It comes as no surprise that my favourite way to see a city is to get up at the crack of dawn and give it the runaround. There’s simply nothing quite like waking up alongside a city; whether it’s skirting around delivery vans dropping off fresh baked goods for the start of day, or darting businessmen and women hustling to get to work on time, taking an early-morning run while traveling is by far my favourite way to discover a city. You never know what you’ll see before the sun creeps up! Rising early to hit the pavement has led me to discover a Canadian cemetery in the North of Wales, and accidentally join a 5km while spending an anniversary weekend in Pittsburgh and been yelled at by a fellow hostel guest in Geneva who must have dreamed her alarm went off and blamed it on the early risers, or, I suppose I should say runners.
While I’ve had my fair share of fabulous runs to kick-start my travels around the world, here are my top 5! If you’re ever in the area, don’t miss out on the chance to take in the fresh air, the beautiful landscape and hit the ground running:
1. Stanley Park, Vancouver, B.C
Starting at Canada Place and ending at English Bay, the approximately 12 kilometer run through Stanley Park is the most amazing and memorable runs I have done to date (the fact that I ran it alongside one of my best friends was totally just the icing on the cake). Next to cyclists, joggers and walkers galore, you’ll weave in-between greenery set directly net to a never-ending coast-line in one of the most beautiful parks in the world. Check out more about Stanley Park and other things to see an do in Vancouver in my blog series on Beautiful British Columbia.
It’s been nearly a decade since I went to Tanzania. I applied on a whim to spend eight weeks promoting HIV/AIDS awareness in a remote village with a Toronto-based NGO called Youth Challenge International. I’m not sure what exactly made me sign up: the idea of traveling to an unfamiliar place, or believing that I could seriously make a difference in the lives of people overseas. “Be the change you want to see in the world”, is what I kept hearing, and this was my chance. I was an undergraduate student at the time, studying international development in between commitments as a varsity athlete. It was the summer after my second year of university and before I knew it, I was replacing my soccer cleats with flip flops and my school books with Swahili language guides. Off I was, bound for the African continent with a small group of people I’d never met and ready for anything. Hakuna Matata, right? It really does mean no worries – in case you were wondering.
Karibu sana! Welcome back to our “Street Eats” series! Join us as we explore some of our favourite street foods from around the world! This week, we’re taking on Tanzania, a country that is not only known for being home to beautiful landscape (including Mt.Kilimanjaro) and exciting wildlife, but for traditional foods like chapati (a sort of oily, but yummy, pancake eaten for breakfast) and ugali, a dish of maize meal made with water that has the consistency of oatmeal and can be eaten with meat or vegetables, or on its own.
In 2005, when I spent 8 weeks of my summer volunteering in a village approximately 8 hours west of Dar es Salam, our staple meals included chicken, beef, rice and vegetables. When we ventured out of the house, we would order rice and beans, a filling (and affordable) meal. That was until, we stumbled across one of the most delicious street foods I have ever had – ever. Because of it’s superb simplicity yet irresistible appeal, my vote goes to…