An Open Mind + Will Travel

"For the weekend, live in your body, not in your mind" - Alexia Vernon

When I read this quote on the blog of one of my favourite fellow #girlbosses and kick a$$ speaker, Alexia Vernon,  I couldn't help but think of how true this was and how more people need to follow this motto. It is something I've been trying to practice more of on weekends,  learning to step away from the smartphone/computer (or at least from social media channels) to spend more time outdoors, which is something the corporate world doesn't allow a lot of during the week.

To enjoy the start of Fall, my favourite season, Andrew and I slipped away for a quick overnight getaway to Lake Huron last weekend. It was a quick and easy two hour drive that was literally in our backyard.

lake-huron

We did one of our favourite bike rides from Southampton to Port Elgin along the shores of Lake Huron before arriving in Bayfield, to stay overnight. The weather was perfection, the right transition between summer sunsets and the cool breeze of fall. And the views! We watched locals sailing on Lake Huron and took in the spectacular sunset by the local marina.

We happened to be in town at the right time too to take in the second annual Bayfield Volkfest... the picture above shows the vans parading down the historic main street in Bayfield on Sunday morning before they set up shop in the local park. We made sure to check out all the awesome stores on main street and before we left, we enjoyed treats from the local bakery Pink Flamingo which had the coolest vibe (see above photo of inside the bakery.. loved the pink fonts!).

I have to say, I am a sucker for weekend getaways like this. You can explore the most beautiful places that Ontario has to offer on an affordable budget and see what our province truly has to offer, only a few hours drive from home. With a quick pack and change of clothes, some snacks/wine to enjoy (and no airports or line-ups, woohoo!!) you can travel and enjoy the outdoors so quickly. We opted to take backroads on the way home to enjoy a more scenic route... I was blown away by the beautiful views and the number of farms we drove by that were so impressive.

Reflecting on the vitality of rural Ontario after seeing all of the impressive farms and towns we drive through, when I returned home Sunday night I tweeted: "After one of the most beautiful drives through rural Ontario today,can't help but feel so grateful for this beautiful province we call home."

I'm not sure if its because I was born and raised in rural Ontario, but the immense pride I have when visiting towns like Bayfield/Southampton/Port Elgin and discovering what makes these little towns so unique, makes me so proud to be from such a beautiful province. I'm sure so many fellow small town Ontarians can relate.

If your open to travelling and exploring new areas (literally in your backyard), it can be the best feeling when your taking in something new, similar to what I blogged about earlier this week about how summer 2016 has been the summer of so many firsts for me.

I always feel so refreshed, reinvigorated, recharged and so inspired while away on getaways like this. As a creative communications professional who is always churning out new ideas and thoughts, on getaways like this, I wish I had my laptop to capture all of the 'magic' that my brain comes up with. But then again, I'm trying to live up to the above quote and enjoy time with the people I'm with and the places I'm visiting, away from a computer or smartphone {note: the smartphone was only used to capture the amazing photos above!}

Explore Ontario, people, words can be put to paper when the weekend is over.

Food for Thought

Food for Thought I finally found time this past weekend to take a read through my longer than usual list of blogs and articles waiting for my attention. That may be why this week's round up of #FoodforThought may be  little longer than usual and include just a few more articles and reads I wanted to share with you all!

+I've been trying to get through this list of the 20 most popular TED talks of all time, some of which I watched years ago and have now re-watched to refresh myself with the content. I always find these interesting to listen too when I'm commuting on the bus or driving and listening to them as a podcast. I really love the whole concept of TED talks and how quick and easy they are to digest and learn key takeways from quickly. Now on to the goal of starring in my own TED talk one day :)

+ Hilary Clinton is hit with the tough question that women get often: "Why aren't you smiling more?" One of my most loathed questions to be asked. Period.

+This read by Betty Ann Heggie, a personal mentor of mine who also came from the agriculture world was a great read for women about the 'voice in our heads.' It really couldn't be more true about how sometimes, our main obstacle is truly ourselves. Sometimes how we interpret what is said in different scenarios is all because of the way our voice inside our head interprets things.

+Author and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg who wrote the popular 'Lean In' gave a commencement speech recently at a graduation at Berkeley that made its rounds on social media earlier this year. It really is a fantastic read that brings to the forefront, so many life lessons she learned that I wish I had heard at my commencement speech. Instead of the typical 'fluff,' she shared honest and raw lessons that since graduation, have personally impacted me as well. Some of her lines like "The question is not if some of these things will happen to you, they will" and "Finding gratitude and appreciation is key to resilience" really made me stop and think that while I've been through a lot with my family over the past few years, I continue to be grateful for everything we've been blessed with. Be appreciative of this fact and feel grateful for what you do have. A good daily reminder for anyone!

[Tweet " "The question is not if some of these things will happen to you, they will" - Sheryl Sandberg"]

+ These 5 roadtrips recommended to take from Toronto are definitely on my summer bucket list! Andrew and I have already checked off the Bruce Pennisula three summers ago which was SO beautiful and so worth the drive. I say it often, but there are so many amazing places to explore in Ontario! On that note, these 17 breathtaking hikes to do in Ontario also look like so much fun! #DiscoverOntario

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