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.
While this year might not have round-the-world adventures, I’m still going to try to make the best of it, still going to try to be productive. So what does the rest of 2020 have in store for me?
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of Italy. To me, Italy is the country that’s perfect for everyone: perfect for the solo traveller, for the family holiday, for those looking for adventure or those looking to relax. It’s for those in love and those trying to mend a broken heart. And after years of exploring Italy – my trip to Rome at the end of April marked my 14th time to the country – I can confidently say that the Amalfi Coast is one of the top spots to experience the best of what Italy has to offer.
With a newfound lifestyle routine, and with the desire to experience the Amalfi Coast up close and personal, the Path of the Gods was one of the best hikes I’ve ever taken in my life. A moderate hike that lasts approximately three hours depending on where you start and stop, this hike affords you some of the best views of the coast.
The last time I saw you, you were driving away from me, the taillights glowing in the dawn. The sun was just barely above the horizon; there was a still and quiet in that tiny prairie town, the trees bowing slightly in the wind. I stood at the window to watch you drive away, and I blew you a kiss.
We met in the heat of summer in the heart of the country. I instantly liked your glasses, your goofy laugh, the way we were both too nervous to eat any of the food we’d ordered. I talked too much – I always do when I’m nervous, especially on first dates – and an hour in I stopped myself, apologised for waffling.
“Don’t apologise,” you leaned in close. “I’m utterly enthralled by you, if I’m honest.”
I hadn’t had a first date that good in a long, long while. We both didn’t want the night to end; you came back to my house, where we drank beer on the porch and listened to records, the twinkly lights I’d hung up in the backyard illuminating all that was good. Our first kiss happened when we were listening to Sam Cooke, my favourite singer of all time, and life – for that one tiny moment – seemed perfect and real.
Over the past few months, I’ve been sharing my new approach to being healthy (both in body and in mind) on this blog. This particular post will probably make a lot more…
“I’m saving the Amalfi Coast for something special,” I remember saying to a friend in London, years ago. I had just returned from Cinque Terre for the third time, another part of Italy that is raved about for its beauty. The Amalfi Coast, a 50-kilometre stretch of coastline along the Mediterranean, kept eluding me despite being so high on my dream travel list. Saying I was saving if for something special made me feel slightly better about not seeing it yet.
The truth is, I didn’t know what that “something special” was going to be. “I’m saving the Amalfi Coast for something special,” became my mantra, the Amalfi Coast becoming that destination that was always in the back of my mind, that place I so desperately wanted to visit but didn’t know how.