I’ve had some pretty epic travel moments in my day.
Growing up, my parents always made sure that my sister and I explored different parts of the world, even if it was just hopping in our big ol’ Astro van for a roadtrip to the States or heading over to Scotland to visit family (and where I was always put on the spot to sing O’ Canada to my hordes of aunts and uncles – cringe.). I carried that wanderlust through with me to my adult years and luckily have had jobs that allowed me to travel – it’s the greatest career perk ever and I feel like I’ve been spoiled immensely. Travel has given me new friends, new perspectives, fodder for a milllion Instagram snaps and is also partly responsible for me launching This Renegade Love.
That being said, not all trips have been rainbows and butterflies. I mean, I have dealt with some serious shit, believe me. Like the time I had food poisoning on my flight back to Toronto from Bangkok (HELL). Or when a pre-paid dinner in Mexico wasn’t actually paid for and I had no cash on me. But the good always outweighs the bad when it comes to travel, and I can confidently say I’ve never looked back with any regrets.
Keep reading for eight of the travel moments I’ll never forget, from the good to the bad to the downright laughable. Oh, and also a few moments of sheer terror thrown in just for the hell of it.
There’s a big difference between those who talk the talk and those who actually walk the walk… or in Jacob Morris’ case, those who run the walk.
I first heard about Jacob from an acquaintance who reads my blog and told me she had a great renegade for me to profile: a young video producer who had quit his job to launch a charity initiative supporting mental health. So when I actually sat down to talk to Jacob about Run to Wellness – the CAMH-supported campaign he’s spearheading that will have him running 10 half-marathons in 10 Canadian cities in the span of a month – two things struck a chord. One, that he was going to be running a total of 211 km (my brain can’t even fathom that distance), and two, that this vibrant, funny and chatty guy is someone who has recently dealt with severe anxiety and depression.
“I know there are a lot of people who walk into work and have a huge smile on their face in order to appear okay to the outside world, but actually feel like killing themselves on the inside – those are real feelings that exist. This whole campaign looks to break down that facade and initiate conversation,” Jacob explains.
Starting today, Jacob will be kicking off Run to Wellness with a half marathon in Toronto, joined by a small team who will be capturing the journey on video and creating a documentary about the month-long initiative. Funded by an Indiegogo campaign and supported by some awesome partners, Run to Wellness aims to address the misconceptions we place around mental health, at the same time supporting others in their own road to wellness.
Keep reading to find out how Jacob is living life as a total renegade, taking something that can be immobilizing and turning it into something inspirational, encouraging the world to openly talk about mental health and raising awareness for an issue that affects us all.
It’s amazing how much of an impact food can have on your skin.
Growing up, you only hear that chocolate, candy and greasy fast food will make you break-out – but what about cheese? Or a latte? Or a cup of Greek yogourt? Where were all the pamphlets on THOSE?
When I went off the pill, I was not at all expecting the onslaught of acne that I would develop, especially not in my thirties. But there I was, the ripe ol’ age of 31 and with the face of a pubescent teenager. What gives?
It wasn’t until I spoke to holistic nutritionist Tara Miller about my breakouts that I realized how much my diet was affecting my skin. I didn’t necessarily eat bad foods – I just wasn’t eating the right foods for what my body was dealing with at the time. Spiking sugar levels and dairy were elevating certain hormones that were increasing my oil production, which were causing breakouts. After my initial consultation with Tara (read about it in part 1 of this series), we met again to discuss the nutrition plan she created for me, a holistic view of health that included actions to reduce stress and challenged me to really think about the foods I was putting in my body and the affect they had on my skin. Tara’s plan wasn’t about restricting myself to the point of hating food, but rather lessening the amounts I was eating of certain foods and seeing how my body was reacting (and not feeling bad if I slipped a piece of cheese in here and there). It seemed totally realistic and totally doable.
When I was a kid, the only thing I cared about when it came to food was whether or not it had sprinkles on it. Or chocolate. Or if I needed to eat everything on my dinner plate in order to get the good stuff. These days, things are a weeee bit different.
See, getting older means actually giving a shit about the food we put in our mouths, from the nutritional value of our meals to how the ingredients are grown. Is it organic? Is it hormone-free? Is it packaged with preservatives? Is it grown locally? Hellllllp!
So when I got the chance to spend an afternoon at Toronto-based food styling agency, The Hot Plate, learning all about local produce from the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG) with fellow food-obsessed bloggers, I jumped at the chance. Not only was I going to munch on fresh veg from right here in Ontario, but I’d be learning how to style the perfect Instagram shot (and y‘all know how much I love the ‘Gram).