Sunsets & Scenery In The Village Of Bunyalbufar, Mallorca, Spain

The Village of Bunyalbufar is undoubtedly one of my favorite places I have discovered in Mallorca, Spain to date.  Whether you are hiking the area, driving the area, or sailing the area, the awe inspiring mountain views, will be something you won’t soon forget. I was on the hunt for the most beautiful sunset in Mallorca, and it was that exact search that brought me to this incredible little village.

The drive to Buyalbufar from the main city of Palma is stunning. The roads snake through the mountains, with every corner bringing more splendor then the last. They are not as narrow as many of the other mountain roads typically are on the island, which in some ways is somewhat of a treat. While you weave in and out on the mountain roads, the views just continue to make your jaw drop.

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Bunyalbufar is a small village of approximately 568 people,  sprawled down the mountain slopes, boasting a very inviting energy. I was instantly head over heels for this area. I have no idea how I didn’t hear more of this stunning village prior to this.

 

 

 

 

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It is on the walking path of the ‘Dry Stone Route’, which is a long distance path that connects the Southwest of the island in Port Andratx to the North East of the island in Pollensa. I have yet to do this walk, but I absolutely intend on it – when its not the middle of summer that is, and I won’t keel over from heat stroke or classily sweating myself to the point of total dehydration. The hiking paths are labeled and very visible throughout the area. There are plenty of places to stay, so you could easily spend a few days there and enjoy endless hiking excursions.

Torre del Verger is a tower dating back to the 16th century where it was built to be a defense tower.

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Today thanks to its preservation and rehabilitation, it is still accessible and the view from the top is absolutely incredible. It gives the best view down both sides of the coastline, and straight into the sea.

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This is where people come and wait to see the sunset. It is small and can get quite busy, so in the summer you may not get to enjoy it as much as you could in the winter when there are a lot less people. It is amazing, and truly worth the trip to see any time of year.

If waiting at the tower for the sunset is not a possibility for you, then the next best option would be to go and enjoy a beverage on one of the local restaurant terraces in the village.

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Regardless of where in the area you view it from, it will be truly magnificent.

I loved this area, the sunset, and the high vibes of the whole experience, and I can not wait to go back and explore the area by foot. Buyalbufar, Mallorca, if you visit the island its a must see spot. Get it on your bucket list.

 

Summer Lovin’ In Mallorca

Summer is heating things up here in Mallorca, it’s always magical to be back in Mallorca, Spain. My other home, the place where my soul feels full. The heat is pretty intense, although life in Mallorca is always pretty hot. With endless activities and adventures to be had, I have been enjoying some stunning sightseeing around the island and making my list of everything I want to do while I am here.

The marina’s are always endlessly lined with yachts, which really makes me crave some sailing adventures. It feels like forever since I have been on the water with sails up.


Cycling is a huge sport here and another one of my favorite activities, the coastline does not disappoint when you are cycling down the bike path.


It is therapy for the soul as well as a heart pumping workout. That is a massive win in my books. I make it a point to get out and enjoy some good cycles.


I am always so impressed with these avid cyclists climbing mountains on the narrow steep roads around the island. It amazes me the terrain I see some of them on. Needless to say, I am not quite at that level.

The array of beautiful food you can get at the markets is something to be massively appreciated. Everything your heart could desire and then some is beautifully and proudly on display.


While in the market it is a must to indulge in a couple Spanish tapa dishes, adding a side of bubbly is never a bad idea either.

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There truly is beauty to be appreciated around every other corner in the main city Palma de Mallorca. Palma always has an endless high energy vibe to it.


Catch ups and coffee dates are a favorite past time for me here as well.

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I do love when it’s serve yourself kinda deal. 

If your keen to cover a lot of surface area of the island in a day, then renting a car and cruising around is your best bet. The mind blowing beauty when you are driving through the mountains is always spectacular.

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Sa Colobra is an incredible spot bursting with beauty, the perfect place to give your eyes a feast. The road to get there is known as one of the most scenic roads in the world. It was built in a way as to avoid making tunnels through the mountains. The road is built as though it is in the shape of a snake, weaving in and out, with more then 50 curves and sharp turns, and did I mention how extremely narrow they are. Definitely a road trip that you won’t soon forget.

Basking in the ambiance of Sa Colobra is well worth the drive.


I love the tunnels carved straight through the mountain, it is always a great way to cool down from the hot sun as the caves have a very chill temperature. The earthy smell inside is also pretty enjoyable.

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My advice would be to open your heart to take in all of the abundant beauty on offer.

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You will never be short of incredible views and fantastic restaurants. This place called Rancho Grande popped out of nowhere while cruising the North of the Island, it was too enticing to pass up, and the sunset was perfectly ambiant for the occasion.

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At 10pm under the moonlight on the terrace you can enjoy a Spanish horse show, followed by a fine flamenco dance.


Sometimes the most spontaneous stops are the most memorable.

This road trip was finished off with a little pit stop and stroll in one of my most beloved places – the town of  Deia.


This beautiful town is build on the hillsides above the sea, and is oozing with charm and class. Some of the most expensive homes in the world reside on these mountains. I always enjoy a visit to this elegant little town.

Ahh yes, summer luvin’ happens so easy when your playing in Mallorca. This Island is truly a spectacular place.

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.

NWT – Beach Vibes On The Shores Of The Great Slave Lake

Northwest Territories, sun, sand, beach, and fall weather – I love all of those things. The NWT continually has unique beauty on offer. Summer comes to an end so fast here. When she goes, she goes. It’s essential to enjoy as much of the sunshiny outdoors and beach weather as possible before the Arctic freeze takes over.

So a sunny warm day in September, means it has to be enjoyed!

My hometown of Hay River is situated on the Great Slave Lake, the tenth largest lake in the world.

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At first glance you may think the water looks a little murky, being brown and stuff… But it’s as fresh as they come, being a fresh water lake, and the fishing is fantastic. The water can be chilly, but us Northerner’s are used to it, and our blood has no problem adjusting. Really though, it’s not bad at all. Once you hop in it only takes a minute to adjust.

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Now even though there is also a very large amount of driftwood, don’t let that deter you either.

The more driftwood the bigger the beach bonfires.

I love when myself and friends get together and crack some cold ones on the beach while enjoying the crackling of a bonfire.

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I would call it pure soul food. It always varies with the drift wood situation, sometimes there is loads, other times not so much.

It was a stunning autumn day – warm, sunny, calm winds, absolute perfect day to enjoy some outdoor bliss. Not to mention I had scheduled a date with myself. You know, epic ‘me time’, where I bask in my own awesome company, and re-charge.

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One of my favorite past times. It also gives me the opportunity to reflect, and get my creative juices flowing. I decided what better place to go then to the beach on such a miraculous fall day.

The water was ridiculously calm, not too cold, and the sun was as bright and lovely as a ever. I brought my blanket, and had some chill time. It was truly blissful. I have a massive appreciation for this part of the world. Perhaps I am a bit biased because this is my home, but it speaks for itself really.

My awesome energy was once again on full form so I could venture back into the world and share it with as many people as possible. Taking time for yourself is a gift that everyone deserves. Not to mention, taking that time to appreciate the beauty you have surrounding you exactly where you are. So what are you waiting for?! Get out here and enjoy some of that epic ‘me time’. You should also plan a trip to the alluring Northwest Territories.

Living Lux At Heather Mountain Lodge

If you have been on an endless search for a serene mountain oasis, where you are surrounded by lush enchanting nature, in an ultra chic cabin on a hill with a view to boast about, and impeccable service by people whom genuinely love there job. Then I have found the place for you.

Nestled between Golden BC, and Revelstoke BC, is Heather Mountain Lodge.


Made for heli-skiing in the winter and hiking adventures in the summer, not to mention the ideal location for weddings and events, or a relaxing, and rejuvenating get away.

Recently I had the pleasure of experiencing what its like to stay and be pampered at this gem.

From the minute I arrived I was already taken by it.


I received a very warm welcome by Becky whom is the manager, and has been with Heather Mountain Lodge for 6 years.

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She did welcome me at the front desk and not the bar, although from my sauna video you may not think that.

She provided me with a wealth of information about the Lodge and surrounding area, and got me all booked in for dinner. I was booked into the King cabin, which is one of the two newly built cabins on the hill above the lodge.

The stairway to heaven

I didn’t know exactly what to expect, and was completely blown away by the ultra-chic cabin. It’s the perfect combination of luxury and nature.

Each cabin is equipped with in floor heating – which would be perfect on those chilly nights in the winter after an epic day of heli-skiing, a wood burning stove, king size bed, a very large bathroom with both a beautiful tub, and separate shower. I was loving the decor and amenities.

Although as soon as I pulled up to the cabin and seen the view I was in for, my soul was already feeling soothed. I zoned in on the little deck, and knew I was going to be spending some chill time basking in that view.


Incredible.

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This trip was also serving as a reunion with my sister, so as I was taking in my surroundings, I was also impatiently awaiting her arrival.


Once she arrived, and we enjoyed some catching up on our little deck, it was hard to tear ourselves away from the cabin to go for dinner, but, we were about to be treated to a culinary experience that heightened all of our senses.

The patio where we chose to dine rather then in the dining room has picturesque views of the mountains and property. The property is conveniently located just off the highway, but when your immersed in Heather Mountain Lodge’s environment, you feel as though you are far away from the hustle and bustle of life.

Muzza was our server, and he was exceptional from the get go.

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Full of personality, and he more then happy to recommend or describe anything about the menu, or even anything off the ‘hiking menu’ if you were already trying to figure out how you would wear off this fine food.

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He is extremely knowledgeable about the area, and any hiking excursions you could want to take.

Our dinner experience began with cocktails(would you expect any less really), while we read through the menu trying to narrow it down to actual choices.

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Everything sounded wonderful, so it was hard to choose. Although in the end we were so spoiled we were able to sample a variety of things.

 

 

 

 

 

We ended up starting with Caramelized Tomato & Juniper Soup

The flavor of the aromatic soup was enough to wake up our palettes immediately. That way they were on full form for what was next.

The Triple Creamed Brie.

IMG_5726 Cheese is an addiction of mine, one that I don’t give into very often, usually only when I am out. So, clearly this was one of those occasions. Baked in phyllo pastry until molten, accompanied with pickled Okanagan peaches, apple mint jelly, reduced blueberry balsamic, and black pepper crackers. It was exactly as amazing as it sounds. When you dug a cracker into it, the perfectly backed brie, spilled out, begging to be enjoyed.

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A glass of Pinot Noir was a must to compliment our mains. They have a very elaborate wine list to choose from. I was pleasantly surprised. My little wine loving heart could have been happy there for weeks with a list such as that.

For my main I went for the Alberta Rack of Lamb, served with fondant fingerling potatoes, grilled summer squash and roasted chipolini Jus.

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My sister tucked into the BC Farmer’s Game Hen, which was slowly braised in white wine and herbs, accompanied with potato gnocchi, baby spinach, golden beets, toasted almonds with roasted garlic Gorgonzola Cream.

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It’s not very often I can say that every dish I tried at a restaurant was amazing, but literally, everything was amazing. The love and passion that was put into creating these dishes was very apparent! We had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know the Chef, Josh Gaudet.

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I was so impressed to learn that he creates all the menu items himself. Not only is he a fantastic person, but he really is very skilled at his craft. We enjoyed some very good chat throughout the evening with him.

We were absolutely out of room(where the heck did I put those sweat pants?!), but we couldn’t not try the amazing desserts created by their in house pastry chef, Ryan Doggart.

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We went for the Rhubarb Crumble and Creme Brulee.

Both were absolutely divine, and tasted as fresh as you can get. It was obvious that Ryan also know’s his skill very well, and his passion shows in his creations.

This was a feast fit for a couple of queen’s, that’s a certainty.

Before we weren’t able to move anymore, we had to answer the beckoning’s from the hot tub and sauna. The hot tub is out doors but also enclosed, which is great, as I love having the best of both worlds. It was so relaxing.

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Now being an avid sauna lover, and having grown up with one in my back yard – you could say I was very excited for that experience.

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Let’s be real here though, I sipped on vino(personality in a bottle) for quite sometime before hand(obviously like a classy lady), I am pretty sure that the only thing detoxing out of this ladies pores was fine wine.

After an amazing afternoon/evening, the king size bed in the cabin swallowed me right up. I can’t even tell you how comfy that bed was, like probably the most comfy mattress ever! I didn’t want to leave it in the morning. I bet its even better in the winter. I could envision myself all wrapped up on those chilly winters nights on the mattress sent from mountain lodge heaven. Bliss!

Coffee on the little deck was the best way to get the day rolling the next morning.


Basking in the view and taking it all in. I could get used to that. I was contemplating just buying the cabin and becoming a permanent resident of the lodge. Alas, not this time around. That cabin was rocking our world, but at some point we had to head down for breakfast…..

Thank goodness we did! The beautiful breakfast surprise that awaited us, was nothing less then amazing.

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Seeing as how we were fashionably late, they had so graciously set up a table for us on the patio(which we had all to ourselves), and Josh & Ryan, treated us to some more incredible culinary delights.

Seriously, however Josh cooked those eggs, I am telling you, for sure the best scrambled eggs I have ever had.

Between the view, and the spectacular breakfast it was hard for me to put my camera down and just enjoy the moment. This was something that had to be shared. Oh the life of a blogger. Before we continued on our adventures and ‘tore’ ourselves away from this amazing piece of heaven we had to take one last walk around the area to get the last feel for it all.

There is a very comfy little lounging area upstairs that is more so used in the winter.

But the property is pretty amazing in and of itself.

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All I could think of was how badly I wanted to climb up to those mountain peaks. Being such a short and whirlwind trip this time, it only means that I have to return.

You can check out my Video Blog about the experience.

There are so many reasons that Heather Mountain Lodge is so special, but one of the main things that stand out is how the staff treat it as their own, and welcome people as if welcoming them into their own home. They love what they do, and they love the lodge, and it creates an environment that you feel warm, welcomed and pampered. I want to give huge thanks to the phenomenal people at Heather Mountain Lodge that made this such an unforgettable experience.

This lodge, is not a place to be missed if you find yourself in the area. Heck, even if you don’t find yourself in the area, plan a trip there. You will not soon regret it.

 

Losing Hope In Malawi, And Being Saved By Beautiful Strangers

I had just arrived to Lilongwe the capital of Malawi after a 36 hour bus ride from Mozambique, on a local African bus, that was falling apart, overcrowded, and had no cushioning on the seats. Not to mention, I was one of the lucky ones to get stuck sitting in the middle on one of the fold out chairs, that literally only went half way up my back.

My back has ever been that sore in my entire life, no exaggeration. I could barely walk after that.

I hadn’t taken any money out of the bank before the journey, as I just figured I would withdraw some once I arrived to Lilongwe. No big deal right?! Upon arrival it took everything I had in me to gain feeling in my body again, and struggle to get off the bus, as I think I was on the verge of being paralyzed. To this day, I don’t think stretching has never felt so darn good or so darn bad at the exact same time.

‘Hello Malawi!’. I was still pretty excited to be there. A new destination to be explored, and adventures to be had.

With my backpack and massage table in tow I took off in search of a bank.  I only had about the equivalent of $30 on me, which doesn’t get you far when everyone you meet keeps ripping you off.

Right away a local guy came and picked up my massage table without asking, and started carrying it away. I began following him, he seemed to know I was en route to the bus into town and headed in that direction. As soon as we got to the bus, the guy puts my table down and tells me I have to give him a certain amount of money, and it was a a very large chunk out of what I had, much more then what a tip should be for such a short walk.

I was extremely sore and tired from the journey though, and I didn’t have it in me to argue or barter, so I just gave him what he asked for and got on the bus.

After forking over another good chunk of what I had left for the bus ride(which I found out later I was once again totally ripped off), I finally get off in town.

It was ridiculously hot, and I needed a shower badly, can you say 38 hour bus ride through extreme heat?! And I was wearing jeans(need longs to protect from malaria on bus rides), and melting, especially with also carrying all my luggage which consisted of a 70 liter backpack, a 25 pound massage table, and another hand held bag.

Yes, you could say my clothes were sticking to me, and yes, it felt awful, and I know it was not one of my most attractive moments. Thank goodness for a bit of perfume! Although that didn’t mask my greasy look.

Needing a break from carrying enough stuff for a mule and profusely sweating,  I ended up asking a security guard at a property if I could leave my massage table with him while I went on my mission to find a bank to which he kindly obliged. YES! that was a big load off my shoulders. Literally! My 70 litre backpack never felt so light.

First bank I came across I was so happy to find,  and it didn’t work with my card… ‘That sucks’ I thought. But ok, ‘Let’s find another one shall we?’…. Second bank, and once again, it doesn’t work with my card.  Alright then, no need to worry I told myself, third time’s a charm.  Or so they say, and this time it wasn’t so charming.

Yes, once again, the bank didn’t work with my card.  Malawi was definitely giving me a warm welcome, especially in my worn out condition. However gotta keep going! So I decided I would grab the bus and go back to the Lilongwe where there was the closest thing to a hostel that existed, and it would give me a chance to reassess the situation I was faced with.  Off I went to collect my table, and tip the guard as much as I could afford(especially since he didn’t ask for anything), as my means were almost out.

Just as I was getting money out for the security guard, two local guys once come and just grabbed my table and the small bag and start carrying them off back towards the bus.  They were watching me since I had arrived and knew exactly where I was heading.

Having learned my lesson previous to the last bus ride, ‘that this help is not free’,  I began running after them telling them to ‘Stop’, as at this point I didn’t have money to give them, I didn’t even have enough for myself.

They just kept on going, and didn’t pay me any attention at all.  As soon as they put my stuff down, they turn around and tell me they want 1000 Kwacha, so 500 each. ‘What?’ I say… ‘I cannot give you that, because it’s all I have to my name and I did not ask you to carry my bags, in fact I was running after you telling you to stop’.

They didn’t speak English, so it escalated quickly, and they started getting really angry with me. I was trying to explain, I literally only have 1000 Kwacha to my name at the moment.  However that was getting me nowhere, as they could not understand a word I was saying.

Suddenly people in the streets started to crowd around and ask what’s going on..  I am now super stressed at this point, and even more extremely exhausted from the long and painful trip up from Mozambique.  I once again start explaining my situation to the English speakers that arrived. I explained how I did not ask for their service, I was telling them to stop and they wouldn’t listen, that I have no money, other then my only 1000 kwacha, and I had no idea what I was going to do.

The people then said, ‘So what are you saying? You want to break the 1000 Kwacha bill and give them 500 each?’.  ‘No’, I responded, ‘I am saying it is all I have,  I can’t access any more money’.  At this point I am pulling everything out of my purse to show everyone crowded around how empty my wallet is and that it really is ALL I have….

Well suddenly everyone was yelling at me in a language I didn’t understand, I was alone, exhausted, and now at my breaking point. It was getting a bit crazy, and suddenly a few tears of stress rolled down my face, and I started saying and yelling ‘Give me my stuff! Take if off the bus!’. As if I actually had another plan. I probably would have just sat in the street and cried for awhile till I formed another plan of action.

Well as soon as those tears came out, a few of the locals started pushing everyone away from me and yelling, ‘Get away from her, the white girl is crying, leave her alone!’. At which point I was escorted onto the bus.

As I was sitting by the window, trying to comprehend what just happened and get my baring’s, a women came up to the window and said, ‘Excuse me miss’, I turned and looked at her and she continued, ‘I am very sorry about my people’.

When I looked in her eyes I could see the sincerity, and instantly felt a calming feeling come over me. To which I lovingly gazed back and responded, ‘Thank you, but please don’t say it’s your people,  it’s not your people, we are all just people, and it’s simply an unfortunate situation’.

It was when I paid the gentlemen on this bus ride going back, that I seen how bad I had been ripped off on my way there.

By time we arrived, I was all dusted off and ready to continue my mission. So off I went to the hostel, to see if I can figure something out, and perhaps they would give me a bed or a locker while I sorted my financial situation. That didn’t happen though, they told me they will not give me a bed until I get my money situation sorted.

Alright, off I go again, with almost no energy left in me. I came across the swanky Protea Hotel.  I thought to myself, ‘Ok, it’s going to be pricey, but I bet there they accept cards’, as a that time not many places did and I was running out of options, at least even if it’s a splurge it will buy me a day to figure out how I will access my money.

I walk up to the counter, I am told its $250US a night…. What other choice did I have at the moment, so I give my card, only to be told, they can’t accept it?! Are you kidding me?

Yes that’s right, it’s a travel visa, so the numbers are printed on the card, not embedded, and well, this is Africa! They only have the old machine to take an imprint of the card, not an electronic machine.  ‘ This seriously is not my day!’ I was thinking. As per always, I managed to keep a smile on my face, and I ask the women at the counter if I can book online, and she responded ‘No, its not possible’.

‘Can I please speak to the manager?’ I asked. I tell him my situation, and ask if he can just let me check in and I will get some money sent through Western Union to me from Canada with no problem at all.  ‘Nope’. Is exactly what he said.  But, he will let me make a phone call… Alright I call my mom in Canada. I was getting desperate at this point, and I tell her my situation. Of course as I am stressed and a bit scared now, I start telling her the fact of the matter. It’s going to be dark soon, and I am on the verge of being stuck in the streets of Malawi, with all my stuff, it;s not going to be a safe situation, and nobody will help me.  Well yes, a lesson I learned a few times in my life is, ‘Don’t tell your mother all the exact details when your doing a solo trip across Africa!!’ Obviously, its going to freak her right out.

With my mom having said she was going to western union straight away, relief came over me.  Problem was,  it was getting close to 5 at this point, that’s when western union closes, and its only getting close to 9am back in Canada, and that is what time western union in my town opened up. This was also before you could do online transfers. Africa is behind the times a bit.

My mom was hoping someone would be in the shop early to help her out.  So I ran to the Western Union office, and the women whom were working there kept checking and checking for my transfer.  Nothing. They stayed open till 5:30 for me.

Finally they said, that they have no choice but to shut, and they are so sorry.  Well that was the cherry on top of the cake and the tip of my emotional breaking point again.  It’s now getting dark, and its definitely not safe for me to be in the streets at night, not to mention, alone, and with all my belongings. I was absolutely losing hope at that point, and stressful, scared tears streamed down my face.

One of the women came over and hugged me, and asked how much a room was.  I told her at the hostel its 1100 Kwacha a night.  It might be a cheap hostel to a backpacker, but for a local women in Malawi, that is half of her month’s salary. With no hesitation, she says, ‘she will give me the money’.

Suddenly she took on the appearance of an Angel! My eyes opened in astonishment, gratitude and bit of disbelief. I was so beyond thankful, words can’t express my gratitude. I promised her I would give her the 1100 and even more then that back the next day. She just kept repeating, ‘don’t worry, just take care of yourself’.

Finally, I arrived back to the hostel, got a bed, and was thinking after all that, I could really use a good stiff drink. My nerves where shot., but I still had no money. I only had enough for the bed.

I began chatting with the other travelers in my dorm room, and I was telling them the tale of my crazy roller coaster ride of a day. Everyone was shocked and felt so bad for me, they all wanted to buy me a drink. Winning! And off we went to the hostel bar, where everyone was treating me, we were laughing, and having the best party ever.

A little later on, I was sitting at the bar having a chat with this guy, whom was also an avid world traveler. As we were having a chat about the events of my day,  he got up to go to the washroom, and on his return, he sits down and pulls out a wad of Kwacha with a clip on it and holds it out to me.  It’s maybe the equivalent of $40, which is a lot when you are backpacking, and a lot in the local currency, so it really is a wad of cash.  I automatically say, ‘No, no, no, I can’t take your money.’

He looked at me and said, ‘Listen, I have been travelling a long time too, and I know what it’s like when you run into these unforeseen situations.  I will most likely never see you again, and I don’t want anything given back for it. I simply want you to have this, so that at the very least you have something.’  And he put it in my hand.

We finished our beer, and he got up and left.

We did not exchange details, and never seen him again. I was blown away and completely touched by his selfless act. It is something I will never forget. That man must have had some good Karma in his court.

After all these incredible and heartfelt events taking place, and me back to loving life, I suddenly remembered, ‘Oh no! I forget to call my mom!?’ Everything just happened so fast, and I went from having the worst day to the best day, and I was now having the time of my life with all my new friends. The last thing my mom heard from me was that I was scared, penniless, and on the verge of having to fight for my life in the streets of Malawi.

So I borrowed a phone to call her.  ;OMG, Petrena!! Where are you?!’ she screeched. ‘I have the people from the Protea hotel driving all over the place looking for you!?’ Clearly she was completely panic stricken, and yet you could hear the reassured thankfulness in her voice to hear me alive. Oops.

‘I am Ok, actually I am better then ok, I am doing freaken amazing’ I tell her. ‘You wouldn’t believe all the incredible things that happened to me!’ I exclaimed.  Well yes my mothers sigh of relief was so big you could feel it, not just hear it.

One frantic and very upset mothers email to the Protea’s head office in South Africa, tearing them apart for thinking it’s alright to leave a foreign young women stranded in the streets, and giving false information about the ability to book online(when in fact you could book and pay online), was enough to get some quick action out of them.

After an incredible night with all my new friends in the hostel the hotel concierge picked me up the next day for a night in the hotel, and the general manager met with me in his office and he profusely apologized, and showed me the email my mom had sent to the office.

Yes I could see why he was so apologetic. Her motherly instinct, and direct wording, sure got things done.

My poor mother, the scares I have put her through on my solo travels.  Not going to lie, one night of luxury and a comfy bed was a ‘huge unexpected treat‘ after hitchhiking, crazy bus rides, sleeping on dirt floors in rural villages, and that painful almost unbearable bus trip from Mozambique. Knowing I still had a long way to go, it was a super rejuvenating evening.

I finally got my financial situation sorted, and I went back to Western Union so I could repay that Angel of a women double what she had given me.  Now she was the incredibly thankful one, it was amazing how her eyes lit up.

Yet she did more for me then she will ever know. She saved me when my last bit of hope was lost. She was the propeller for all the incredible events that followed.

To top it all off, after I left Western Union, a women approached me in the streets and starting telling me a sad story of how she needed this medicine and didn’t have money for it. I felt so bad, and so decided to give her the money. She kept raising the price of the medicine and in the end I gave her 2000 Kwatcha. Little did I know, that is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Ripped off once again. That was fine though. Another lesson learned.

In reality, what is wealth if not to be shared, and I had so many people share with me by that point, I was happy to give.

No matter what happens in life, if you make it through the worst, most hopeless moments of despair, and those moments where your suddenly feeling more alone then ever with you head held high and a positive outlook with a mindset to succeed and make it work – the moments to follow, are always unbelievable, unimaginable, and unforgettable. More then you could ever believe they would be.

Through all this, when I think back to the events that took place, it is not the hardships of that day that stand out in my mind.  What I remember when I think back to that day, is the incredible kindness that was shown to me by some beautiful strangers in Malawi.