As I slowly make my way through content from the month I spent in the Balkans, one city really stands out for me: Tirana, Albania. Though I didn’t know much about the city before arriving, I was immediately struck by what a vibrant and fascinating city it is. As clichéd as it is to say, it’s such an interesting mix of the old and the new, with communist reminders found alongside the modern and cosmopolitan. With centuries of history and an emerging art and culinary scene, here are the best things to do in Tirana.
As someone who likes to see as much as possible when I travel, I often try to fit a couple of locations in per trip. One of the things I find myself researching the most is how to get from A to B. When I travelled for a month through the Balkans last year, I researched this a lot. One of the routes I researched quite heavily was how to get to Kotor from Dubrovnik, two cities I was very excited to visit.
In the end, I travelled the other way round, from Kotor to Dubrovnik, but the ways to get there remain the same. Because the Balkan countries are so small, it makes it easy to travel between them; I found this to be the case with Montenegro and Croatia.
AdviceDating and RelationshipsHighlight
I met Dylan in a sandwich shop on a snowy afternoon in Toronto. With a charming accent and a mop of brown curls, I was instantly smitten. Lunch after lunch, even though it cost a fortune, I visited the sandwich shop for a chance to speak to the handsome man who worked there.
After six weeks, he finally asked me out. From then on, things happened fast: we became boyfriend and girlfriend, moved in together, and planned a future living in another country, all within the span of six months or so. It was my first truly serious relationship – I was 22 – and I was so excited to finally have someone to introduce to friends and family, to plan out holidays with, and to share my life and all its ups and downs.
And although Dylan and I stayed together for nearly three years, lived in three countries together, and even discussed marriage and children, I always had a worrying thought lingering the back of my mind: I don’t think Dylan is very nice to me. In fact… I think Dylan is really, really mean to me.
As the song goes… “Oh! I do love to be by the seaside!” And even this Canadian prairie girl can’t help but agree: the UK has some of the best seaside towns in the world. With thousands of kilometres of coastline, the United Kingdom has a seaside location for everyone, whether you’re after a relaxing respite, a lively family holiday, or just an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
After six years of living in the UK – one year in Edinburgh and five in London – I thought I’d round up the very best seaside towns in the UK. From England to Wales, Northern Ireland to Scotland, here are some of my very favourite spots, or those that are at the top of my “must visit one day” list.
When I was invited to visit Swan Valley, a region about five hours northwest of Winnipeg, I had no idea what to expect. I had vaguely heard of the town of Swan River, but beyond that I couldn’t tell you a thing.
But after spending a few days exploring Swan Valley, I can tell you this: it’s one of my favourite places in Manitoba, hands down.
Perfect for a socially-distanced trip, one that includes a lot of natural beauty, I’m so excited to share some of what I got up to while I was in Swan Valley. Nestled between the Porcupine Mountains and Duck Mountains, the valley is perfect for hiking, fishing, camping, and swimming in summer, while ideal for downhill skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and ice fishing in winter. It’s a bit of a nature enthusiast’s dream playground, really, and I could have happily spent another week or two exploring all that there was to do outdoors in Swan Valley.
Even without the chaos of 2020, this year was always going to be about sticking close to home for me. After five weeks in Europe last year, I realized those kinds of trips no longer really appealed; with my home, my dog, my family, and my friends all in Winnipeg, Canada, I knew I wanted to focus more on shorter, more local trips.
Not only that, I was starting to feel as though I had severely neglected my own home province for far too long. I left Manitoba at 18 and, despite travelling to over 100 countries, I had never really explored the prairie province where I grew up.
First up? Manitoba’s second largest city, Brandon.