Midnight Zen: Seeing the Northern Lights in Canada

Few experiences are as awe-inspiring as seeing the northern lights in Canada. The way they swirl above your head and dance across the sky entrances all who are fortunate enough to witness the magic of the aurora borealis.  Canada is currently celebrating it’s 150th anniversary, so there has never been a better time to seek out the midnight Zen of the northern lights.  Continue reading “Midnight Zen: Seeing the Northern Lights in Canada”

Winter Zen at Emerald Lake

Emerald Lake in British Columbia is an enchanting destination in both winter and summer although it is often overshadowed by its more famous counterparts such as Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. While the crowds flock to Banff National Park in Alberta, those in the know head further afield to Yoho National Park, near Field BC, roughly an hour west of Banff along the TransCanada Highway. While not in Alberta, we decided it should be included in our Alberta Bucketlist because it is something extraordinary that can be visited on a weekend trip from Calgary or Banff.

Where to Stay at Emerald Lake

A site as captivating as Emerald Lake deserves equally exquisite lodging to round out the experience, and nowhere is more worthy than Emerald Lake Lodge. This iconic hotel is serious about allowing you to get away from it all.   There is no cell phone reception in the rooms, no Wifi (except at the lodge itself), and the rooms do not have TVs.  Instead, most rooms offer wood burning fireplaces, at the lodge itself there is a bar made of salvaged wood from an 1890s Yukon saloon, there is an outdoor hot tub with a view on the premises, and a few excellent restaurants, including one right on the lake.   Continue reading “Winter Zen at Emerald Lake”

The Zen Traveller’s Great Cycle Challenge

Travel is at times, challenging, but it is important to remember that challenges also bring opportunities. Whether opportunities for learning, to push outside of one’s comfort zone, or for personal growth, challenges force you to look inside yourself for strength and resourcefulness that you never knew you had. Challenges can also be really fun if you approach them with the right mindset. Continue reading “The Zen Traveller’s Great Cycle Challenge”

How to Hack your Way to Travel Zen

As anyone who travels knows, time and money can be the biggest hindrances to getting out and enjoying the experiences that you dream of having. In my experience, finding the time to travel can prove to be more challenging than raising funds for adventures. This is because there are all sorts of “travel hacks” that can be used to keep costs low when travelling, but pesky adult responsibilities can get in the way of hopping on the next plane.

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The Zen of Living Abroad

Anyone who has ever lived abroad knows that it is a separate experience from simply travelling to somewhere.

To truly soak up the wisdom that a place has to offer, you must endure all the stumbles, minor annoyances and cultural misunderstandings before finding Zen in their new surroundings. In short, you have to live real life, instead of tourist life to understand a place.But there’s a rub. Real life can be hard, or dull, or so uninspiring that travel is what people may use to inject some inspiration back into it. Continue reading “The Zen of Living Abroad”

Local Zen

Aside from a short jaunt to California to visit an old friend, we at Zen Travellers have been staying pretty local this year. In light of the sticker shock we experienced in the US after the Canadian dollar sunk, a wedding to plan, and bigger travel plans on the horizon, we’ve taken to trying to make the most out of our local surroundings. Luckily for us, Alberta and its environs deliver in spades.

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Zen Revisited

“I haven’t been everywhere but it’s on my list.” – Susan Sontag

Travel can lead to conflicting emotions and priorities. Consider the oft repeated Susan Sontag quote above and what it inspires. Most travellers know that it’s hard not to agree wholeheartedly with Sontag and want to keep exploring new places for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile they also know that it’s true that there is value in slowing down and savoring their surroundings in the present. That is the Zen way after all. But instead of being diametrically opposed, these conflicting priorities can be reconciled in order to achieve travel Zen.

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