There are some places in this world that hold special places in our hearts. A place that heals us, rejuvenates us and sets us free. These places seem to hold an energizing power over us like none other. Perhaps it is because we match the vibration of the land. Or, perhaps it has been such a part of our life that it seems to be ingrained in our being. Continue reading “Northwest Territories – The Land That Lures You”
Here I sit at 35 years young, and if I have learned one thing about ageing in my time being alive, it’s absolutely that ageing is an art just like a fine wine. We can choose to embrace it or we can resist it. Although I will say, the path of least resistance is far more rewarding. Continue reading “Forever Young – The Art Of Getting Better With Age”
Fall is such a spectacular time of year. With the leaves changing to hues of yellow, orange and red. The cooler crisp temperatures meaning more layers of style – which is always exciting. Plus Calgary’s skyline looks pretty picturesque from all of its colorful angles. Continue reading “The Must-See Sights When Fall Makes A Brief Appearance In Calgary”
Cruising down the open road of adventure with the tunes blasting is one of the most soul-soothing places to be. Continue reading “Diaries Of A Road Trip From Alberta To Utah”
Lying on the top of a mud volcano soaking the soothing minerals of the earth, was by far one of my most memorable travel moments. Continue reading “A Healing Soak in a Volcanic Mud Bath In Columbia”
It is no secret that keeping a healthy gut while you travel can be quite the feat. From airplane food to the uncertainty of food quality abroad and all the foreign germs in between. Our micro domes in our guts can sometimes become very unhappy with us. Introduce something that doesn’t belong and a serious revolt can happen faster than a blink of the eye.
With digestive issues and illnesses looming around every corner when travelling, it is important to not only be ready to treat it should it so arise, but to also take preventative measures, as to avoid it at all costs if possible. Plus, you will have a much more enjoyable travel experience without any gut setbacks.
Our bodies are introduced to so many different foods and germs while travelling, and our immune systems tend to also be compromised which makes it easier to have issues.
Here are a few tips to help keep your gut in tip-top shape and happy while exploring the world.
Always have probiotics on hand.
Preferably probiotics that made for on the go. I love this one from Usana. They come in convenient individual packs that you can put in your bag or pocket, add to water, juice, or simply open the pack and pop it in your mouth and then wash it down with a sip of your beverage of choice.
Many places offer probiotic kombucha drinks, and in virtually every country you can find yogurt or sauerkraut, which are also full of live healthy bacteria for your gut flora. Our gut is what regulates our immune system, so implementing as many probiotics as possible is a great way to prevent anything dodgy from causing you problems.
Carry a bottle of therapeutic grade Oregano Oil with 80% or more carvacrol when you travel.
Oregano is a powerhouse against viruses and bacteria, among a whole host of other incredible benefits. Which includes tummy bugs, foreign bacteria, and food poisoning. The main ways we have gut issues when we travel.
When ingesting it, be sure to only add a few drops to a carrier oil such as coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, or whichever oil you can get your hands on. Oregano oil is very strong, so a few drops in a carrier oil held under your tongue for a couple minutes, repeated a few times a day, will rid you of any pesky bacteria that is causing mayhem in your gut.
Have a bottle of Olive Leaf Extract Capsules made with 25% Oleuropein Extract on hand.
Not only does olive leaf extract lower high blood pressure and preserve cognitive function, but it also is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-parasitic. Which means if you end up with a not so friendly bacteria or parasite, olive leaf extract will save the day. combined with oregano oil and there is no bacteria, virus or parasite that will get by unscathed.
Ingest gut health promoting superfoods daily.
I always travel with chlorella on hand, and I always eat things such as chia seeds and drink hot lemon water. Lemons are available worldwide, and chia seeds also are often not hard to find. Both will keep things moving swiftly in the gut region. Chlorella cleans the blood, filters out heavy metals and greatly improves your overall digestion while also providing very important digestive enzymes.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
Often the importance of hydration is overlooked or forgotten. Hydration keeps things flowing in your gut, and helps to prevent bacteria and viruses from latching on. Plus if you do catch something, it will flush it out. When your illness strikes your gut, it can easily get dehydrated, so it is best to always have water or tea on hand and on the go. Coconut water is another great option for hydrating and getting in those electrolytes.
A happy gut makes a happy traveller. It sucks when you get stricken with gut issues when on the road. Nobody wants to hug the toilet if they don’t have too. With a few prevention methods and a good natural emergency kit, you will be happy, healthy, radiant and ready for life’s endless adventures.
Discovering new destinations and far-off lands. Immersing yourself in a totally new culture and language. Living every day as the new adventure that it is. All while on your own terms, on your own journey of discovery, which doesn’t only mean places, but it also means of ‘Self’. That is what solo travel is all about.
I personally love solo travel more than anything else. For me, it’s where I connect with myself and the world on the deepest level. It’s a time where you will be pushed so far out of your element, that you have no choice but to grow and transform.
My solo travels have taken me around Central and South America, across the Amazon, throughout Africa from South Africa to Egypt, all around Europe and on my own home soil of Canada.
Through it all, you do tend to learn a few things, and a bit more.
Here are 10 truths that I have learned from my life experiences of solo travel.
1. Booking The Flight Is The Hardest Part – yes you read that right. The majority of the time we can think too much about that solo trip that we yearn to take. The new destination that we want to discover. All while doing exactly that. Just thinking about it. Once you take that step of booking your ticket, you suddenly just solidified the trip. The rest is just details now. You’re doing it! You’re going on your solo adventure.
2. You Will Be Challenged – let’s be real here. If you are taking yourself completely out of your comfort zone, away from everyone and everything that you know, you will absolutely be challenged. It’s a whole new ballpark out there. Challenge is amazing though and is best received when welcomed. If you remind yourself that through a challenge is where you become a better version of yourself, then there is nowhere to go but up. To live boldly is to accept a challenge, and use it as a catapult to the next amazing step of your life. With or without solo travel, life will be challenging. Plus, you can pick easier destinations for your solo trip. Ease your way into it. I chose the most difficult because I am always looking for a new challenge.
3. You Will Develop Your Intuition – it’s true, you and that little voice that you often ignore in your day to day life, will suddenly become best friends. As the way, it should be. Your intuition knows what’s going on, and it will never steer you wrong. When you are navigating through new and foreign lands, you will learn very fast that you best be listening to your inner voice. It is your built-in compass. Developing your intuition will continue to be a tool that strengthens the rest of your life. This is a massive gift you will receive from solo travel.
4. You Will Get To Know Yourself Very Well – when it is just you and the open road of adventure, you have no one to lean on but yourself. At times things will be amazing, other times tough, and regardless of what situation presents itself, you will only have YOU to get on with it. Celebrating the highs and lows. You will come to know yourself very deeply. How you feel, how you react, what you truly like and dislike. It’s incredible. It is also a gift you will receive from solo travel. The gift that will keep on giving.
5. You Will Not Be Lonely – as opposed to what a lot of people think, travelling solo is not lonely at all. In fact, when you are alone, you are so open to everything, that you easily meet people. So much easier then when you are travelling with others, as when you are with others, you tend to get in your bubble and meet a lot fewer people. When I am alone, I meet not just other travellers, but so many more locals. They always invite me places, show me off the beaten track things, and I find I get the real cultural experience of the country in this way. I have so many more opportunities that present themselves when I am alone. Funny enough, you meet so many people when you are solo, it can be hard to get time to be SOLO.
6. Hostels Are A Great Place To Stay – let’s just say if you ever do find yourself actually feeling a tad lonely, then just go check into a hostel. You will make new friends immediately in any hostel. There are dorm rooms for the tight budget or private rooms if you prefer your privacy. I have stayed in plenty of stunningly beautiful and immaculately clean hostels in my time. Travel books and websites will always rate hostels, just as they do hotels, so you will have a good idea of what you will be arriving at. Many times over I have met amazing travel buddies at hostels, who are going in the same direction as me, so we team up to travel together for a bit. I have actually met some of my lifelong best friends in hostels.
7. When You Are Alone, People Will Go Out Of Their Way To Help You – that is after they question you if you are crazy for travelling alone. I have had that questions posed to me SO many times, particularly in third world countries where even the locals feel unsafe a lot of the time. Always, you will have people looking out for you when you are solo, making sure you are safe, that you get to your destination, that you are not getting ripped off. It’s truly amazing the beauty you will see in humanity when you are on a solo trip.
8. Single Supplement Costs Are Higher – yes, yes they are. If you are travelling with people you then are able to split costs of taxi’s, rooms, and get group costs on excursions. However, if I am craving ‘me time’ and just wanting to bask in my own company, then that is priceless and worth every extra penny so my vibes get recharged and remain high as heck.
9. If You Are A Solo Female, You Will Receive A lot Of Extra Male Attention – this is also depending on what continent you are on. Europe and North America are generally fine, but the catcalls in Central and South America can be a bit much, and the attention in Africa, will for sure become mentally exhausting. If you just take it all with a grain of salt, keep alert and level-headed, with a positive demeanour, and just remember it is truly just all part of the experience, then you will be just fine.
10. It Will Be The Most Freeing Experience Of Your Life – it’s like spread your wings and fly baby! Seriously, solo travel is a whole new realm. It’s all about you and what you want. Where you want to go, what you want to see, and what you want to eat. Sometimes in life, if only for a brief moment, it is so important to just DO YOU. That is what you get when you travel solo. A nice chunk of time where nothing else matters but you and spreading your awesome high vibes everywhere you go. You will get a taste of freedom like none other, and your eyes will be opened to the importance of finding and creating a bit of freedom in your everyday life. Soul food.
If you have never taken a solo trip in your life, then I highly recommend doing so. Potentially you will find solo travel isn’t your thing, and you will decide that in the future you will only do group trips. Or perhaps like me, you will be feeling like ‘this is your jam’. Either way, I can guarantee you will come back from it with a stronger mindset, a deeper connection within yourself, a friendship with your intuition and some darn good stories.
The truth is, no matter how solo our trip may be, we are never truly alone.
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.
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.
2 – My next find was my first Spanish lesson book.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
There are those places in life that you visit and they leave a lasting and memorable imprint in your mind. You know in your mind that you will return one day, you just don’t know exactly when.
Riverside Bed & Breakfast in Kamloops, British Columbia is one of those such places for me. I stumbled across this B&B a few years ago when I was passing through Kamloops. It was one of those golden finds. I had randomly decided I wanted to spend the night and do some wine tasting when I was in the area, and after searching and calling around, having not much luck finding availability, I came across this stunning place.
At the time I was instantly in love with it. The property is immaculate, the rooms very chic, much more then you would expect from a B&B, and the energy of the place is very high vibe. I knew then that I would return one day.
I recently had the pleasure of revisiting, and spending another night. Let me tell you, it absolutely did not disappoint and if anything, it only got better with time. It was as immaculate and stunning as I remembered.
I was instantly in love with the room. It was spacious, bright, open and had an incredible view of the lake.
All of the rooms at the B&B share the same incredible view. Basking in that beauty is a fabulous way to start your day with your morning coffee.
Although, the king size bed was so comfy, I didn’t want to get up in the morning.
Not wanting to miss a minute of enjoying this experience and soaking it all in, was enough to make me crawl out of this blissful bed in the end.
The breakfast was superb as well. You are welcomed into a bright, open, and classy dining room.
The table is set as though you are in a upscale restaurant and the culinary experience is of the same caliber.
You will not be leaving hungry after this classy breakfast.
This time around I was the only guest at the property, as summer is finished, it’s the end of fall, and its not quite winter, it is that in- between time.
My previous visit, there were other guests, and we had great chat at the breakfast table, sharing stories and making new friends. Although I also enjoy the ‘me time’ experience’s, indulging in some of my favorite company….. My own! Mind you, I had some pretty fab conversation with the owner Cynthia, as she spoiled me with scrumptious eats.
As per the first visit, this was once again a truly unforgettable experience, and I will make it a point to return again when I find myself in the area. With the third time being the charm, so they say, I am curious if it can still continually surpass the last visits.
You surely leave feeling better then when you came.
I would love to hear where some of your favorite unforgettable spots are, that you have casually stumbled across?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This was a nice little bit of green poking out.
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.
We found the perfect rock to sit under and catch a bit of a break from the snowy conditions.
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.
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.