travel

An Alaskan Adventure aboard the Wonder

I am a traveler who loves her backpack, hiking boots and an off the grid location.  I am also a mother of four, the youngest being 8 years old.  When Alaska moved up to the number one spot on my bucket list, I did something I never thought I would do-I booked a Disney cruise.

I have brought my youngest to over 10 countries. Seeing and experiencing parts of the world that called to me.  He is a trooper-sleeping in airports, taking the red eye, staying in places with no electricity and no WiFi and holding my hand nervously as we walked past protests.  And he never complains.  He has my yogi spirit of go with the flow.  A Disney cruise was my way of giving him a vacation geared towards kids but in a place that I knew would feel a little remote.

We boarded the Disney Wonder this August in Vancouver for a 7 day cruise. I had some trepidation walking onto the ship, surrounded by grown men and women wearing various Disney clothing, Mickey and Minnie ears and a lot of kids in matching outfits. At that moment I knew I had a choice-embrace it or survive it. I choose to keep an open mind and be grateful for the experience.

As we made our way to our stateroom, I was relieved to find that the ship had a classy nautical feel to it, not a cartoonish one. The room was small but well laid out and had everything we needed.

Disney costs a little bit more but the service, the quality of the food and the volume of activities was well worth it.  From movie theaters, to Broadway quality performances, waterparks and kids clubs there is nothing this company hasn’t fine tuned.  Dinners are rotated at different restaurants and the servers follow you.  By the end of our cruise, our head server and assistant knew exactly what our son would like to eat, drink, when to bring ketchup, what type of sprinkles he liked on his ice cream and when he started to get bored they would entertain him with the magic tricks.

Our ports of call were Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan and we participated in some land excursions and took time to get off the ship and wander the streets of these unique towns and cities. We went whale watching, hiking and kayaking and truly got a feel for the vast wilderness that is Alaska.

In the end every hesitation I had about a cruise and a Disney cruise at that, was put to rest.  It was a magical way to see a place that really is one of the last frontiers.

 

travel, Uncategorized

Why Everyone Needs a Book Club

I love my book club.  What started as an idea in 2017 has turned into a monthly gathering of women who laugh, cry, drink wine and connect.  We talk about books of course but more importantly we talk about life.  Our hopes and heartaches and quite literally everything in between.

For me, book club also fills a void.  While I would love to pack up the kids and set sail for far away places, I have come to accept that my dream of being a vagabond family isn’t what the rest of my tribe desires.  They love to travel but they LOVE the stability of home. And to be truthful, as much as I complain about the confines of a 9-5 job, I am grateful for a steady income and a pension plan.

We choose books with a travel theme or a story that takes place in another land.  For now, while the kids are still young enough to need a mother in the same house (let alone on the same continent) book club will have to do.

This weekend, while much of the area I call home was blanketed in ice and snow (hello Mother Nature it’s f&^%$%ing April already) I read about a young couple in love who sailed across the Pacific to paradise. Our latests book club read.

For a few hours I was able to ignore the howling wind and imagine myself settling in on an island far away, glass of wine in hand.

One day, just not today.

Check out our book club page to follow along on our latest (literary) journey.

 

travel, Uncategorized

What a Teaching Vacation is Really Like

When I went to Costa Rica to complete my 200 hour YTT (Yoga Teacher Training), I knew immediately that I wanted to combine my love of yoga with my passion for travel.    With a full-time job and responsibilities at home, I wasn’t in a position to do a long term work exchange or a paid position somewhere exotic. I had heard of “teaching vacations” but didn’t quite know how they worked.  I was introduced to Fitness Pro Travel by my teacher, Marianne Wells (Marianne Wells Yoga Teacher Training)

Upon returning home from Costa Rica, I knew I needed to build my local resume before my international one.  I began teaching out of my home and local parks, eventually landing a weekly class at a local studio and growing from there.  After almost two years of classes, hosting workshops and building my skills as a teacher, I felt I was ready to take on an international destination.

I signed up with Fitness Pro Travel (I paid for an upgraded membership which allows me to book up to 13 months in advance) and as they say the rest is history.  After looking at resorts all over Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean we decided on Club Med Cancun (March 2018) and Dreams Costa Rica (December 2018).  The resorts we choose are family resorts and as their guest instructor for the week, I can bring one adult companion and two kids (the specifics are different for each resort). We pay a fee upfront and for our flights and receive our room and the all-inclusive package at no cost.

I was a little nervous as we boarded the plane to Cancun.  Arriving at night with my husband and two of our kids in tow. Would someone be waiting at the airport for us?  Would the resort be expecting me. The answer was a resounding yes! We were met at the airport and received a private transfer to Club Med (no stopping at all the other hotels along the way).  Upon our arrival at the resort, the Manager of Sports met me for my orientation, we were checked in and received our rooms and we settled in for the night without a care in the world.

I taught two classes daily (8 am and 6 pm) and the rest of the time I was free to enjoy everything Club Med has to offer (and boy does it offer a lot). I was very grateful to have  over 500 hours of teaching behind me.  Unlike my studio classes where I teach a specific style (Yin is Yin, Power is Power) I had to read the room and teach to the energy of the class, not what was on the schedule (the schedule just says “Yoga”). I had to adapt to the students (most of whom didn’t speak English-Club Med I found out is very French!). This meant I could show up with my class plan and realize it wasn’t what my students needed or wanted.  I was trained to teach the student not the pose and this came in so handy (thank you Marianne).

My experience teaching in an international setting (you can’t beat an open venue with an  ocean view) helped me grow as a teacher.  As a Type A by nature, I tend to do a lot of class planning.  Teaching in Mexico taught me to literally go with the flow-of the students, the setting, the weather.

If you have ever thought about doing a teaching vacation, go for it.  We have chosen to live, love and yogi our way to as many places as we can.  A teaching vacation is a great way to see a new country and teach in an international destination without a long-term commitment.

Our motto is #getbusyliving and we can’t wait for the next adventure to begin.

 

minimalism, travel, Uncategorized

Slay Your Day: For Dreamers and Doers

We are at a really sweet spot in our life right now-having full-time jobs we love, creating The Wandering Yogi , which has grown from an idea into this amazing space where we can share stories, practice yoga and connect with our local community.   We have been presented with opportunity after opportunity and we are so grateful. But the road ahead wasn’t always so clear.  And so we had to clear it to find our way.

Last weekend I was hosting a workshop and I had the opportunity to share my story.  I spoke of how creating space in the body, mind and soul as well as in the space around (yes-the physical attachments) opens the door for amazing things to come.  The universe has a hard time navigating through clutter.

And so on this cold and snowy February day, I am diffusing uplifting essential oil blends as I move through the house finding the items that will be donated or recycled. I have a yoga date with myself to create some space in the body and my day timer is open so I can plan properly for the week ahead.

And then I’ll sit back, enjoy a glass of wine and see what the universe has to offer.  I’m really hoping its a date with Patagonia or Bhutan : )

 

travel, Uncategorized

When Opportunity Comes Knocking

For anyone that reads my blog (thank you by the way) you know that I love to travel and that sometimes I have a hard time being patient (instagram and Facebook don’t help).  With 2018 being full of travel plans, we had decided that for the first 5 months of the year we were going to stay put and embrace the Canadian winter.  And we were determined to stick to that.  But then opportunity came knocking.  In the form of a yoga teaching vacation through Fitness Pro Travel. And so we will be heading to the beautiful Mayan Riviera in Mexico to soak up the sun and surf and bring my love of yoga to my fellow travellers.

Just like my introduction to Essential Oils was unexpected and changed how we live, so has becoming a yoga teacher (I did my YTT with Marianne Wells in 2016).  What started out as a form of stretching 10 years ago has turned into a part-time job that I love and that flows perfectly with the other things that feed my soul: travel, healthy eating and living an authentic life. Yoga and teaching yoga has become part of me.

Most importantly it has taught me to listen to the universe…and when opportunity comes knocking to always answer the door.

Hasta Pronto Mexico!

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.