June in Canada is National Aboriginal month, with June 21st being also being National Aboriginal Day, a day which should become a national stat holiday in my humble opinion. As Canada marks its 150th anniversary of its confederation, any good Canadian will tell you that this beautiful land was home to Indigenous peoples since time immemorial.
Perhaps an even more important milestone than Canada 150 is the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report in 2015. A long and painful read, the report includes the testimony of brave residential school system survivors and outlines the painful legacy of Canada’s colonial past on Indigenous peoples. The report finishes with 94 calls to action, some of which focus on improving education about Indigenous peoples for both citizens and newcomers to Canada. By learning about Canada’s troubled history with Indigenous peoples, as well as their inspiring culture and history, Canadian citizens, newcomers to Canada and tourists alike can do their part to facilitate reconciliation.
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”
Camping on Maligne Lake is the ideal way to experience Spirit Island, one of the most popular attractions in Jasper National Park which frequently lands on “Most Photographed Places in Canada” lists. Tourists come to Canada from all over the world see this tiny island. Set against a backdrop of turquoise water and surrounded by massive glacier capped mountains, it’s hard to blame them.
Most opt for a 90 minute boat tour that drops you off at a view point where you get a hurried 15 minutes to soak in the view and snap as many pictures as you can. As we began researching it quickly became clear that not only was this an Alberta Bucket List destination, but that the most Zen way to enjoy this world class sight would be to paddle the length of the lake and camp along the way. No doing things the easy way in a tourist boat for us! Continue reading “Camping on Maligne Lake”
It is no secret that the natural world inspires us here at Zen Travellers and what better way to show it than by celebrating Earth Day and supporting causes that aim to protect it. That is why on this Earth Day 2017 in Calgary, we are challenging ourselves to climb the staggering 1,188 stairs in the Bow Tower to raise funds for the Alberta Wilderness Association’s conservation efforts.
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”
We’ve had a busy couple of months here at Zen Travellers, but with the new year comes a new focus, and a new look to our blog!
Since our last post, we rang in the new year in one of our favourite places, skied and skated our way to a happy winter, got hitched, and went on our honeymoon to Japan! Now that those busy months seem like a distant memory, we have been taking some time to reflect and refocus on which adventures we want to embark on first in our married life.
We already know that travel will be a big part of our future together, but what about the here and now? All the rushing around we did for the wedding planning took its toll on our enjoyment of the present. This caused us to pause and think; what in our home would we miss if we were gone? Continue reading “Return of the Zen Travellers”
One of the most incredible experiences of my life happened in the summer of 2010 when I flew to Haiti to volunteer with All Hands Volunteers (known at the time as Hands on Disaster Response) to help with the earthquake recovery efforts. There I met so many inspiring people who taught me important life lessons and my memories of them still fill me with joy to this day.