kenziology | Travel Guru + Coffee Enthusiast

Traveler, Photographer + Coffee Enthusiast

Abraham Lake

This place is so beautiful. The water was incredibly blue, and it was such a nice day to just trek along the shore and take photos. Unfortunately we were a little late in the season to catch any good shots of the bubbles that form under the ice in the winter. Because it is a man made lake, in the winter months gas bubbles freeze while attempting to breech the surface and it creates magical looking rings just under the ice surface. Regardless, we still had an amazing time.

Abraham Lake is about an hour and a half from Lake Louise and pretty close to Nordegg. A few friends invited me to tag along, and of course I said yes. Road trips are honestly the best thing ever. We headed up the Icefields Parkway and then took an eastbound highway out towards the lake. It's not marked AT ALL, so if you head out that way make sure you have your GPS on so you know where to pull over.

Cerulean blue and aqua water as far as the eye can see, and it had the coolest ice formation I've ever seen. It was like millions of individual columns of ice all clung together. Breathtaking. Also fun to smash the crap out of with your boots!

Yes, that is me on top of the extremely dangerous rock formation... While this was exhilarating and a once in a lifetime photo opportunity, it was very unsafe and it does have signs discouraging people from climbing it. It would have been all too easy to step on the wrong rock and go tumbling down. That being said, I was also wearing flimsy running shoes and not really dressed for scrambling.

Have you explored your own backyard lately?

Staying in Banff on a Budget

I had a couple days off  and obviously some time to kill. While Lake Louise is wonderful, most of the friends I have from living out here before live in Banff. So I packed my overnight bag and hopped on a bus!

Now Banff isn't cheap. Most places in Banff National Park are not cheap. It's a major tourist destination with a pretty heavy focus on luxury travel, but that doesn't mean you can't make it work. You just have to know your options and be open minded. 

A lot of people don't like the idea of staying in a hostel, and that's absolutely fine. Most people picture hostels as sharing a room with 12 people and getting your stuff stolen and dirty communal bathrooms. BUT that isn't ALL hostels. Accommodation is most likely going to be your biggest fixed expense while looking into a trip (after airfare if needed). The more you can save on accommodation, the more you can spend doing other things you really want to do!

My personal recommendation for Banff is YWCA Banff Mountain Hotel, as it offers both dorm rooms and private rooms. Not only are they one of the most inexpensive places to stay in Banff, they are also located less than a two minute walk from Downtown Banff. 

They offer dorm style rooms (~$35/night) and private rooms (~$65/night). I have stayed in the dorms before, which is your typical six bunk beds. They have lock boxes underneath each bunk so you can secure your more expensive belongings, and the bathroom is inside the room. They don't do co-ed dorms. 

View from my room!
I am currently staying in one of their private rooms. It's quite spacious with a beautiful view. A bed, desk, closet, phone, ice bucket... and that's about it. The bathrooms are just down the hall, but they are super clean, with a sink, toilet, and shower and they lock (obviously). For the price, it is totally worth it. 

View from my room!
Especially in the summer months I would recommend calling ahead and making reservations, as they do get quite busy with summer tourists and groups!

Safe Travels!

Things They Don't Tell You About Being a Dreamer

It's hard.

You will get one of two reactions when you tell people your aspirations. Reaction one is when they look at you like you have ten heads and horns. They don't understand why in the world you would ever pursue this dream of yours. They can't put themselves in your shoes and try to understand why it's so important to you. This is the daunting reaction, the one that makes you question everything. Am I making a mistake? Am I being crazy? Are they right? Am I wrong? 

You aren't. Just so you know.

Reaction two is when they are so happy for you, and support your dreams. This is obviously the preferred reaction, but I'm going to be real here. It's not the common one. This is the 1 in 10 reaction. But when you get it, it makes you feel like you can conquer the world. They believe in you so much that you start to believe in yourself too.

You will give up on yourself. Those will be the hardest days. Try to remember why it's important to you. Why you started this journey in the first place, and how proud you will be when you accomplish everything you set your mind to. Just because you give up on yourself does not mean that it's over.

It just means you have to pick yourself back up and shake it off.

Whatever your dream or goal is, make sure you are doing it for you. This may sound harsh, but most people are not going to care all that much once you accomplish it. So if you are looking for praise and appreciation from others you should probably reevaluate. But if you are doing it because it will make you happy, because it will make you proud of yourself, because it will make you a better person, because YOU want this for yourself. Then do it. 

No exceptions.