Where to go for a Winter Break
For many people travel is finally back on the radar thanks to recent government announcements. For some it will mean trips further afield, and for others it may mean still sticking close to home. Whichever you choose, I shared three things you can do right now to make the most of a February Winter Break with viewers over at CHCH Morning Live.
Save the Polar Bears (& the planet): Canada Goose and Polar Bears International
How? Buy a jacket that helps researchers protect the polar bears.
Last fall I went out to Churchill, Manitoba and over just a few days saw about 40 bears.
The good news: I got lots of great pictures. The bad news: The bears weren’t supposed to be there. Polar bears depend on the sea ice for survival. Once that arrives, they hop aboard and use the platforms to hunt for the seals that keep them alive. They should’ve been long gone. But every year the sea ice is forming later and later which means the bears are on land longer and ….spoiler alert…there aren’t seals on land. Without the sea ice they are at serious risk.
The reason we know so much about the bears is because of a research group called Polar Bears International who carries out a lot of the on-site research up there. And now we can help support that work from home.
Their partnership with Canada Goose is more than 10 years old and has seen more than 5 million dollars head their way. The latest initiative out of the partnership sees proceeds from Canada Goose’s Polar Bears International line of gear helping to raise funds for the organization’s work. Bonus: They are bright blue jackets that are easy to spot in a snow storm. And, if they work in the temperatures that PBI researchers see in Churchill, they’ll be just fine here in the city.
To see the full line-up of gear, visit Canada Goose online.
It’s a great way to support the research even if you can’t get out to see the bears live just yet.
2. Take a mystery trip to Arcana in Ontario
Arcana is an incredible concept. Three mirrored cabins in the woods …somewhere in Ontario. You don’t get the directions until you’ve booked and are about a day or so out from your reservation, but the owners do a great job of keeping you in the loop so you know exactly what you need and what to expect without spoiling that feeling of excitement.
I went out with my husband just ahead of Valentine’s Day and it is incredibly magical. Along with the cabin that is meant for a solo or couple experience there is a sauna, a private pavilion with an incredible tea experience, snow shoes and more. They’ve outfitted it with everything you need including the option to pre-order meals – which I highly recommend.
I don’t want to give too much away but I will say that it was such a refreshing, unique, romantic getaway – especially for people who prefer a cozy winter experience – that I hope they create more in other parts of the country.
3. Head to a tiny island paradise off the coast of St. Maarten
For people like me who are craving warm weather, I present the island gem that is SABA.
A lot of people haven’t heard of this 5-square mile volcanic island that is a special municipality of the kingdom of the Netherlands and only a 13-minute flight from St. Martin. The population is just under 2000. The scenery is stunning – perfect for hikes in rain forest and cloud forest. Its also a favourite for divers and perfect for a day trip from St. Maarten.
If you do get to stay, consider booking Haiku House in Troy Hill which looks out over the capital city, has a pool and deck, three bedrooms, a hot tub…just perfection.
If you want to stay in the heart of the action, a spot like Poets and Painters – which is a two—bedroom cottage with gorgeous views of the aptly named Mt. Scenery in Windward Side puts you close to the cafes, restaurants and activities that you’re after. And while you’re there make sure you visit all the incredible artisans from JoBean who makes incredible glass art to Els Mummer who does fabric art to the incredible Saban elders who focus on creating lace and Saban Spice rum! Believe me there’s great shopping here – I picked up this stunning one of a kind necklace made from local seeds and designed by Marie Petit.
While I do encourage you to get out there if you feel comfortable, I also want you to be careful. Consider the Covid risks associated with the destinations you’re visiting. Follow the rules as they are laid out and take any extra steps necessary to protect yourself and the people in the places you’re visiting. Travel remains an incredible privilege. Let’s do our best to keep everyone safe, happy and healthy.
Want to watch the segment?
And if you’d like to see more photos from any of these Winter Break destinations. Visit my Instagram page and check out the highlight bubbles.
So….where are you going for your winter break? Let me know!
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