travel, Uncategorized

Galapagos with Kids in Tow

It’s -20 degrees outside (at least according to my car) and that has me day dreaming about warmer times.  We have been in work and save mode for most of 2017, which means our travel was limited to just one big trip.  Knowing that we decided to check a big item of our list of amazing places in the world we want to see.  And the Galapagos did not disappoint.

We choose to book with G Adventures a Canadian owned and operated tour company for a few reasons.  They have been doing adventure travel for a really long time.  I love what they stand for and felt good knowing that my costs would be supporting families in the country I was visiting.  My only complaint-and I have told them this in survey after survey I fill out for them-is there are not enough family trip options (that being said we are travelling with them on their family Peru trip in May).

We arrived in Quito, Ecuador and quickly understood why the travel articles we read said be prepared for anything.  In a single day we would go from polar fleece to bathing suits to sweatshirts and back to t-shirts.  The weather is unpredictable but comes with stunning views of the Andes.  We stayed in Quito for a few days, travelling to hot springs in Papallacta where we hiked, ate like locals and soaked in the varying temperature waters.

After a few days touring the capital we boarded an Avianca flight and headed 500 miles into the Pacific to the capital of the Galapagos-San Cristobel.  We were travelling with 3 other families of different sizes and had 14 in our group all together.  When we arrived we were met by our CEO (Chief Entertainment Officer) George.  Our son Jacob took an instant liking to George who knew everything there was to know about this foreign land.

Over the next 8 days we swam with sea lions, marine iguanas, reef sharks and even a Galapagos shark.  We snorkelled in Tortuga Bay with giant turtles and visited a sanctuary for tortoises.  We ate from local vendors and found happy hour every night.  We hiked, jumped off rocks into the cool waters that usually only sees locals and took high speed boats from island to island.  We tried to mimic the dance of the blue footed boobies and learned about Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Our trip to the Galapagos wasn’t a vacation, it was an adventure.  For now we are bundling up, trying hard to embrace the Canadian climate while thoughts of Peru, the Amazon and Machu Picchu keeping us warm, for the time being at least.








The Time is Now

I am often asked by new yogis, old friends and sometimes random people, where they should start in living a more balanced, authentic life.  Sometimes they have a specific date in mind or a milestone they want to reach first before making any drastic changes.  As we begin to close out one year and start another, I hear time and again the words “in the new year.” I have a different approach to healthy living: start today.

If you want to be healthier, create more space or time for yourself, drink more water…why wait?

Here are three ways you can start to lean in to a healthier lifestyle:

1. Start With Your Diet:

Changing your eating habits and making adjustments to your diet can have the greatest impact on your health.  We shop local as much as possible, buy organic when we can and choose grass fed, hormone-free meats as much as we can.  Yes sometimes we succumb to the lure of fast-food (hockey tournaments wreak havoc on our diets) but as much as we can we choose foods that nourish us.

2.  Get As Many Toxic Chemicals as You Can out of Your Home:

Not all cleaning products are created equal.  Some are harmful to not only you and your family but the environment as well.  When we do buy products, we choose natural cleaning supplies.  We have  replaced scented candles with diffusers and use a variety of essential oils for our everyday needs.  The natural chemical properties of the oil make them so versatile.  Powerful cleaning agent-yes. Replace over the counter medications-check.

3. Clear the Clutter:

I am passionate about the connection between clearing clutter in our physical space to allow for more space in the body and mind.  How can you cultivate your passions when you can’t even get in the front door of your home?  When my physical space is filled with stuff I feel heavier and weighted down.  By filling our home with the things we truly love and letting go of the things that have served their purpose (maybe?) and are no longer adding value to our life, we have created a space we love.  And this makes us happy. And calm. And allows the creative juices to flow.

This time of year can be hard on the body and mind.  Too many late nights, too many glasses of wine, too many things to do.  But you don’t have to wait to look after yourself.  Today I ordered a large water with my coffee.  I had steel cut oats and a handful of raw cashews for breakfast. I said no to the bacon and eggs that were being offered in the cafe. And when I get home I’ll be adding a few more items to the box in the garage waiting to be donated.  No waiting for the new year for this yogi mama.



Cultivating Patience

I am not a patient person.  When I set a goal-I want to reach it. Now.  Before we head off on one trip I am already planning the next one.  Excited to begin the next adventure before the one I am on is even finished.

The last 8 months has been an exercise in patience.  After travelling to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands in late March we have been housebound.  By choice-but it doesn’t make it any easier for a wanderluster.

We decided that 2018 was going to be a year of travel.  But that meant 2017 was going to be a year to save.

I have had to dig deep to resist the urge to just book a trip.  My husband has had to listen to me rationalize why we should just go. Now. Anywhere.  He reminds me often of my long term goals (Patagonia is calling) and his concern we need to replace our roof.  I am grateful most of the time for his practical outlook. I am the yang to his yin.

My yoga teacher training with Marianne Wells taught me so much about finding balance.   The last few months has driven that lesson home. Travel & be home. Spend & save. Needs & wants.  She taught me about staying in the present moment-not always looking ahead at whats to come or dwelling on what has passed.  When I feel the pull to just whip out my credit card and say fuck it lets go, I come to my mat.  There is nothing like a headstand to change your perspective. Or a grounding class to well…ground you.

And so this summer we camped-a car ride, not flight away.  We’ve been checking out some local restaurants, hiking in the Conservation areas close to home. We often have a sweat date at our local gym around the corner from our house.

The snow has started today and I feel the tug to head somewhere warm.  But instead I am pulling out the winter coat, hat, boots and preparing to embrace the Canadian winter.

Peru is in May.  I am 90% sure I can last until then.