermission, she’s definitely a go getter that one.

She pretty much played every instrument under the sun.


Even after the show it was hard to leave.

And also hard to believe what we just experienced.

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This is something I will absolutely never forget. Hands down best concert of my life.

The closest I came to getting a photo with her.

What did I take from all of this? Don’t ever give up on your dreams. I waited 20+ years for this one, but gosh darn it, it happened – and it was unbelievable.


Next stop, Dollywood.

Trust me, once you start checking the boxes, you just can’t stop.

Solo Road Tripping – How To Be Awesome On a Long Ass Drive

Recently I once again undertook the long ass drive from Calgary, Alberta to Northwest Territories. Having spent the most of year in Calgary, being awesome as planned, it’s coming to fall, which is one of my favorite times of year to be back home in Northwest Territories. The leaves start to change color, mother nature surrounds you like a beautiful painting full of stunning orange hues, and I can wear a few more layers of style. It’s just darn wonderful. Seeing as how it’s coming up time for me to head back to Mallorca, Spain, home time in the NWT is exactly where it’s at for me right now. How lucky am I to live this awesome life that I get to split up between my favorite places. Although, I created my life to be this way, and it’s possible for anyone.

Now usually the drive the from Calgary to my hometown in the Northwest Territories is about 14 hours, but I had decided to take my sweet ass time and stop to see any appealing sights along the way – so this time around it turned into a hard 22 hours. Hard, but enjoyable. I love my road trips, it’s the best time to have epic ‘me time‘, bask in my own awesome company and crank my tunes while taking in all the scenery. I just make the most of every situation life gives me.

I embarked on my journey at around 8:30AM, a tad later then planned, but only because I may have enjoyed an epic wine fueled laugh session with a couple of friends the previous evening. As if you can leave a place with out spending time with your peeps. It was way to much darn fun. Totally worth it. The late start and the sore head. I grabbed fuel for my car, and then fuel for myself from Starbucks, and I was on the road once again.

Calgary to Edmonton goes by pretty fast it’s only 3 hours, and with the highways being so busy between the two, it’s a breeze. Just outside Edmonton located by the little town of Devon, is the Devonian Gardens. I have driven by them for so many years with the intention of stopping, but previously when I tried it was always just out of season, and was closed. This time around, it was in season, and open! So I pulled on in and was ready for the ‘garden experience’ I had so long awaited.

I truly was blown away by this gem of a botanical gardens, they were much more then I expected.

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They have loads of different area’s from wet lands, to rose gardens, a butterfly area,

All the way to Japanese zen gardens, just to name a few.

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I was in heaven! I love nature, and this nature hideaway happened to be lush, immaculately maintained and smelled absolutely divine.

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It was the best pit stop ever to fill my soul with awesomeness for the rest of the trip. Although I ended up spending a couple of hours there, so it absolutely lengthened my trip. Well worth it though! You could spend all day in there.

Seeing as how by time I left the botanical gardens it was already near 3 in the afternoon, there really weren’t a lot of other places to pull into as they would all be closing. I continued on my merry way cranking my tunes, and just taking it all in. I always have so much going on in my little imaginative mind, that rarely do I ever get bored.

I stop for tea and coffee quite often too, I usually always like to have a tea on the go. I was in absolutely no rush, I was literally just going with the awesome flow. After driving North for the rest of the day, past plenty of farm land, rain storms, and quaint little towns, I finally arrived to High Level, Alberta at around midnight.

High Level is the last little town in Northern Alberta before you arrive to the NWT, and from there it is about a 3 hour drive to my home town. It’s the home stretch from then on in. Seriously though, all this dilly dallying around was starting to catch up, and 2 hours away from home I decided to pull over and take a power nap. I don’t believe in forcing yourself to stay awake, it only brings on accidents if you happen to fall asleep at the wheel. If your on a road trip and you get tired, just freaken pull over. Not to mention, it was a full moon out and it was looking ridiculously appealing. My windshield offered the perfect front row seat to bask in the glow of the full moon. I always have a blanket and pillow with me, so I am fully prepared in case I need a nap.

Cozy as heck, I ended up snoozing for 4 hours! I clearly needed it though. I woke up and it was light out, so I hit the highway. It wasn’t long before I made it to the NWT border.


Tired, grubby and rough on the exterior, but just as happy as always to see that beauty of a sign.

Between High Level, and Hay River(where I was heading) there is a place called Indian Cabins. A random shop in the middle of nowhere that sells off sale liquor, gas, snacks.

I was hoping for coffee, but it wasn’t open yet. I was able to have a good laugh at myself though, because the last time I was there, I got locked in this very outhouse at -30 degree Celsius weather.

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Yes, it was freaken cold! And Snowy when it all went down.

Not the most amazing experience of my life. Trust me though, I learned some very valuable lessons and even wrote an article about it.

3 Steps To Take When Your Locked In An Out House. Only me, only freaken me…..

Have a peak at the video blog I posted about my road trippin’ adventures while your here.

Not gonna lie, I was pretty darn excited when I finally arrived home! I loved every minute of that road trip, but I was also ready for it to be done 22 hours later.

So ladies and gentlemen, if your looking to be awesome on a long ass drive, may I suggest to stop and smell the flowers, just go with the awesome flow of it all, crank your tunes, sing your little heart out, and be open to whatever may come your way. As they say(still trying to figure out who they are?!) – It’s not always about the destination, it’s the journey along the way.  

Sign up to my email list to come on more random pursuit’s of life with me. I would love to have you.

 

 Loved Week 6 Of My Orange Theory Fitness Challenge

6 weeks and feeling stronger every day! It’s incredible really. I am loving the changes I am feeling in my body. It is almost like an addiction now. I am happy to report that I set out to do 4 Orange Theory workouts a week during this challenge, and so far I haven’t missed one. If anything, I feel like pushing that up to 5 a week. Yes, you can call me a keener if you want to.

In reality though, Orange Theory does become a part of you. When I leave there I always feel like I am on fire. Your so mentally and physically pumped from the whole experience.

The OT marathon has begun, and I started mine on Saturday. We have the month of April to complete it.  I am in competition with no one but myself.

I am looking forward to pushing myself and seeing how far I get with it, Although there is one more reason I may push myself up to 5 workouts a week this month instead of 4, get those miles! I have never actually done a Marathon, so I truly wouldn’t mind completing one.

How about another challenge while I am on this challenge train?! Sounds good to me.

I started Monday off in Justin’s class at the Creekside location with strong determination and feeling on top of the world.

 Once again, that excitement to get back in there was massive. Right now, I am feeling the best changes ever starting. So that being said, there is no way I want to slow down, I want to see where I can go with this.

It was my first time attending one of Justin’s classes, and as it goes at OT, he is another great trainer!

He was continually on top of providing awesome trainer support to everyone. Not only that, he was a great sport at helping me get material for this here blog. We had a nice chat about how much we love OT too, and how true it is that it does become something you would prefer not to live without. 

Trust me, after first getting into OT in Florida 4 years ago, it was super hard for me to leave OT and head back to Spain. A bit heart wrenching really. So clearly I am over the moon to have it back in my life, and not have to leave it any time soon! Anyone who gets into OT feels the same way, so its always great to be amidst like minded people.

Tuesday I played hooky and didn’t go to OT. Kidding. Tuesday I had to work my butt off and couldn’t make it to OT.

Wednesday I was hauling ass to get to Matt’s class at Royal Oak  Traffic and work held me back. When I thought there was no way I was going to make it, I called in, and the awesome ladies at the front desk told me to still come and get in there(in one piece that is), as they were waiting for me. No was not at option. Now, you see just another reason I love OT so much. They love having you just as much as you love being there.

I got there just in the nick of time. I ran in, put my shoes on as fast as I could, ran past the desk while telling all the ladies how awesome they are, and straight in and on to the treadmill, where I continued to run my little heart out. Happy days! That is until my darn shoe laces came untied once again!!

‘Seriously shoe laces, we talked about you coming untied on the treadmill!’

It was a super busy class that day, and Matt was all business. He was making sure he kept everyone on top form. The class flew by because,

A) I was late, and so that meant straight into action.

B) It was super busy! It was a go, go , go kinda afternoon.

I was so happy that I made it in the end – and grateful to OT Royal Oak for being so accommodating. 

Thursday and it was full force once again in Cam’s class at Royal Oak. Actually we were also graced with Trish’s presence assistant coaching too as it was a fast paced and full session.

It was such an awesome class! We paired up with partners, and spent the class doing rotations between the treadmills, rowers and floor workout. I got teamed up with Khrista, and she was an absolutely awesome partner. If your gonna almost kick the bucket, sometimes it’s better to do it with someone else.

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She was tons of fun to pair up with and full of team spirit.

 We both pushed ourselves as hard as we possibly could, and finished with massive smiles and lots of sweat(obviously).  Exactly how you should look after an epic workout.

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You could definitely say that was one tough workout! 

I am growing more and more fond of the rowers. I think in the beginning the rowers were working so many muscles in my body(especially in my shoulders), and seeing as how my body was adapting, rowing was tough for me. Not to mention, some days I am a rock star, and some days my form on them is not on!

This day was no exception, and Cam and Trish kept catching me and correcting my form. It does make a massive difference, and I appreciate every correction I get. That’s the beauty of having trainers there to coach you.

Cam’s classes are always great, and he is full of fab energy that gets people moving.

We had some good laughs trying to get in position for a photo:)

 

In the end we nailed it!

I finished my 6th week off on Saturday in Deanne’s class. It had been awhile since I got to attend one of her classes, she is always happy, and so good at motivating you!  I was tired as heck that day, and was seriously contemplating re-scheduling for Sunday, but when I seen there was a wait list for most of the classes, I figured I best push myself and just go for it. I didn’t want to take the chance of not getting in on Sunday. ‘Come on Petrena, get your ass moving’. Self talk, some of the best conversations I have are with myself.

Once again, those days you really don’t feel like doing it, are always the ones that turn out to be some of the best workouts!

Clearly I found my sweaty zen

Deanne’s class rocked my little Orange Theory going world! I felt ridiculously awesome afterwards, and was pepped right up to tackle the weekend. She rocks! And of course we high fived the heck out of it.  There was just no other way. As per usual. 

I was able to rock all 4 of my work outs last week, and consistently get my splat points in the Orange Zone. Every workout, my body shows me more and more of what it is capable of. Its actually more exciting then anything, where can I take my body and health? The sky is the limit and OT is my ladder.

My measurements have gone down once again after a week of stalling, and it feels great.

Week 5: Chest 36, Waist 36, Hips 40, Arms 10, Legs, 24.5

Week 6: Chest 35, Waist 36, Hips, 39, Arms 9.5, Legs 24

Here are some clips from the week

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I can’t even tell you just how much I loved week 6. The best part about this whole 8 week challenge, is that yes it has been challenging, at times, VERY! But its a challenge in an environment that I love, which is what has kept me going. The support you receive at OT, and all the awesome energy, accompanied with the awesome workouts, just keep me going back. If you find something you love doing, then not only is it a challenge, but its also a reward. It’s one of my happy places, that’s for darn sure.

Welcome to week 7!  

 

How To Rock Your First Spin Class

I have always wanted to attend a spin class, and having a long time friend, Michelle, whom I haven’t seen in a few years instructing at Spoke(N)Spin here in Calgary – made for the perfect opportunity for a reunion and a workout.

The studio is quaint, and the space inside is utilized very well. I was amazed at how they fit all the equipment and people in a very comfortable fashion. 


Upon arrival, you get given your special cycling shoes to put on.


They have clips on the bottom, so you can clip onto your bike pedals.

Pretty freaken cool. I was feeling cool anyway. Although, come time to saddle up, I had to fiddle around with mine in the beginning to get them clipped in. 

Let’s do this! 

Of course Michelle being such a fabulous friend, she made me sit in the front row, so I could make an ass out of myself for all to see. Look at the newby!! Kidding.


But, I did try and sit in the back, and she wasn’t having any of it, and did tell me I had to get up there. Fine, fine, I don’t mind being a bit of a spectacle.

Guaranteed I wouldn’t have pushed as hard as I did if I was in the back. So I was actually really thankful she got me up front. Sometimes all you need is that swift kick in the ass.

Show time! The lights go down, the music goes up, and the instructor gets everyone pumped. The music was awesome, and so was Michelle.

There is a knob on the bike that gives and releases tension, and you proceed to go up and down, side to side, following the instructors lead, going for the cycle of a lifetime.

If you close your eyes you can totally pretend you are on some mountain terrain excursion. I myself though, couldn’t close my eyes very much, seeing as how I was still getting used to how to ride this darn bike, I most likely would have ended up seriously injuring myself.

A couple times my shoes un-clipped, and being the classy lady I am, I accidentally said ‘Oops, shit!’ out loud both times. Not to mention, I almost said shit again for saying shit the first time. Man, sometimes you can’t take me anywhere. I had to stay focused to keep portraying the illusion that I knew what I was doing, and also look as though I was naturally rocking it. I am sure once I do it a few more times, I will be rockin it. I have no doubt, practice makes perfect.

My legs were sore as heck already from all my Orange Theory work outs, and pushing through on that bike was not an easy feat. Actually it was tough as nails! To be honest, I never imagined spin class was going to be a hard workout.

Could have fooled me!  And it did, that’s for darn sure.

My legs seriously were just not cooperating as good as they normally would had they hadn’t have been going through my fitness challenge the whole week prior to this class.

I do absolutely love cycling, its one of my favorite sports, and back in Mallorca(Spain), I cycle 30km almost every day. This day however, was like a god send when we moved to the floor. I wasn’t sure how much longer my legs would take it, and I am the type of person that will push until I pretty much collapse. Which would just be fricken embarrassing if you ask me. ‘Oh is the new girl alright?! She doesn’t look alright.’

Excuse me while I peel myself off the floor.

Through it all, no matter how much pain I was feeling, I made sure to maintain a nice sweaty smile. At least I could keep rockin a smile.

They also have straps! I love working out on straps. 

In the end, we got a full body workout, using our own body weight, and finished off with some yoga stretches. Perfect!

Here’s a couple short clips of the sesh.

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I broke a massive sweat, and was so stoked to watch my good friend in action. She is a fantastic and motivating instructor, but that goes for her as a person, so I wouldn’t have expected anything less. Oh the joys of checking things off my list in life, and even more so when I enjoyed doing the activity. I can’t wait to attend some more spin classes now and rock the heck out of it.

Spin class, the classy way to get an ass kicking.

 

How I rocked the Calgary Wine Festival Solo

Being a self proclaimed pro at sippin on vino. Obviously I couldn’t pass up the Calgary wine festival. Wine, wine and more wine. Sounds like heaven if you ask me. The picture I had in my mind was quaint tables set up from spectacular vineyards, all for my sampling pleasure. Well that mental picture wasn’t wrong, it was completely right. However, what I wasn’t prepared for was the masses of people, the line ups, the craziness of it all. Oh right, I am back in Calgary, the big busy ass city. A large stretch from the small tranquil(unless there is a festival, which is every other weekend in Spain) island of Mallorca, Spain, where I just moved back from. It was a bit daunting, and I am not into waiting in lines, so I mainly bee-lined for the tables with little to no lineups, unless I scoped something I HAD to try.

Trust me, if it wasn’t as crowded as it was, I would have HAD to have tried everything. Although, in that case, I most likely would have had to have been carried out of there in the end.

I had plans to go with my friends, but then due to a flu wreaking some havoc, everyone pulled out.

With my golden ticket to wine heaven in hand staring me in the eyes like a lost puppy wanting me to take it home – I just couldn’t deny it. How in the heck could I let something like this go to waste?!

Well, I couldn’t. I just couldn’t. Having traveled the globe for the better of the last 10 years, and mainly solo(I mean I crossed the African continent alone), attending a wine fest alone was no freaken problem. Table for 1 please!

I wasn’t actually alone though. I was in my own awesome company. Which just so happens to be some of my fave company on this planet might I add. It was ‘me time‘ at its finest. Some of the best parties of my life have been alone.

So Cinderella called her chariot(Yellow cabs actually),and set off to attend her ball.

So how did I rock it exactly you may be wondering? 

Well, I walked right in with my head held high as if I had every intention of attending it alone from the get go, and smiled with the brightest smile I could find in my pocket.

The best way to rock any situation in life, is to just act freaken natural. Of course some self talk doesn’t hurt. ‘Your awesome Petrena, you got this, just go in there and keep on being  your awesome self.’ It was that damn easy.

The wine festival was set up pretty fantastic, and was very inviting when you entered.

Just follow the red carpet….


What the?! A table full of empty wine glasses? That is not on!
 Here, please allow me help you remedy this situation and fill one of those bad boys up! Being alone also gave me time to mingle with the event staff.

Off I went, wine glass in hand, gracefully into the event.

 

Woah, hello everybody!

I went straight up to one of the first tables I seen that didn’t have a massive line up to get the fresh grape juice flowing into my sad empty glass.  

It’s amazing how a small splash of wine makes a wine glass look so much more appealing. She was a quarter full now!

Funny enough, I kept zoning into the Spanish vineyards…. Call me bias, but Spain is my other home… So clearly I was going to see what lovely vino’s they had on offer from my other home turf.

It’s great when you make friends with the people working the table, because then you can just stand there and keep the samples coming, while making new friends. 

After an hour of this, I was already starting to feel a little tipsy. Who brought the lush out?

I knew I didn’t want to lose my classy composure, so I made sure to guzzle some water in between the samples.

Even though I was rocking this party for 1, when I unexpectedly got the message from my friend that she was kicking that flu bugs ass and coming anyway – I was super stoked! Being such a packed and busy event, it took work to do it alone, so it just made sense to enjoy it with some friends if I had the chance. 

The crowds seem far less overwhelming when you have company. Mind you I remember that time I was in Rio de Janeiro for New Years, lost all my friends, and was rocking it all alone in the middle of 2.5 million people on Copa Cabana beach. Talk about over whelming!

Ahhhh, good friends and good wine. I love life.

I can honestly say I did a very poor job of taking notes of what my favorites were at the wine festival. It was far too busy for that nonsense. At an event of this capacity it was just better for me to team up with my friends and drink as much wine as we could! Ok, well not exactly, I mean once again, I am classy. Lest we forget. That didn’t stop me from enjoying fairly copious amounts though.

The whole event was 3 hours. Funny how the 3 hours flies by! Literally, as soon as the 3 hours is up, they shut her down before the blink of an eye. Well faster then they opened up, that’s for darn sure. Understandably though, as if they didn’t, people would linger, and they wouldn’t be able to prepare for the next session.

To sum it all up, if you ever find yourself in a predicament to attend a wine fest solo, you just friggen go!

Put your best foot forward, act like you planned it that way, sip your little wine lovin’ heart out, all while secretly hoping that your friends will suddenly show up,but knowing you will still have fun if they don’t.

 

Why I Signed Up For A Library Card

First of all, intelligence makes people more attractive. Not to mention expanding your mind is cool. Don’t let anyone tell you different.

I love reading, you know, there is nothing like getting lost in a good page turner. As much as I appreciate the functionality of a kindle, the feeling of holding a real book in my hands is something special. There has even been numerous studies done, that have shown reading print helps you retain the information better, and a book is more easy to navigate, as you can very quickly turn flip between pages. Getting away from staring at screens also improves concentration.

Being a writer and blogger, I am staring at a computer screen far more then I would like. It just has become a major part of every day for me – and believe you me, I do feel it! You know those times when you have been staring at the screen so long that your brain starts to feel like mush, and your eyeballs are glued open. At which point you have to peel yourself away from it just to unmush your brain and lubricate your eyeballs. Ahhhh, its like a good stretch.

One of many articles I have read on the subject titled ‘Reading Books Instead of Kindles Can Improve Your Memory, Concentration and Good Looks‘ on a sight Mic.com, that I find very interesting, even stated ‘Reading is sexy and makes you a more empathetic person‘. See, I told yah so.

With so many good scientific backed reasons to pick up a paper print book and take your imagination on a nice excursion – plus its just a personal preference for my own enjoyment purposes, a library card only made sense. I don’t have a personal library at home where I can stack books to the ceilings, and I am on a book reading mission right now. I want to continually expand my mind, and gain more writing skills. So you can call me your everyday book worm. With a library card, not only can I go and be immersed in an environment with like minded people, but I can read my little heart out, and hold as many paper print books as I can take. Oh and another perk that I learned upon signage is that they give you free credit to print things off with every month. Ha! Since I don’t have a printer at home at the moment either, this is just über convenient.

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Well there you have it. That is why I made the leap, did something new for myself, and went and got a library card. I was excited as heck too, surely I was one of the most excited women they have ever seen over a new card. So on that note, does anyone have any good book recommendations for me?

3 Steps to take when your locked in an Outhouse

First of all, how in the heck do I end up these situations?! Really now, the most random situations always seem to sneak up on me. It’s either the most incredibly amazing things, or the most ridiculously random. There seems to be no middle ground.

So yes, in case your wondering, I did get locked into a damn outhouse. I have been accustomed to outhouses all over the globe. Or at times shall I say versions of outhouses…. I mean the rotted wooden hole filled caving in ones that I had to use when I was working in the jungle’s of Central and South America were one version, oh and there was that one in very rural Mozambique which was 4 thatched walls, strung together, and inside is no hole in the ground, yet just a pile of boulders, in which you have to step on top of other people’s business and find a spot to do your business – and being the only foreign person these people have ever seen, you have a whole village just stand there watching you go inside and do your thing. Of course I maintained my classy composure, did it like a rockstar(literally rock-star), while smiling and waving at everyone while I entered and then preceded to try my best to hover over these rocks that you would rather not step on. When in Africa…. Sounds like pretty pleasant experiences don’t they?! They definitely weren’t the most glamorous loos that I have ever had the pleasure of using, nor did they smell like a bouquet of roses that some hunk bought me.  Trust me that’s only a couple of many outhouse stories.

Of course I prefer porcelain and marble, however in some circumstances, you just ain’t got that option – and if there is one thing that I am, it’s Adaptable. Whether I enjoy the experience or not, its still an experience that I am alive to feel, so I always maintain a smile, and a good sense of humor to the best of my ability.

So here I was yesterday morning, on my 15 hour drive from Northwest Territories to Calgary, in – 30 c weather, and ridiculously icy road conditions, when nature decided to call.


I should know better then to drink a coffee and a tea directly before hitting the highway, as there isn’t much of anything for the first few hours of the drive.

The first road side turn out with an out house that I came across and I immediately pulled over to try and answer natures call…..

Holy geez! Someone did their business all over the toilet seat rather then inside, and it was -30 so it was frozen to the seat. Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty – and I could darn well hold it and give nature a busy signal.

40 km later, and I reached the NWT/Alberta boarder, where there happened to be another outhouse. I pulled over once again, jumped out, looked inside, and was once again flabbergast at what I saw. Are you freaken kidding me?! Is it the new in thing to use the toilet seat rather then the toilet hole? Is there some sort of stomach bug in the area? So many questions. Yet I couldn’t stand looking at the sight, so I put nature on hold once again and hit the road. You and I both know, nature does not like being put on hold, and she was getting a bit antsy and starting kicking me in the bladder. Ok, ok, I promise not to ingest so many liquids before my road trips in the future.

20 kms down the road again, and I came up to a little place called Indian Cabins, where you get snacks and cheap alcohol in the middle of nowhere.


I seen the frozen out house and instead of going inside to see if they had a nice warm ladies room, ‘as there just wasn’t time for that’, I went straight to the outhouse and answered the call. I mean third times a charm right?


Mother nature was peeved though, and not so charming this time around. As soon as I found my relief and went to vacate the stall, I realized I was locked in. What the!? There is no way this is happening I thought. I rattled the door knob, and to no avail…. I kicked the door a couple times… Wearing my sneaker wedges weren’t exactly the most ideal for the job. I rattled the knob and pushed the door at the same time… Well it didn’t take me long to realize that Nature was obviously pissed at me, and was trying to hold me captive! In such brutally cold conditions, and not having mitts a hat, or proper boots, I could feel frosty starting to bite at my toes.

I dug in my jacket pockets and all I had with me was my car keys, and my bottle of Abundance essential oil…. I started calling for help, knowing that the one person that was inside would never hear me, and in that kind of weather people don’t go outside unless they have too. I also contemplated inhaling my abundance oil, although I wasn’t sure what kind of abundance it would bring me in that moment, but it would never fail to be relaxing.

So on to Plan B, ‘Survival of the fittest’

I am pretty quick thinker, and I do have loads of wilderness first aid and survival training… So, I stayed calm, and rationally assessed my situation. Freaken Petrena…. How do you find yourself in these places. Here are the three steps I took, to free myself from Natures cold ass cage.

Step 1Call for help, I mean even if no one can here you. Call your little heart out. Not to mention it keeps your blood pumping, which keeps you warm, and keeps your vocals singing. Its darn cold outside, and I was about to turn into an ice princess. I have too many ambitions in life for that shit.

Step 2 – Use whatever you have in your pockets as a tool to help you. I realized that on my keys was the car alarm!! I know whomever was inside would never hear me calling for help, but perhaps they would hear the car alarm. So I sounded the high alarm! It would only go off for about 5 minutes at a time before I would have to press the button again, but I wasn’t giving up.

Step 3 – Look at other ways of escaping. Seeing as how my super human strength wasn’t happening when I tried to kick the door down, I looked up and seen there was a bit of openings going over to the other side. It was quite high, but I tried my best to shimmy up. I realized I could probably do it, I would have had to kick off my wedge heels though, and then figure out how I would get down on the other side without breaking a leg on the 6 foot drop. So I decided to wait it out bit longer before that attempt at being in Cirque De Solier.

45 minutes later, I was starting to lose hope and body heat…. But it was in that moment I heard someone come outside, and boot steps coming towards me. It’s always in the moment where you feel like you hit rock bottom that something amazing happens.


A man got to the door, unlocked it, opened it, and said, ‘What are you doing locked in the outhouse?!’

Oh you know, I was just hanging out for some shits and giggles, no big deal. Who doesn’t like a good outhouse sesh? NOT! Clearly I had to pee like a race horse and ran into the first clean looking outhouse I could find. Although sarcasm aside, he was my night in shining armor, and I wanted to through  my arms around him and thank him for saving my life. I didn’t though. I mean I did thank him, but I also kept my classy composure, and hands to myself.

He told me maybe I should go inside and freshen up in the nice warm washroom. Oh Petrena, you silly silly women, you shud have followed your gut in the beginning when it told you to go inside and look for a warm ladies room.

Moral of the story: Always listen to your gut – and when you fail to do that, then, be a survivor in the most awesome fashion possible.  An hour behind schedule, but I was back on the open road of adventure, and I have finally arrived in Calgary!


So here you go, keep this trusty little step-by-step guide handy to get yourself out of being locked in an outhouse, or you can use this guide to not do what I did, and just don’t get yourself locked in a darn outhouse.

Happy road tripping days!