This past weekend, Kyler and I went camping for the first time since moving to Quebec, almost a decade ago. To be honest, I was never a huge nature/hiking lover, but our honeymoon in New Zealand last year has awoken in me, a newfound appreciation for the great outdoors. I insisted we go camping at Parc National des Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie, one of Quebec’s provincial parks. And what a beautiful park it was!
The park’s main attraction is a collection of tree-covered mountains and valleys with the Rivière Malbaie running through them. We were able to get a campsite at the Pin-Blanc campgrounds right by the river. It was a lot colder than we thought it would be, but that made my favourite part of camping all the more enjoyable: the campfire!
Continue reading “Camping & Quebec City”
Last year was a crazy year full of big events and firsts. We got married, we bought our first house, Kyler’s company launched their first game, and we traveled to the southern hemisphere for the first time. I put Kyler in charge of our honeymoon and told him to completely surprise me. I didn’t want to know where we were going until we got to the airport. I had someec guesses beforehand, but there was one really big slip-up that kind of gave it away. We were supposed to fly in to New Zealand the day after the big earthquake hit in November and Kyler was freaking out, calling what I later learned was the camper rental company trying to get information about whether or not our trip was even still feasible.
Turns out, everything was pretty much normal when we arrived. There was just a small section of the South Island, north of Christchurch, that had really bad roads and mudslides and the camper Kyler originally booked for us was stuck there with no way to get back to Christchurch. But the company hooked us up with another one that seemed even nicer so it all worked out. There were no really signs of any earthquake damage or trouble anywhere we went, although some of the tourist sites were closed or had sections that were closed off for precautionary reasons.
We drove ourselves down and back up through the South Island, took a ferry to Wellington and did a quick tour of the North Island before flying out of Auckland. We were there for about two and a half weeks and if I have any advice, it’s that you should probably set aside a good three weeks or more if you really want to explore all of the country. We didn’t have time to hit all the spots of interests, but still saw a fair amount. And I highly, highly recommend renting a camper to drive yourself around to see everything that’s worth seeing!
Continue reading “Travelogue | New Zealand”
I went to India a few years ago and it was the first and only place (so far) where I had experienced a real culture shock while travelling. There were a number of factors, not least of which was the fact that Air India lost my bag and I was without my stuff for about a week. When they finally located my bag, they wanted to just leave it at the New Delhi airport for me to pick up even though I was long gone from New Delhi and traveling around the country… Do not fly Air India. But I digress.
I feel that most Westerners experience a ton of culture shock when they visit India because of the extreme poverty they have likely never witnessed before. That wasn’t what shocked me. I’ve been to China several times and still have family there, living in what many in the west probably consider poverty. When I visited my father’s mother for the first time since I was born, I was about 10 and have very vivid memories of the stone and mud house they lived in. Their door used a plank of wood as the lock. There was no shower. The most high-tech thing they owned was a rice cooker. People bathed in the streets. In short, the poverty I saw in India is not what shocked me.
It was a completely different way of living, a different mentality. The unspoken social rules and automatic expectations I was so used to were completely different there. It’s not just that I didn’t speak the language and the food was different or they used different gadgets. I felt like Alice in Wonderland.
Continue reading “Travelogue | India”
Travel has always been one of my top priorities in life and I always try to go on an international adventure at least once a year. But since we bought our house last year, my priorities have shifted somewhat and I don’t know if a 2017 trip is in the cards for us at this point in time. Still, a girl can daydream and reminisce!
Sometimes I wish we still had photo albums. I don’t exactly scroll through my camera roll like I used to flip through the pages of a photo album, so I decided to start a travelogue series with some of my favourite photos and memories of trips past.
Dublin, Edinburgh and London were great, but in my opinion, the countryside is the main attraction if you are ever in the UK or Ireland. I have never been a huge fan of hiking or camping or nature in general, but travelling to the English/Scottish/Irish countryside made me realize it was because I haven’t been going to the right nature! That’s what I love about travel. I always end up realizing something about myself that I never knew. Have you been to the UK or Ireland? What are some of your favourite memories?
Continue reading “Travelogue | England, Scotland, Ireland”