Uncategorized

Best Countries to Visit in a COVID Era

Backpacker Edition

Long time no talk friends! A lot has been happening within the past four months and COVID has and has not played its part. I unfortunately lost my grandma at the end of the year and it has really taken a toll on my mental health. Not to mention, I can’t back-pack anywhere so I feel really stagnant in my life. That being said: a lot of other good things happened this year. For instance, i started this blog and I never would have thought it would reach countries world-wide. This by far is still my favourite post if you haven’t gotten the chance to check it out please do !

Now, let’s get into this! You know me I like to make these post short and informative! COVID is not going anywhere, which is why a few weeks ago I made this post about ‘10 Countries with Covid Level 1 or No Risk’. Granted, as countries reopen, travel is going to look a lot different, thanks to new safety, testing and cleaning practices. This is the new reality for travelling. Not, to mention the importance of have a negative covid test and mandatory quarantine days. But the new face of travel is also going to have a silver lining. Not only will once over-touristed destinations be less crowded, travellers will be opting for more isolated places.

*Please remember to check all COVID/ Safety regulations before booking any of these places. Be safe and Enjoy.

10 Best Places to Travel in 2021

  1. Greece

From Santorini to Athens, theres something for everyone here and a must see on a bucket list.

2. South Africa

Looking for city life? vineyards? and wildlife all in one place. Take an amazing tour and really dive into the culture and people of this country. Travellers can head to the bustling hub of Cape Town for its dynamic food and design scene, experience historic sites in Johannesburg.

3. Bodrum, Turkey

This is the new St. Tropez, and the best part is its a back-packer love! With scenic outdoors and less busy pace its great for catching sunsets and scenic walks.

4. Puglia, Italy

I have such a soft spot for Italy. I truly fell inlove the last time i went and quite-frankly Italy is very easy to navigate as #backpacker. If you’re every wondering how my time went in Italy or my favourite place. Check out my post here where I share photos from the beautiful Cinque Terre– this alone will make you want to visit Puglia.

5. Egypt

Yes you better believe it. Egypt is one the most beautiful places to backpack and it’s cheap. Theres long days of sight-seeing and culture so its defiantly worth the trip going!

6. Slovenia

I had a short stay here, but i found this was a great place for backpackers because it was within a connect spot. So you can easily go to Croatia or Italy and other neighbouring countries.

7. New Zealand

Let’s talk about this HOTSPOT of a place. They were one of the best countries to deal with COVID and is estimated to be the top travel place for 2021. I know its hard to imagine a life with travel right now. But this country is a must for us backpackers.

If you made it this far, thank you so much for reading! If you’re interested in a part 2. Leave a comment below! I miss you all so much.

Thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you in the next post, With Love, xoxo

Uncategorized

How I Eat, Prayed, and Loved My way through Bali and Pai

Let me start off by saying, I am teaching grade 1 virtually this year and gosh, am I ever busy. This has been the first time i can sit back and write something other than lesson plans. Im happy that this comes easy to me. Hopefully all of my posts have been helpful thus far, i have so much more coming for you! Anyways, here we go:

I never thought i was ever going to go Julia Roberts and eat/pray/ love my way through a place. However, the moment I got to Pai, Thailand i just KNEW this is what was going to happen. Pai is a town in the Mae Hong Soon Province of northern Thailand. It sits in a valley on the banks of the Pai River. It’s known for its nearby gorges, hot springs like the Tha Pai Hot Spring and waterfalls like Mo Paeng Waterfall.

Pai, Thailand

Here it Is… How I Eat, Prayed, Loved.

I never thought it would of come to a Julia Roberts vibe however, one thing is clear I had everything I needed at the time and I relatively still do. I wasn’t leaving a toxic relationship or having a career change. Nothing like that, it’s just the moment I got to Pai, something happened. I had a realization… that I was so focused on ‘Whats Next’ in life I never appreciated how I got the moment of my life I was in. Anyways, it started like..

I Ate…

I ate so many different foods, i explored the culture and I even explore American cuisine with a twist. But, I also took a cooking class (I wasn’t trying to loose the skill haha). I also ate foods that made me happy. While at home, i tend to eat on the 80/20 rule and that has worked tremendously. however, on this trip I wasn’t being so health conscious, i wanted to let myself be free and learn to love food whole- heartedly.

French Toast with Toasted Banana’s in Bali
Cream-Cheese Salmon Bagel in Bali
I drank Poo Coffee (YES Luwak Coffee is POO )
I swam in Ice-Cream
I took a Balinese Cooking class

I Prayed..

I prayed.. I prayed a whole lot. Not for specific answers- more so for direction or a little sign about myself. I wanted to know if i was heading in the right direction and if I wasn’t i was heading at least somewhere that would bring me comfort. Every so often, i received these signs of hope and they were little things such as, a dove, or a colour that reminded me about a time in my life. Praying on my trip opened the doors for #mindfulness and #gratitude and really finding solace in my own company. Being alone for me was never lonely because I was always with my thoughts and I often caught myself putting to rest some demons that were constantly in my mind.

PRE-COVID (WOW): I took a Spiritual Holy Water Bath
Holy Water Temple
Coffee In Love in Pai
(Praying in Random Places with great views)

I Loved..

THIS right here, is where it was at. I LOVED.. I learned to love myself for who I am and my independent thoughts. I even learned to love the parts of me that require deep growth. Backpacking for my is like therapy, it’s an experience that typically involves a lot of self-reflection and consciousness because you’re alone with none but yourself. But, the greatest thing of all of it, is that you learn how amazing you can be without the materialism items or the partner or the career.

I learned to love my friends a little deeper, life a little stronger, and learn to love moments for what they are. See below some of the moments where I Loved..

Enjoying my Little pockets of Peace in Pai at #CoffeeinLove
My best travelling girl, Alexis we for sure fell in love with each other during this trip.
#GatesofHeaven
Mount Batur. We took an exceptionally hard route and I cried the entire way and complained and had a bunch of asthma attacks. But when I got to the top, and looked back at all the struggles. I knew there was more to life than the struggles and that at some point the view will all be worth it as long as I appreciate the journey it took for me to get there.
Moments of Peace in the Mountains, Pai
Trusted myself with a Motor Bike and SURVIVED – Pai

Thank you so much for reading, and I’ll see you in my next post! Leave a comment below what you’ve been doing!

2020, Stay Safe
Travel Tips · Uncategorized

8 Places That the Canadian Dollar Goes Far

I was speaking with a friend the other day, and he advised “I can’t travel man, our dollar sucks everywhere i don’t know.. what do you think is the cheapest place to go?” This question stuck with me because it didn’t come down to where was necessarily cheaper, but the concept we were talking about was called ‘currency arbitrage’ which means “making your money go further by using a strong currency in a country with a weaker one“.

Let’s face it.. If you’re Canadian you already know the struggle of our dollar.. IT SUCKS VIRTUALLY/PHYSICALLY EVERYWHERE lmao.. Okay, maybe I am being extra but our dollar really does suck in most places. Thus, I’ve done deep research, and talk amongst my backpacker friends and here are 12 places where Our Canadian Dollar surprisingly goes far. This list is in no particular order.. I am just listing places.

One thing, I wanted to stress is that I don’t believe there is such a thing as, ‘poor’ countries and ‘rich countries’ because CLEARY during this pandemic we have seen big countries do absolutely nothing for their people. So there’s that myth.. BUSTED. That is not to say that there isn’t many people living in poverty. Globally people are facing a myriad of difficulties in their lives however, I just wanted to disclose that identifying a country as ‘poor’ vs ‘rich’ just doesn’t sit well with me.

Below you’ll find a collection of 12 countries that may not be the cheapest in the world, but that represent the best value for our dollar – and thus are worth visiting. I wanted to give a combination of back-packer friendly and travel friendly countries. If you need help finding cheap flights to these places, take a read of my post of finding cheap flights. Surely, it will help.

Please, leave a comment if you’re not sure which country to visit based on your style or send me a email 🙂

1/10

Romania

$1 CAD = 3.13 leu

100 Romanian leu = $31.94 CAD

Romania is an ancient land, full of castles and historical antiquities, and the exchange rate presents some serious bargains for Canadians. For example, a typical meal for two in the capital of Bucharest will run you under $35 Canadian, the cost of living is estimated to be nearly 40 per cent lower than living in Toronto. Imagine that!

2/10

Croatia

1$ CAD = 4.87 Kuna

100 Kuna = $20.53 CAD

Croatia is just a phenomenal and easy country to back-pack for two. Not, to mention how romantic some parts of the country can be. A typical meal for two in the capital will run you about 289.80 kn which is just under $60.00. Keep in mind, Dubrovnik is one of the most expensive cities in Croatia and will double in price for basic things. Thanks to Games of Thrones attractions.

3/10

Cambodia

$1 CAD = 2740.42 riel

100,000 Riel = $36.51 CAD

Asia is a destination hot spot for Canadian travellers and I can see why. The cost of travelling is cheaper in these countries and the people are the most friendliest you’ll ever met. If visiting Phnom Penh, a domestic beer will cost about a buck and a half, while an average dinner for two will run less than $23 CAD.

4/10

Belize

$1 CAD = 1.54 (BZD)

100 BZD = $64.76 CAD

Average Hotel Price: $40

Average Cost of Food for a Day: $23 / for two: $55

Average Daily Cost (Per Person, Per Day): $78

Belize is the only country in (mainland) Central and South America where English is the official language! As such, it’s an easy place to travel to. This may not be the number pick for backpackers, but for travellers alike our money will go far.

5/10

Argentina

$1 CAD = 56.92 ARS

5692.42 ARS = $100 CAD

Average Hostel/Hotel Price: $20-25 / $51

Average Cost of Food for a Day: $12

Average Daily Cost (Per Person, Per Day): $76

6/10

Belarus

$1 CAD = 2.03 BYN

203.36 BYN = $100 CAD

Average Hotel/Hostel Price: $14-$25

Average Cost of Food for a Day: $7

Average Daily Cost (Per Person, Per Day): $25

Belarus is considered one of the gems of Central and Eastern Europe; visiting museum towns like Mir and Nesvizh will take you back in time, and they’re both UNESCO World Heritage sites. Vitebsk is the place to be in the summertime with lots of arts festivals. Trekking fans will love the ancient forests of Belavezhskaya Puscha National Park, which is home to 212 species of birds.

And because Belarus is one of the few European countries that didn’t adopt the Euro, our dollar goes farrr HUNNTYYY.

7/10

Indonesia

$1 CAD = 11307.52 IDR

1130751.62 IDR = $100 CAD

Average Hostel Price: $10-35

Average Cost of Food for a Day: $15

Average Daily Cost (Per Person, Per Day): $30

Honestly: I think people get clouded by ‘instagram photos of lavish life’ and assuming it costs an organ. In Indonesia you can ejoy the finest things because prices are super low and our money goes far !

Also, most people have no idea just how big and diverse Indonesia is as a country. Many also don’t realize that the popular tourist destination of Bali is just one of many (as in, 17,000!) Indonesian islands, each with their own flavour and sometimes culture.

8/10

Philippines

$1 CAD = 37.30 PHP

3729.58 PHP = $100 CAD

Average Hostel Price: $20

Average Cost of Food for a Day: $12

Average Daily Cost (Per Person, Per Day): $20

9/10

Thailand

$1 CAD = 24.00 Baht

2400.22 Baht = $100 CAD

Average Hostel Price: $14

Average Cost of Food for a Day: $10

Average Daily Cost (Per Person, Per Day): $25

Thailand is a very easy place to visit, and has been a backpacker haven for decades. It’s easy not only because it’s cheap (Chiang Mai, Bangkok, and Phuket all made the 2016 Price of Travel Index’s list of cheapest Asian cities), but also because it’s incredibly friendly it’s the ‘land of smiles’ thats for sure. I survived in Thailand for one month with $300 CAD!! Cant you believe that!

10/10

Chile

$1 CAD = 591.05 CL

59104.95 Chilean Peso = $100

Average price of dinner for two is 35,000 CL

If hiking through Patagonia is on your bucket list, now could be the time to go as every dollar is worth 18% more. Peak season in Patagonia lasts from November until March, when temperatures are perfect for exploring the wonderlands of Torres del Paine, Laguna San Rafael and Bernardo O’Higgins National Parks. Of course when your travelling it is always recommended you download apps, just to help you situate yourself in countries that are more spread apart in terms of activities in different cities.

Thank you so much for reading, and I’ll see you in my next post, xoxo.

2020