Toronto Islands

The Toronto Islands are hands down my absolute favourite place in the City. It’s a little piece of paradise just outside the downtown core. It’s my happy place.

I love living in Toronto – I think it’s an amazing place to live – but as a small town, northern Ontario girl I do sometimes go a bit stir crazy with city life and need to escape it all. Toronto Island is the perfect solution and you can get there with the good o’ TTC (Toronto Transit) and the Toronto Ferry.

Once on the island, busy city life just fades away.  Continue reading Toronto Islands

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Oamaru: The Strangest Place I’ve Ever Been

While on our 3 week road trip in New Zealand last spring Kathleen and I decided to cut Milford Sound (due to horrible cold and rain-for-days forecasts). This gave us some extra time to fill. After a bit of googling we decided to head on over to Oamaru: New Zealand’s Self Proclaimed Steampunk Capital of the World. Now neither of us had any particular interest in Steampunk but our Dad does so we thought why not pop in so we could tell him all about it and also – there were penguins.

Here’s how our experience went:

We arrived into the small town around 1:30 pm on the 9th of May. Almost instantly we were struck by how weird and empty the place felt. Lonely Planet describes the town as having a “wellspring of eccentricity bubbling under the surface” and of having the potential for “extreme Kookiness.” Well, I can tell you that extreme kookiness doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface…  Continue reading Oamaru: The Strangest Place I’ve Ever Been

Cuba – Succumbing to the All-Inclusive Experience

A Blissful Week of Rum, Reading and Relaxation

I consider myself a traveler. An explorer. Not a holiday maker. I get to know a place. I explore new cultures and discover what makes them special. I go on adventures and whirlwind tours and there is never enough time to see it all…

But this year I was completely worn down.

Work had exhausted me and personal life situations had me stressed. I was tired. I knew it had become a real problem when, in January, I had a few friends ask me expectantly “So Nys, where are you heading to this year?” and my answer, for the first time in a long time was “I don’t know…”

I hadn’t given it any thought yet and in my mind I was thinking Are you crazy? I’m way too tired to even think about planning another trip!

And that’s when I knew I was in trouble. Too tired? Too tired?

WHO HAD I EVEN BECOME?! Continue reading Cuba – Succumbing to the All-Inclusive Experience

48 Hours in Istanbul

My 2 days in Istanbul wasn’t nearly enough! This was a city that had been on my bucket list for years, though I didn’t actually know that much about it. The only images I had in my mind of Istanbul had been painted there from the stories I’d heard from fellow travelers over the years, all of whom told me I had to go; that Istanbul was a special place with a certain exoticness to it, that it was unique, that it was a beautiful, exciting. It was the only city in the world to sprawl across 2 continents. It was once Constantinople!

I had to know it.

And once I did I immediately understood what all those others guys had been on about. Continue reading 48 Hours in Istanbul

India for an Instant – My Golden Triangle Experience

In December I was given the chance to spend one week in India; not very long but it was an opportunity and I jumped at it.

In my mind, India was this magical place of cows, spices and heat that I was sure would speak deeply to my heart and that I would fall in love with.

Continue reading India for an Instant – My Golden Triangle Experience

Chasing Sunrise – Mt Bromo

Indonesia has always held a very compelling draw for me – it always seemed to be such a beautiful and exotic country, heavily steeped in diversity. Often times when people think Indonesia their mind settles on thoughts of Bali and they fail to think further. So much so in fact that many people operate on the false belief that Bali is a country in its own right, when it’s actual just one of the over 17,000 tiny islands which makes up the Indonesian archipelago; a mere raindrop in the sea of incredible that the country has on offer.

Continue reading Chasing Sunrise – Mt Bromo

Abel Tasman: Don’t worry, we’ve got time…

May 1st 2015

Abel Tasman National Park is the one of my favourite places in New Zealand. When I started planning my trip back I knew right away that it was a must on the list of things I wanted to share with Kathleen.

The park itself, located on the Northwest tip of the Abel tasman map (2)South Island, is the smallest national park in the country, but remains highly popular due to its 60 km Coastal Track – one of New Zealand’s “9 Great Walks.”

Our day started early with the 1 hour drive from our hostel in Nelson to Marahau where we were due to meet the water taxi for a lift up the coast to Bark Bay. From here the plan was to spend one amazing day soaking up all that the park had to offer as we walked the 21 km back out to our car. Continue reading Abel Tasman: Don’t worry, we’ve got time…