5 reasons why you should ask an experienced person before heading outdoor

Here we are in 2020 with every piece of information possible available at the tip of our fingers. Yet we have been noticing a significant rise in the number of rescues in our gorgeous Canadian Rockies the last few w.ends. Where is the gap? what are we missing if we have access to so much information?

I’ve been thinking about it for a while and here is one of my suggestions: asking our cell phones is very convenient but it will never replace connecting with a real person especially an experienced one and here is why:

  1. Time spent outdoor: experienced outdoors people have spent their fare share of time adventuring or playing “out there” and this time has given them experience and skills. They would be happy to share them with you so why not asking? and why not taking the time to listen? Yes it’s as simple as this.
  1. Lessons learned: ask this person about their most fun and for their most terrible or terrifying outing and what they learned from it. I’m sure they have a few stories they’d be happy to share with you which would avoid you making the same mistake!
  1. Humans thrive on social interactions: online or in person. You can tell me what you want about your cell phone providing everything (or so you think) you need for your well being but we are made for social / in-person interactions. I understand some people are introverts and some extroverts which means some will need less and some more of it but in general, humans need other humans to survive and thrive.
  1. Relationships and trust: I don’t know about you but when I was a kid, my parents taught me to not trust an unknown person on the street. I’ve grown as an adult and over the years I have connected with a lot of people through work, courses, the outdoor, etc you name it. Some people I’ve gotten to know enough that I trust them to be my friends. This is because I have met them in person, I have interacted with them, have seen and understood their body-language to be safe for me to built a relationship with.
  1. Now how do we translate this with trusting people/strangers online when reading hikes or climbs reviews, trip reports, adventure blogs etc.. I understand written words let the person’s personality perspire through but how much trust should we grant these words really? I don’t know about you but I still follow the advice received “way back when” and still take everything I read and everyone I meet with a grain of salt first and this until I can prove this source of information or this person to be trustworthy. There are many people online that seem to be experienced but aren’t compared to a professional in the field so do your homework until you find someone you can trust.
  1. Humans are not unique: this might be a new concept to you and sorry if I am breaking a dream of yours 😉 but I realized the last few years that we, humans think so much of ourselves as being unique when we truly aren’t. We are in a way but we aren’t in many ways.. makes sense?! Thinking we are unique can actually create a mental barrier preventing us from seeking solutions or asking for help. We tend to think we are the only ones having this question or that issue, when in fact many other people have had it before us, found solutions and are happy to share the result with us. So don’t think you are this unique, ask or talk to a real person about your new adventure or trip idea and get feedback before you go and are in it above your head or ability!

All in all, it’s a win-win situation when thinking of all the positives aspects of asking an experienced person or a professional. The internet and our cell phones are very convenient tools but they will never replace in-person relationships and what we can learn from building them.

Cheers, Nathalie – Nat’s Adventure Travels, Founder

Cell phones seem to do it all.. where does it leave us on the human relationship level?

Meet the Team: Helen Sovdat

Today, I would like to introduce you to Helen Sovdat, one of Canada’s 16 female IFMGA Mountain Guides.. IFMGA means internationally recognized.. yes Wow! You can read her bio on our Team tab where you will quickly notice that the 2-3 paragraphs say too little about Helen’s career as a mountain guide for 30 years. I bet Helen could write a book about her life! I certainly drool when I think of all the stories she would have to share from all the countries and places she visited and guided!

When I read Helen’s email accepting to fill the role of hiking guiding supervisor for me until my final exam, I was touched. Helen has probably better things to do than having to supervise me when in the field.. it’s summer after all, she might be guiding or might have plans of her own.

I had met Helen as an instructor and examiner on my apprentice hiking guiding week and exam. I saw in her quiet and firm leadership a woman who could kick butts in bigger and tougher terrain. But never would Helen show off, rather what shines through is a quiet but strong female role model and mentor who leads with a big heart.

Do you have female role models in your life? Feel free to comment here below or on our social media channels so we hear about those who inspire us!

Cheers, Nathalie Drotar – Nat’s Adventure Travels Founder

Helen on North Twin

Info on which European countries are open for your Portugal bike tour!

This afternoon I heard over my homeland radio that they are reopening their borders to other countries of which Canada. I perked up and felt a burst of joy Yay!! It made me happy especially because it meant that we are moving on to another phase of the Covid pandemic: reopening for the summer season!!

To be honest, I have not had a huge longing to go back – even though all my family and a lot of my friends are there.. – I am quite happy and settled here in Western Canada. I have also been focused on summer and all the fun outdoor activities I could do and provide with my company.

But yes my roots are still over there and it still does something to you when you hear that you are “accepted” again in your homeland! Plus.. PLUS as you may or may not have realised yet, Nat’s Adventure Travels is a Tour Operator company and I/we offer trips to Europe yep yep! Yes hiking guiding in Canada and hiking and/or discovery tours – a mix of hiking and local adventures – in European countries including my home country Woot!

So I went on Google to get the full list of european countries opened or opening for travel and here is what I found: from TravelandLeisure.com – 14 hours ago and from EuroNews – 2 days ago. Have a read, countries are by alphabetical order, it’s pretty comprehensive but note things keep changing and they might even before July 1.

Travelling to Europe.. soon!

Now the question I had was: am I allowed to leave the country? the government of Canada Travel Advisories was updated 5 days ago mentioning to avoid non-essential travels for a lot of countries..sigh. Another government page has travel restrictions dated April 19 which means from a looong time ago.. please government people, can you update it for the summer!? So before we/I get too excited, I would suggest to be a tad more patient until we get an update on if we can or cannot travel from Canada.

Back to the European list, which let’s be honest makes you drool! here are a few things you should consider for the country/ies you plan to travel to: 

  • Is the country you come from allowed there? it varies from country to country 
  • Do you have to present a health certificate or pass a health check?
  • Do you have to quarantine and how long?
  • Do you have travel/flight cancellation insurance and health care coverage – important in all cases.
  • Are you ready for any “worst case scenario” like: do you have enough vacation days in case you have to stay longer? or is your boss pretty flexible and you travel with your laptop anyway ha ha, will you have a place to stay – family, friends, hotel or Airbnb? will you have enough money to cover an extended stay.. 

All in all, I’m excited for the future and I hope you can be too. After all life has to go on, yes with care and precaution but life has to go on. Oh and before I forget, I got news from my partner company for the biking / e-biking tours in Portugal and they are OPEN for business YESS! Check out their Health and Safety badge below! As yes they adhere to very similar safety measures as over here (the only difference I noted was 1.5 m vs our 2m/6ft) and yes Portugal is accepting Canadians!!

Click here for details on the bike tours: Portugal Coast Tour and Portugal Inland Tour and contact me here if you are interested for this fall or have any questions!

Time to start dreaming, time to start planning! Soon time to start travelling!!

Cheers, Nathalie – Nat’s Adventure Travels

Neat badge that promises safe biking adventures there!

Meet the Team: Anne Drew Potter

I have another great women guide to present you today: my alpine club of Canada and outdoor friend Anne Drew Potter! We’ve sat on a couple of committees and have been on a few outings together, where I’ve witnesses Ann Drew as passionate about climbing – which she already practices many years – as embracing her new community and our winter mountain sports. She started our club’s Women’s Mentorship Program and dedicates a lot of her time organizing outings as well as supporting visible minorities in the community.

You may have already understood that Ann Drew loves wearing many hats! I will mention here the few I know: art teacher, accountant, guide, dedicated and organized volunteer and now mother of a beautiful baby girl! She has worked for NOLS in the US, WMA in Canada, has lived in Europe and travelled all around the world and speaks Spanish, German, English and is now learning Portugese!

Anne Drew has also added an ACMG certification to her already extensive resumé and she is excited for the time you will be ready to come with her on a hiking or backpacking trip! More about Anne Drew HERE.

Anne Drew above tree line.. is all smiles!

Here is a list of summer backpacking trips our team would love to have you join HERE. If you prefer half-day trips check our Calgary City Hikes… if you’ve never hiked at night see our Full Moon Hikes… if you like our theme hikes try our Waterfall Hiking and Yoga.

Of course if you would prefer a Custom Trip or adventure package contact us, we can assist you! And if you know someone who has a birthday, special anniversary or simply needs a gift, we suggest checking our Gift Certificates page!

Also we can’t wait to let you know more about trips we plan in different beautiful corners of the continent and world! Please pandemic be done so the borders can open!

Remember to follow us on our social media channels under Nats_AdventureTravels!

Cheers, Nathalie – Nat’s Adventure Travels, Founder

Via Ferrata, hiking and yoga.. summer is for adventures!

⛰Do you know what a Via Ferrata is?! It stands for “Iron Path” and originates from before World War I when then, they were used to move soldiers across the Alps more easily. It allows for protected climbing as each person is in a climbing harness with 2 leashes constantly attached to the cable along the path of iron.

⛰Europe has 1,000s of them all in Austria, Italy and Switzerland… Canada 🇨🇦 now has a few as well Woot!!

⛰Come on on Nordegg Waterfall Hiking and Yoga trip June 29-July 1 and make one of the days one to do a Via Ferrata with your guide extraordinaires from @girthhitchguiding!

Getting fantastic views while climbing protected

Waterfall hiking and Yoga

We have yet another hiking trip on the calendar under our Theme Hiking tab! This one is coming up soon – June 29 – and I hope you can take the time to join us! We will be based in the Nordegg area and go on day hikes to discover waterfalls!

At the end of each day, my friend Andrea will be here to give us a one hour of Yoga to stretch our hopefully not too sure muscles.. who’s in!? I am for sure!

Here is the link to our new Nordegg Waterfall hiking and Yoga trip!

Questions, concerns? Don’t hesitate to contact me, details in the Contact page HERE.

See you soon! Nathalie, Nat’s Adventure Travels Founder

Time to go backpacking

Yes that’s right, the back-country campgrounds are booked, you just have to check the trip list, pick one – or more! – , ask for time off – unless you are the boss ha! – pack your bags, and such and join us, we do the rest!

You owe it to yourself, take the leap and come check out what multi-day hiking / backpacking and back-country camping is all about! And don’t be shy if you’ve never done it before, we will adapt the trip to your pace and will teach every tips and tricks!

HERE is the link to our page and to book!

Of course, ask a friend or family member to join you, the more the merrier! If you can’t think of anyone, don’t worry you will meet new friends on the trip. I promise you won’t be disappointed, we can’t wait to meet you, see you soon!

Cheers, Nathalie – Nat’s Adventure Travels – Founder

The magic of waking up in the backcountry

Meet the Team: Shannon Buckles

Time for me to present you my new friend and hiking guiding partner Shannon! This incredibly well traveled lady – I drool at the list of countries she’s visited! – and mom of 3 who grew up playing outdoors, made it her every day lifestyle and takes her loved ones on all sorts of family friendly adventures.. lucky kids I say!

Shannon is proud to have added an ACMG certification to her resumé the last couple of years and can’t wait to take you and your families out for a day.. or more! Read more about Shannon HERE.

Trips Shannon – and myself! – would be super excited to take you on:

Our Calgary City Hikes – all details HERE.

Our Full Moon Hikes – all details HERE.

And of course any of our Custom Trips.. as in YOU choose When, Where, With who etc.. of course we us helping you with the planning! see details HERE.

Oh I can’t wait to make the full announcement on the international trip what we are concocting together to offer for this November.. hint: warm, luxuriously green and amazingly bio diverse country.. 😉 Woot!! Will you be IN?!

To keep in the loop, subscribe to this Blog and follow us on Social Media under Nats_AdventureTravels.

Cheers, Nathalie – Nat’s Adventure Travels, Founder

Shannon in her element 🙂

Hiking / Day Hiking – Safety Items

This time I’m here to show you what I carry in my backpack for the safety aspect of my outings in the Rockies.. yes even for a day hike! Here is a link to my video clip 3 of 4!

About the bear spray: take it with you for sure in spring, summer and fall.. bears usually sleep in the winter.

You can find a useful detailed list in our FAQs here. Use the Contact tab if you have questions, thanks!

Happy hiking! Nathalie – Nat’s Adventure Travels’ Founder

Perfect spot for an educational video!

N.A.T.’s Home page update

We are very aware of the Covid-19 recovery being underway and each one taking it at a different pace which we fully respect. Our Home page has been updated with a message to our community and to reflect the measures now in place for everyone’s safety and yet mental and physical well-being..

…as yes it’s spring – soon summer – so let’s go hiking, it’s good for us!!

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Nous sommes conscients que la reprise après la pandémie de Covid-19 a déjà commencé avec chacun la prenant à son rythme ce que nous respectons pleinement. Notre Page d’Accueil a été mise à jour avec un message pour notre communauté et pour refléter les mesures maintenant en place pour la sécurité et aussi pour le bien-être mental et physique de chacun et chacune..

…car c’est le printemps – bientôt l’été – alors allons marcher, c’est bon pour nous!!

In Health / Meilleurs voeux de santé, Nathalie – Nat’s Adventure Travels

Alison and I hiking in k-country this week

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