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Toddler Travel and Pregnant in Costa Rica

Toddler Travel

I consider myself an expert at toddler travel as Yale (my toddler) and I have been traveling extensively since she was 6 weeks old. Most recently, we just got back from one of our many trips to Costa Rica. I’ve been going to Costa Rica for over a decade, and now that my parents have a house there, we are frequenting the Pura Vida nation even more. Which is AWESOME – obviously! This time around though, there was a little extra development thrown into the mix to make things extra…interesting. I am 5 months pregnant with my second child, AND “dad” had to stay home to work so I was traveling as a single parent with my super dynamic, super hilarious, SUPER active toddler. 

Everything went pretty smoothly, so I’m not here to playback anything dramatic, but I am here to impart a few pieces of advice on toddler travel and traveling while pregnant. I’ll also give a quick rundown of some new fave spots and aspects of travelling in Costa Rica. 

toddler travel costa rica
Toddler travel: Yale holding her (my) coffee and her monkey, approx 5:30am, about to take our first flight of the day.
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LF Sturgeon Fishing Charity Event, 3rd Annual

Every year NHL players and fishing and hockey enthusiasts descend into the Fraser Valley in gorgeous British Columbia, Canada to immerse themselves in the magical world of the White Sturgeon. These prehistoric fish live in the Fraser River, which is also home to the leaders in conservation of this rare species. 

Participants Tyler and Grant with NY Islanders Nick Leddy. PC: Mark L Johnson.

Together with the Ladd Foundation, Sturgeon Slayers and team put on an epic weeklong event to help promote sustainable practices on the river, and to raise money for a worthy cause. This years efforts went towards the Kelowna chapter of the Canadian Mental Health Association and to the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society.

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London Jaunt: eat, watch, play!

London, England is known for its dreary skies, pubs, the royals and dry humour. However, it is so much more than that. Every time I go, it never fails to strike me as vibrant, aesthetically pleasing with its old but neat buildings, seemingly at the fore front of certain trends, and full of super delicious food options (that last one is an attribute only recently injected into the city within the past couple of decades). 

I hopped into the city for a very brief, but jam packed 2 and half days, to galavant with one of my best friends Kellee and her friend Liana. As we discussed plans prior to, on what’s app, I was exhausted just thinking of our itinerary, but once we got rolling IRL, I had no problem running on little sleep – because London is exciting, and entertaining, and makes you want to go, go, go. 

We stayed in an Airbnb just off Oxford street, which would be considered a pretty touristy area, however, touristy doesn’t really have the same cheese ball effect is does in North American cities.  Conveniently located nearby were Carnaby street, a bunch of local coffee shops and a pretty good spin studio.

Carnaby Street in London, UK.
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Victoria, British Columbia: Eating & Resetting

Charming, outdoorsy, and full of activities.

Charm, easy-living and seaside views are some of the things Victoria, British Columbia is known for. At just 85,000 people, it seems busier than it should be, I’m guessing because of its tourist qualities bringing in and entertaining more than just the locals. 

I was recently presented with an opportunity to visit my friend who was staying there for a week and decided to take myself on a quick mom-break and planned to do very little. I ended up finding quite a few fun things to do, but still definitely on the relaxing side of things – which is exactly what my body and brain needed. We were there during Spring Break and it was clear that it’s a pretty popular area for family vacations. Victoria has a lot of family-friendly activities to do from outdoor sports like kayaking, hiking and mountain biking to a bunch of quirky museums. I would definitely take kids along as it seems it’d be pretty easy to entertain with all the options. 

View from ferry from Tsawassan (just outside downtown Vancouver) to Victoria
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Santa Teresa, Costa Rica: Beachy Heaven

Yale and I loving life on Playa Hermosa in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica.

Santa Teresa is what surf and hippie dreams are made of. It’s built up enough that you can explore a cornucopia of restaurants, bars and little nooks to hang out in, but it’s kept raw enough that the focal point is still the wild and free ocean, and during dry season, you’ll get nice and dirty from the dusty, unkept, main road. It’s relaxed enough that people from all around the world come to stay for a cheap hostel stay, but magical enough that influential and wealthy people like Giselle and Brady have a vacation home in the area. 

My baby enjoying life in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica.

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Weekend Getaway in Classic Canadian City

When one of my best friends moved to the city of Calgary, Alberta recently, I immediately made a mental note to add it to our list of travels. Only an hour flight from Abbotsford or Vancouver in British Columbia, we were able to jet off for a quick weekend getaway. The reality is, you could make this trip a quick weekend getaway from any city in North America. If you want to add skiing or snowboarding to the itinerary, you’ll want to extend your stay to at least 4 nights, but if you stay off the slopes, you can get a lot in, in a couple of nights.

On a recent Saturday, I packed up my toddler (who ate a ton of cat food and puked RIGHT before leaving for the airport – see my Insta posts for details on that one), and off we flew to YYC.

Flying into Calgary is GORGEOUS. The views actually don’t seem real. If you don’t have a wild toddler to wrangle, I suggest booking a window seat so you can take it all in.

View from our flight from Abbotsford to Calgary.

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Family travel: my favourite baby carriers for adventuring and at-home use

Yale in the Deuter pack, while sturgeon fishing.

My favourite baby carriers and backpacks for family travel, adventuring and at-home use.

It’s no secret that travel is one my most fundamental spiritual, practical and lifestyle mainstays in life. I travel for business, and I travel for pleasure and more often than not, I travel for both. Since having a baby, not much has changed, but the main shift has been literally having a small human hanging off me at most times, as I move through the world. Because of this shift, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time sorting through ideas on what kind of baby carrying devices make sense for me, as a mother, an outdoors person and a traveller.  Below, are my top four carriers or backpacks that I find useful in different situations of motherhood and family travel, that I hope you’ll find helpful too.

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What to Pack

Old school physical book, Onnit Shroom TECH Immune and Shroom TECH Sport, are 3 of my 9 favourite items to travel with.

Beyond the obvious of my iphone and computer, I’ve compiled a list of my favourite items I travel with – always, and automatically. I’ve been experimenting my whole life on what is most effective, so you don’t have to. What to pack can sometimes make or break a trip.

I find if I have these items, then I’m set – both mentally and physically.  Some key components to enjoying your travels, whether it’s for business or pleasure are: you get enough sleep, you feel healthy and energized, you can relax or dial it in at any given time. The combination of goods listed below ensures I have tools to have all these components nailed down regardless of if I’m in the middle of no-where in an exotic newfound location, or just hanging at my parents place. Full disclosure: the first three products are from Onnit, a company that I am officially partnered with, but I can genuinely say these three products are very effective for me and even if I wasn’t partnered with the company, I’d still be purchasing them. 

What to pack…

Onnit Shroom TECH Immune. I take two capsules during breakfast on the days I travel (extra germ-y days like planes, trains, big cities etc). If I feel like my body is not at its best, I take at least two capsules every day during my travels. If I’m feeling good, I generally just prioritize taking them on the actual travel days. (This is my go-to at home as well if I feel a cold coming on. It legitimately works very well for nipping anything like that in the butt).

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GIRLS TRIP IN PALM SPRINGS

We booked our girls trip in Palm Springs because we wanted to feel our skin sun kissed, and let’s be honest, a little crispy, from those rays. What we ended up getting was next-level heat. We experienced a heat wave with highs of 105 farenheit and thankfully our itinerary allowed (mostly) for this kind of heat and we had a pool with our AirBnb house. The following are suggestions for any time of the year in this weirdly sleepy yet simultaneously somewhat trendy area.

The famous Joshua Tree National Park.

Day 1 …

Like on most travel days, we were craving substantial nutrients upon arrival. Thankfully we found a place to deliver on that, right away. Palm Greens Cafe is in a nondescript plaza (like many things in Palm Springs) and is perfect for a casual lunch where you want to load up on your vitamins and minerals. They offer super healthy bowls, salads, wraps and smoothies and juices. The service is pretty relaxed (read: slow) so go in with a true vacation mentality.

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COSTA RICA: LIVING LA PURA VIDA!

As is commonly known, the trademark expression used in Costa Rica is “pura vida”, and once you’ve experienced life here – whether it be one week, or an entire lifetime – it is abundantly clear that this is a no BS expression with regards to the country that breeds fresh air, fresh food and happy people.

I first visited Costa Rica in 2007 and immediately knew it would be one of my favourite countries in the world. On this most recent trip a few weeks ago, my love for the country was even more solidified – possibly because I was there with my whole family (including baby), possibly because I met and worked with some locals, possibly because I’m going through a time of my life where I appreciate the “pure life” even more.  Regardless of the reason, I am totally feeling the country on a whole other level and am excited to go back soon.

Boats in Tambor, Costa Rica.

Tambor, Costa Rica.

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