8 Lessons You Only Learn by Travelling

8 Lessons You Only Learn by Travelling

Travelling is often associated with a holiday, and holidays are usually recreational and fun, as they should be. For many, it’s an ideal way to have an escapade from the strenuous life that governs our day to day. 

Pull apart the surface layers of excitement and fun, however, and you’ll start to see that there’s a lot more to travelling than simply soaking up the sun on white beaches or stuffing your face with the best street eats. 

There is much value in travelling, other than the joy of leaving our mundane lives here for a short moment. Here are 10 lessons that you can only learn by travelling the world. 

1. Embracing Life Outside of Comfort Zones

It’s natural to settle into a comfort zone when all you know are your daily rituals. We fall into a routine that we grow readily comfortable in, and balk at the idea of pushing ourselves past what we’re comfortable with. 

We travel to countries not unlike our own, wrapping ourselves with a sense of familiarity in an otherwise foreign landscape. For your next trip, however, consider countries where the cultures and heritage are markedly different – such as India, or Vietnam.

Whether is it or bungee jumping in New Zealand or crawling through the Cu Chi Tunnels of Ho Chi Minh City, travelling is a great opportunity to step outside your comfort zone and experience things you otherwise would not. 

2. Valuing Experiences Over Possessions

A friend once told me that you should pay for experiences and not for material goods. We buy souvenirs and mementos from the various places we visit as a keepsake to remind us of our time there. 

These keepsakes are more than just mere physical possessions. What makes them valuable are the memories and experiences that are imbued within. These experiences live with you for a lifetime and have the power to shape your thoughts and beliefs. 

So, maybe the next time you’re thinking of splurging on that expensive bag or pair of shoes, channel that money instead into a trip to Bhutan or South Africa and be ready to get blown away.

3. Adapting to Changes

If you’ve travelled before, you’ll know that the best laid plans do not always work out. That specialty restaurant you came for is closed. Your hotel messed up your booking. You flight gets cancelled.

In that moment, when you’re stuck in unfamiliar territory, where there’s nothing for you to lean on, the situation calls for you to adapt and change your plans when necessary.

But go with the flow and you’ll be surprised at how often a change in plan leads to something even better! 

4. Appreciating Things at Home

It’s very easy to take the things we have for granted. Whether it is air-conditioning or just proper tables and chairs, it’s easy to overlook how easy we get the things we use on a daily basis. 

Singaporeans’ favourite pastime may well be complaining about the faults that happen with our public transport system, in particular with our trains. Our annoyance with the train system is ironically born out of the rather smooth and efficient operation over the years. 

In some parts of the world, however, all of the above can be a luxury. Take the UK for example, where trains breaking down daily, happens to be the norm. In poorer countries, institutions like schools with proper classroom equipment are not a given as well. 

In our travels, we will often come across things that make us appreciate the little things we have back at home. 

5. Broadening Your Perspective

When we grow up in our homes for all our lives, we grow accustomed to the going ons and the way things work around us. Our entire worldview, what we know, and how we understand the world are inevitably confined to the boundaries set by our social environment.

When you’re exploring the world, you’ll be exposed to a host of varying practices, viewpoints, and cultures, all of which will challenge your preconceptions of the world.

For one, you may think of the Middle East as a chaotic and dangerous place, and to a certain extent in some parts, that’s true. But the Middle East is also home to one of the most beautiful and culturally rich places in the world. The Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi is one of the most stunning architecture you will come across.

8. Watching the World Come to Life

Textbooks are excellent in relaying the timeline and history of various civilisations and countries, and travel books often detail the various adventures people have on their escapades. 

With all that said, it’s one thing to read and study about the various cultures all around the world in a book, it’s another thing to experience it for yourself. Revel in the beauty of the timeless shrines and temples of Japan, or participate in the fiery and lively festivals of Spain, it’s an otherworldly experience.

9. Learning More About Yourself

It’s almost always in that second as you’re waiting for the sunrise or sunset, or overlooking a calm body lake, when the world goes quiet that you start to think about your journey in life. In that moment, looking at the beautiful landscape before you is when you start to think retrospectively. 

Through the many curveballs you encounter and situations your travels place you in, you start to understand who you are, what you’re comfortable with, and how you can grow. 

10. Understanding How Big the World is

As Gustav Flaubert opined, “Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” You can really only grasp an understanding of how miniscule you are compared to the world through travelling, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. 

Often times we think the problems we face are so immense that we just don’t see how we can get through the night. On your travels, you’ll see fantastical landscapes, meet wonderful people, see how they live and go about their daily lives. 

The nitty gritty of life back home or even during your trip suddenly gives way to the beautiful canvas of the world. When you start to see yourself as a citizen of the world, that’s when you’ll realise you’re part of something much much bigger than yourself. 

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In Wuhan’s Tan Hua Lin, Old Buildings Nurture New Lives and New Hope

In Wuhan’s Tan Hua Lin, Old Buildings Nurture New Lives and New Hope

Tan Hua Lin Art Village is one of Wuhan’s foremost destinations for anyone looking to spend a lazy day out. But the conservation zone, reclaimed from an old village and transformed into an eclectic enclave of cafes, restaurants and push carts offers so much more than just a languid afternoon filled with pretty Instagram pics. 

The idyllic sight of slate-grey, low-rise buildings flanking well-worn stone pathways lulls you into wanting to explore every nook and cranny, an endeavour that will reward you with the reveal of myriad little details – old brass knockers on stately doors; historic plaques declaring the ancestral homes of so-and-so; intricate woodworked window shutters; sun-bleached couplets that mark the entrances of residences.

But don’t think for a moment it’s all drab, grey, old people things. Woven through the historic district are splashes of colour and life in the form of quaint little shops and vibrant storefronts, hawking everything from bbq skewers to bubble tea to tourist souvenirs to home-brewed flower-infused rice wine, packaged in authentic clay bottles. 

And therein lies Tan Hua Lin’s allure – there’s everything you need for a thoroughly enjoyable day in your Wuhan itinerary, but it’s never overly aggressive or stimulating, the way theme parks or night markets can sometimes be. Everything is presented just so for you to explore and enjoy at your leisure.

However, there’s another side of Tan Hua Lin that only reveals itself when you scratch below the surface. As you venture further, everywhere you look, you’ll begin to spot hints of everyday living. A laden clothesline strung haphazardly across overhead wires; a squat, grey-coloured building topped with a bright red Christian cross; a window grille decorated with empty beer bottles; pushcarts hawking local snacks; the cacophony of schoolchildren released for the day…

That’s right, Tan Hua Lin is an actual residential estate that just happens to have a prettied up, tourist-friendly facade. Dare to explore past where the souvenir shops begin to dwindle, and you’ll find yourself in a completely different world, one that may be grimier, but also much more visceral.

Walking down a dusty intersection, with the previous tourist-friendly knick-knacks now replaced by daily sundries – assorted vegetables, their natural vibrant shades contrasting sharply with their gritty surroundings; live fish thrashing about in plastic trays; steamed rice cakes sold by a beaming couple (delicious, btw); trays of spiced, braised meats – I realised with a start that I had stumbled upon an unfettered view of everyday life for people in this corner of the world.

As the realisation dawned, I suddenly felt self conscious. I was undeniably an intruder, taking up space in a busy neighbourhood market as its denizens went about their business. The milling sight might be a spectacle for me, but for them, it’s everyday life. Nothing to see here, kiddo!

But there was plenty to see for someone like me! Unused as I was to the surroundings, I was the swa koo (country bumpkin) here! I resolved to be respectful with my photo-taking, and tried my best not to get in their way. I felt that was the least I could do.

As I wend my way through the market stalls, I saw hardworking folks tending to tedious, backbreaking tasks. I saw families cooking on open stoves, taking turns to feed mischievous, hungry children. I saw next-door neighbours offering each other the best of the day’s picks while trading the latest gossip.

Despite the relative squalor of their surroundings – some stalls had hardly enough light bulbs to chase away the gloom, when just meters away, shopfronts are decorated with rows upon rows of sparkly LEDs – the residents of Tan Hua Lin simply made do and carried on.

The contrast was both fascinating and humbling.

All too soon, the waning daylight signaled it was time for my retreat. Part of me wanted to stay past sundown, curious at the kind of scenes that might show themselves. But my suddenly hungry tummy, my laden shopping bags and the fact that I didn’t have a proper camera (which meant no decent night shots) compelled my surrender.

As I made my way out to the main road for a taxi, I reflected on how even though everything here – from the buildings to the pathways to the rusty shuttered stores – is positively ancient, there’s a palpable sense of purpose, dignity and pride.

Between the young entrepreneurs and their transformation of conservation units into cat cafes, DIY wishing charm stores, American-style bakeries and coffee houses; and just two laneways away, the neighbourhood denizens with their ready smiles and bubbling dinners, the spirit of its people shine brightly through.

I came to Tan Hua Lin expecting little more than a pleasant, slightly bohemian afternoon. But I left with the realisation that sometimes old buildings can give rise to new lives and new hope.

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How to Enjoy Chiang Mai’s Yee Peng Lantern Festival in 2019

How to Enjoy Chiang Mai’s Yee Peng Lantern Festival in 2019

Mention Chiang Mai and most people will have the impression of lazy afternoons and golden temples. They’re not wrong, but Chiang Mai’s unique location in the north of Thailand also means a culture that is especially different. Think Peranakan but Thai-style!

Chiang Mai was a key area of the Lanna Kingdom, partly due to the presence of the Ping river. The waterway’s influence has had such an impact on trade, transport and lifestyle for the people, that an additional festival known as the Yee Peng or Yi Peng lantern festival now precedes the famous Loy Krathong of Thailand, and is an event worth going to for new and return visitors alike.

What is Yee Peng Lantern Festival?

Happening sometime in November as the mercury falls to a comfortable 15-25 degrees, Yee Peng is celebrated on the full moon of the twelfth Thai lunar month or second Lanna lunar month.

What you can expect, is a city transformed by light, sound and colour on such a scale that the whole place feels like a theme park. From colourful lanterns on trees to glittering candles on the streets, Chiang Mai becomes a glowing beacon to all things good for three special days.

Is Yee Peng Lantern Festival the Same As Loy Krathong ?

Having Brahmanic origins means that light is always a big part of a symbolic celebration. And while Loy Krathong is about showing gratitude to the River Goddess for a bountiful harvest via a crafted floatable decorated with flowers and candles, Yee Peng is more about paying respects to Buddha and releasing your bad luck, grudges, and suffering through rice paper lanterns floating into the sky. So since these two are cosmic siblings, you can expect a double dose of an illuminating experience, not only for the camera but for your soul as well.

Where to Experience Yee Peng Lantern Festival?

The epicentre of all releases are usually held at Mae Jo University, and big, timed events like these are usually ticketed so don’t think you can just stroll right in! We’re talking about thousands of people yes, thousands— gathering for a grand cause so some type of crowd control is needed of course. As part of their efforts to prevent fire hazards, the government has also limited areas where such grand events take place. With tighter limitations, it is always a good idea to book tickets well in advance.

If you’re lucky enough to join in, be prepared early and head to the site well before release time. This will factor in the likely traffic jam that will occur, as well as give you time to find a good spot or grab some free food— yes, free because Chiang Mai is generous that way.

An hour before the release, monks in saffron robes will begin their chanting and ceremony and the place falls into a peaceful hush. Wait for instruction— and don’t worry there will be someone guiding you then release your woes into the sky with thousands of others and enjoy the spectacle.

Pray that your light disappears into the night sky gradually because this means that your bad luck has been completely erased for the year! But also get ready your cameras because this is the real-life Untangled, as the cloud of light billows into the night sky. 

 

Beyond the light show, you’ll also find many colourful activities happening around town. This is something they’ve been doing since the 13th century, so you can expect a rich display of tradition, culture and craft.

There’s the Yee Peng Parade that circles the Old City area, accompanied by live music and handicraft sessions. Food vendors will pop up, some with home-made goodies, and expect firecrackers that will light up the atmosphere with a raucous bang. There are also traditional dance shows that might happen, but all in all, as you walk around, you will not see a relaxed city, but a gathering of culture and celebrations.

Other Places in Chiang Mai to Witness the Enchanting Sight

If you’re the sort who fancies a smaller crowd, there are alternative places where informal groups release their lanterns. Try asking about the Cowboy Army Riding Club or Nawarat Bridge from locals and join them they are particularly welcoming during this period!

Alternatively, if you would like to just bear witness, you can pick out some choice rooftop bars and hotels to see the occasional light-up that floats up during the three-day festival. Sleepwalker Hotel and The Bridge Luxotel is located right beside Nawarat, or hang out by the river at eateries like The Good View and Deck 1.

 

If you wish to gain some lead time on the others, Le Jardin De Maejo is a quiet little establishment that is much closer to the University for those joining in. And if you’re looking to enjoy some quiet time away from the main city, Horizon Village Resort is located 20 minutes away and has their own botanic garden and waterways for you to unwind after your day in Chiang Mai. Who knows, maybe they might even let you float your private blessings in their compound!

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10 Photos That Will Make You Want to Travel to Vietnam Now

10 Photos That Will Make You Want to Travel to Vietnam Now

Ah Vietnam, the land of Pho and Banh Mi. Oh what wouldn’t I give to have a comforting bowl of Pho right about now. The complex burst of flavours from the broth and silky smooth rice noodles that just slides down.

Interestingly, Thailand, particularly its capital of Bangkok, somehow seems to be more attractive to Singaporeans and is solidly above Vietnam as the more travelled-to destination. And who can blame us? Shopping is in our blood.

Now, part of the draw of Vietnam is its rich colonial history, largely attributed to the sizeable French influence during the mid-19th Century. From the usage of baguettes in Banh Mi to the imposing French colonial architecture that can be seen all across the country,

If it is a cultural foray that you are yearning for your next trip, there’s no better place than Vietnam. From the upstart Ho Chi Minh City to the cultural capital of Hanoi and sleepy towns like Hoi An, Vietnam offers a host of different experiences from one region to the next.

Tack on the fantastical natural landscapes that will be sure to make your jaw drop, here are some photos of Vietnam’s best to inspire to travel a little bit further, both in distance and comfort zone.

Where Modernity Meets Tradition

Photo by Hoach Le Dinh on Unsplash

Photo by Tran Phu on Unsplash

Stroll through the city streets, and you’ll see women donning the Non La (Vietnamese conical leaf hat) carrying baskets of fresh produce walking around. The Non La is a traditional symbol which has its lore tied to the history of rice growing in Vietnam. The time-honoured traditions of the country quietly trudge on, oblivious to the myriad of changes around it.

Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, more so the former, is spearheading the transformation of Vietnam into a modernised city of towering skyscrapers right before our eyes. Rapid modernisation has no doubt brought much needed economic development and tourism to Vietnam.

That, however, hasn’t resulted in a purge of traditions from Vietnamese society. One of the interesting sights you’ll see in and around Vietnam is the juxtaposition of a fast modernising society holding steady to its time-honoured traditions. Expect to see trains shuttling to and fro right across from people cycling on dirt tracks surrounded by the tropical rainforest.

French Colonial Architecture

The French influence imprinted throughout Vietnamese society as a result of a period of French colonialism is most easily seen through the remnants of French architecture that is still standing tall to this day in the different regions of Vietnam.

The People’s Committee House is one of Ho Chi Minh City’s most iconic silhouette. Originally built from 1902 to 1908 for the then city of Saigon, it was named the Saigon City Hall. Though you aren’t able to enter it, its French architectural facade reminds us of its colonial past.

With respect to Vietnam’s colonial history, it was actually in the city of Danang where the French originally began building their colony. Commissioned in 1923 by then priest Louis Vallet, a bright pink cathedral stands prominent along Tran Phu Street. Such French colonial architecture has become an institutional look of Vietnam.

Diverse Religious Landscape

Photo by Apaha Spi on Unsplash

Of course with the French’s rule during the mid-19th century, it’s impact upon Vietnamese society would extend to more than just architecture. As with many European colonists during the time, aside from creating new trade routes and access to various spices, the spreading of Christianity and Catholicism was a high priority.

It’s hence not a surprise to see churches around, and coupled with Buddhist temples are that quite significant, Vietnam presents an intriguing mix of various religions which make for great exploration and photo ops of all the different religious buildings tucked in an amongst the city’s skyline.

Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash

Tantalising Street Food

Photo by Anh Vy on Unsplash

If you travel for food (what other reason should there really be?), Vietnam is a street food haven. Exploring on foot and trying out all the different street food Vietnam has to offer is a cultural experience on its own.

Strip away fancy tables and service, and what you get and all that matters is the dish in front of you where your experience of the meal is more or less judged solely on the taste. From delicious Pho and Banh Mi, not forgetting the Vietnamese sweet desserts that are a world of their own.

Photo by René DeAnda on Unsplash

And if you have a chance, give Cao lầu a try which is a bowl of noodles unique and signature of the Hoi An region. With udon-like noodles, strips of barbecue pork, some bean sprouts and lettuce for crunch, and you’ve got a bowl of pure delight.

Stunning Natural Beauty

Photo by Joaquín on Unsplash

Now this, this is something that Vietnam offers that is arguably unparalleled amongst neighbours. The natural landscapes that surrounds the many cities and towns of Vietnam can be jaw-droppingly beautiful.

From the ever famous Halong Bay to the relatively unknown provinces of Danang and Ninh Binh, the stunning mountainscapes will leave you wanting more. With boat tours that can take you to the foot of mountains and into caves, a trip to Vietnam would have to encompass experiencing all the vast mountains and nature that the entire country has to offer.

The next time you’re planning for a short trip and Vietnam’s on the final list, choose Vietnam and immerse yourself in a culturally enriching escape.

 

Photo by Ammie Ngo on Unsplash

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12 Photos to Inspire You to Visit Berlin

12 Photos to Inspire You to Visit Berlin

If you asked me which city to go for a grad trip, I’d say go to Berlin! Even better take up an internship there as Berlin is one of the most affordable cities in Europe. Oh, and did we mention that most of the people in this city speak English? It’s rare to hear people using Guten Tag or Servus here. So, don’t worry about not being well-versed in Deutsch.

This dynamic city is a must-visit for those in pursuit of art, music and ambrosial vegan fare.

I can’t describe Berlin in one word, but I’ll quote the decades-old slogan by former Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit “Berlin is poor, but sexy”. This slogan has open up possibilities for the creative types to thrive in Berlin (since the studio rental here is cheaper than London). Hundreds of backyard art studios emerged, and art soon began to take over streets, the walls of buildings and even entire districts. Ultimately, Berlin cemented its status as a creative capital of the world. 

Even though Berlin is not as posh as her cousins in the south, the German capital is never dull.

From Brandenburg Gate to the Holocaust Memorial to the graffiti-ridden remains of the Berlin Wall, the city brandishes its chequered past as a reminder of the dark days behind it.

If you can— spend at least a week in Berlin, look beyond its gruff facade— you’ll come to appreciate this city’s creativity, resilience, solidarity and abundant green spaces.

Not convinced yet? Here are some of the city’s best bits in 12 photos.

Eclectic City 

What usually comes to mind when Berlin is mentioned? First, its diversity of nightlife, second, the dominant presence of Berlin TV Tower, once a symbol of Communist power by East Germany, and last but not least, the Berlin Wall. 

Spring in Berlin is marked by longer days and shorter nights. If you like long exposure photography, Spring and Summer are the best seasons to hang out after the sunset which is usually after 9pm. Winter in Berlin is miserably cold at night so you might be better off staying indoor.

In London, you have the iconic red buses. In Berlin, the public transit systems are in yellow. 

Berlin is Germany’s largest city taking up 891.8 km², which is relatively bigger than Singapore, but it is less crowded with approximately 3.7 million people. 

So if you’re tired of your cramped and crowded, constantly delayed daily commute, you’ll feel the difference immediately in Berlin. But like any big cities, rush hours are expected in the morning and evening. 

 

Quaint Neighbourhood

It also makes a world of difference to your experience in terms of which neighbourhood you choose to set up your base. 

This is Prenzlauer Berg, which used to be an impoverished neighbourhood in former East Berlin. Today, it is the most charming residential estate that is populated by artists and young families. 

Hidden Gem

There are endless artisanal coffee houses in Berlin and most travel guides would have pointed you to Kreuzberg, a district that is multicultural and ever-changing with a treasure trove of cafes and restaurants.

While it is true that Kreuzberg offers the food-and-coffee obsessed the best of both worlds, the central borough of Berlin, Mitte, which was once the heart of East Berlin, also offers plenty of chic cafes for breakfast, brunch and coffee.  

To escape the city buzz for a while, head over to Father Carpenter, located in one of Berlin’s most beautiful and stylish courtyards along Münzstrasse. 

Street Art

While Berlin might seem like a concrete jungle, it is the people of this city that makes it colourful and hopeful.

Let yourself be inspired, seduced and enchanted in this strangely creative city.

If you’re visiting Berlin for the first time, I highly recommend going on a street art and graffiti tour.  

Iconic Landmarks

Walk around.

Berlin’s history has left the city with an eclectic assortment of architecture. You’ll notice that Berlin has no organically-developed architecture, unlike London and Paris.  

And that’s what makes it unusual and fascinating. 

Apart from the tourist hot spot like Brandenburg Gate, this double deck bridge, Oberbaumbrücke has great significance too. It connects Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg, the former boroughs that were divided by the Berlin Wall, today it is a symbol of unity.

Abundant Green Spaces

Berlin is not all concrete, it is home to 2,500 parks.

Apparently, one-fifth of the city is covered with trees. The more you explore the city, the more you’ll realise just how green this place is, unless you’re visiting in winter.

Treptower Park offers some of the best running and biking options in Central Berlin. The Spree River runs right by it with great boating opportunities.  

If you want to see well-preserved cities on the eastern side of Europe, Berlin is not your best bet. I’d say go to Prague or Budapest instead. And if you want to see “typical” German architecture, drive through the Black Forest, up to the Rhine valley, or through Bavaria.

What’s attractive about Berlin is precisely what’s missing in the cities that are beautiful. It’s not perfect, and it cares not to be. Berlin will surprise you.

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Saskatchewan, the Unpronounceable State of Canada

Saskatchewan, the Unpronounceable State of Canada

Let alone being able to pronounce, hardly anyone knows the existence of small city Saskatoon (Sas-kuh-toon) in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan (Suhs-kat-che-wan) this side of the world.

Known for being cold and remote, it’s hardly (or rather never) associated with when travelling to Canada. The big names are Toronto and Vancouver with Montreal and Quebec City being sprinkled in conversations every now and then.

It’s not hard to see why: firstly, there are no direct international flights to Saskatoon, one has to transit from Vancouver. Second, the winters can be a rough time and those in hotter climate pine for a nice cold winter holiday but not this kind of winter.

There’s also a running joke in Canadian circles that if your dog runs away in Saskatchewan, you don’t have to worry too much because can still see it after a few days as the lands are completely flat.

Paris of the Prairies

And I guess they aren’t wrong, the Paris of the Prairies as Saskatoon has often been called, have lands that are flat as far as the eye can see. Tack on the harsh winter that sweeps across Saskatoon, and not many are flocking there for their once in a year vacation.

But despite the -30℃, Saskatoon has a deep and inner warmth that not many around the world are privy to.

I remember trekking along the side of the road, trying to navigate to Wanuskewin Heritage Park, just slightly north of town. My boot was sinking deeper and deeper into the snow as cars whizzed past me on the highway. It must have been some 20 below 0 as I huddled and stared at a screenshot of the Google Maps I saved.

“Really wished I had WiFi right about now,” I muttered under my breath.

It looked like a short walk from the bus stop but I grossly underestimated the distance. There was no public transport and cabs were simply way too expensive. There was no building in sight, not even a highway petrol station.

Putting my head down and coat up, I trudged onwards, hoping to reach Wanuskewin Heritage Park before it closes.

15 minutes later and it didn’t seem like I was making much or any headway. Up ahead was a car parked on the shoulder of the road forcing me to wrap around it as snow continuously pelted my face. I had half a mind to turn tail and just head back to my dorm.

As I walked by the side of the car, a voice sounded out of the car, “Do you need help? Are you lost?” I turned to see a woman roughly in her late 20s with a cigarette in a her hand looking at me like I’m a lost puppy.

What followed was me hitching a ride in a totally random stranger’s car which was probably the most #YOLO thing I’d ever done.

It was a signature moment of what exemplifies the Saskatoonian spirit and the truth is, this spirit permeates throughout society, seen in the little things that everyone I had the pleasure to meet had graced me with.

From flashing the most heart-warming smiles to a simple “hello” and “good morning” as you walk by each other, it seemed the people of Saskatoon have rallied behind their kind loving nature that not even the freezing winter can shake.

Dynamic Culinary Scene

And for a place that is often categorised as remote and uninteresting, it is a happening city. The culinary scene is vibrant and buzzing, spearheaded by Top Chef Canada 2011 winner Dale Mackay who chose to open his flagship Ayden Kitchen and Bar in Saskatoon. Hipster cafes are sprouting up by the dozens, filling the cold air with warm smells of baguettes and croissants.

Chef Dale Mackay

Photo by aydenkitchenbar via Instagram

Museum with Avant-garde Architecture

The Arts got a serious boost with the construction of the new Remai Modern Museum overlooking the iconic Saskatchewan River.

Come Summer, the Farmer’s Market in the heart of town comes alive where you’ll find the freshest baked goods to the iconic Saskatoon berries.

The niceties that seem exceptional and out of the way are common and second-nature to the people of Saskatoon. Many proclaim Canadians to be one of the nicest people in the world, sometimes to a fault. Well, in places like Vancouver and Toronto, you can still see the influence of a huge cosmopolitan city and its effect on people.

But this is the cold and remote Saskatoon in the state of Saskatchewan, where warm hearts battle the frigid winter.

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