Five Senses for Travel: Touch

Chrissi Beach near Crete, Greece

Imagine yourself on a beach. But before you go too far with daydreaming about beach volleyball and margaritas, ask yourself this first — what’s the sand like?

Is it that fine golden sand that packs hard under your feet when wet, making it easy to jog alongside the water? Or is it pebbled and impossible to walk on? Maybe it’s grainy and loose like the black volcanic sands of Santorini, which heats up to scalding hot levels in the sun.

One of my favourite swimming holes was...

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Five Senses for Travel: Scent

Summer, Ukraine, Europe

Travel is often referred to as sight-seeing. But if that was all there was to it, travelling would be like flipping through a virtual reality guide book. Yes, there’s a picture of Golden Gate Bridge. Ooh la la, the picturesque Montmartre. Look at those Alps, aren’t they grand?

Travel should be an experience of all the senses. It’s not just about seeing a place, but hearing the noisy clamour of a city like London or the soft quiet of the countryside in Scotland. It’s about...

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Untethered — Travelling without a plan

Edinburgh, Scotland

Sometimes we need to be removed from the familiar. I usually make lists and plans when it comes to everyday life, I think too far ahead. And when I don’t, I stress about the fact that I’m not making lists and plans.

Travelling isn’t like that. For me, travelling is often as simple as picking a destination and going there. I usually have an idea of what I’d like to see but I’m not a devout follower of itineraries. I like to exhaust a place — in the sense that I will try to...

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Downhill and Cross-country Skiing in the Ottawa Valley

Cross-country skiing in Gatineau Park in Ottawa

Ottawa is not a ski resort town by any stretch of the imagination but it still has a lot to offer for lovers of the outdoors. Winter in Canada can last anywhere from 3-5 months, depending on how much it snows. If you’re not taking advantage of all that snow to get out and enjoy winter then you might as well just hibernate for the duration of the season.

I have been doing cross-country for almost a decade, and downhill for a couple of years now. Cross-country skiing, as opposed to...

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Deep River, Tiny Oasis in Lokhvytsya

River in Lokhvytsya, Ukraine

At the very edge of my grandmother’s town, past the fields where cattle graze, there is a tiny river swallowed up by a forest of reeds. You wouldn’t even know this place exists if not for the occasional car veering off the main road onto dirt tracks that looks like someone’s driveway. The well worn road meanders through the meadow where hints of wild mint mix with the warm scent of hay. The fields seem to stretch on and on until squat scraggly bushes appear to break up the...

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