In case you haven’t heard (and if you haven’t, I’m surprised, as I’ve been screaming the news from Facebook and Twitter for days), I’m going to New Zealand! With the fabulous folks at G Adventures, after winning their G’Day the G Way contest on Facebook! I know! Eeeks! I’m still in shock.
Up until this past weekend, I knew little about kimchi, except that it makes a tasty, spicy little side dish whenever I go for Korean barbecue. But a few days ago, I learned more than I ever thought I could know about this delicacy of pickled cabbage. Like, that it goes really well with cheese. And bacon. And that the older it is, the better it tastes. And that there are so many flavours than just spice to it, such as sweet and tangy and savoury and, yes, burn-your-mouth-right-off spicy.
Okay, let me explain. I am not guzzling wine in some sort of pity party, lamenting my singleness and crying while watching Nicholas Sparks movies. No, far from mourning the romance of Valentine’s Day, I’m celebrating it. Or, more specifically, I’m celebrating the month of February. Because February means it’s time for the Niagara region’s annual Days of Wine and Chocolate festival. Wine. Chocolate. I can think of no combination that could make me happier on a cold February afternoon.
I love my country. Like, a lot. I’ve been known to cry at tourism commercials for Newfoundland and Labrador (honestly, have you seen those ads?), and any time our national anthem plays at public events (especially medal ceremonies during the Olympics, especially when the Olympics are in Canada—for the two weeks of the Vancouver games, I was a blubbering disaster). I have been so overwhelmed by the mountains out west and Canadian Shield up north that I couldn’t even speak, and my heart goes all pitter-patter when I’m on a flight coming home and descending into Toronto. I love my country.
So when I heard that Pamela MacNaughtan of Spunkygirl Monologues was launching a Canadian blogger roulette series, in which each of us were to write a post listing what we think visitors should experience in Canada, of course I was in. And when she tagged me to follow up, my mind set to coming up with the things that truly define Canada for me. Picking enough wasn’t the problem—it was narrowing down the list that proved to be the real challenge.
But I did it, and so here they are: The 5 things that say to me, This Is My Canada.
Sometimes, our planet completely boggles me with its wonderfulness. From the rugged wilds of Antarctica to the otherworldly caves of Vietnam, here are some of the things that have left me in awe of our planet this week. As well, I came across two posts that really reminded me of the importance of being true to yourself and following your own path—always good advice. Read on for my favourite travel finds of the week.
If you want to spark a heated debate in a room full of writers, just mention the Huffington Post. Arianna’s publishing empire incites a range of alternating fury and support that occasionally makes me fear for my life. There are those who proudly declare they write for such a widely read publication, even if it is for no pay, and others who proudly declare they will never give their work away to a non-paying giant like Huff Po.
Remember back when I started this blog? Yeah, me neither. But I do remember starting what was meant to be a weekly habit of rounding up the best travel reads and watches on the web.