• home,  lifestyle

    Home is where the art is

    The current global COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated drastic but necessary self-isolation measures for everyone, which means that we’re all now spending an inordinate amount of time in our homes. While we may start to feel like the walls are closing in (or that we’re ready to start climbing them), I’m trying to use this opportunity to “get to know” my own home–to be grateful for it, appreciate what it is, and also think about ways to improve it. So here is what I hope to be the beginning of a series on my home, starting with where I spend most of my time: my living room. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been fascinated by interior design and decor, and it’s been interesting to watch how my own style and preferences have changed over the years. For instance, I was really into traditional Japanese design as a teenager–I would’ve…

  • argentina,  south america,  travel

    An Argentinian Adventure

    One of the highlights of my adventures in Patagonia was an ever-so-brief jaunt to Argentina. While the majority of my time in South America was spent in Chile, I couldn’t help but take a bit of a detour into Argentina, inspired by photos of epic, jagged peaks and turquoise lakes. Now I could have hopped a bus from Puerto Natales, Chile, to take me across the border, which certainly would’ve been logistically simpler, not to mention monetarily preferable, but I’m…

  • canada,  north america,  travel

    Skyline Hike in Jasper National Park – Day 2

    Photo Gallery I certainly lucked out on the weather on this hike, as I awoke bright and early the next day to clear, blue skies. I fueled up with a hot breakfast (eggs, bacon, muffins, the works) and packed a ham and cheese sandwich, Rice Krispies square, and a juice box in an adorable brown paper bag. My legs were feeling the wear from the previous day’s exertions, but I determinedly strapped on my pack, armed myself with poles, and…

  • canada,  north america,  travel

    Skyline Hike in Jasper National Park – Day 1

    Photo Gallery Over the last few years, I’ve challenged myself to a big solo hike when I travel. I’m not sure as to the genesis of this desire. Perhaps it was my own way of testing my limits—how far I could push myself—or a way of reminding myself that I am a strong, independent woman. Last year, it was the W-Trek in Chile and before that it was Schiehallion in Scotland. When I decided to visit Banff and Jasper, I…

  • chile,  south america,  travel

    Hiking through Torres del Paine

    Until last year, I had never been much of a hiker, unless you count traipsing across urban landscapes. After tackling a few modest day hikes, including the Cares Trail in Spain and Schiehallion in Scotland, I wanted to challenge myself to a multi-day hike and also witness a few spectacular vistas along the way.  Enter: Torres del Paine. I was captivated by a photo I saw of this Chilean national park, with its epic glaciers and rugged mountain views, and it…

  • canada,  north america,  travel

    Trans-Canada Train Adventure

    Full set of photos My idea to return home from Vancouver to Toronto via train was largely prompted by a desire to see Canada in the wintertime, to experience the country in what I think many would consider its most iconic state. “The Canadian” is a bit of an institution in Canada, having operated since 1955—it’s even featured on the 10 dollar bill! I also liked the idea of ringing in the New Year on a train, with fellow travellers and…

  • europe,  scotland,  travel

    Schiehallion

    Full set of photos I am never one to pass up an opportunity to travel, least of all to Scotland, which is one of my favourites places in the world. So when the inaugural My Peak Challenge event was announced, celebrating Peakers from around the world, to be held in Glasgow, I was quick to grab a ticket. One of my Peak challenges for the year was to climb a Munro, a Scottish classification of a mountain over 3000 feet, so…

  • lifestyle

    My Peak Challenge

    Strangely enough, I can ultimately credit my newfound zest for leading a more active life to a time-traveling Englishwoman and a red-haired Scotsman. Back in April, I stumbled across the television show Outlander on Netflix and proceeded to binge watch the available two seasons in a few days (not much sleep was had, which will surprise absolutely no one who knows me). Much Googling and internet insanity ensued, and I eventually learned that the show’s lead actor, Sam Heughan, had…

  • europe,  spain,  travel

    24 km of epic mountain wandering

    Full set of photos I awoke bright and early on my last full day of Spain, which was no small feat considering I’d gone to bed fairly late the previous night, having stayed up to purchase my ticket to the MPC event in Scotland (more on that in a later post). I headed downstairs for the simple breakfast provided by the hotel (toast, jam and juice) before loading up my car and making the absurdly short drive to Poncebos just a few minutes…

  • europe,  spain,  travel

    On the road in Cantabria

    Full set of photos After two solid days of conferencing in Bilbao, I was ready for my next adventure. I awoke relatively early and forewent my MPC workout for the day, anticipating that I’d be doing a fairly significant hike later on. It was a cheap and easy bus ride to the airport, and it wasn’t long before I was picking up my rental car, deciding on a whim to upgrade to a BMW (since I’d never driven one before). I…

  • europe,  spain,  travel

    Hill climbing in San Sebastián

    Full set of photos It was my last day in San Sebastián, and I had deliberately booked a bus ride to Bilbao in the later afternoon so I could use up the day as best I could. I banged out my MPC workout in the morning (gotta say, running along a seaside boardwalk makes for a much nicer run than a treadmill at my local gym, unsurprisingly) and headed out to climb the nearby Monte Urgull. As my hotel was…