A day of rain forest and suspension bridge adventures in Vancouver

It’s so funny how you can visit a place numerous times in your life and always miss out on one of the coolest places to visit while your there. Seriously I wonder how on earth it took me so long to go and check out the Capilano suspension bridge park?!

I was in Vancouver and craving an escape from the city life. The Capilano suspension bridge park had caught my eye, so it was a done deal.

Upon entering the park you are immediately surrounded by totem poles. Appreciating this traditional art is something I always welcome.

The area is lush, green and smells amazing! It’s those intoxicating smells of nature. Also very cool that it is in a rainforest. I have spent a lot of time in the rainforests in Central and South America, but never in Canada. So this was a treat!

The Park itself is beautiful and sprawled out perfectly.

First stop was the cliff walk.

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To my surprise it definitely provided a bit of an adrenaline rush! Even my legs were shaking a bit. Which was fine by me. I am always up for a healthy dose of adrenaline.

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As you walk along the one bridge that stretches out over the edge, you can totally feel it moving, and that combined with looking down is was brings on that surge of adrenaline.

The views are amazing!! Seriously beautiful. My soul was drinking it right up.

There was lots of peek-a-boo beauty to be appreciated along the way.

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And the landscaping was speaking straight to my heart.

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The main suspension bridge didn’t provide as much of an adrenaline rush, as opposed to what I had expected, but the views were spectacular.

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Once you get across it you really get into the deep forest feel, and the intoxicating smells get even more intense. The walkways are smooth, super easy to navigate, and the landscape is once again on point.

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The tree top adventures brought me straight back to my childhood.

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It had me reminiscing about that time when I was 10 and built myself a tree house.

I spent weeks, day in and day out, cutting and hammering away. I only had help putting the floor and support beams up, and the rest I did myself. I had a hinged door, carpeting, the whole works.

So now, I have decided I would like to add a classy tiny home tree house with suspension walkways from tree to tree to my book of desires. I would be in my total happy place.

Another great addition is the posts all around the park sharing information about the workings of nature and all that is around us.

 

Knowledge is power, you can never do too much learning.

Don’t forget to hug a tree while you are there. It provides a healing surcharge like none other. Yes, those know me, know that I am what one would call – a tree hugger!

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This was hands down one of the best days ever! An ideal way to recharge and connect with nature, and a highlight of 2018 for me for sure.

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What a fantastic way to spend an afternoon if you find yourself in the Vancouver area and need an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city life.

Winter hiking around Johnston’s Canyon in Banff National Park

So it’s no secret that I am always up for an adventure. Rain or shine, snow or ice, if adventure is the name then partaking is my game.

More often then not, I end up on a spontaneous adventure when I am not really prepared at all.

Finally this time around, I knew I would be doing something awesome, so I made sure to pack all the stuff I thought I would need. Not going to lie, I felt pretty proud of myself for being so prepared.

Being in Banff for a couple days, it was certain that some of the area needed to be explored, and particularly area that was yet undiscovered by Moi.

Johnston’s Canyon is a place that I had heard about many times. It is a hop skip and a jump from Banff, and so it tends to be a popular destination for an easy and very enjoyable hike.

I actually didn’t even know what to expect really, and of course, when you go into something with no expectations, it always ends up being awesome!

Upon embarking on this leisurely little hike, I felt like a boss. I was totally prepared and ready to just have a seamless afternoon adventure. The weather was ideal, the energies high, and I was ready to rock this.

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The paths are well laid out, and the scenery is spectacular!

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I learned very quickly though, that with the number of people that do this hike, the paths become pretty icy, and if you are not wearing the right shoes(which I wasn’t) you are in for a bit of a challenge.

Of course, when I thought I had it all together, some minor yet not so minor detail had to come and knock me off of my high horse.

My shoes were crap.

There is no other way to put it really. Let’s just be honest here. Luckily this isn’t a fashion blog, because if it was, this time around would be a major fail.

I hadn’t even made it to the first lookout point at the Lower falls and I was already struggling. I was actually not just struggling, I was worried about what the way down was going to be like.

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I was thinking right then, that cleats for my shoes would have been a winning idea.

I did manage to make it to the lower falls lookout point, barely, but still with enthusiasm.

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Stunning! Seriously stunning.

From there I made my way to the upper falls.

The frozen falls are so majestic on the cliff side. It’s as though mother nature is singing a song that only your soul can hear.

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Obviously, I couldn’t just stop there, I had to get myself to the higher Upper Falls lookout point to get another angle. Like the upper – upper falls.

The struggle was real!! I was questioning it on my way up as it was even more difficult than getting to the lower falls. Not in an extreme hike sort of way, simply in an extreme icy uphill sort of way.

My inadequate shoes just weren’t cutting it. I will say, that I wasn’t the only one with this problem. I did see others in the exact same situation.

Once the upper -upper viewpoint, it made it all worth it. Another incredible scene to bask in. I love the recharging you energy you get in nature, and it’s truly amazing when you compare and enjoy the contrast of winter to summer.

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I was pretty certain I was going to ride down on my butt. Just when I was on the verge of doing just that, this lovely couple who had asked me to take a photo of them at the lower falls and send it to them as their phones and camera died, came gracefully trotting along in their cleated shoes.

As their cleats were tie on ones and they were so grateful to me for taking their photos for them, they offered to lend me a pair to hike down with.

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LIFESAVERS!! Seriously, it was one of those moments when angels appear.

I was suddenly able to run up and down all the hills. Almost like walking on water.

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Talk about what goes around comes around. Paying it forward is a truly a beautiful thing.

It gave me the opportunity to really take in all of my surroundings on the way down. What a gift.

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Johnston’s Canyon truly is an absolutely wonderful place. A place in which I look forward to returning in the summer to enjoy the contrast.

However that being said, if you decided to visit in the winter, I have one word for you…… CLEATS!

Happy hiking!

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?

 

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.  

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