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Some of the most exciting adventures I’ve taken with the kids have put us close to wild animals. At first the two seem like polar opposites but there are ways to encourage wildlife conservation and educate children through activities and games that promote nature and the wild world.We’ve been lucky enough to head out on Safari in Africa, in search of tigers in India, whale watching in the Galapagos and more.
But not every wildlife encounter has to be a Bucket List one.
Helping our kids learn about wildlife and have a healthy respect for the species that share our planet can have a big impact on their lives even when it isn’t a bucket list trip.


Recently, I shared some ways that families can start to instill that love of wildlife in young children with National Geographic Kids Family Magazine. (You can download a free copy of last year’s issue here.) In this year’s cover story – Keeping it Wild: 25 Vacation Ideas that turn Children into Wild Life Protectors – – I highlight 25 simple things you can do while traveling, to help your kids begin to think about the animals that call an area home.

Why is Respecting Wildlife Important?

It’s not just about protecting the animals outdoors either. Teaching kids to care about the world around them – inside and out – can go a long way to making them better humans and neighbours. Alongside the main article you’ll find a piece I also wrote that explains a bit more. I had the pleasure of chatting with Mary Gordon, the founder and president of Roots of Empathy for that piece and found in her a kindred spirit when it comes to raising better people. Roots ofEmpathy is committed to helping to build empathy skills in kids around the world. Its a skill that is vital to human well-being.
In my article “Make a Better Kid,” she shares a few thoughts on why empathy-building is important, and the ways wildlife encounters – even the tiny ones – can help.

When children see an animal in the wild and learn to care about its well-being, they’re cultivating a skill that will serve them from the playground to the boardroom: empathy.

Mary Gordon, founder and president of Roots of Empathy
Wildlife For Kids: Want to read more?

And that’s just the beginning. I wrote two more articles relating to the topic.
Pop over to learn about four destinations where you can get a great vacation and have a cool wildlife experience. Or read “Do this, not that” to brush up on some simple alternatives to unintentionally wildlife-damaging or risky behaviours that you can teach the kids. Hint: You may want to skip the selfie.

And if you feel the need to read more articles about wildlife, wildlife conservation or are looking for more activities that can help teach kids about nature, be sure to see some of the other pieces over at National Geographic Kids. And be sure to share the pieces that speak to you with your friends. We can all do our part to make the world a little friendlier to our critter pals.

The post Family Adventures: Wildlife for Kids appeared first on Globetrotting Mama.

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Three Trips Ahead Podcast on Family Travel

Travel planning can be tough but especially if you’ve got kids it is really worth the effort. Popped into the studio to chat with Maureen Holloway about the importance of family travel.

Here’s how Mo and her team describe the chat:

“Between school, play dates and extracurricular activities, kids’ schedules are quite regimented, which can be stressful for our little humans. On one hand, it’s good for them to have busy schedules. On the other, does all that routine give them enough time to just be, well, kids? This week’s guest didn’t think so. To free her family from their routine, she decided to take them on a trip around the world. What she found along the way changed their family forever.

Heather Greenwood Davis is a travel journalist and mother of two handsome boys. In this episode, she tells Mo what they had to sacrifice to make the trip happen, how they stayed sane travelling as a family, and why everyone should travel with their kids.”

Listen in to hear why I say family travel is about much more than where you go and what you see and a bit of travel planning mixed with some serendipity, can lead to a lifetime of memories.

Why does family travel matter to you?

Have a listen here:

The post Family Travel: Three Trips Ahead appeared first on Globetrotting Mama.

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Do you have a travel style?

I’m on a mission. I want to find the best travel clothes for women. I’ve been packing a suitcase for more than twenty years now and I can count on one hand the spots I’ve found that make fantastic options for the suitcase-carrying among us.

I’m on a mission. I want to find the best travel clothes for women. I’m no ” fashion girl ” but I’ve been packing a suitcase for more than twenty years now and I can count on one hand the spots I’ve found that make fantastic options for the suitcase-carrying among us. Traveling in style is important. Usually, there’s a business meeting or television appearance on the other end of my flight. I want to make sure I’m confident in my appearance but also comfortable.

What makes something perfect for my travel bags? Glad you asked!

Wearing my new favourite dress on CHCH Morning Live last week.
  1. Wrinkle free tops and bottoms. No one wants to iron on the road!
  2. Clothes that are easy care. I’m talking wash, rinse, repeat.
  3. They have to actually look good. Stylish travel clothes shouldn’t be an oxymoron.
  4. Travel Fashion that can serve more than one purpose. I want to be able to dress it up and down.
  5. Items that aren’t going to challenge my weight allowance. Lightweight travel clothing for hot climates earn their place in my luggage.

And when I encounter something that hits all the must-haves and then some? Well, I keep it.

On CTV Calgary earlier this year
The Outfit

The Barra Reversible Wrap Dress is officially my latest “go to dress” of choice. The fully reversible dress is all party on one side and simply business on the other. I can LITERALLY throw it in a bag, pull it out, put in on (WRINKLE FREE!) and wait for the compliments. ;) No matter where I take it, it performs well. (It comes in other colours too!) I can pair it with comfortable shoes – whether low heels or boots – and it still looks like I’m dressed for success.

The Designer

Designer Helene Clarkson may look familiar. The Genie-nominated actress and celebrity lives and works in Toronto with her family. And despite having no professional fashion experience, she has designed a collection of clothing that hits all the points women on the go crave: “Versatile clothing that is reversible, wrinkle resistant and machine washable.” Plus, it’s all made in Canada!

Her Spring collection is out now!

The Backstory

Helene’s designs all do really well with the shape and cut. For us ladies with ample hips, the flares happen at exactly the right places. On this piece the bright colours on one side are the perfect compliment to the solid navy on the other. Plus, the versatility that comes with having a dress that can be worn in a few different ways (including tied in the front or the back) means not only cost savings but extra space in my luggage. When you’re a carry-on only fanatic, that matters too.

I’ve taken the dress on several trips already and worn it on TV three times! That’s a record for me! The comfort and ability to change up the look made it possible.

Wearing it IN REVERSE on CTV Edmonton!
Travel Style: Travel Rating

Can you give something a 10/5? Honestly, I’m not sure why all of our clothing doesn’t come with these kinds of options. It’s the perfect travel piece. I’m so excited about the potential to purchase more from Helene’s collection and to pare down my overflowing closet.

Travel Style: Where to Get It

The outfit is available for purchase at Helene Clarkson Design. The flagship store opened this month at 565 Mount Pleasant Rd. in Toronto. Come prepared to try things on. Rather order online? There’s also free shipping to Canada and the USA on items over $100.

Want to see more of my travel fashion picks? Pop over here.

The post Travel Style: A Reversible Wrap Dress appeared first on Globetrotting Mama.

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I’ve been travelling long enough to know  that I’m a klutz. I know that if a twisted ankle or lost bag can happen, it will happen to me.

I once had a bee sting me in the eye while trekking in the mountains in search of wild gorillas. Read that again in case you missed it.

I was in the jungle with Silverback Gorillas and was felled by a bee sting.

Yup, just that lucky.

Confident gorilla trekking me…before the fall

It’s why I’ve long been a fan of travel insurance.

Over the years, I’ve heard people argue over its usefulness from both sides of the fence. Some say it is unnecessary or a “bet against my best interests,” I’ve always felt differently.

It brings me peace of mind.

Whether you’re pro -travel insurance or not, it would be hasty to rule it out without at least understanding what it is.

It’s why I’m dedicating a few posts this year to sharing Allianz Global Assistance’s insights  into the meaning of some of the terms and concepts that are thrown around in the insurance industry. The more we all understand, the more confident we can be with how travel insurance can help

Through my sponsored Travel Insurance Insights  posts I will seek to share Allianz Global Assistance’s insights into the things that I’ve always wanted to know but have never found the time to figure out.

Ready to learn?

Let’s start with the elephant in the room.

 What Kind of Insurance Do I Need?

According to Allianz Global Assistance Canada  there are two main types of travel insurance.

there are two main types of travel insurance.

Medical Benefits Insurance

This may be the one that most people think of when they think “travel insurance.” What’s covered will vary according to the carrier but in general it tends to cover the “eligible medical costs” for medical emergencies while traveling. Medical Benefits insurance from Allianz Global Assistance offers 24/7  emergency assistance services like pre-trip assistance or round-the-clock emergency travel assistance. Don’t ignore those, according to Allianz Global Assistance, sometimes what’s even more important than the actual medical treatment available to you in a situation is knowing that there’s actually going to be someone you can talk to who will walk you through the process at a time when you may be feeling particularly vulnerable.

Required balancing on a moving vehicle…what could go wrong?

Cancellation Benefits

These are the benefits that are non-medical. According to Allianz Global Assistance, these  are the benefits that cover the types of things that can ruin a trip or cause you to cancel it. You’ll want to know what the cancellation insurance you’re purchasing will cover before you purchase it.

So Which One is Better for You?

Allianz Global Assistance advises that it depends on the trip. Given that my family’s trips are usually quite far and extensive, we usually opt for a plan that combines the two.

My rationale has always been that the point of insurance is to cover the unforeseen. No one goes into a trip knowing they’re going to fall off a Segway and crack their shoulder (me again). And I know that even seemingly less serious things, like lost luggage, can derail vacation plans.

To determine which option is suited to our nees, Allianz Global Assistance always recommends that consumers discuss their insurance needs with a licensed travel insurance advisor.

One well-protected family!

 I’ve just never been the type to cross my fingers and hope that some GoFundMe me money comes through. Especially once we’d had the kids, I found that I’d much rather rest easy knowing that when the unexpected happens we are set up to have the support we need.

In any event if you’re considering travel insurance, which the Government of Canada recommends you do, be sure to consult with a licensed travel insurance advisor.

Travel insurance does not cover everything. For full terms and conditions, including limitations and exclusions, always read your policy document. Allianz Global Assistance is a registered business name of AZGA Service Canada Inc. and AZGA Insurance Agency Canada Ltd.

This post is sponsored by Allianz Global Assistance (AZGA Service Company) and I have received financial compensation; or:  I am a brand ambassador for Allianz Global Assistance (Canada) and receive financial compensation.

The post Travel Insurance Insights appeared first on Globetrotting Mama.

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True confession time: Pants are not my friend.

It’s not that I don’t love them, it’s that often – be it the cut, the shape or the styling – they don’t love me.

Over the years, I’ve risked frostbitten legs over ill-fitting slacks for exactly that reason. Who wants to be on TV and uncomfortable?

So, to say I was unconvinced when I tried on these Helene Clarkson Design Andorra pants in her Royal York location the other day, is a massive understatement. But guess what? They were amazing!

They feel like a jogging pant but look stylish enough for me to already imagine a million places I could wear them.

And the pants are only the beginning of what is an incredibly versatile collection. We paired the pants with the Andorra top (REVERSIBLE!!!) for my latest CHCH Morning Live segment.

Spoiler alert: No regrets.

Dressed to Travel |The Outfit:

For this appearance I chose the Andorra Pant (Long) – ($189) there is also a cropped version ($149) and the Sabi Reversible Halter ($104) (I wore the “oasis” print but it comes in a variety of colours).


Dressed to Travel | The Designer:

Designer Helene Clarkson may look familiar. The Genie-nominated actress appeared in the movie “Blood & Donuts” and on shows like The X-Files. And despite having no professional fashion experience, she has designed a collection of clothing that hits all the points women on the go crave: “Versatile clothing that is reversible, wrinkle resistant and machine washable.” Plus, it’s all made in Canada!

Her Spring collection launches soon so keep an eye out.

Dressed to Travel | The Story:

Here’s why these worked for me. Helene’s designs all do really well with the shape and cut. For us ladies with ample hips, the flares happen at exactly the right places. Plus, the versatility that comes with having pieces that can be worn in a few different ways means not only cost savings but extra space in my luggage. When you’re a carry-on only fanatic, that matters too.

Dressed to Travel | Travel Rating:

You could roll up this entire outfit, chuck it in a carry-on and still look like a million bucks at your destination. 5/5

Dressed to Travel | The Accessories:

The high collar on the top meant there was no need for a necklace. Had I worn it the other way, I’d have skipped it too as the tie sits in the perfect spot. Plus, the print was a statement all its own. Simple silver drop earrings and black heels completed the look.

Dressed to Travel | Get It

The outfit is available for purchase at Helene Clarkson Design. The main shop is on the lower level promenade of The Fairmont Royal York Hotel. Come prepared to try things on. Rather order online? There’s free shipping to Canada and the USA on items over $100. To learn more about the Dressed to Travel series visit here.

The post Dressed to Travel: Helene Clarkson Design appeared first on Globetrotting Mama.

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A Guest Post by Cameron Davis

I am running behind the jade green leaves with my grandfather, spying on my parents at the Yaaman Adventure Park in Montego Bay, Jamaica. We are surrounded by green and purplish trees and bushes, and when we turn around, we find ourselves staring at a beautiful navy blue waterfall crashing against grey rocks.
I look up to see my grandfather staring down at me saying, “Isn’t that incredible?”

One of the many gorgeous views of Jamaica


The waterfall is beautiful, but so is spending time with my grandfather.
Traveling with family members can be exciting and fun. On this trip to Jamaica with my brother, parents and grandparents, I talked to my grandfather more than I ever did before. We talked about where he lived and actually got to visit his childhood home.
He showed me fruit trees that grow in Jamaica. I learned facts about where he and my grandmother went to school and the routes they would take to get there.

Family Cooking Classes

At the Yaaman culinary cooking tour, we got to cook together. We made our very own spicy, jerk chicken. Our task was to make festival – a sweet, fried dumpling – in designs that represented ourselves. I made a golden brown, crunchy, fluffy one in the shape of a number four. I did that because my favourite number is four and I wanted my festival to represent me!

The creative festival that we made. The one that looks like a tongue is my grandfathers

My grandmother made the traditional round-shaped festival and my grandpa made his into the shape of a tongue.
Afterwards, my grandfather and I were very eager to explore the “hidden areas” which made me think, “could my grandpa can be as fun as a teenager!?”
That’s when we started to run.

Traveling with grandparents is fun


Grandparents can be as adventurous as you if you let them. I rarely travel with my grandparents but when I do travel with them, we always have a blast. On this trip I saw my grandparents taking the kinds of risks that most teens would take, like jumping into a waterfall at the Irie blue hole situated in the Island Gully Falls.

My grandparents, parents and brother at Island Gully Falls


They swam in pools that were taller than my dad (and he’s over 6 feet!) even though they weren’t great swimmers.
The difference is that they wore life jackets.

My grandparents swimming at the falls!

Grandparents can also learn new lingo. I know for a fact that my parents over- use the term “lit” but my grandparents know about memes and dabbing.
While my parents are listening to the instructor, Grandpa and I are exploring.
He is keeping a steady pace with me on the cobblestone path.
We glance to our left and right. We see tangerine trees up ahead and Grandpa doesn’t hesitate to reach up and grab a tangerine for each of us. We peel them quickly, bite into them, taste their sourness and burst out laughing.

My grandpa and I at St Jago High school. It’s the high school that he used to go to.
More Information:

Do you want to visit Yaaman Culinary Centre? Here’s all their info: Yaaman Adventure Park
Do you want to visit Island Gully Falls? Here’s all their info:
Island Gully Falls


The post Going Home to Jamaica with My Grandfather appeared first on Globetrotting Mama.

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There’s always a first time.

And when it comes to the RV life, ours was in front of a camera. I was a reporter on assignment for The Toronto Star at the time. A young videographer was assigned to join us in the RV to document the experience. The result was a fantastic friendship with Amanda Palmer and a memory that we watch every few years. It still brings a smile to our faces. Hope it does the same for you.

Confidence at the wheel. Our whole gang.

The post Travel Flashback: RV Adventures in the Pacific NorthWest appeared first on Globetrotting Mama.

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2018 is now officially behind us.

New year, new me? Not likely. While the end of a calendar year always brings about a lot of reflection at our house, it is rarely about changing who we are or how we do things.

This year is no different: We cozied up ahead of the celebratory night and focused on making sure we sent off the old year and the incredible adventures we had in it, with a suitable toast of champagne and fizzy pop.

Already excited about what 2019 will bring …

But, we couldn’t truly start the new year without taking some time to once again thank all of you for continuing to tune in for our exploits. Whether it was reading our posts here, my columns in The Globe and Mail, my articles in magazines and newspapers on both sides of the border or watching as I shared on TV and radio, I’m grateful.

2018 also revealed a new travel writer in our house. Cameron has been hard at work crafting stories for online and print publications along with his Instagram and YouTube channel: CameronTravels. His ambitions have grown right alonside his afro. :)

Cameron’s writing and videos are over at CameronTravels on YouTube

And Ish and Ethan have done their part to keep the fun in family travel too. On and off-camera they help to make it easy for me to share with all of you.

As we try to do every year, we’ve compiled some photos from 2018 that I hope will help inspire you to travel more this year.

In 2018, our travels took us to:

  • New York City
  • Orlando
  • Turks and Caicos
  • Ethiopia
  • Las Vegas
  • Grand Canyon
  • Sedona, Arizona
  • Hong Kong
  • Vietnam
  • Singapore
  • Atlanta
  • Anguilla
  • California
  • Denver
  • Alabama
  • Northern Ontario (x2)
  • Quebec City
  • Hamilton
  • Toronto
  • Chicago
  • Chatham, On
  • Switzerland
  • Bath, England
  • Bristol, England
  • Belfast, Ireland
  • Bermuda
  • Calgary
  • New Zealand
  • Miami

This year you’ll hear from us from the Dominican Republic, New York City, the Galapagos Islands and more!

Thank you and Happy New Year. May 2019 bring you the health, happiness and travel experiences that increase your joy.

Love,

Heather, Ish, Ethan and Cameron

The post Happy New Year: 2019 appeared first on Globetrotting Mama.

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Lately I’ve been in love with colour. Popping pinks, Jewel tones and deep mustard yellows are finding their way into my outfit rotations more than ever. It’s why I hesitated before making the Halston pick for the holidays.

Spoiler alert: No regrets.

Dressed to Travel |The Dress:

Noir Silk Sleeveless Fit & Flare

Dressed to Travel | The Designer:

Halston

Dressed to Travel | The History:

Holiday parties always demand a fancy frock but anything that is too restrictive means having to choose between that extra delicious nibble and a showstopping fashion display. I loved that this dress was as comfortable as it looked and the fit and flare (in at the waist, out at the hips) design kept me sleek without having to wave away the dessert tray. ‘Tis the season, right?

Dressed to Travel | Travel Rating:

I wore it at home but wouldn’t hesitate to pack it up for an event on the road. The material holds its form (so much so that I had to turn sideways to let people pass at times) without any crinoline bulkiness. You wouldn’t want to squish it in a carry-on but if you were willing to bring a bigger bag or carry it in a dress bag of its own, it could work. 4/5

Dressed to Travel | What I loved:

The colour. The material. The pockets. The simplicity. The fit and those cute cut-outs on the back.

Dressed to Travel | The accessories:

I opted for a chunky necklace and simple gold earrings but you could probably be even more dramatic with your choices. It’s like a black, silky backdrop so pops of colour would work well. Adding a bit of arm candy, helped too. (Thanks Ish! ;))

Dressed to Travel | Get It

The dress is available for rent from Rent Frock Repeat. It retails for $495 is available for rent for $120 for 4 days. To learn more about the Dressed to Travel series visit here.


The post Dressed to Travel: Little Black Dress by Halston appeared first on Globetrotting Mama.

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Despite all the pillow plumping and Febreze spritzing you may do over the rest of the year, I think we can agree that the holiday season brings on a frenzy like no other. You may “tidy” at other times, but your house is likely never cleaner than when you’re expecting your in-laws for a sleepover.

There’s something about knowing that the people who raised your spouse will be staying with you, that makes us reconsider all of our nesting choices.

Will your mother-in-law roll her eyes at the new painting? Will your father-in-law scoff at the Whisky in your bar? Is that a scuffmark you see on the coffee table? What are you, animals?

The worst part of all of this? Your In-laws either wield their power with so much force that you’ll never please them or are completely oblivious to the impact of their wayward glances and comments.

Either way, there’s nothing left to do but to put your best foot forward. (Sorry, it’s too late to hide or flee the country.)

5 Tips to get your house holiday guest ready:

These five tips will help make sure the house is clean enough for holiday visitors but not so clean that they suspect this isn’t how you always live your life.

“This is what rooms in my house always look like,” she said. And then she laughed and laughed.
Make it Comfortable:

Choose comfort over perfection. If you create a space for them where they’ll feel at home, they’ll overlook the fact that your paint colours don’t match. (Just kidding: No, they won’t but maybe they’ll only whisper about it after you’ve left the room.) Think cozy slippers, a comfy robe, fresh flowers, water on the nightstand… These small touches can ease their transition into living in an unfamiliar space over the holidays.

Prep Early, Check Often:

The morning of their arrival is no time to discover that your kids have used all the nice sheets and that your in-laws only bedding options are a choice between ink-stains and Paw Patrol. Make up the room as early as possible and then rope it off to the rest of the family. Doublecheck the room every day until their arrival. Ditto for your father-in-law’s favourite cookies on the top shelf of the pantry. Your family’s ability to thwart your best intentions is legendary at this time of the year.

The enemy of all clean rooms.
Easy on the fragrance.

You may have heard that signature home scents are a thing, but your visitors haven’t. People can have real sensitivities when it comes to smell and picking the wrong one could completely ruin the mood. Instead, open a window ahead of their visit to let some fresh air flow through. And bake some cookies. No one has every complained about that.

Be ready for the unexpected.

Surprise: Illness and accidents aren’t limited to people who reside in the country. Visiting in-laws from out of country are as much at risk at falling ill or falling down as anyone else. Talk to them about their insurance decisions.

In fact, if you’ve got guests coming into town for a prolonged period of time, the Government of Canada reccomends that they purchase medical insurance. .

We Canadians are so used to not paying out of pocket for much of our healthcare that we may not realize that hospitals can charge thousands of dollars a day for care for visitors.

Relax.

If you’re on edge and walking on eggshells it won’t be long until the rest of the family joins in. Frazzled nerves and stressed evenings aren’t the best way to spend the holidays. Instead, do what you can to prepare for the visit and then shrug away the rest. House guests are hard but they won’t be around forever. Make sure your find the joy in the visit and make the most of the season.

Disclaimer:  Heather Greenwood Davis is a brand ambassador for Allianz Global Assistance (Canada) and receives financial compensation for these posts. As always, all information shared is her own opinion.

The post Holiday Guests: The In-Laws are coming appeared first on Globetrotting Mama.

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