The West Coast, a lazy traveller’s paradise

Why the West Coast is also the rest coast.

Think the West Coast only caters to thrill seekers and adventurers? Think again. Here are some tips and tricks about how to tackle Banff, Vancouver and San Francisco as a laid-back traveller.

Banff

Quaint and charming, Banff offers fun activities for all travellers. Take a leisurely stroll along Banff Avenue, buy a souvenir and peruse the touristy shops, snack on beaver tails, and enjoy the spectacular mountain views.

Looking for an easy hike? Throw on some hiking shoes and check out Hoodoos Trail. A low-intensity hike with little incline, you can walk it slowly, taking the time to enjoy the unbelievable scenery in just a few hours.

Taken on Hoodoos Trail

Vancouver

Travelling farther west, Vancouver has it all: beaches, high-rises and mountains dotting the skyline. Feeling energetic? For the relaxed traveller looking to challenge themselves, tackle the Grouse Grind. Known as “Nature’s Stairmaster”, the hike is short, challenging, but gratifying, making the effort worth it. Take a break from hiking and ride the cable car down to enjoy a bird’s-eye view overlooking Vancouver’s skyline.

To relax in the afternoon, go to Kitsilano Beach. Located near Granville Island, the beach offers scenic paradise. Head over to the market, pick up some fresh fruit and camp out at the beach. Dip your toes in the Pacific, gaze out at the mountains and experience pure, West Coast bliss.

Taken at Kitsilano Beach

San Francisco

Crossing over the border to San Francisco? The Bay Area offers a unique traveller experience, being a foodie haven with high winds and crisp air.

Check out Del Popolo for delicious pizza at a reasonable price. The windy roads and endless hills are daunting, so take a load off and zip around the city via Lyft. The app provides an incredible ride-share service, giving first-time users a $50 coupon.

Just across the Golden Gate Bridge lies the amazing Muir Woods, home to coastal redwoods. For a $10 entrance fee, walk nonchalantly in the forest and enjoy the towering trees.

Taken in Muir Woods

Back in the city, treat yourself to the world’s best sundae at Ghirardelli Square, or spend an afternoon in Fisherman’s Wharf. Head to Boudin Bakery and indulge in clam chowder served in a sourdough bread bowl.

Taken at Boudin Bakery

Do you have any travel tips and tricks for the laid-back traveller heading out west? I’d love your feedback.

 

Losing your mind, but have no time?

How many of us find ourselves crazily busy, yet craving the serenity of a restorative yoga class? When you can’t muster up the energy to fill your limited free-time at the yoga studio, try Headspace.

Image source Amazon

When the ancient practice of meditation combines with the modern technology of smartphones, you get Headspace. The app helps you to gain peace of mind through a variety of meditations, all of which can be done from the coziness of your bedroom (yay).

Having a busy schedule Monday-Friday, I often feel lazy at the end of my school day. However, sometimes I am super productive and drive out into the cold Canadian tundra and make it to my local yoga studio (shout-out to Moksha Thornhill).

My (ambivalent) meditation game face.

On the evenings I just couldn’t find the small amount of drive to get there, I would feel tense. I needed an outlet to help me relax. I remembered a friend talking glowingly about Headspace, so I decided to give it a go…

The app begins with a 10-step program of 10-minute meditations.

As an inexperienced meditator, I wasn’t confident in my ability to reach a relaxed mindset outside of my yoga studio. During my first two Headspace meditations, my thoughts wandered to the point where I often forgot my given exercise – whoops!

By the third session, I FINALLY was able to stay somewhat focused. I was directed to “count one with your inhale, two with your exhale, three with your inhale…” etc. Somehow, during my first two sessions, I found this exercise difficult. I was embarrassingly proud of myself when I succeeded.

Image source Itunes Preview

I decided to try my fourth session lying in bed with dim-lighting. I felt the familiar peacefulness I feel during my final Shavasana in yoga practice. Next thing I knew, an hour had passed. I was in such a relaxed frame of mind that I drifted off to sleep. It was blissful. How often do we have the luxury of falling asleep without the intention of doing so? Headspace helped me find true relaxation.

Headspace’s blog offers endless insights on their meditations focusing on education, relationships, focus, and many more categories. I can’t wait to try them all.

Will you try stretching your mind out today? Try out Headspace and comment below with your thoughts, I’d love your feedback!

Image source Headspace