2020: Year In Review

Advertisements
Advertisements

To mark the end of the year, I put together a brief overview of 2020: what I did, where I went, my top posts, and the overall statistics of the website and blog. You’ll also find a list of my favourite blogs and channels of the year, and links to their respective pages.

2020 was a memorable year for a lot of reasons. While it started out relatively normal, the global COVID-19 pandemic quickly changed how the rest of the year would unravel; for all of us. I was lucky enough to do some international travelling before the world shut down, and then explore some of my own home country once Canada loosened some of it’s internal restrictions over the summer months.

But perhaps the most memorable part of 2020 for me happened on May 1st, when I finally took the plunge and started this website and blog, Seeking Saudades. As I said in my last post, I’ve really enjoyed writing, reading, and interacting with all of you, and I’m extremely grateful for those who have taken the time out of their day to visit, like, share and follow.

I’m excited to keep growing, learning, and posting new material, but for now, let’s take a look back at the year that was. Here is the 2020 year in review.

See you in 2021!


| Travel Recap

1. Thailand

I travelled to Thailand in late February, just before the global shutdown due to COVID-19. The first part of the trip was a short stint in Bangkok, followed by a week-long stay on the island of Phuket. It was my first time in Thailand, and I really enjoyed what I saw. I’ll definitely be making the effort to return one day.

| Bangkok
Bangkok, Thailand
| Phuket
Kata Beach, Phuket, Thailand
Advertisements
Advertisements
2. Japan

This marked my second time in Japan. My first was a near 2-week stay in 2018 travelling through Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima. This trip however, was simply a 2-day layover in Tokyo on the way back home from Thailand in late February. I love Japan, and any excuse to visit is one worth taking. There are plans in the works to go back again in the near future; exactly how near is up to COVID-19.

| Tokyo
Senso-JI Temple, Tokyo, Japan
3. Canada (Notable Destinations)

I did more exploring of my home Province of Ontario this year than ever before. While there were a ton of destinations on the itinerary this summer, I narrowed the list down to a few notable places. I went to Chutes Provincial Park in early September as part of a larger road trip to Manitoulin Island. While I was impressed by both, my favourite destination this summer was Algonquin Provincial Park. I might be a little biased as I worked there, but nonetheless it’s still a breathtaking area, and one I highly recommend you visit if you haven’t been before.

| Algonquin Provincial Park
Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
| Chutes Provincial Park
Chutes Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
| Manitoulin Island
Cup and Saucer Trail, Manitoulin Island, Ontario, Canada

Advertisements
Advertisements

| Overall Website Statistics

*Statistics are from May 1st – December 30th, 2020*


Where You’re Reading:

In 2020, Seeking Saudades was viewed in 42 countries from around the world. Here is a map and list of where, and a breakdown of each location’s total percentage of views.

1. Breakdown by Map
Shaded countries represent where Seeking Saudades was viewed
2. Breakdown by List
Advertisements
Advertisements
Most Viewed Post:
3 Days in Seattle, Washington
3 Days in Seattle, Washington
Most Liked Post:
Tales From a Lost Water Bottle
Personal Favourite Post:
Music For a World Traveller – Sounds like Van Spirit
Sounds Like Van Spirit: A Collection of Europe's Pavement Melodies

Advertisements
Advertisements

| Favourite Travel Blogs

1. Andy’s World Journeys

Travel, photos & more from 84 countries & counting!

2. Wandering Canadians

Two Canadians exploring the world.

3. Digging For Gems

Searching for hidden gems along the best tourist trails.


Advertisements
Advertisements

| Favourite Travel Channels

1. Rich and Kirsten

Rich and Kirsten are Canadian couple who started off the year travelling the world, but were ultimately forced back home due to the pandemic. They spent the summer living and driving across Canada in a minivan, and loved it so much they decided to convert a cargo van to live in on the road full time.

2. Abroad in Japan

Chris Broad is originally from England, but moved to Japan full time to teach English. Since his arrival years ago, he’s made a career out of making videos about his experiences, notable destinations, and cultural differences. If you’re interested in learning more about Japan, his channel is where to go first. His latest series was a 1,000 km road trip to Mount Fuji.

3. Joe Robinet

Joe Robinet films extended length outdoor adventure and bushcraft videos. If you’re a fan of Les Stroud – Survivorman, you’ll love Joe’s content. I spent the summer binge-watching his collection of canoe expeditions through the wilderness of Ontario.


Advertisements
Advertisements

Thank you so much for reading, and if you’ve made it this far please consider liking the post, sharing it with your friends, and hitting the follow button so you don’t miss any of my upcoming material! And don’t forget to follow me on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest!

Enter your email address below to subscribe and stay up-to-date on my latest posts!

Join 252 other followers

Looking to start a blog? Earn a $25 credit towards a wordpress.com plan when you sign up using the affiliate link below!


Advertisements
Advertisements

Thank You for 1000 Views!

Advertisements
Advertisements

Happy Monday everyone!

Recently, Seeking Saudades surpassed 1000 total views! I’m incredibly grateful to all those who have taken the time out of their day to stop by to read, like, comment, share or follow this website and blog. It has been a pleasure writing, and interacting with all of you and I’m excited to keep building and creating more in the future to come.

For the first time, I’ve decided on keeping a consistent schedule for all of my posts, so make sure to keep an eye out every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for new material!

Thank you, and see you then!



Thank you so much for reading, and if you’ve made it this far please consider liking the post, sharing it with your friends, and hitting the follow button so you don’t miss any of my upcoming material! And don’t forget to follow me on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest!

Enter your email address below to subscribe and stay up-to-date on my latest posts!

Join 252 other followers

Looking to start a blog? Earn a $25 credit towards a wordpress.com plan when you sign up using the affiliate link below!


Advertisements
Advertisements

Algonquin Highlands, Ontario, Canada – Photo Friday #2

Advertisements
Advertisements

Welcome back to Photo Friday, and Merry Christmas!

This week I’ve chosen a picture that was taken from an unmarked trail and lookout in the Algonquin Highlands, located just south of Algonquin Provincial Park in central Ontario, Canada in July of 2020.

For those looking to get out and explore next year, this region of Ontario offers some of the best hiking, swimming, camping, sight seeing, boating and more in the entire province. The best part: it’s within close proximity to Toronto, about a 3 hour drive, so you can easily make a day trip out of it. This area is one of my favourite places on Earth, and the photo below might just help illustrate why.

See you next week!

Algonquin Highlands, Ontario, Canada
Algonquin Highlands, Ontario, Canada (ca. July 2020)

Thank you so much for reading, and if you’ve made it this far please consider liking the post, sharing it with your friends, and hitting the follow button so you don’t miss any of my upcoming material! And don’t forget to follow me on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest!

Enter your email address below to subscribe and stay up-to-date on my latest posts!

Join 252 other followers

Looking to start a blog? Earn a $25 credit towards a wordpress.com plan when you sign up using the affiliate link below!


Advertisements
Advertisements

Chutes Provincial Park Visitors Guide

Advertisements
Advertisements

*This article was originally posted on September 21st, 2020 and has since been restructured, edited, and reposted to provide a more enjoyable and informative reading experience.*


In September of 2020, I went on a road trip to Manitoulin Island, and decided to car camp at Chutes Provincial Park in Massey, Ontario, Canada for 2 nights. Here are some photo highlights of the stay, and why everyone should make time to explore this small, yet picturesque park.



Chutes Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

The entrance to Chutes Provincial Park is tucked just off of the Trans-Canada Highway, making it an easy stopping off point while driving in-between Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie.

Chutes Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

Chutes Provincial Park is named for its’ logging history along the Aux Sables River. Every Campsite is within close walking distance to the river, and the roar of the waterfall echoes in the distance.

Chutes Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

The only comfort station is in a central location to all of the campsites and was always very clean. There are plenty of privies scattered along the camp roads if you don’t want to go too far in the middle of the night. They are in some of the best condition I’ve seen in an Ontario park!

Chutes Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

My campsite was located on Big Chute Crescent, which is accessed via Log Drive Lane, just past the comfort station.

Chutes Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

Campsite #98. My home for the next 2 nights. Well treed for lots of privacy, 2 picnic tables, and only a short walk to the falls and the Twin Bridges Trail. There are privies just down the road, and a water tap is located right next door. In my opinion, this section of Chutes Provincial Park (which happens to be a radio free zone) offers the best sites for car camping.

Chutes Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

The park’s main observation deck hangs just next to the Falls and offers a great place to first get acquainted with the scenery when you arrive.

Chutes Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

The main falls are an awe-inspiring sight, and a short walk from anywhere in the park.


Advertisements
Advertisements

Chutes Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

The main falls, and the day use beach in the distance.

Chutes Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

The day use beach area is only a short walk from the falls, and makes for a great place to have a picnic by the water.

Chutes Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

Although the Park only has one walking trail, it is well worth the stop. It offers stunning views, rocky terrain, and a taste of the untamed northern wilderness. There are plenty of places to stop and take pictures, and the trail is never overly busy with other hikers. The walking is fairly easy as well, so anyone can take part.

Chutes Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

The Twin Bridges trail follows the banks of the Aux Sables River, offering plenty of photo opportunities at every turn. The pictures that follow showcase just a few of the many sights to be seen.


Chutes Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Chutes Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Chutes Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Chutes Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

Chutes Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

Calmer sections of the river provide a brief and quiet moment of refuge from the raging torrents of the rapids soon to come.

Chutes Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

Perhaps the most stunning part of the trail, the convergence of the two halves of the river lead into the Seven Sisters Rapids. The raw strength of the flowing water is an impressive sight.

Chutes Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

The trail past this point continues further into the woods, but the hike up to here is well worth it on its own!

Chutes Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

I highly recommend staying at Chutes Provincial Park. The staff are friendly, the campsites are well tended to, and the location and scenery are hard to beat! If you have any questions, feel free to leave me a comment below and I’ll do my best to answer.


Thank you so much for reading, and if you’ve made it this far please consider liking the post, sharing it with your friends, and hitting the follow button so you don’t miss any of my upcoming material! And don’t forget to follow me on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest!

Enter your email address below to subscribe and stay up-to-date on my latest posts!

Join 252 other followers

Looking to start a blog? Earn a $25 credit towards a wordpress.com plan when you sign up using the affiliate link below!


Advertisements
Advertisements

Countries You Didn’t Know Shared a Border With Canada

Advertisements
Advertisements

Canada is a massive country. At 9.985 million km² (3.855 million mi²) it is second in size only to Russia. It has the largest coastline of any nation in the world at 243,042 km (151,019 mi), and touches three oceans: the Pacific, the Atlantic, and the Arctic. To travel from one side of the country to the other would take an astounding 61 hours of straight driving.

And yet for all its size, Canada is only bordered by one other nation: the United States of America. At least, that’s most people would tell you. Upon further investigation, you’ll actually find that Canada shares a border with two other countries: The Kingdom of Denmark, and France.

1.) Canada – France Maritime Border

Located just 25 kilometers (16 mi) off the coast of the Canadian Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, the island of St. Pierre and Miquelon is the last remaining piece of a once large French colonial presence in North America. It covers an area of just 242 square kilometres (93 sq mi), and has a population of just over 6,000 people. The island also operates in its own time zone, (UTC-3) 30 minutes ahead of its Canadian counterpart. (UTC-3).

Despite St. Pierre and Miquelon’s close proximity to Canada, this overseas territory retains complete French sovereignty. Residents have French citizenship, cars have European license plates, and all business is conducted in the Euro. To get to St. Pierre and Miquelon, there is a ferry that runs regularly to and from Fortune, Newfoundland, with the crossing taking about 90 minutes.

St. Pierre and Miquelon (Source)
The city streets offer a taste of France (Source)

According to Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism, St. Pierre and Miquelon has managed to surprisingly stay culturally unique from its North American neighbors, and retains a striking similarity and dedication to the French Mainland. As Newfoundland Tourism says, St. Pierre isn’t like France, it is France.

It may seem obvious, but you’ll need a passport to visit the island, and will need to clear customs just like any other international border. Although throughout history there have been a number of maritime border disputes between France and Canada over this overseas territory, mainly due to fishing rights, in 1992 an international arbitration committee finally settled on the official maritime boundary which is seen today.

Aerial view of St. Pierre and Miquelon (Source)
Canada – France Customs Office in Fortune, Newfoundland (Source)

Advertisements
Advertisements

2.) Canada – Demark Maritime Border

Canada and the Kingdom of Denmark share the longest maritime border in the world at 2,646 kilometres, (1,644 mi) thanks to the Danish territory of Greenland. As with St. Pierre and Miquelon, there has been a history of countering border disputes between the exact location of each nation’s boundary. In 1972, these disputes were finally settled in a bilateral agreement; that is however, except for one small island located in the Nares Strait, just south of the Arctic Ocean. This place is known as Hans Island.

Canada – Denmark Maritime Boundary Agreement (Source)

Hans Island is essentially a large rock in the middle of nowhere. It measures just 1.3 square kilometres (0.5 sq mi), and sits exactly in the middle of the 35 km stretch between Canada and Greenland, with the maritime border running right down the middle of the island. It is absurdly far from the nearest populated areas, with the closest being Alert, Canada (198 km, pop. 62) and Siorapaluk, Greenland (349 km, pop. 68).

The Indigenous Inuit populations of Canada and Greenland have been using Hans Island as part of their traditional hunting grounds for centuries, long before Europeans even made their first presence known in North America, but other than that, the island doesn’t really provide any significant economic, strategic, or historical value to either Canada or Denmark.

Aerial view of Hans Island (Source)
Competing flag raising ceremonies on Hans Island (Source)

And yet both nations have made significant efforts to claim sovereignty over Hans Island. Don’t get ahead of yourself though, this conflict is quite possibly the most peaceful international dispute of all time. In the 1980s the Canadian military visited the island, raised a Canadian flag, and left behind a bottle of Canadian Whisky with a note that said, “Welcome to Canada”. The Danish responded by visiting the island themselves, raised their own national flag and left behind a bottle of Danish Schnapps with a note that said, “Welcome to the Danish Island”.

Since then, both countries have traded bottles of liquor on occasional visits to the disputed territory, thus earning the conflict the fitting nickname of the Whisky Wars. Recently, there have been efforts to resolve the border dispute once and for all, although nothing has been formally agreed on as of writing this post. One such suggestion is to make Hans Island a condominium, or a shared piece of land between the two nations. One island, flying under two different flags.


Thank you so much for reading, and if you’ve made it this far please consider liking the post, sharing it with your friends, and hitting the follow button so you don’t miss any of my upcoming material! And don’t forget to follow me on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest!

Enter your email address below to subscribe and stay up-to-date on my latest posts!

Join 252 other followers

Looking to start a blog? Earn a $25 credit towards a wordpress.com plan when you sign up using the affiliate link below!


Advertisements
Advertisements

Alnwick Castle, England – Photo Friday

Advertisements
Advertisements

Welcome to the first ever Photo Friday!

Lately, I’ve realized that I’ve been sitting on a lot of pictures that I’ve taken over the past couple of years, and instead of letting them go to waste on my computer I thought that it would be a good idea share them here for others to enjoy.

This week’s photo was taken at Alnwick Castle, England in May of 2019.

Harry Potter fans may recognize this castle the best, as it was used for many of the outdoor filming locations for Hogwarts Castle in the first two films in the series, most notably broomstick training.

Alnwick Castle, England (ca. May 2019)

Thank you so much for reading, and if you’ve made it this far please consider liking the post, sharing it with your friends, and hitting the follow button so you don’t miss any of my upcoming material! And don’t forget to follow me on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest!

Enter your email address below to subscribe and stay up-to-date on my latest posts!

Join 252 other followers

Looking to start a blog? Earn a $25 credit towards a wordpress.com plan when you sign up using the affiliate link below!


Advertisements
Advertisements