The taste of truth: Honesty, press trips and travel writing

The travel world was abuzz a few weeks ago with news that Conde Nast Traveler will now permit writers to accept media rates. This is serious news for the revered publication, which, along with big names like National Geographic Traveler and Travel + Leisure, has been famed (and alternately praised and criticized depending on which…

It’s not all beef in Calgary

Pop quiz: You’re headed to Calgary for a culinary weekend. What are you going to eat? Beef, you say. Of course. Well, not exactly. Sure, the west is known as the beef headquarters of Canada, and the first time I visited Calgary, I ate so much of Alberta’s acclaimed AAA beef that I’m pretty sure…

I don’t want you to live vicariously through me

The first time someone told me they were living vicariously through me, I felt a little thrill inside. It meant I was doing something admirable and, dare I say it, worthy of jealousy. And then I heard it a few more times. And a few more. And each time, it rang a little differently in…

Why we’re all the lonely traveller

I don’t know why I can’t get her out of my head. I didn’t know Anita Mac personally; she was just the voice behind a URL, someone who shared some connections with me, who loved travel and writing like I do. I don’t know why, when I opened my Facebook newsfeed and saw a note…

Sunshine and gooseberry wine

It’s the little things in life that are the most wonderful. A small exchange with a kind stranger, a moment of laughter with a good friend, a taste of something homemade and pure. And when you can experience all that together under the warm sun on an August afternoon—like I did this past weekend at…

5 perfect moments in Turkey

Just over a week ago, I was fortunate to spend five days in Istanbul, Turkey, courtesy of Turkish Airlines Canada, Conrad Hilton Istanbul and InS Luxury Tours. And at the risk of sounding obnoxiously gushy, it was pretty damn incredible. As I’ve previously written, I didn’t know what to expect from Istanbul, but it didn’t…

Why Istanbul isn’t what you think

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I headed to Istanbul last week. Sure, there were some things I already knew about the destination, like how it’s where Europe and Asia meet, both figuratively and literally (the Bosphorus Strait, which runs through the centre of the city, is the geographical dividing point between the two…