Travel Theme: Light

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Let there be light. Especially if it’s beautiful sunshine hitting the snow on a day off of work.  This picture is taken during a snowshoe trip on Cypress Mountain in British Columbia.

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The sun shines bright on the Amalfi Coast in Southern Italy.  Sometimes I like to stare right at the sun on days like these – the glare is so strong that you have to close your eyes.. I like to think that I can feel the energy building inside me, especially during those endless rainy days in Vancouver.

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When I think of light, it’s often of twilight, my most favourite time of day.  It’s the fading light that gets me, every time.  In this picture above, the sun sets over the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.  No filter, just beautiful purple and pink skies.

IMG_3402And the light fades even more in this shot — it’s almost dark in Nadi, Fiji.  Looking at these pictures makes me think that summer couldn’t come soon enough for me.

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Join the fun with Aisla’s Travel Theme Challenge at Where’s My Backpack.

  • Create your own post and title it Travel theme: Light
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
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Travel Theme: Contrast

(aka – Forest meets Phone Booth)

Well, I’m not going to admit that Daryl and I started running out of ideas for posts….but we did discover that creating a blog comes with an immense amount of pressure to write the perfect post.

So that led to us not posting anything for 10 days.  We bantered back and forth about different things we could write about it, but that conversation would eventually become sidetracked by an episode of the Voice (Daryl has a giant crush on Shakira, and strangely obviously, so do I), or some crime show with Ice-T.

And then we discovered the joy of writing prompts.  Or, rather prompts from other blogs on the internets that kindly suggest what you should write about.   Yes, please.  Our last post was part of the Word a Week challenge focusing on the word ‘Worker’, and today we would like to join in the fun at Where’s My Backpack, as part of the Travel Theme: Contrast.

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This picture is taken at East Point, on Saturna Island — one of the Gulf Islands in the Pacific Northwest.  We were about to go hiking, and then stumbled upon this gem.  I think it’s so kind that someone would think to have a comfortable chair for those about to make an emergency phone call.  I would love to say that the phone is still in service… but this could definitely be an installation art piece in a contemporary art gallery, non?

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If you would like to join in the fun at Where’s My Backpack, here’s what to do:

  • Create your own post and title it Travel theme: Contrast
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Get your post in by next Thursday, as the new travel theme comes out on Friday
  • Don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date on the latest weekly travel themes. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS.

Strength of the Indigena ~ Idle No More

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One of our frequent conversations of late has been about the process of ‘taking action’, and in particular, about circumstances and situations that make it more likely to take place.

Sometimes it’s on the practical level for us – ‘How do you get a student to complete an assignment?’… but more often it’s about political and social action.  The Idle No More movement has been front and centre of these discussions for the past several months.  And what has struck both of us is the degree to which the strength and volume of Aboriginal voices in Canada has increased.  They are the brave ones — speaking out against resource exploitation, against injustice, against violence against women, against poverty.  In doing so, their voices have inspired many Canadians that have previously been too quiet against government policies that hold us back from a just and compassionate society.  Myself included.

I was in awe of the Cree walkers who walked from James Bay, Quebec to Parliament Hill in Ottawa as part of their “Journey of Nishiyuu (the People)”.  These teenagers that have taken direct action in order to spread their message through peaceful passive resistance, and have found hope and determination through their own agency.  Teenagers have immense power to inspire and initiate change.. it’s such a beautiful thing to see this in action.

This morning I was thinking back to some of our travels, much of which has been through Latin America, and within many indigenous communities.  I think of the three little girls in the image from a small Mexican pueblo outside of San Cristobal de las Casas.  We spent the afternoon watching them play and laugh together, yet after I saw the photograph, I was struck by the intensity of their stares.  Such young children, yet in their eyes, there is immense weight and heaviness.  It would be easy to attribute this severity with sadness, but I think that’s too simple.  Those eyes also represent immense strength ~ a determination, resiliency and character.

The strength of Indigenous peoples. So often goes unrecognized.

We are in a time where we need people to take intelligent, thoughtful action.  We need people to become active, informed citizens. The time to sit back and complain about how nothing ever changes, ‘the government never listens’, and ‘those damn corporations’ is past.

The time to Idle No More is for everyone.  Let’s take the example that’s been set for us by these dedicated individuals and other grassroots organizations and move forward.  In this way, we can work towards a vision of a just, ethical and caring society that we can be proud of.

CBC Link to Cree Teenagers Supporting Idle No More

The Rugged West Coast: Tofino & Ucluelet

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Daryl and I recently took off on a road trip to the beautiful, rugged west coast of Vancouver Island for the annual Whale Festival.  Pure Bliss.  We both grew up in Vancouver, and have traveled a lot in this province.  You would think that some of the scenery would become common place, but the beauty of the west coast still seems to catch me off guard.   So, just in case you’re headed there in the near future… we thought a list of some of the hot spots would be in order.

Top 5 Things About the West Coast of Vancouver Island:

1. Whale-Watching & Boat Rides

Short vacations mean that you get to splurge a little.. or at least I can rationalize pulling out my Visa a little more frequently.  This explains how we ended up on a boat in the middle of the open ocean to witness the annual migration of 20,000 gray whales from Mexico to Alaska, with Ron, the most delightful guide from Ocean Outfitter Adventures (no free plug here..we paid a small fortune).   Not only did we see amazing scenery, sea lions, otters, seals, bald eagles and many cute little birds, but we spotted 4 gray whales that measured up to 50 feet long moving through the water.  Amazing!   ** Apparently the trip to the hot springs by boat is supposed to be well worth it as well.

2. Pacific Rim National Park

Incredible set of trails that are extremely well kept, that follow ocean coastlines, bogs, and rainforests.  We walked the Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet, and the views were spectacular.

3. Gorgeous Beaches

So apparently people actually surf here even in the winter.  Not a chance I’m getting a 5-inch wetsuit on my body, but there are many people much more hardcore than we are hitting the waves each day.  The beaches are incredibly beautiful to walk along, and you can beachcomb for mussels and oyster shells along the way.

4. Super Friendly People

And I’m not just saying this because I locked my keys in the trunk and the tow truck arrived to help me in less than 20 minutes.  This is a laid-back town filled with many happy and relaxed people that were incredibly helpful.  And also political — this is a town with very diverse opinions on environmental issues, which is always interesting.

5. Best Fish & Chips of My Life

Yup. I said it. Even better than the fish and chips I ate in New Zealand that came in newspaper.  The Wildside Grill takes the award. Panko crusted oysters and fresh ling cod that were caught that day.  Yes please.

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