Category Archives: Travel writing

New article for the Edmonton Journal: It was eggs galore on Cuban trip

Living or travelling as a vegetarian is easy on the west coast of North America — which is where I’m used to doing it. But venture out of this well-defined comfort zone, and it gets a trifle less easy to manage.

The most challenging situation as a vegetarian is trying to explain — without the benefit of fluency in the local language — the very concept of vegetarianism in a society where it doesn’t make cultural sense…

Read the rest in The Edmonton Journal.

New article for iloho.com: Hotel Yoga: Yea or Nay?

Hotel yoga is, to put it kindly, a mixed bag. The idea is so tempting – stretching out the last of your stress and getting into full vacation mode, all without leaving your hotel.

Sometimes, that blissful vibe is exactly what you get. But sometimes, hotel yoga can be far from the idyllic picture you have in mind. It’s tricky for hotels to cater to guests’ wide range of yoga abilities and knowledge. I’ve found the tendency can be to veer into advanced territory so that guests feel they really “got” something out of that class – even if what they get is pretty far from zen…

Read the rest on iloho.com.

Paris: Find Your Connection (A smashing story of love, a bridge, and a boat)

Expedia has a series of short videos about how travel bloggers have “found their” meaningful travel moments. One of my favourites features Trish Friesen (aka TripStyler) talking about how an early travel experience to Mexico shaped her view of travel — and of life. This got me thinking about the key moments in my own travel experience. Over the last five years, travel has become a fundamental part of who I am — as a writer, yes, but also as a person.

My “find yours” destination would have to be Paris. It’s the place my husband I return to again and again. It’s where we got engaged. It’s where we went on our honeymoon. I’ve written about Paris for iloho and for The Globe and Mail.

More specifically, my “find yours” place, the place that means more to me than any other travel destination, is the Pont des Arts. This was where my not-yet husband surprised me with a tiny lock he’d purchased at a local market, so we could join the tradition of lovers marking the permanence of their love by securing a lock to the bridge and throwing the keys into the river — something we’d seen on many trips, including our first, to Prague, years before. It’s where we returned a year later to mark our engagement with another lock, this time engraved with words that captured how we felt about the new journey we were embarking on together. And a year after that, it’s where we returned again to look for our lock, only to find the entire panel we’d secured it to had been removed. We thought perhaps our connection to the bridge was gone, though we consoled ourselves knowing our keys were still at the bottom of the Seine. And later that trip, we found the bridge still had a hold on us when the Batobus we were riding crashed right into it — quite a feat given the flat-calm waters and utterly straight path the Batobus takes along the river. Youch — that left quite a bruise.

If I were to have a “find yours” video, it would surely be the story of that bridge, and how it has featured in my life. What did I find, exactly? I found connection. First, of course, with my husband — and then, quite literally, with the bridge itself. It’s a special place. A place to which we will certainly return.

And really, isn’t finding connections what travel is all about? With a place, with the people who live there, with the people who travel with you — connections make travel (and life) richer and more meaningful.

Ah, it’s surely time to return to Paris soon. I wonder what the Pont des Arts has in store for us next…