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All Om Board

I fought it for so long, but after almost four years in Vancouver I guess I’m finally worn down. Dear reader, at last I have given in and I’ve begun practicing yoga. I held out for longer than I’d imagined possible. Here in Vancouver, it seems like absolutely everyone does yoga. Head to the Kitsilano neighbourhood and see if you can find anyone who doesn’t have a mat and beautific

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A Few Words on Canada Day

Today I celebrate Canada Day as a Canadian for the very first time. I became a Permanent Resident back in January, which was one of the happiest days of my life. I fell in love with Canada back in 2009 when I came to the country for the first time. I went to Newfoundland and it was just going to be another story, just another assignment, but no. The warmth

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Vancouver International Wine Festival Tasting Room Quest: Find Five Alternative to Pinot Grigio

In the darkness and gloom of February in Vancouver there is one bright spot to look forward to: the Vancouver International Wine Festival. One of North America’s biggest wine fests, VIWF brings a head-spinning variety of wines from around the world –and from right here in B.C.– to sample along with seminars, winery dinners and plenty of fun events. I was inspired this year to try something new after talking

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On the Road for the Rough Guide to Canada in Beautiful British Columbia

It’s been an amazing few months travelling around British Columbia researching for the 2016 edition of the Rough Guide to Canada. It’s been exhausting, frustrating, hard work made a privilege thanks to exploring the jaw-clanging beauty of this huge province. Researching for a guide book means a life on the gallop, you never really have time to explore or to take a breath, always going on to the next place,

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Pondering Canada’s Complications Deep in its Desert

It’s the kind of sunshine that warms bone-deep. I close my eyes and feel soft morning rays as comforting as a cashmere scarf wrap me in a delicious warmth. I’ve missed the sun. I’ve dreamed of seeing Canada’s desert since I first knew it existed. It sounds like the most ridiculous of contradictions: to think of Canada is to imagine snow and skiing, moose and mounties, but here I am

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Challenge 9: Spot a Polar Bear

We had to wait for the all-clear before we could leave the arctic crawler. Our guide, rifle loaded and cocked, walked out onto the rocks and scanned the area making sure it was safe for us to explore. Once out there, I crouched down on the pebble-grey rocks, flecked with coppery lichen and picked a handful of the shiny jet-black blueberries which lay tucked under the sparse sprigs of greenery

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Challenge #7: Find A Truly Dog-Friendly Break in BC

“Come to Vancouver! It’s so dog-friendly!” they said. And yes, looking at the maps with all the amazing parks and beaches sure, it looks like a pooch’s dream. But the reality is that for a dog owner used to British rules and regulations, life here in Vancouver is pretty tough. I can’t take Freddie on a bus, in a pub, into any shops, restaurants or cafes – and most baffling

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Diving Birds and Bluefin Tuna on Prince Edward Island

“Making $5 on a lobster is a dream, at $4 we make money but we’re at $3 right now.” Veteran fisherman Captain Kenny looks out to the choppy gunmetal grey water and grins ruefully before putting the ‘hammer’ down to speed us out to sea towards the horizon. There are seals out there bobbing and diving in the water, snacking on mackerel and somewhere—hopefully— Atlantic Bluefin tuna. The plan is

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PEI: My Island Pictures

There are some trips that you make which seem a little magical and dream-like even at the time. Of course; memory softens the edges; that annoying wait for the car that one afternoon or the rainy morning which made you pout, they all melt away with time. But there was something special about Prince Edward Island right from the start. The sharp bright colours of the island made you feel

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Challenge #4: Go to Whistler and Zipline Down a Mountain at Night

I’m trying to be brave and try new things—truly I am. But as I hang in my harness, my teeth chattering in the sub-zero cold, swinging in a cradle as helpless as a baby, I began to think, ‘hey – what was so wrong with the old ways?’. It’s pitch black ahead of me on the mountain, just a small twinkling light, god knows how far away – that’s where

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