Tips for Responsible Tourism

Airplane photo

Travel is more than a beloved hobby for some people; rather, it’s a veritable lifestyle. Travel is something that enlightens souls, expands horizons, and as the old cliché goes, is one of the few things in the world that makes you richer as you spend money on it.

Responsible tourism is important as it unfortunately takes a tremendous amount of resources to make travel possible. From all-inclusive resorts razing natural vegetation to make way for manufactured white sand beaches while paying local staff a pittance, to national parks being destroyed by careless visitors, to locals being priced out of their neighbourhoods by entrepreneurs looking to rent whole apartment buildings out on AirBnB, travel is not without its downsides. And none of those examples even touch the problem of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that are required to transport a person from point A to point B.

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Why We Love Birds

Whether brightening a dull grey day with a flash of colour as they fly by or signalling the dawn of a spring day with their cheery songs, birds undoubtedly make the world more interesting. The National Geographic Society declared 2018 the “Year of the Bird” and has been celebrating their diversity, providing advice on how to make the world more bird-friendly,  as well as highlighting the incredible journeys that they take. Indeed, the incredible distances they cover during their migrations make birds nature’s original world travellers. As 30-something world travellers ourselves, we are not the stereotypical “twitchers” in head to toe khaki and $2000 binoculars around our necks (we use these ones), but we do love us some birds. Bear with us, while we’re aware that some people think this makes us rather uncool, birding is the second fastest growing hobby in America! In fact, it is one thing that millenials are not killing; rather, many millenials are flocking (had to) to birding

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Skiing at Nozawa Onsen

The skiing at Nozawa Onsen is not as well known as other areas in Japan. For instance, when people think of skiing in Japan, their thoughts often turn to the massive ski fields of Hakuba Valley, where the powder is deep and the vistas of the Japanese Alps are amazing.  Or they might consider Niseko on the North Island that is so popular with tourists, it has been said that you could close your eyes and think that you’re in Australia. These resorts are definitely popular for a reason. With exhilarating terrain, panoramic mountain vistas, and world-famous Japanese powder, the skiing will not disappoint. But for those looking to surf japow with a side of local culture, consider visiting the underappreciated gem of Nozawa Onsen for your next Japanese ski adventure.

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Zentraveller’s 2017 in Review

As another year of travels wraps up for us, it is always a fun activity to reflect on the highlights of a year well spent.

We rang in 2017 with some dear friends at a much-loved place that we’ve revisited many times, Whitefish, Montana. There we skied the Big Mountain, explored the nordic trails in town, and enjoyed the peace of our cabin in the woods.

Cozy cabin under the stars outside of Whitefish, MT.
Cozy cabin under the stars outside of Whitefish, MT.

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Why you Must Travel to Japan in Winter

There’s no denying that Japan is hot right now. Every conversation I have will fellow travellers seems to involve either a recently completed or upcoming trip to Japan. While it positively shines in the springtime (hello cherry blossoms!), visiting Japan in winter can be a special experience. Here is our top five reasons for travelling to Japan in winter:

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The Best Ski Resorts Near Calgary

As the mercury drops and snow begins to fly in Alberta our thoughts turn from summer activities like hiking, cycling, and camping to winter ones such as skiing.  While some may moan and groan throughout the cold season, we  simply love being outside in the snow. We’re blessed to have some of the best skiing in the world here in Alberta, and living in Calgary gives us easy access to the Rocky Mountains.  There isn’t much in the way of bad skiing in Alberta, but each resort does bring something a little different.  This is our local take on the best ski resorts near Calgary, hopefully we’ll inspire you to book a trip to Alberta to explore the slopes this winter! Continue reading “The Best Ski Resorts Near Calgary”