Category Archives: Travel

Kevin Vallely: “The Arctic is melting twice as fast as anywhere on Earth”



Kevin Vallely remembers well when he first felt the call of the Arctic. As a child growing up in Montreal, the architect and adventurer’s father would regale him with stories of working as a radio operator in northern Labrador. “It was just a brutal, harsh place, yet strangely enticing and magnificent as well,” says Vallely. … Continue reading Kevin Vallely: “The Arctic is melting twice as fast as anywhere on Earth”


Chris Urquhart: “All travellers are freaks, really”



Few have captured the experience of life on the road as Chris Urquhart has — not the family vacation kind, but the dumpster-diving, punk house-squatting kind. At age 22, Urquhart, the author of Dirty Kids: Chasing Freedom with America’s Nomads, set out to follow young, often homeless, teen and twenty-something travellers across the United States. … Continue reading Chris Urquhart: “All travellers are freaks, really”


Mike Spencer Bown: “If I knew [airport security] any better, I’d have to send them Christmas cards”



Few and far between are those who can lay claim to visiting every country on the planet. Even rarer are the likes who can swap travel stories with Mike Spencer Bown. Having backpacked nonstop since 1990, the Ottawa-born, Calgary-raised Bown has hitchhiked through warzone Iraq and Afghanistan, explored the underground party scenes of Iran and … Continue reading Mike Spencer Bown: “If I knew [airport security] any better, I’d have to send them Christmas cards”


Joe Roberts: “[My experience with] homelessness is the greatest asset I have”



Ask Joe Roberts about the worst part of homelessness, and he’ll tell you it’s not the cold or the rain. It’s the isolation. “You’re seeing a world going on around you, but you’re not actually part of that world,” he says. “[You feel] invisible as you’re sitting on the sidewalk and people are walking by, … Continue reading Joe Roberts: “[My experience with] homelessness is the greatest asset I have”


Searching for Sero: “You can’t buy happiness; you need to go find it”



Home for John Rathwell and Tracy Guenard is a pretty small space these days: since May of 2016, the Gatineau, Quebec couple has been crisscrossing Canada and the United States in a newly-polished 1991 Volkswagen Westfalia, meeting people and sharing their stories of pursuing happiness. “It’s a beautiful van,” says Guenard. “It’s small — 15 … Continue reading Searching for Sero: “You can’t buy happiness; you need to go find it”


Charlie Engle: “I would never want to lose the addict part of me, because it’s all the best parts of me”



Charlie Engle is not like most people. For one thing, he’s run across the Sahara Desert — a feat that turned into a documentary narrated by none other than Matt Damon. He’s “summited ice-covered volcanoes, swam with crocodiles, and served a stint in federal prison.” Making the North Carolina-based writer and ultramarathon runner’s story even … Continue reading Charlie Engle: “I would never want to lose the addict part of me, because it’s all the best parts of me”


Amy Tunstall: “The biggest thing that holds us back in life is fear”



A few short years ago, Amy Tunstall was a self-described prisoner to her own bed. Today, she’s travelled over 17,000 kilometres across three continents by bicycle, raising awareness for mental health. “I was lucky, because I found a way to cope through the outdoors — but I always have my ups and downs,” says Tunstall. … Continue reading Amy Tunstall: “The biggest thing that holds us back in life is fear”


Christian Marques: “I wanted to feel alive instead of feeling comfortable”



Christian Marques had it all — a well-paying job as a software engineer, a nice apartment in the French Riviera — but deep down, something was missing. “I was feeling very disappointed with my position in society. I felt that I was working too much for someone else […] and I felt like I was … Continue reading Christian Marques: “I wanted to feel alive instead of feeling comfortable”


Martha Lenio: “I wanted to see if I could hack it [living on Mars]”



Want to know what it’s like to live on Mars? Ask Martha Lenio. The Waterloo, Ont. native spent eight months simulating life on the red planet as part of a NASA HI-SEAS experiment in 2014-15. Along with seven other would-be astronauts, Lenio lived in a dome on a volcano in Hawaii, only venturing outside in … Continue reading Martha Lenio: “I wanted to see if I could hack it [living on Mars]”


Eileen Zheng: “Kindness is out there”



In February of 2015, Eileen Zheng donated her left kidney to her mother. A year later, she cycled across Canada to prove that “life does not stop [after donating]; it is where another life can begin.” “It all started when I was 8. My mother taught me how to ride a bike, and since then, I’ve … Continue reading Eileen Zheng: “Kindness is out there”