Midnight Zen: Seeing the Northern Lights in Yellowknife

Few experiences are as awe-inspiring as seeing the northern lights and Yellowknife, Canada is one of the best places on earth to see this magnificent show.  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, and especially Yellowknife is a fantastic place to seek out the midnight Zen of the northern lights. Continue reading “Midnight Zen: Seeing the Northern Lights in Yellowknife”

Camping on Maligne Lake – Everything You Need to Know to Plan Your Trip!

View from Maligne Lake Coronet Campground

Camping on Maligne Lake is the ideal way to experience Spirit Island in Canada.  One of the most popular attractions in Jasper National Park, Spirit Island frequently lands on lists of the “Most Photographed Places in Canada”.  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 viewpoint 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 visit Maligne Lake as a canoe camping trip.  Really, what can compare to on the Maligne Lake backcountry and camping along the way?  No doing things the easy way in a tourist boat for us! Continue reading “Camping on Maligne Lake – Everything You Need to Know to Plan Your Trip!”

Celebrating Earth Day in Calgary

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.

Moose in Kananaskis Country
Protecting wildlife like this Moose in Kananaskis Country, Alberta

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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. Continue reading “Winter Zen at Emerald Lake”

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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Stone Cold Zen – Embracing Canadian Winters

I wrote recently about how difficult it was to keep my spirits up when I was dealing with a serious knee injury last year. Part of why it was so difficult was because I was unable to do so many of the activities I loved like skiing and hiking. That got me thinking about Canadian winters and how they can be both brutal and beautiful at the same time. West coast winters are very rainy and dreary, but less snowy than other parts. The rest of the country typically experiences sub zero temperatures and big snowfalls. That is, unless it’s an el nino year like this one where winter comes all at once and then melts leaving everything brown and hardly conjuring images of the winter wonderland that people expect Canada to be.

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Travel Zen in Africa

Few places in the world have ever inspired as much awestruck in me as Africa. Not only is the continent huge with an incredible diversity of ecosystems and culture, it is a friendly, beautiful and otherworldly place. I have had the tremendous fortune to spend time in countries in West Africa, East Africa and North Africa and I cannot speak highly enough of the experiences.

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