New York

Go Green: Finding Nature in a City

The benefits of city living are clear, with the number of people living in cities expected to double by 2050. From being within close proximity of everything you could possibly need to have access to diverse entertainment, cities draw people from far and wide.

However, there’s nothing quite like the relaxing feeling you get when you immerse yourself in nature. And studies have even demonstrated that losing your connection with nature can have an adverse effect on your happiness and overall well-being.

So, whether you’re staying somewhere like the Downtown Philadelphia Hotel Marriott or you’ve been living in a city for a while, here are some of the best ways to find nature wherever you go:

Head Off the Beaten Track

A lot of cities will have great trails that connect the heart of the city to its surrounding suburbs, but these are often crowded, congested, and don’t provide you with that feeling of “freedom.” So, try to find hidden paths, routes, and roads that take you away from the hustle and bustle. Even if you don’t actually leave the city, tree-lined paths can make you feel as though you’ve escaped it for a while because they provide a sound barrier from the traffic and noise of the city.

Find a Park

Even though parks aren’t found in abundance in cities, there will still be some hidden away somewhere. Think Central Park in New York and Fairmount Park in Philadelphia. Every city, by law, will have to have reserved some of its space for recreation and parks, which is why these are often luscious green spaces that you can lose yourself in. Although it may seem obvious that these are the most accessible green spaces for city dwellers, they’re often underused so you’ll probably find yourself enjoying this space in peace and quiet.

Embrace Winter

Even if you’re traveling to a city in winter, it’s important to brace the cold weather and venture outside. Granted, heavy snowfall and below-zero temperatures can make this a bit of a challenge, but it can also feel incredibly exhilarating when you’re outside in the cold, crisp air. What’s more, when the snow does fall, cities often become a playground for activities, from building snowmen to snowshoeing, so get involved and embrace nature and winter in one.

Be Spontaneous

If you’re keen to find nature in a city, don’t make this into an arduous chore where you spend more time planning your escape than enjoying it. Add a bit of spontaneity into the mix, doing something in the spur of the moment. Get outside, head off on your own little route and see what adventure you can find – you might just surprise yourself.

Thankfully, finding nature in a city need not be hard as many places will have adopted some green spaces in the surrounding areas. All you need to do is embrace your adventurous side and get exploring these areas. Then, once you’ve headed off the beaten track you’ll feel at one with nature, leaving all the worries of the city behind.

How to Start Travelling Greener for More Sustainable Travel

Sustainability and eco-friendly approaches are now considered important factors in most aspects of our lives. In particular, commuting and travel are seen as the biggest contributors of carbon emissions which is enough to make any eco-conscious traveller feel a little uneasy. But thankfully it is possible to enjoy the adventure of your travels and getaways while still making a positive contribution to the wellbeing of our beautiful world. In this post I will share with you six easy ways to travel greener that will not only enhance your trips, they’ll make you feel better about yourself too!

How to Adopt more Sustainable Travel

As with other forms of caring for the environment such as recycling our trash and living more sustainably, green travel may take some changes on your part, but it soon becomes second nature. We all know of the carbon footprint caused by a flight from New York to Paris, for example, but there is also lots we can do to mitigate. Best of all, sustainable travelling may even end up allowing you to have more meaningful experiences through deeper interactions with the places you visit. So if you’re wondering whether it’s actually possible to enjoy travelling yet still travel in a more sustainable way, check out the tips below:

Green Travel Tips

Look out for More Ethical Travel Destinations

A good way to make your journeys more sustainable is by choosing to visit or stay at more ethical conscious destinations. There are many countries that are promoting more environmentally friendly policies to protect the wildlife and plants found in popular destinations. In fact there are online resources such as Ethical Traveller that rank destinations according to their eco-credentials. Supporting such countries and resorts helps to protect the environment and goes a long way to show that sustainable practices work.

Be Mindful of how you get there

Getting to your destination is possibly one of the easiest ways through which your carbon footprint could increase. Some ways you can reduce the effects is by booking non-stop flights whenever possible, or sharing a vehicle if other friends or family are driving to the same place. More radical but interestingly different to a flight from San Francisco to Paris is travelling by train or ship. With flying, some airlines also have carbon offset programs, while hiring electric and hybrid vehicles for your trip will also cut down on emissions.

Choose Green Hotels

As the world has become more environmentally conscious, so has the number of eco-friendly hotels and accommodation. Top tips for finding green hotels include finding out if they are certified by organisations such as Green Globe and the Rainforest Alliance, as well as checking the hotel’s recycling policy and sustainability programs. Other important factors include where and how the hotel’s resources are sourced, and whether they offer low impact eco accommodation.

To conclude, we can add other simple but useful habits such as using refillable water bottles, taking shorter showers, and making the most of sharing economy apps. From accommodation to travel and giving back to the places you visit, there are many more ways we can all play our part in addition to the above. These ideas show that with a little change in the way we travel sustainable trips are indeed possible.

Montreal. A perfect place for foodies

Find out for yourself why foodies love Montreal. The city has the highest number of restaurant per capita in Canada- almost 65 restaurants per kilometer squared- which makes it second in North America close after New York. Menus are heavily influenced by flavors from all around the world, ranging from the finest French cuisine to cheap, local favorites. For bonafide foodies and for people looking for a late night bite alike, Montreal’s a welcoming treat.

Top lunch and dining destinations can be found all over the city. Most downtown restaurants are concentrated between Guy and Peel Street and on the side streets that run between René Levesque Boulevard and Sherbrooke Street. There, try out the city’s epic breakfast or brunch at Universal or Eggspectation, for a classic Montreal bagel breakfast or delicious eggs benedict. If you are looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, order heavenly fluffy waffles topped with a mountain of sweet strawberries and bananas, or head off to café Myriad for a real taste of an authentic European croissant along side an exquisite coffee. Trendy restaurants can also be found in the Mile End and the Plateau, as young chefs move out of downtown to open new restaurants in the area. From Saint Denis Street and Saint Laurent, between Sherbrooke and Jean Talon, range the best food sanctuaries with everything from all-you-can-eat sushi to high-end gourmet dinners. If you continue on Jean Talon West up to Decarie Boulevard, you will run into Dunn’s famous for offering hand cut 14-hour marinated smoked meat Montreal. Dunn’s is one of the oldest smoked meat restaurants in Montreal dating back from 1927. Choose from a wide variety of smoked meat sandwich specials, each featuring a unique twist on the old classic, whether it is for their smoked meat with Swiss cheese and sauerkraut, a club roll or an all-beef salami and stuffed chicken, you should find your happiness. Old Montreal is also a must to pass by to really get a feel of the city. Experience a night of good vibes, prosecco and oysters at L’Original or find a nice little spot along the old port at Muvbox and enjoy yummy treats to go.

Montreal really loves to celebrate anything and everything, especially when it comes to food. The city is home to many culinary festivals of all kinds. For instance, join the fleet of Montréal’s food trucks every Friday from May to October at the Esplanade Sun Life (Olympic Park) from 4 p.m to 11 p.m for some awesome open air treats. The Omnivore Food festival takes place form August 20th to 24th in collaboration with the Society for Arts & Technology to discuss and demonstrate trends and innovative techniques by world-renowned chefs. In winter, you cannot miss the famous Poutine Week with over 40 different restaurants trying to win the title of the city’s best poutine or the Montreal en Lumière festival where food is celebrated alongside art and music.

So, foodies around the world, now is the best time to go on a pilgrimage to Montreal, the mecca of things delicious in North America.