0430 hrs and I’m wide awake. Again.
The joys and benefits of travel are manifold and much documented. Travel increases our knowledge base and broadens our perspective, it strengthens our resourcefulness while it exposes us to places and experiences that generally can’t be found at home, it can introduce one to new foods and friends, teach personal skills like time management, organisation, tolerance, adaptation and fosters the celebration of the rich diversity of our human experience. One of the less welcome gifts of travel can be an interruption to our circadian rhythms – and that’s why I’m sitting in front of my fire writing this post about my trip to Canada to you at such a ridiculous hour.
I gained all of the above from my (almost) three weeks of exploring Canada. I went to places I’ve always been curious about, saw things I’d never seen before (a moose!) and made some brilliant friends from such far flung corners of the world as Canada, Sweden, Korea and Brazil. I traveled the breadth of an enormous and visually exciting country, ate marvelous meals, met remarkable food producers and heard their stories, learned much from my traveling companions and was given the opportunity to attend the massive and massively exciting TBEX. I can’t begin to count the advantages of being chosen for such an astonishing adventure and, in the coming weeks and months, I’ll be sharing my experiences of Canada with you all.
In the meantime, I’m thrilled to be able to let you have a glimpse of our experience in this short video made by one of my traveling companions, the remarkably talented and hugely popular (think circa 27k followers) young Instagrammer Alex Strohl.
Every time I look at it I think of this wonderful trip and the friends I made – I love the film and I hope you do too.
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Some days opportunity comes creeping up behind you, taps you politely on the shoulder and makes a subtle suggestion or two about pleasant possibilities you might like to explore. More rarely, it barrels up right in front of you looks you in the eye and says “I’m fabulous and I’m yours, right now – grab me!” Such was the case for me quite recently when I was presented with the opportunity to go back to a country I visited very briefly last year – big, beautiful Canada.
Some of you will remember my posts from the ‘girls trip’ I took with my two daughters in January of last year. We began the adventure in Vancouver, British Columbia, when we picked up my youngest from her student exchange experience, spent a few days there and then headed south, across the border. I was struck by the vibrant food culture that I glimpsed while in Vancouver. This was evident from the popular food trucks that dot the streets and was really brought home to me when we spent a blissful day in the culinary heart of the city on Granville Island – in the markets and most particularly in a wonderful store called Edible Canada, which stocks only produce from Canadian artisan culinary producers.
Our stay was too short and I was unable to explore this wealth of food producers, but the gods have smiled on me and I have been given another chance. This Friday I’ll be on the red-eye to Sydney, connecting with a direct (how handy is that?!) Air Canada flight to Vancouver, as a guest of the Canadian Tourism Commission. I’ll be exploring as much as I can of the dynamic food culture of Vancouver Island, home to many artisan food producers, before heading over to Halifax on the east coast and gradually making my way back west – finishing up in at the huge North American travel bloggers conference TBEX, in Toronto.
A lot of Australians get to Vancouver, but fewer of us make it all the way east, so I’ll be exploring a part of Canada that not too many of us get to see. I’ll also be hunting out as many of the Canadian foodie secrets I can find and sharing them with you, my lovelies – hopefully showing you an aspect of Canada that you hadn’t considered before. We all know Canada is full of spectacular scenery, but it is also possessed of a dynamic food culture which has a very strong focus on food security and I can’t wait to show you all the things I’ll be uncovering. Not only that, but I get to mix it with some remarkable bloggers from all over the world and all over North America at TBEX the world’s largest gathering of travel bloggers, writers, and new media content creators – to be honest, I’m still pinching myself about all this!
I’m off to start packing now, but it will all be here in living colour so follow my adventures here and on my Facebook page which I’ll be updating regularly (just as soon as I get over the flight). I’ll also be sharing my experiences on my Twitter account – just look for the hashtag #ExploreCanada.