This summer get outside.

The warmer weather is on its way and with it thoughts of summer vacation and more time outdoors. But even if you don’t consider yourself “outdoorsy,”  these experiences offer you the kind of bucket list outdoor trips that will change your tune.

A Multi-Stop African Adventure.

Croisi-Europe Africa

About a month ago I set out on an incredible trip with CroisiEurope – they are a French owned cruising company with a twist. This nine – day bucket list outdoors trip takes you through four African countries and offers both land and river safari options.

Just a few highlights:

*We flew into South Africa for time exploring Johannesberg, the legacy of Nelson Mandela and the legacy of Apartheid and slept at the gorgeous 54 on Bath hotel.

* Then we headed to Botswana and Namibia. We slept in Namibia at the gorgeous Kaza Lodge and used it as a jumping off point to explore Chobe National Park in Botswana from land and small boat.

* And finally we hopped a flight to Zimbabwe where we spent time aboard Croisi Europe’s intimate passenger river boat the Zimbabwean Dream before hopping a flight to Victoria Falls for our final adventures.

This is a trip for someone who recognizes that an African safari is about more than the animals in a destination and is interested in seeing them in context and alongside the incredible people who make these countries  incredible. The village walk I did on Impalila Island in Namibia was definitely a highlight.

A Mind and Body Reset in British Columbia

After the last few years, so many of us could use a reset.   Guests at the iconic Mountain Trek Health Reset Retreat get exactly that. You spend one week focusing on your health – what you eat, how you move, how you sleep and how you think –  in a gorgeous  lodge about 45 minutes from Nelson, B.C.

The program is about 30 years old and locally sourced, vitamin rich meals are paired with daily three-hour long hikes through the pristine forests of the region. Additional activities include yoga, sound bathing, forest bathing,  three included massages per week of stay and lectures on everything from nutrition to work/life balance. Meals are balanced and calorie-minded but the focus isn’t weight loss. It’s really all about mindfulness and finding space to breathe.

There is a catch. You can expect to  kick some of your bad habits while you’re there. There’s no coffee, alcohol, tobacco or sugar. But what you get in return on this bucket list outdoors trip could be life changing.


Fighting the barriers to the Outdoors.

It’s no secret that the outdoors haven’t always been welcoming to everybody or every body and though its getting better there is still a lot of work to be done.

Two initiatives that could turn the tide:

Gear Sharing: I love this concept. A lot of us can’t afford the top priced stuff but want to have outdoor trips  too. I saw this concept most recently while visiting Millinocket,Maine. The Katahdin Gear Library allows anyone to borrow everything from bikes to helmets to skis to backpacks to help you get outside. The great news is that these spots are popping up all over. Just search for “gear library” and your closest city to find them. In the Greater Toronto Are, check out the University of Toronto Outing Club, Arcteryx Gear Libray and the BIPOC outdoor gear library in Guelph .

Gear You Want to Wear: Another concept I love seeing is the increase in fitness gear that caters to people of all sizes and fashion tastes. You don’t have to wear gray and black to be outside, and you don’t have to be fit and/or skinny to get into a great jacket. Helly Hansen which is one of the most popular gear designers out there has all kinds of offerings that now cater to all sizes and sentiments. I tested out some the items recently and was pleasantly surprised by the colour choices available and boots that didn’t require me to break them in before hitting the trails.

Here’s hoping more outfitters move in this direction. The Outdoors should be for every one.

Want to hear more? I shared the experience on the latest episode of Get, Set, Go! on CHCH TV’s Morning Live. You can watch that by clicking the image below.

Author standing out side the tv studio before talking about travel and outdoors

Get, Set, Go…Outside