2022… The Year we got back to normal… ACTUALLY! I mean it’s not exactly like the before times but we’ve found a new normal and it’s one I can live with… especially if it means I get to travel again. This year was one of my best if not THEE best year of my life so far. I don’t know if the fact that it followed two of the worst years overinflated its position or if maybe it’s my new perspective on life. Maybe it’s just the new meds. Whatever it is… the universe was clearly saying YES to me in 2022 and I hope I can take these positive vibes and contentedness into 2023 because I got big plans!
After multiple failed attempts to visit Tofino in 2020 and 2021… the classic adage “Third times the charm” rang true for us as we finally made it to Tofino for our 4th anniversary. Even the rainy weather couldn’t dampen our spirits because Tofino is just that good. We loved exploring the expansive and empty beaches, and then warming up back at our cabin’s private hot tub and sauna! We even spotted orca whales from our back deck on our very first morning. Third times the charm indeed.
Salt Spring Island, BC (March)
The first weekend of spring brought an opportunity to sneak away to Salt Spring for a little babymoon for my bestie Joy. At 6 months pregnant, Joy was able to climb Mt Erskine (pictured above) so that we could enjoy some stunning views of the gulf islands. We also enjoyed a deluxe spa experience tucked away in the woods at Solace Organic Spa. Nothing is as restorative as time in the Gulf.
Jasper, AB (April)
After an unfortunate hiatus in both 2020 and 2021 (yes, this is a theme), my annual girls weekend was back and better than ever in 2022. Me and my university friends Crystal and Rachel reunited in Jasper for a luxurious weekend at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. We stayed in a lake front chalet and had picture perfect weather providing us stunning views of the mountains including from the top of the gondola! The highlight of the weekend was visiting Maligne Canyon where the spring temperatures revealed pathways still frozen solid with ice making for a treacherous slide along the river. We laughed to beat back our fear of bruising our butts as we clung for dear life to the safety fence. It was more adrenaline then we budgeted for but a great memory in the end given that we all made it back in one piece.
Winnipeg, BC (May)
After over 4 years of dating, I finally brought my boyfriend to meet the rest of my family in Winnipeg and to meet my cousin’s brand new baby Max! It was a family filled weekend with some classic sightseeing thrown in for good measure. We visited a super fun brewery called Kilter, my cousin’s delicious ice cream shop Fête, and the ever popular Forks. And we squeezed in some baby-free time with an afternoon at the Thermea spa and dinner at Harth. I experience something new every time I visit and this year was no exception.
Squamish, BC (June)
During the nearly 2 years of travel restrictions, Squamish became a bit of an oasis for us. Just a one hour drive from the city, it was a much needed haven from the confines of isolation. Being in the mountains was healing and restorative and even now that we’ve returned to more regular travel… something about Squamish still pulls us back. This time it was a quick two night getaway for Markus’ birthday and a ride up the recently re-opened sea-to-sky gondola although this time we had to use more imagination to enjoy the view. It’s okay though… we know we’ll be back.
Naramata, BC (July)
Well folks… it finally happened. After dozens of wine tours all over the world… I finally joined a wine club. Markus and I are officially subscribed to Therapy Winery and I couldn’t think of a better fit. Naramata is the best part of the Okanagan. It’s far enough from Kelowna to keep away the throngs of visitors but also home to some of the oldest vines in the region. We discovered some of our new favourite wineries (clearly) and a spot that we plan to return to every year for our annual restock.
Pender Island (August)
The Gulf Islands have a healing impact on me. For the past 10 years, I’ve been coming to this sleepy paradise to forget about the real world for a few days or weeks… this time a long weekend in the middle of summer. You’d expect to find people everywhere with views this stunning but as is typical here, it felt like we had Pender all to ourselves. We hiked and explored beaches, visited the cidery and winery that are way better than you’d expect, and relaxed like it was our job. It was heaven. As always.
Victoria, BC (August)
Victoria is a regular fixture on my annual roundup… but this time we arrived in style. We took our chances with a standby flight on harbour air and pinched ourselves at our good fortune to have such a sunny evening to soar across the Salish Sea. Our objective for the weekend was to visit our good friends Stefi & Ken in their new digs and eat and drink. And that’s just what we did.
Nova Scotia (September)
After years of short trips, we finally committed to a two week vacation and settled on a bucket-list worthy destination. Inspired by my new job, we crafted an iconic Canadian itinerary – finally taking me to the Atlantic Provinces for a two-week, 3 province road trip. Our first stop was Halifax where I celebrated my birthday and enjoyed perfect September weather – stretching out the final days of summer. We visited the must-see fishing villages of Peggy’s Cove and Lunenberg along with a stop in wine country (obviously), learned about Acadian history and culture in Grand Pre and finished off the first week with three days touring the famed Cabot Trail. We ran into some stormy weather but nothing like what was coming our way in the days to come…
Prince Edward Island (September)
Prince Edward Island had a lot to live up to. I’ve been dreaming of visiting the home of Anne of Green Gables since I was a young girl ferociously devouring every word LM Montgomery had to say about this little island on the East Coast of Canada. But even with the bar set sky high, I couldn’t have prepared myself for how much I’d love our 4 days here. It was such a welcome respite from city life and so uniquely beautiful. It felt like the whole province got together to sign a petition to keep their yard and home in pristine condition. It almost felt like we were living in a real world movie set. I was most impressed by the massive empty red sand beaches and delicious seafood – with the highlight being our Fireworks Feast at the Inn at Bay Fortune with Chef Michael Smith. I love a culinary experience that is also a travel experience – what could be better?
New Brunswick (September)
About a week into our Maritimes trip we started to hear about this hurricane down in the Caribbean. You may have heard of her… Fiona. I wasn’t too concerned because we were in Canada and as a West Coaster, we don’t really get a lot of serious storms. But as the days passed, we started to get increasingly concerned as the path was pointing straight at us. On our final day in PEI we made the decision to change our flights to come home 2 days early and beat the storm’s arrival.
Turned out to be the right call because Hurricane Fiona was the costliest and most intense tropical cyclone to hit Canada on record. What that meant for our travels is we had 1 day to see as much of New Brunswick as possible.
So we raced across the Confederation Bridge and headed straight for Hopewell Rocks. We started with low tide to walk on the ocean floor before checking into our accommodations inside a Lighthouse! The next morning we returned to see the area we had previously wandered completely submerged. The extreme tidal range in the Bay of Fundy has carved some incredible sea stacks along the coast that definitely live up to the icon status. We hope to return someday without the hurricane.
After a very unfortunate 3 year hiatus, 2022 brought back my girls trip tradition with travel Bestie Megan! We picked up her national park bucket list project and hit 3 in 4 days on the road through Colorado. I truly could not have prepared for how beyond amazing this trip was – some of the best scenery I’ve ever seen and I’ve got the camera roll to prove it. From Aspen to Mesa Verde to the Great Sand Dunes, every day brought an entirely new landscape. And driving through the Rockies during peak foliage is a must. 11/10 would recommend.
Aloha! After Markus’ first trip to Hawaii in 2021, he quickly fell for my favourite place on earth and was easily convinced to visit again for a quick 4 day escape in the fall. When I say this trip was perfect – I mean it. The weather. The car rental (upgrade to a convertible mustang). The price tag (thanks for the free accommodations mom & dad). Nothing brings me joy like walking off the airplane and feeling the warm tropical air. Can’t wait to go back!
To cap off the year, we drive across the border to sister city Seattle for the first time since the before times. This time with my cousin and her sweet fam from Winnipeg who hadn’t really ever been before. I played tour guide taking them to the classic spots: Pike Place, Pioneer Square, the Space Needle… and introduced them to my favourite art museum – The Chihuly Glass Museum. We had a very chill weekend – spending most of our time in the very cool Capitol Hill neighbourhood and rung in the New Year with champagne on the couch. Happy to be on the go again for one of my favourite holidays!
2022: By the Numbers
Countries Visited: 1 (USA – still haven’t left North America since 2019, but I’m feeling okay about it.)
States Visited: 3 (1 new one) – Colorado / Hawaii / Washington
Provinces Visited: 6 (3 new ones) – British Columbia / Alberta / Manitoba / Nova Scotia / Prince Edward Island / New Brunswick
Plane Rides Taken: 12 one way flights (I count a flight as a flight regardless of how many segments or layovers it has).
Ferries Taken: 6
Airports Visited: 9 (YVR, YEG, YWG, CXH, YWH, YHZ, YYC, DEN, KOA)
Kilometres Flown in 2022: 16,609
Beds Slept In: 21. Of those, 10 were hotels, 3 were cabins, 2 were vacation rentals, 2 were staying with friends/family, 1 was a winery, 1 was a light house, 1 was a geodesic dome, and one was my own bed!