Disconnecting While Travelling

I just got back from 10 wonderful days on the best (sorry, west) coast. Rainy days, wellies and wool sweaters, spots of sunshine and resulting sunburns, ocean air, mountains and simple, fresh foods. Wine. Family time. And relatively disconnecting from email and social media as much as possible.

All of these things mix together to create a peaceful, relaxing time. I need to do this more often.

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Sunday Seven – Best Beaches for Naps!

I love me a good nap. Curling up under a blanket, particularly in the kind of weather we’re having right now, is heaven. But napping on a beach is pure joy.

So to combat the chilly temperatures and all the snow I shovelled this morning, here’s seven of my favourite beaches – napping edition!

7. Manitou Beach, Centre Island, Toronto
Surprise! I picked a beach in Toronto! While I would never actually wade into Lake Ontario, I like this beach for sitting and snoozing because it faces south and is away from the throngs of families and frisbee throwers. Just go on a day when it’s not too humid – otherwise the lake gets a tad stinky.

6. Carmel-by-the-Sea Beach, Carmel, California

White sand, rolling dunes and the smell of money. Carmel is a classy place, and the beach reflects that. Apart from pesky squirrels attempting to steal your lunch, this is a great spot for a long afternoon nap. Pack some oversized shades to blend in with the wealthy types.

5. Kaikoura Beach, Kaikoura, New Zealand
Pay a visit to this beach and you’ll quickly discover why there are so many campervans taking up residence in the parking lot. With mountains providing a backdrop and crystal clear waters, Kaikoura Beach is a great spot to pack a picnic (perhaps with some local wine) and catch some rays along with your zzz’s.

4. La Jolla Shores Beach, San Diego, California
San Diego is a goldmine for good beaches. Some are pretty family-oriented, but they all offer great views and toasty sand to stretch out on. A nice spot to sip a little wine, read some tabloids and enjoy life. Just don’t wander too far – a popular nude beach awaits!

3. Waipi’o Valley Beach, Hawaii
Perhaps it was due to exhaustion from the intense hike down into the Valley (or the anticipation of the even crueller hike back out), but sprawling out on a secluded black sand beach was pretty fantastic. Getting back up, not so much. Bring a blanket, lots of snacks, and a good book. This one’s worth camping out at for a few solid hours.

2. Chesterman Beach, Tofino, British Columbia
A close runner-up, Chesterman Beach is absolutely gorgeous. Great for a variety of activities including surfing and picnics, it’s also fantastic for a good nap! The sand is soft and the beach is enormous, which means lots of space for you to spread out away from families or large groups. Watch out for the tide!

1. Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia

Australia is full of gorgeous people. It should come as no surprise that its beaches would also be fairly easy on the eyes. While I had some good naps at Manly, Bondi had the SOFTEST sand ever. I essentially dug myself a little sand bed, and camped out for much of the day with a lunch, some beer and a good book (and a big ass hat). With warm breezes, plenty of space to sprawl out, and the sweet sound of waves crashing, Bondi is the perfect napping beach in my opinion.

So, what do you think? Any beaches I need to pack a blanket for? Leave a comment below!

15 Ways to Spend Your Days in LA

I have been to LA at least 8 times since 2005. Sometimes it’s just been for a day or two as a layover between a flight elsewhere, other times I’ve stayed for longer. But every time I walk the familiar route out of LAX towards the rental car shuttle, the warm air and sight of palm trees always makes me smile.

I love LA. It’s the first place I went when travelling without my parents, and I regard it almost as a type of height chart that marks my adventure progress. But it also has a comfortable familiarity about it, and has been a great place of refuge when I need a quick vacation without much thought put into it.

I am always happy when friends ask me for LA suggestions  (sometimes they don’t ask, I just dole them out like candy in the hopes they’ll consider going there – seriously California Tourism, give me a job) because in all the times I’ve gone there I’ve resisted the Hollywood touristy gimmicks – for the most part. A couple exceptions will grace this list – my top 15 ways to spend your days in LA.

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