Arctic sand dunes!? Come on!

National Park Service/Public Domain

“Massive mounds of golden sand look like a desert landscape randomly plopped in an Arctic forest.” — Atlas Obscura

Before ever traveling to Alaska, I imagined it to be many things. But I have to admit that a land of giant sand dunes certainly wasn’t one of them.

In fact, when I first read about them in a magazine, I thought it was a mistake. Maybe they’d mixed up the locations, I thought. Surely the 100-foot sand dunes being described were in a desert somewhere, not the frozen wilderness that Alaska is best known for.

I just couldn’t imagine it…


You can still make your great escape if you open your mind

Wren Cabin — View from Cabin. Photo by Cabinscape.

For months now, my partner and I have been itching to get out of the house and go someplace new. Recurring stay-at-home orders have become commonplace over the past year, and the most recent one came to an end last week.

The government is slowly beginning to roll out its phased re-opening plan, but many stores, small businesses, restaurants, and other attractions that would normally be ramping up for a busy cottage season ahead remain closed or are running modified operations to adhere to Covid regulations.

With the typical range of summer travel options severely limited, it wasn’t easy to…


Step your way to a healthier you…and some extra cash

Photo by Arek Adeoye on Unsplash

My partner and I have set our sights on a goal for this fall that’s both challenging and exciting.

As long as the vaccinations continue to roll out and travel becomes safe and possible once again, we’re planning to walk a section of the Camino de Santiago through Portugal and Spain. Depending on where we decide to start the trek and which route we take, the walk will range from 80–175 miles (130–280 km) and will likely take us 1–2 weeks in total.

Obviously, this is something we need to prepare for. We both enjoy walking but weren’t doing it…


Sailing the Bahamas aboard a 125-foot schooner.

Photo by author

Before my partner turned 30 a couple of years ago, I was on the lookout for something special we could do to celebrate—something we’d always remember.

Then my mind flashed back to the sailing trip he’d found online and shown me a few months earlier. For five days, you’d sail around the beautiful Bahamas, island-hopping and taking in the dreamy turquoise waters and light blue skies of a life at sea.

I was hooked. This was it.

I am by no means a sailor (and neither is he), but that didn’t stop us from jumping on board for a chance…


Travel. Florida. Central America.

How to truly experience the Florida Keys.

Photo by Author

While many travelers flock to overpriced hotel chains, others seek the true Florida Keys experience out on the water surrounded by nature.
Boat Camping Key West

A few years ago, my partner and I were planning a trip to the Florida Keys.

We were driving down to Key West from Ontario, Canada, and wanted to stay somewhere fun once we finally reached our destination — 27 hours and 2,778 km (1,726 miles) later.

Anytime we travel, we try to look beyond the multitude of standard hotel options, in search of a more unique experience. …


Here are three ways it’s improved mine

Photo by Wedding Dreamz on Unsplash

Until a couple of years ago, I didn’t love walking.

In fact, I’m not sure if I’d even say I liked it. It wasn’t something I did very often, and certainly not for fun.

Growing up, I played on all kinds of sports teams and was able to get my exercise that way. But since leaving university, my involvement with my favourite sports has dwindled down to nothing, and my health has paid the price.

It wasn’t until I met my partner that I started going on more walks. At the beginning of our relationship, we were both temporarily living…


But you can practice making space for what arises instead

Photo by David von Diemar on Unsplash

I’ve been thinking lately about how quickly plans can change.

With the Covid-19 pandemic still at the forefront, along with the constant changes and the uncertainty it brings, I thought back to an event that happened a few years ago.

One minute, I was drinking my coffee and walking the few blocks to get back to my car. The next, my path was blocked by a crime scene — police tape, cruisers, and officers everywhere.

I had parked at a friend’s place the night before and was now coming to get my car to start the drive home from Toronto.


Learning to be comfortable with rest is vital in today’s world

Photo by Drew Coffman on Unsplash

Some days you just feel “blah.”

You know the ones — you don’t feel particularly inspired or motivated to accomplish what you wanted to. On those days, you don’t have the energy to do much of anything.

But maybe that’s perfectly okay. Every day doesn’t have to be amazing and productive and successful and riveting.

Being alive is a balance of creating, doing, achieving — and also resting. Just simply “being.”

Sometimes I forget that. I get so caught up in this busy world that’s spinning so fast. I see everyone hustling and bustling, trying to accomplish so much, with…


The future is not real, so work with right now

Photo by Kadir Celep on Unsplash

We all have those big plans for “someday.”

You know the ones I’m talking about.

In our minds, we picture these scenes of how the future will look, when everything is perfect and when we’re happy. We imagine what life will be like when we earn the money we’d like to be earning, when we land our dream job, or when we buy that beautiful beach home.

But what if those dreams and desires never become a reality? The sad part is that for too many, they probably won’t.

Why? For one simple reason:

Dreaming can’t replace doing.

There is no “secret” formula

The more…


Just decide what to do next—and then do it

Photo by Matt Whitacre on Unsplash

I have my sister to thank for this little life lesson.

Actually, it turned out to be more of a gigantic life lesson, an over-arching guide for how to live life—but it sometimes still causes me grief to this day.

It causes me grief because I tend to forget it often, and every time I do, I’m thrown back into the throngs of the painful belief that I have to “figure out” what to do with my life, as if there’s only one right answer, one true calling/purpose.

Our culture loves to perpetuate this idea—and I love to fall for…

Allison Burney

Life is an adventure, and learning is never finished. Sharing insights, experiences, and lessons learned to inspire your curiosity and creativity.

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